Humankind has grown complacent, confident in the victories their fleet has won for them through the last thousand years over numerous alien races. But the Ca’cadasan Empire has continued to grow, and now the massive Imperialistic power has found the hated humans. The Emperor knew this was going to happen, but most of Parliament ignored his strident call. And the Prince Sean Lee Ogden Romanov, third in line for the throne, finds himself placed into a position he had never thought would come his way.
The fate of the Empire may rest on the abilities of one young man, and his skills at navigating the maze of Imperial politics amidst a war of extermination.
This book follows on seamlessly from the first book in the Exodus: Empires at War series. I definitely liked this book. More so than the first one. This book feels more focused than the previous one. Naturally a lot of the initial world building was taken care of in book 1 which allows this book to spend more time on the actual story. Having said that, I feel that both books are pretty much “just” setting the stage for the main story.
Of course the young prince, as the book blurb states, now finds himself being the emperor. An emperor of an empire that just went to war. Although he is not really getting the chance, yet, to take much action in the book what is there certainly seems to indicate that he is not going to be the wimp and pushover that some of the characters seem to believe, or maybe even hope. I like that.
A lot of the book is spent on battles in space with everything from individual ships, small groups of ships to entire fleets of ships slugging it out. These battles are quite well written and makes me think of book by David Weber. Actually the book series, in some aspects, feels quite “Weberesque” so far. Luckily the author doesn’t dig himself down in the amount of endless talks and politics that Weber is doing more and more with his books. I was actually quite disappointed in his latest Honor Harrington book.
Speaking of politics, there are some of it in the book and, of course, the politicians are despicable, power-hungry assholes (just as in real life). Fortunately the politics and such nonsense are kept at an acceptable level and the progress of the good characters as well as the action is brought to the forefront of the story. Said asshole politicians even get a good spanking in the book and I certainly hope it stays that way.
By the end of the book we have not more than started to nibble on the main story, or at least what I hope is the intention of the author to be the main story, and that is the invasion of the Ca’cadasans and actual war between the empires that the book title implies will take place. I am looking forward to read the next book in the series and see how this story progresses. These first two books have certainly made a promising start.