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The Third Eagle by R. A. MacAvoy
Published by Doubleday
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
Third Eagle is a story on a familiar theme. A young man from a backwater goes out into the wider world where he encounters the perils of human cruelty but in the end does good and learns some important things about himself.
However, there are some important differences. Wanbli lives on a distant planet, a desert world that has been saving for a string station for many years and is eagerly anticipating its arrival. With it will come the trade that will bring prosperity.
Wanbli is a Paint, a specially trained bodyguard of the Wacaan tribe, a people who settled one small continent of that world. He serves the traders of another ethnic group. In an interesting twist, while the Wacaan are descended from what we would call "American Indian" or "Native American," the common language of their world is a modified form of Hindi, the language of the original Indians of Asia.
After getting rudeness in return for saving his employer from a particularly close assassination attempt, Wanbli decides to not only leave his position, but his planet as well. With the reward from the would-be assassins' vehicle, he buys passage on a spaceship which he hopes will take him to the world where the galaxy's entertainment is produced. There he hopes to become an actor.
However, fine plans have a way of going awry, and they do so disastrously. On the way Wanbli finds and loses a friend, then discovers that the long-awaited station isn't going to arrive after all because the company that was to build it has gone bankrupt. To top it all off, the group of revivalists among whom he's fallen are a pack of cynical thugs.
Wanbli has the solution to his problems at hand, if only he has the wit to see them.
Unfortunately this book has gone out of print. However, you can have Amazon.com search for a used copy, albeit at a premium.
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This review posted June 2, 1999
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