Way of the Clans

Way of the Clans.jpg
Way of the Clans
Product information
Type Novel
Author Robert Thurston
Pages 288
Cover Artwork Bruce Jensen
Interior Artwork Jeff Laubenstein
Publication information
Publisher Roc Books
First published 6 August 1991
ISBN-10 0451451015
ISBN-13 978-0451451019
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 3030s
Series Legend of the Jade Phoenix
Followed by Bloodname

Way of the Clans, by Robert Thurston, is the first book in the Legend of the Jade Phoenix trilogy. It chronicles the early life of Aidan Pryde, future hero of Clan Jade Falcon. The novel is also the first story written from the point-of-view of the Clans.

From the back cover[edit]

In the 31st century, the BattleMech is the ultimate war machine. Thirty meters tall, and vaguely, menacingly man-shaped, it is an unstoppable engine of destruction.

In the 31st century, the Clans are the ultimate warriors. The result of generations of controlled breeding, Clan Warriors pilot their BattleMechs like no others.

In the 31st century, Aidan aspires to be a Warrior of Clan Jade Falcon. To win the right to join his Clan in battle, he must succeed in Trials that will forge him into one of the best warriors in the Galaxy, or break him completely.

In the 31st century, Aidan discovers that the toughest battle is not in the field, but in his head—where failure will cost him the ultimate price: his humanity.


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Aidan is a trueborn of the Ramon Mattlov/Tania Pryde sibko. Unknown to his surroundings, Galaxy Commander Ramon Mattlov's (his genefather) characteristics of quietness and dark looks all while having the strength of a hero, are apparent in Aidan. His resemblance is put as being his near twin by Ter Roshak, the cadet commander who fought alongside Mattlov until his death.

Aidan is quickly singled out by Falconer Joanna, his trainer from his first day on the frozen homeworld of Clan Jade Falcon Ironhold. Falconer Joanna challenges the sibko to fight her. She easily defeats the rest of the sibko except for the relentless Aidan, who stubbornly refuses to give up. Falconer Joanna's methods are later challenged by fellow Trainer Ellis (whom she kills over the issue in a circle of equals) as being excessive and un-Clanlike.

The main goal of dividing the sibko stems from the individuality of the Clan warrior. Joanna pushes this separation. Seeing Aidan's love for Marthe, she sexually requests his presence frequently and as Marthe scores higher than Aidan in every category still ignores her merits. Near the end of training there are only a few members left of the sibko, and Marthe grows apart from Aidan, hinted at as jealousy and anguish from her multiple attempts to be like Falconer Joanna.

The Trials are the stage after sibko training where a MechWarrior will define his status and entrance into the Clan warrior caste. The day before the Trials, Aidan's last friend Peri regretfully is exiled into the Scientist caste. In his Trial, Aidan kills five freeborn recruits while making his way to his 'Mech on foot, but fails to achieve the necessary 'Mech kill to attain warrior status. He utilizes a bold tactic where he attacks the opponents of his fellow recruits, changing the Trial to a free for all melee according to the Trial rules. Figuring that with his unusual behavior, he can confuse his opponents and has a chance for three kills, he does not take into account that he becomes a valid target for his fellow recruits too. His tactic almost succeeding, he is put down by Marthe moments before he can finalize his first kill. She attacks Aidan's 'Mech from behind for the opportunity to join the ranks as a Star commander.

Aidan in his defeat resents his reassignment to astech. He flees, and Ter Roshak sends Joanna and Nomad after him. After a journey through the Clan worlds evading his pursuers, he ends at Tokasha where he meets Peri. Joanna and Nomad eventually capture Aidan and bring him back.

Ter Roshak kills the freeborn Jorge, along with the rest of his trainee unit and their training officer. When Aidan returns, he is placed into another freeborn unit assuming the identity of Jorge, to get a second chance at another Trial. For his second Trial, Aidan works together with Horse, a freeborn who recognizes him as a trueborn from a previous encounter (but doesn't care for his deception). Since Clan warriors are used to only attack one 'Mech at a time, Aidan uses this and his collaboration with Horse to their advantage, and they both achieve their necessary 'Mech kill. He joins the Clan Jade Falcon ranks as the freeborn MechWarrior Jorge.

Featured characters[edit]

Featured places[edit]

  • Ironhold
  • Tokasha

Featured BattleTech[edit]


Foreign-Language Editions[edit]


A German edition, translated by Reinhold H. Mai, was published by Heyne in 1992 as Clankrieger (ISBN 9783453058491).[1] The book had several printings, including a sixth printing in 1996 under the same ISBN.[2] This was republished as an EPUB by Ulisses Spiele in 2017 as BattleTech Legenden 13 - Jadephönix 1 : Clankrieger (ISBN 9783957526120).[3]


A Hungarian edition, translated by Würth Attila, was published by Beholder in 1998 as A klán törvénye.[4]


A Russian edition, translated by V. Bykovsky, was published by Армада (Armada) in 1995 as Путь кланов (ISBNs 5763200586 and 5879941256). [5][6] A reprint was published in 2001 (ISBN 5309001565) by Армада-пресс (Armada-Press) as part of a different series produced in collaboration with Дрофа (Drofa). [7][8] A second printing of this reprint was produced in 2002 under the ISBN 5309003681. [9]



  1. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Catalog entry for first Heyne printing of Clankrieger
  2. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Catalog entry for sixth Heyne printing of Clankrieger
  3. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Catalog entry for BattleTech Legenden 13 - Jadephönix 1 : Clankrieger
  4. Beholder product page for A klán törvénye
  5. Science Fiction Lab Book description for Путь кланов
  6. National Library of Russia description for Путь кланов (1995)
  7. Science Fiction Lab Book description for Путь кланов
  8. National Library of Russia description for Путь кланов (2001)
  9. National Library of Russia description for Путь кланов (2002)