First published in 1940/54|
Latest edition: 1999
Publisher: Baen Books
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Reviews John Lyle was a boy like any other, perhaps a little more naive than the average, who had grown up believing in God and in the Prophet Incarnate. The religious dictatorship of the Prophets had been running the USA for decades before his birth, and it was hard to imagine that things could be any different. After all, it had always been that way.
Always a devoted and by-the-book boy, he went to military school and had the honor of being chosen for the military elite of his day, the Angels of the Lord, the batallion which guarded the palace of the Prophet. But John's heart betrayed his faith: he fell in love with a woman forbidden to ordinary mortals like him, one of the virgins consecrated to the Prophet himself.
With the help of his worldly roommate, John opts to join the Cabal, a secret society that plots the downfall of the Prophets' regime and the return of the U. S. to democracy. From there, we follow his adventures as conspirator and as soldier, now fighting against the regime that had trained him.
During that process he discovers a whole side of life that had been denied to him as sinful. He discovers sex and the freedom to think for himself. But, most difficult of all, he discovers how to live in a free society, without himself restricting the freedom of others. ~~~Carlos Angelo