In the 80s, I was introduced to a sci-fi/fantasy trilogy of books. The books were set in the future. There were "knights", "priests", and dwarfs. The dwarfs were help for the knights. As the books evolved, the churches that the commoners were "controlled" by and went to used technology claimed by the priests to be divine power, but it was revealed as the books developed that the making of sounds and visuals in church was technology of the past that was hidden from the commoners but used to convince them that the "priests" had powers. What the priests were using was tape players and projectors. I kind of remember the main character was a young man who became a knight, but rebelled against the control of the workers/commoners by the religion's "priests".

I read these books in the early to mid 80s. If anyone has a memory or any thought to what these 3 books are, let me know.

  • 1
    Do you mean "dwarves" or "dwarfs"? The former is the fantasy race. The latter are disproportionately small humans.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 16:02
  • 2
    @SeanDuggan The spelling "dwarves" was invented by Tolkien, and there were mythical "dwarfs" before his time.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 16:20
  • Fair enough. Common usage that I've seen, though, distinguishes the two.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 16:24
  • @SeanDuggan Looks like Jason has cleared this up: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/103179/…
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 11:12
  • see OP confirmation comment for answer below
    – Otis
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


This sounds very much like John Christopher's Sword of the Spirits trilogy, published in the early 70s.

They're set in a post-apocalyptic future society in which the Seers are in charge of spiritual matters, condemning all technology as evil. It later turns out that the 'miracles' performed by the Seers are in fact due to technology they secretly possess and which they plan to return to the world. The main character is a young man, originally a commoner, later the Prince's son, later still recruited by the Seers to be the Prince of Princes, overthrow the current system, and return technology to the world. There were small and often deformed people (I think it was hinted that they were born due to radiation after a nuclear disaster), who acted as servants to the 'normal' humans, and also some similarly small people who may have been called 'dwarves' and were respected as smiths.

(Apologies for my vagueness: I only read the first book, and it was some years ago.)

  • youre a legend rand al'thor thats exactly the premise of the books. im sure pretty sure thats the title too.well now i got to see if i can track the books down.thanks
    – deltron001
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 14:33
  • @deltron001 Happy to help! I've been trying to track down the 2nd and 3rd in the series for ages too. And if you come back to this page, please remember to click the green tickmark to the left of my answer to show that it's the correct one! :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 10:01
  • @randal'thor - at Amazon you can find The Prince In Waiting, Beyond The Burning Lands, and The Sword Of The Spirits. Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 12:06

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