After the victorious defeat of an Imperial Assault fleet, former Ambassador Plenipotentiary Sten finds himself now a traitor and renegade to the Empire in the midst of a dangerous, galactic Civil War that threatens to put Sten at odds with the Eternal Emperor himself…
I started to read this book series quite a long time ago. I read the first book around Christmas 2011 and I am only now at the 7th book which is the second from the end. It is not due to me having to wait for them to be published since all 8 books were already published when I started reading the first one. I have always had a bit of a split relationship towards this series. On one hand they are very good books but on the other hand they are not 100% my style of books. Having said that I have still found them generally enjoyable to read even though I have taken quite long pauses, reading other books, between each book in the series.
In this book Sten has to deal with a explosive, and that is putting it mildly, situation in the Altaic Cluster. He has to deal with dumbass politicians, dumbass military officers and various inhabitants of the cluster that are mostly interested in cutting each other’s throats. This book is, without a doubt, as good as the other ones in the series. Sten and his heavyworlder buddy Lord Kilghour is roaming around leaving a trail of temporarily or permanently (most frequently the latter) incapacitated beings in their usual style with a lot of bantering between them. I still find that dialect of Kilghour incredibly annoying and next to impossible to read. Maybe it is easier for a native English (or Gaelic) speaking person but for me it is really disturbing my reading.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the book…if you like intrigue, vendettas and backstabbing that is. I do not. What is troubling me the most however is the fact that this book is much more depressing and downwards spiraling than the other books. In all of the other books it was always a struggle upwards. When not being out bashing the bad guys Sten was among friends. He had the emperors backing and the emperor himself was a likable and colorful character. In this book it is clear that things are going down the toilet. The emperor is going insane and he is not the only one of the old friends that follows the vortex down the toilet.
Even though it, technically, is a good book I cannot bring myself to really appreciate it.