I read a book years ago, and now I can't remember the author or title. I do remember that it was like the 3rd or 4th in a series, but I don't remember what the series was called.

In the book, a pilot for an interplanetary empire crash-lands on a planet that has been deemed unsuitable for habitation, and is quarantined. He is rescued by the native people (yes, they are humans), and nursed back to health. When he comes to, he finds out that the people here are a matriarchal society. Royal women can have multiple men, and trade them around for political purposes. They settle disputes, barter, and predict the future with a game using many different dice. The dice are different sizes, shapes, colours, and materials, and the different dice have different point values. They have an air force, but even they have few weapons, and look like giant versions of the dice sets. The planet is extremely technologicaly primitive. The pilot basically teaches the people how to make newer technology, and ends up sparking a war in which people die from violence for the first time in centuries. They kick him out of their society, but he is killed by quarantine sentry turrets as he tries to escape the planet.

Any clue what book this is? I've been trying to remember it because I want to read the entire series. I know that one of the other books in the series is called "The Fourth Tri-" something.

  • I don't see how this is a duplicate. While it turned out to be the same answer, I never could have found the other question, because I had no recollection of the nanomachines. While the other one mentions the dice game, it actually says tiles, which could very well be a different book to the casual searcher. Dec 20, 2018 at 3:28
  • Dupe-closing on story-id questions isn't a bad thing, far from it :) the policy here is that when two story-id answers turn out to be the same and are both accepted (through checkmark or "thank you" comment), we dupe-close mainly so that it links them together and future readers can have more info in case they're searching for the same thing. That doesn't mean your question was a bad one :) (actually, far from it, it contained a lot of useful info for story-id)
    – Jenayah
    Dec 20, 2018 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Perhaps The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro?

  • Volume 3 in a series.
  • A pilot, crashlanding, matriarchy.
  • A game matters for the society.
  • 1
    Per a quick glance on Goodreads none of the books in that series start with "The Fourth" (or even the third, the fifth etc), though
    – Jenayah
    Dec 16, 2018 at 14:41
  • 1
    @Jenayah, that's a point. The OP will have to decide.
    – o.m.
    Dec 16, 2018 at 15:00
  • Thank you, that is indeed the book I was looking for. As far as the other book goes, I may have been remembering a book from a different series that I was also reading at the time Dec 16, 2018 at 15:47
  • It did sound like a cross between The Last Hawk and Star Trek TOS's en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Taste_of_Armageddon
    – LSerni
    Dec 16, 2018 at 20:57

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