Out of the Mouth of the Dragon by Mark S. Geston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Back cover blurb:
Amon VanRoark heard the prophet speaking in the marketplace of the decaying city. Timonias spoke with all the glowing words and crystal clarity of his calling. And the young man listened and he followed. The call was to the Meadows, to the Wars, to the Armageddon in which all the forces of Good and all the forces of Evil would meet, would clash, would decide the fate of the already doomed world. There had been other Armageddons, false ones, so Amon believed, in the lifetimes of his father, and his grandfather before him. But when Amon looked at the ruined world around him, at the lost technologies, the vestiges of dying cultures, the warped rays of the sun, he knew he must answer the call to this last Armageddon, in which Creation would either be renewed or finally be let to end.
This is one of my all-time favorite science fiction novels. Its grim view of the future has stuck with me for twenty years. Future warriors in a blasted land march off for yet another world war. It seems everyone wants to bring on Armageddon but can't quite pull it off, so instead they keep gearing up for new wars that further scar the world.
Geston is an overlooked master. His prose is rich and complex, with a surreal quality that haunts you. This is a continuation of his previous book, Lords of the Starship, written when he was still in high school! I highly recommend both books, although you don't have to read Lords of the Starship first since the connection is tenuous. I read them out of order and my understanding and enjoyment weren't diminished.
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