The Dawning Light by Robert Randall
New York : Gnome Press, 1959. First Edition. Hardcover. 191 pages ; 22 cm. $3.00 dust jacket with fading and minor rips around the dust jacket edges. Pages toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
THE DAWNING LIGHT
By ROBERT RANDALL
When the Earthmen came to Nidor, the most important thing they brought with them was—change. Change in age-old ways of living, change in a culture that had been static for centuries. And while some Nidorians believed that such progress could only be for the best, there was a strong underground movement which held that their planet's culture was destined to disappear completely into violent chaos—unless they did something about it.
This fast-paced book, the anxiously-awaited sequel to The Shrouded Planet, is the story of what they did. It focuses on Kris peKym Yorgen, strong man of the anti-Earth Merchant's Party, whose burning hatred of Earthmen leads him into feats of cunning and daring no other Nidorian would ever have attempted.
No other Nidorian, for instance, would ever have thought of robbing a bank. Kris not only thinks of it, he does it, and thus pulls off the most brazen crime ever attempted on Nidor. But this is not robbery for robbery's sake. Kris has a double purpose. First, the move throws the economy of an entire province into an uproar, enabling the Merchant's Party to step in and gain both wealth and power. Second, it gives Kris a perfect weapon against the Earthmen—for the very foundation of his idea is a plot to frame the Earth-men for the crime and throw them into complete disrepute all over the planet. The result, he believes, will be that outraged Nidorians will finally arise against the Earthmen, and drive the usurpers from the planet he loves.
The plan works well, up to a point. Kris, who has rapidly risen to complete control over the Merchant's Party, succeeds in hiding the stolen cobalt on the grounds of fU»e Earth-established School of Divine Law. Meanwhile, Kris' girlfriend Marja begins to work on the women of Nidor, convincing them that the Earthmen are demons from the Outer Darkness, not the emissaries from the Great Light they claim to be.
When rumors that the Earthmen are the real culprits reach the ears of the Elders, they come over to Kris' side and offer him aid in getting rid of the outsiders. Kris leads a hundred armed men to the School, where the Earthman Smith refuses to confess to the crime—but refuses to deny it, either! Kris' small army becomes a mob, which kills the priests and students and burns the school. And in a breathtakingly surprising scene, the Earthmen reveal previously hidden powers and escape by floating off into the sky, surrounded by shining blue auras.
Kris "finds" the stolen cobalt where he himself concealed it, and is hailed by all Nidor as a great hero. With the Earth-men seemingly driven off and complete control over Nidor in his grasp, Kris pauses to relax for a few moments before starting to undo all the changes that have been made and return the planet to its former peaceful state. But his pleasure and triumph are short-lived, for he suddenly finds himself revealed as the true leader of the bank robbery, and within instants becomes a hunted outlaw instead of a hero.
But all this is only the barest hint of the intricate plot complications you'll find in The Dawning Light. And you'll marvel at how Robert Randall keeps you in suspense until the very last moment, then draws them all together into a skillful knot at the smashing climax of the book. When the last great light finally dawns on Kris and on yourself, you'll marvel at its true scope and power!
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