There are a few key books in the series. For the others, it doesn't matter much what order you read them in, or if you skip a few.
a.k.a. Dumarest of Terra is a series of over 30 books written by E. C. Tubb.
The main character is named Earl Dumarest. He's a displaced native of Earth, searching for his home planet in a galaxy so over-run by humanity that they've forgotten that there ever was a single home planet for their species.
The Earth on which Earl spent his childhood was no garden planet, however. It was a desolate place where only the strongest and most capable survived. Earl is determined to return, however, and as his adventures unfold from book to book his determination grows ever stronger to not only return, but to discover why Earth has become such a difficult place to find.
Each book forms an episode in Earl's life. Some stand alone quite well, and are fine books even aside from the series as a whole. Others are only worthwhile as part of the series, they serve a role in the ongoing saga, but are not strong enough to stand on their own. Fortunately, these are few.
For a guide on approaching the series, see my Dumarest Overview.
I consider the first book in the series a must-read classic of SF, even if you never read any of the others.
The Dumarest Saga inspired the science fiction role playing game Traveller by Marc W. Miller. The game's rules codify many aspects of Tubb's universe. If you like Traveller, you owe it to yourself to read some of the Dumarest books. If you like Dumarest, and like role playing games, you'll find Traveller is practically Dumarest, the RPG!
Select the title of the book to read its review:
Book 1: The Winds of Gath
An aging ruler of a world brings her young protege on a trip to visit one of the wonders of the universe, on the planet Gath. Is it merely a pleasure trip, or is it part of a larger plan?
Book 2: Derai
Earl Dumarest is hired as a steward to a noble lady returning to her home planet. Is there more to the job than that?