Warlord’s World is decidedly pulp. The Interstellar Patrol is a service in the Federation of Humanity with excellent ships and technology, and a fair amount of latitude in powers (one wonders just what the organization of the Federation is, but this is obviously out on the outskirts or frontiers).

The first section of the book starts the action immediately when Vaughan Roberts senses an appeal for help from a beautiful woman (who of course turns out to be a princess), and rescues here through quick reflexes and bluff. He swears her in as a candidate member of the Patrol—which of course entitles her to the protection of the Patrol. And then the novel does not go anywhere you might expect from that, and while an important act for the plot in a couple of places, it doesn’t really come up again until the denouement.

The middle section is interesting in it’s own right, as Roberts goes on an ‘inside job’, where his consciousness is transferred into the princess’ brother, and they’re combined competences allow the defeat of a wide variety of dastardly plots. It’s actually well done, but not what you expect after the first few chapters. The ending section leaves that behind, with both protagonists getting screen time, and finally setting things to rights.

One of Anvil’s strengths is he does very well with action and derring-do, and this novel has lots of that. It’s a light, fun, uncomplicated book in the best pulp tradition, and keeps a fast pace throughout, with a couple pauses to transition from one overall section to another. The ending section gets a bit overdone, with more complications and curves thrown at it that it needed, but it still doesn’t bog down.