The Dark Wing series is a series of military science-fiction novels by Walter H. Hunt. In a distant future, mankind, now united under the Solar Empire, is locked in a series of wars with the Zor, a race of bird-like mystics. Stymied by their inability to comprehend the Zor, the humans struggle to make peace until Admiral Ivan Marais learns about their beliefs. After victory is achieved, the humans and the Zor discover that they must work together to face an even greater threat.
This series contains examples of:
- Ancient Evil: The Vuhls date back at least as far as the days of Qu'u, a Zor hero from thousands of years ago.
- Beware The Mind Reader: "Sensitives", the telepaths of the series, are greatly distrusted by The Empire due to their arrogance.
- The Chosen One: Jackie is destined to become the reincarnation of Qu'u, an ancient Zor hero who fought against the Vuhls.
- Decoy Protagonist: The Dark Path opens with a great deal of focus on Sergei Torrijos, one of the few returning characters from the first book and the current gyaryu'har, setting him up as someone who will be important to the main conflict. He is put into a coma soon after the Vuhls show up, and it turns out that the actual hero is Jackie Laperriere.
- Empathic Weapon: The Zor's chya'e and gyaryu'har have an unsettling tendency to hiss and snarl at hostile entities.
- Fantastic Racism: Humans and the Zor hate each other quite viscerally.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ch'k'te is killed in battle with the esGa'uYe.
- I Did What I Had to Do: To end the war with the Zor, Marais commits a near-genocide against them, destroying most of their worlds.
- The Lost Lenore: Ch'k'te lost his mate Th'an'ya several years before the events of The Dark Path, and still mourns her. It makes his relationship with his boss Jackie very complicated, as he's mortally terrified that he'll say something that Jackie will misinterpret as a flirtation. It gets even worse for him when they discover that Th'an'ya's hsi has taken up residence in Jackie's subconscious.
- Refusal of the Call: When Jackie finds out that the Zor want her to become the new incarnation of Qu'u, she initially refuses, wanting nothing to do with the Zor's mystical bullshit.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: In The Dark Wing, the Zor are initially presented as this, what with their fanatical belief that the whole galaxy should be theirs. Later books show them behaving more reasonably.
- Sidekick: Ch'k'te is persistently at Jackie's side. He later finds out that he's destined to play the role of Hyos to Jackie's Qu'u, which leaves him a bit miffed.
- Spirit Advisor: Th'an'ya serves as Jackie's mentor after she learns that she is to become the new Qu'u.
- Starfish Aliens: The Vuhls in their true form resemble hideous crustacean monsters.
- Starfish Language: The Zor use wing positions as part of their communication. Most humans find it very hard to read those positions.
- Time Skip: The Dark Path takes place some eighty years after the events of The Dark Wing.