I am trying to identify a novel that I read in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The story is set in the future, but the world has a middle-age/fantasy vibe because humanity has lost the knowledge to build complicated machines. A few devices (such as laser weapons) are left but they are extremely valuable for that exact reason.
The government (kingdom?) maintains a unit of elite soldiers/knights with (black?) capes. A member of this unit can match dozens of ordinary people in a fight. If I remember correctly, the story has at least two plot lines:
- A prince (?) who was kicked out of the elite training (maybe because of his questionable character) wants to destroy the unit and kill their members.
- The illegitimate daughter of an elite soldier (who went rogue and raped her mother) joins their school to become an elite soldier like her father (and fails because she has no talent).
In retrospect, it sounds like a wild mix of musketeers and Jedi knights :)