"And the ship? When can we leave?"...."When I have discovered what love is," she said. "Not before."
|My copy of DAW UE 1614|
I read Mayenne, which was first published by DAW in 1973, in a 1981 omnibus which includes books 9 and 10. The cover by Kelly Freas suggests that Dumarest will be taking up archery and having an affair with a woman with tattoos on her face; those sound like pleasant hobbies. The covers of the British and German editions spoil the fact that Dumarest is going to have to battle a knight mounted on a dragon; probably not so pleasant.
My double edition includes Jack Gaughan's interior illustration for Mayenne, but not his illo for Jondelle, which is a little disappointing. And of course the severely cropped Freas covers, while they preserve the pretty girls' faces, leave out the perhaps more interesting and evocative figures of Dumarest, monsters and people in agony.
|Original Kelly Freas covers of DAW's Mayenne and Jondelle|
(Despite the Freas cover, Dumarest himself doesn't shoot arrows at anybody. Is this Freas's clever comparison of Dumarest to Cupid?)
I like E. C. Tubb's writing style; the fight scenes are good, the pacing is perfect, the characters are quickly but clearly sketched out for the reader, and their interactions are interesting. I was always unsure, and curious, about which of the characters were going to survive and which would die in space or on Tormyle. Mayenne is a fun adventure story I can happily recommend to adventure fans.
Poor Dumarest doesn't get any closer to Earth in this caper, but Tormyle does teleport him to a random planet, which throws the agents of the Cyclan off his trail. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to Dumarest in the next book!