reviewed by Jerry Wright
Author: Dave Kuzminski
Pub: Double Dragon Press
E-Book: March 2004
Dave Kuzminski is a tireless crusader for the rights of beginning authors. His website Preditors and Editors is filled with tips for those starting out in the perilous waters of "I want to get published..." He also writes, himself.
So far, however, he is stuck in the 3rd tier lists of the POD and E-Book publishers. This WILL change. Dave tells a good story. And Knight Spirits proves it. This story owes a lot to Heinlein, in the best fashion. Actually, if he'd made a single change, turning his main character "Kaither" into a teen-ager, it would have been a fine, very interesting knockdown drag-out young adult book. In fact, my recommendation to him is to re-write it with that change, and all the ramifications thereof, and submit it to a mainstream publisher.
That having been said... This is rousing romp of a story. The bronze age inhabitants of an uncharted world have inherited several sets of Terran Space Marine combat armor from the dying hands of Lieutenant Jesus Gonzales. However, not the complete armor--the legs and arms are strangely missing, and all these people know are a few commands in a foreign tongue. "Magic spells" if you will. Ringing a change on Arthur C. Clarke's dictum that "sufficiently advanced technology is indistiguishable from magic", Kuzminski says, "or a miracle from the god."
The structural components of the story are well though out, as is the utilization of these "miraculous gifts" by people who are not even iron-age. The freebooter who originally is trained by the lieutenant and is allowed to join a holy order "The Order of the Star" primarily because of the Star emblazoned on the armor, is able to set up his semi-monastic order of flying Knights, and tried diligently to keep them out of the hand of the politicians.
Our story takes place 100 years later, and the political intrigue, the dwindling number of people capable of getting the "knight spirits" inhabiting the suits to allow them to be worn, and the stepped up invasions from the Kron Empire make a fine backdrop for our hero, who has no idea what he is getting into.
The story cries out for a sequel, and I hope that Dave will see his way clear to write "Return Of The Lieutenant" or whatever he calls it!
This book is available for download from Double Dragon Publishing.
Copyright © 2004, Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories