Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Rebel Worlds And The Day Of Their Return

It is not immediately apparent to the reader how Poul Anderson's The Day Of Their Return follows from his The Rebel Worlds. In the former, the series character Dominic Flandry deals with Hugh and Kathryn McCormac. In the latter, we meet a new one-off viewpoint character, Ivar Frederiksen.

However, we were told that Kathryn's maiden name was Frederiksen. Hugh was Firstman of Ilion on Aeneas. When, at the end of The Rebel Worlds, Hugh and Kathryn went into exile, her brother, Edward, succeeded to the Firstmanship and Ivar is his son.

Thus, despite the absence of Flandry and the McCormacs from The Day Of Their Return, we are dealing with Kathryn's nephew who is also the heir of Hugh's successor. Anderson writes a direct sequel but disguises it by changing the characters and even the surname of the Aenean first family.

He also introduces a completely new character, Chunderban Desai, who has, since the McCormac's exodus, been appointed High Commissioner of the Virgilian System, whose humanly colonized planet is Aeneas. Thus, the reader sympathizes both with Ivar trying to lead a new Aenean rebellion and with Desai trying to prevent it.

A commissioner is intermediate between a resident and a sector governor. Desai's superior is the Governor of Sector Alpha Crucis and the incumbent of that position has also changed since The Rebel Worlds. Desai has interesting conversations with Uldwyr of Merseia, Aycharaych of Chereion, Peter Jowett of the Web, Tatiana Thane of the University of Virgil, Colonel Mattu Luuksson of the Companions of the Arena and eventually with Ivar Frederiksen.

Like The People Of The Wind, The Day Of Their Return is a rich novel in Anderson's History of Technic Civilization that does not feature any of the series characters of that History.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    Besides Chunderban Desai, I would like to bring to your attention the xenologist John Ridenour, whom we first briefly see in a couple of chapters in ENSIGN FLANDRY. He becomes the viewpoint character in "Outpost of Empire." As far as I can determine, that story is set about five years after Josip succeeded Georgios as Emperor. Roughly contemporary with THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN.


  2. Ridenour is in ENSIGN FLANDRY? I missed that! I knew that, in "Outpost of Empire", he refers to Starkad but I did not realize that this was because he was in the novel partly set on that planet.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      Yes, John Ridenour was in ENSIGN FLANDRY. I esp. recall his discussion with Lord Hauksberg on the need to save as many of the Starkadhians as possible before their sun exploded.