Blending fast-paced military science fiction and space opera, the first volume in a dynamic trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Praxis, set in the universe of his popular and critically acclaimed Dread Empire’s Fall series—a tale of blood, courage, adventure and battle in which the fate of an empire rests in the hands of a cadre of desperate exiles.
It’s been seven years since the end of the Naxid War. Sidelined for their unorthodox tactics by a rigid, tradition-bound military establishment, Captain Gareth Martinez and Captain the Lady Sula are stewing in exile, frustrated and impatient to exercise the effective and lethal skills they were born to use in fighting the enemy.
Yet after the ramshackle empire left by the Shaa conquerors is shaken by a series of hammer blows that threaten the foundations of the commonwealth, the result is a war that no one planned, no one expected, and no one knows how to end.
Now, Martinez, Sula, and their confederate Nikki Severin must escape the clutches of their enemies, rally the disorganized elements of the fleet, and somehow restore the fragile peace—or face annihilation at the hands of a vastly superior force.
This capable military SF trilogy opener begins slowly, but Williams (Impersonations) delivers the goods in the end. Senior Captain Lord Gareth Martinez and Senior Captain Caroline, Lady Sula, of the Terran Fleet find themselves with little to do now that the Naxid Rebellion is over. Gareth founds a yacht racing club while Sula, as head of Clan Sula, becomes a member of the ruling body of the interplanetary Praxis. Politics, yachting, and high finance occupy them, but then bank failures ripple across the Praxis and the economy plummets. The less than scintillating financial intricacies allow Williams to set up all that follows: Terrans are scapegoated, then targeted by riots, and when a Fleet insider learns that all Terran Fleet crews will be removed and questioned in pursuit of a fictitious mutiny, Gareth and Sula gather as many Terran officers as they can and flee to the one base held by a Terran commander. Williams doesn't lead with battles, but the groundwork that he lays ensures that this new war can carry several future volumes. This is a solid start to a series that military science fiction fans should enjoy.