one had been able to venture a reasonable guess at what they meant.
"I them in my Ordeal of Honor earned. Too much we have of Rangers heard; the truth we must know. That can best through the Ordeal learned be. When we on Homeworld are, and a clan have found that will him adopt, the Supreme will ask that he it try. If Rangers truly as prisoners claim are, he will agree."
"That's not a condition of releasing the ship, then," Tarlac said.
"No, Ranger. The Ordeal must freely chosen be. Those who it try unwilling, die. We ask not cerain death of you, but if you the Ordeal survive, the First Speaker says you will this war with honor end."
That possibility, Jean Willis knew, was something no Ranger could ignore. Unable to let him go without some objection, she spoke quietly enough that the comm pickups wouldn't transmit her words. "Anything that would leave scars like that on one of them . . . Steve, it's suicide, even if he says it isn't -- or a trick so they can take you alive for inter
The setting for the story is sci-fi (multi-planet empires, interstellar war, etc) but the story itself revolves around interpersonal connection, detachment, and the demands people place on themselves: it is not an adventure story. It carries some of the early-twentieth-century shades of sci-fi as a vehicle to examine the human condition -- rather than much of sci-fi today -- and on that level this story works and is enjoyable, much the say way books such as Alien Dark are.
Not much of an exciting plot in this mellow SF novel, although the grand picture that develops late contains interesting ideas. This happens sometimes with female authors: the men described and their interactions would be highly improbable in reality. I don't doubt it's vice-versa with male authors and female protagonists. Still worth a read.