The Last Legionary Quartet (1979–81)
Keill Randor is the only survivor of the Legions of Moros, a people who were the most skilled mercenary force of the Inhabited Worlds until they were murdered by an unknown enemy. Slowly dying from a touch of the deadly radiation that wiped out all life on his planet, Randor sets out to avenge the murder of Moros. He is gathered up by a group of mysterious brilliant scientists whom he comes to know as the Overseers and who save his life by replacing his bones with a virtually unbreakable "organic alloy". They too seek the murderer of Moros, an unknown being they call the Warlord who sends out his agents to spread the infection of war among mankind's worlds in an attempt to plunge the whole galaxy into a giant holocaust from which he would emerge as the supreme ruler. Combining a personal quest for revenge with the Overseers' request to act as their emissary, Randor joins forces with Glr, a telepathic alien from another galaxy, and together they take up the fight against the Warlord and his elite unit, the Deathwing.
The Last Legionary Quartet is a space opera series written for younger readers and incorporates all the clichés of the sub-genre. The individual books are quite short, entertaining if one hasn't read too many similar stories yet, and rather violent considering the target audience. One has to appreciate Hill's decency to limit a series that could have continued forever to four volumes. From an adult viewpoint the characterization is partly weak, partly oversimplified, the action is fairly good, but Randor's superhuman resilience and martial arts skills become increasingly implausible, and the plot is too simple and repetitive. However, back when I was the right age to read children's books I read #1 and #2 in German translation and I loved them.
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