Prince Commander – Great second book in the series.

Prince Commander (Prince of Britannia Saga, #2).
By Fred Hughes.
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 star.

Hazard King was ready to get back to a normal life. Well, as normal a life as the next emperor of the Britannia Empire could expect. Hazard was going to continue his naval career because the Swarm Forces would be back and he intended to be there and fight when they did. He had learned how to delegate though, so while he was training, the rest of Team Hazard was tasked with eliminating the Marxist spy network which they discovered were mostly rogue Imperial Spies that Hazard had pissed off. Somewhere along the way, Hazard needed to find time to get married and produce an heir. Such are the duties of a Prince of Britannia.

This is a very good follow up to the first book in the series, The Prince Awakens. As I mentioned in my review of that book I really like this kind of story. A good story alone does of course not make a good book but the writing is indeed very good as well.

I liked the main protagonist, the Prince, already in the first book and in this one he continues to be quite competent as well as likable. During the course of the book the Prince is battling both the enemy and incompetent officers and doing it well. I very much enjoy it when he sticks it to his arrogant and incompetent “superiors”.

I am a bit split about this thing about the Prince being “undercover” as an “ordinary” officer in the navy though. On one side it is both overly complicated and highly unlikely that such a stunt could be pulled off for any length of time. On the other side it creates unique possibilities story-wise. I like him being just another guy advancing through the ranks simply by being very competent. I also really like the moments when he, for various reasons, has to show his real cards and everyone has to pick up their jaws from the floor not to mention when he finally pulls rank on asshat’s that think they can screw him by pulling rank themselves.

This book has quite a bit more naval battles than the previous one which I, of course, like. The battles are generally well written and rather realistic, from a science fiction point of view of course. On the whole, all the action is very enjoyable to read.

The book also has a lot of the conspiracies etc. from the first book. I kind of hoped that we had gotten rid of the commie scumbags when the Prince took out their ability to leave their planets but the author dragged it out into this book as well. Well, at least it goes in the right direction and maybe we’ve gotten rid of that crap for the next book.

The “glue”, the interactions, dialogue and all the things that comes between the action and makes up the actual story and the reasons why there is any action in the first place. Is, not surprisingly, also very good. To me there is a nice balance between the various components, even the quite moderate bits of romance.

I was a bit annoyed, more than a bit actually, that the author, of all names he could have chosen for a ship, picked Canada’s little Castro. He even points out that the ship is named after a Canadian prime minster “back in the days”. What the f…? Picking that far left freedom stomping tyrant was an amazingly poor choice. Especially when he has used the commies as an enemy in two books already.

Unfortunately the book ends in a really lousy cliff hanger. Some loose ends to create a raison d’être for the next book is fine. But a blatant cliff hanger a ‘la Hollywood is just so annoying.

Anyway, the bottom line is that, to me, this is another really good book that’s almost at four out of five stars but not quite there. I do hope there will be a third book in this series.


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