Dorsai! – Gordon R. Dickson
[A/n 2023: I am still dealing with allergies/chronic sinus issues, and normal levels of creativity just aren’t happening. That being said, I am going to make the effort to properly review this book again, and also The Witches of Karres. Stand by.]
[A/n 2020: once again, apologies for the abrupt nature of this review. I had the midnight-3 a.m. shift last night and am operating on four hours of sleep.]
So this book is about the life and times of Donal Graeme. It covers his desire to become the greatest general who ever lived, his abrupt discovery at age eighteen that other people might think he’s weird (he’s weirder than a lemur in a gift shop*)–his feud with William of Ceta–his somewhat-inexplicable love for the Select of Kultis and her even more bewildering infatuation with him–and his eventual realization of his true powers and relationship to humanity. What is absolute power over other humans–not to a corrupt or evil man, but to a man who loves humanity, even as he stands apart from it? It’s a lonely and wearisome burden, and in Donal’s case, he has no one to blame but himself.
And so it goes.
Anyhow, so does Donal Graeme have the same powers as Paul Atreides? Between them: I do think Paul’s Bene Gesserit training would give him an edge, as would his control and usage of the Spice. He definitely has more conscious control of his powers and abilities. The Exotics do seem to have some similar training methods, but theirs are frankly rather crude in comparison and in any case, Donal doesn’t get them; he finds enlightenment on his own. Paul would definitely win in a physical fight, but Donal’s position as a free actor might just possibly give him the edge in manipulating the situation. On the other hand, Paul is the man who escaped the Bene Gesserit’s manipulations, so, perhaps they are pretty evenly balanced after all.
Rated: The Exotics versus the Bene Gesserit would be interesting to watch. From a suitable distance, that is. Like another galaxy…