I recall there were two warring alien empires, one of which was led by a race that could telepathically inflict pain on others, but when they tried to do it to humans, it would backfire. something about human's animal instincts being much closer to the surface than the other species.

Humans made the most aggressive and dangerous fighters, so both empires tried to reruit humanity, since the other races involved in the war were fairly monolithic and sided all with one empire or the other. Humanity was all splintered though.

The empire led by the telepathic race claimed that everyone in it was equal but in reality the telepathic race was in charge.

  • Some timeline would be good – apoorv020 Nov 4 '11 at 8:47
  • It sounds vaguely similar to a book I read which was part of a series wherein humans were discovered when one of their merchant vessels was stumbled upon. The particular book I read took place on one particular planet where the two sides were fighting and the humans had joined with the group fighting the telepaths. Sorry, I can not remember the title or author but it would have been within the last 10 years that I read it. – Xantec Nov 4 '11 at 13:51

This sounds a lot like Alan Dean Foster's The Damned Trilogy, where 'the Amplitur (a squid-like species with telepathic and mind-controlling abilities - which they couch as "suggestions") and The Weave (a confederacy of more or less equal species), have been fighting a war for several millennia.' Then they encounter humans...

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  • I think that's it. Thank you! – Spat Nov 4 '11 at 15:56

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