Cover image for The dark wing
The dark wing
Hunt, Walter H.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, 2001.
Physical Description:
491 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 8.5 26.0 55106.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



The zor is just one of the alien races that humanity encounters when it travels to the stars, and from the very first meeting it has been all-out war. For many years the conflicts have been sporadic, usually ending with an Earth concession and a treaty. But the zor does not respect mankind and has no any intention of honoring the agreements. When the zor decide to mount a surprise attack against human colonies, the normally self-absorbed government of Earth realizes that something must be done before it is too late.

A controversial scholar by the name of Marais is brought in. A nonmilitary man, he has spent his entire life studying the zor and claims to have a plan to deal with them once and for all. With so few options remaining, Marais is put in charge of the battlefleet.

Earth just wants the threat neutralized and would be happy with a stalemate, but Marais has other ideas. He believes himself to be the mythic Dark Wing, destined to exterminate the zor. . . .

Author Notes

Walter H. Hunt lives in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. The Dark Wing is his first novel.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the star-traveling future, the Solar Empire contends with the birdlike zor, who have committed a new aggression every time the previous one has been defeated. Now the zor have launched their most destructive attack yet, and humanity's situation is becoming desperate. Enter Ivan Hector Charles Marais, a man with more knowledge of the zor than of space combat, who applies said knowledge to developing a strategy against them. He presents himself as the Dark Wing of zor mythology--the destructive side of reality--a claim he supports with ruthless tactics that nearly bring about his downfall at the hands of his own race. His argument proves compelling to the zor, who can surrender only to the Dark Wing. At novel's end, hopes of a human-zor alliance against a greater menace seems possible. Although the military sequences are rather standard, the psychological warfare in the book is original and gripping. An impressive debut by a military-sf writer likely to please partisans of Saberhagen, Weber, and Drake. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

This entertaining first novel plays some welcome variations on formulaic military SF. Tired of a decades-long war with the zor, a race of birdlike aliens, the Solar Empire puts a new admiral, a former scholar who claims to understand the zor point of view, in charge of the space fleet. Admiral Marais believes that the aliens can't imagine coexisting with humans, and declares that the only way to overcome them is to shatter their worldview while pressing them to the brink of extinction. But the Solar Empire doesn't anticipate Marais's personal stake in the war: he believes himself to be a threatening, implacable power called the Dark Wing, part of the pantheon of zor religion. The zor, convinced of Marais's alleged secret identity, see him as their likely destroyer. Up to this point, the novel seems to prepare for a standard, detailed presentation of space battle tactics, but instead the story veers off into a discussion of the morality of exterminating another race, however hostile. As the story progresses, Hunt adds depth to the characters, who start behaving oddly. Although they're comfortably flat, as in most military SF, some of them obviously harbor hidden schemes. By the end, one war is over, but larger and much stranger conflicts are just coming into focus. Hunt delivers a bravura performance, especially for a new writer. It's unclear whether he can keep up this level of razzle-dazzle whether he's juggling chainsaws or just Nerf balls but he's a showman to watch. (Dec. 19) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

To bring an end to the continual state of war between humanity and the alien, birdlike zor, the Solar Empire places its military command in the hands of Lord Marais, a scholar versed in the culture of the zor. Marais's knowledge, together with his belief that he is the legendary "Dark Wing" of zor mythology, puts him and the human race in the difficult position of having to choose whether or not to annihilate the enemy in order to achieve victory. Hunt's first novel, set in the far future, deals with the problematic issues of xenophobia and genocide while presenting a fast-paced story that should appeal to fans of space opera and military sf. Reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's military classic Ender's Game, this work belongs in most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.