Prince Roger MacClintock was an heir to the galaxy’s Throne of Man-and a self-obsessed spoiled young brat . . . until he and the Royal Marines sent to protect him were stranded on Marduk with only their feet to get them half way around the entire planet. So far, they’ve traversed a continent, crossed a sea full of ship-eating monsters, taken over an enemy spaceport, and hijacked a starship. In Roger’s absence, a palace coup by enemies of the MacClintock family has seized control of the Empire. His mother the Empress is a captive in the palace and even in her own body, drugged so that her will is not her own. Roger’s bother, the heir to the throne, is dead. And Roger himself has been branded an outlaw and traitor. Roger and his faithful band of human marines and native alien warriors have beaten the barbarian planet Marduk. Now they must re-conquer an interstellar empire. Once again, a lot of power-hungry people are going to learn a hard lesson: You do not, ever, mess with a MacClintock!
This is the fourth and last book in the Empire of Man series. As such it is quite different from the others in that the setting is no longer the primitive planet of Marduk but we’re now back to the “civilization” with all what it entails of modern weaponry, starships etc. However, the book brings along some of the best parts of the previous book such as the bestiary and Roger’s Mardukan friends. It’s clobber time!
Now we’re no longer on a long march of survival. Now it is Roger’s time to strike back at the bad guys. I was a bit hesitant at first to this idea of infiltrating an empire using a restaurant but it worked out really well. Roger is no longer the spoiled brat that needs to be watched, except possibly for making sure he doesn’t kill too many on a single day.
I really liked this book. The infiltration of old Earth, the convincing of the old friends of the Empire, the inevitable ass-kicking, the surprises the bad guys got and last but not least some decent space battles. Well written in the classical John Ringo and David Weber style (luckily without David Weber going too much into talk talk talk land) and exactly my cup of tea.
My only complaint would have been that another old friend and main character was lost near the end. I’m never too thrilled about these events which never really add anything but grief, neither in books nor in movies.
This was the last in the series but although this particular story arc obviously has reach its conclusion, there’s definitely a door open to continue the story. It would be interesting if John and David would do so at some time.