Top positive review
It's Worst When You're Least Expecting It
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2019
This books starts a new sub-series in Stewart's "Duchy of Terra"
setting, some 15 years after the events in the previous series.
Now part of the A!Tol empire long enough that young humans tend to
say "we", Earth is a respected contributor, and the Duchy fleet is
second only to the Imperial fleets. New colonies of humans (largely:
Any Imperial citizen who wishes to settle can, of course) are being
started and things are going well.
Until suddenly they aren't, and attacks done at Core Power levels
are made on the new colonies. Is it the Kanzi? Relations with the
slaver power known to be holding many humans in that state have
never been good, and the ships, while more powerful than any known
seem to have Kanzi aesthetics. But the Kanzi theocracy claims to
know nothing about it, and now *their* fringe colonies are being
hit. Even the Mesharom, the eldest Core Power have themselves been
hit, a truly terrifying development. Will the Empire and Theocracy
have to make common cause? Will the Empire become a Core Power?
Thrown into the middle of all this is Morgan Casimir, a young Duchy
fleet officer, and daughter of the Duchess.
I thought this was an entertaining entry in Stewart's milsf setting.
The cast are mainly types, but fairly well written types.
The original cast is not wholly absent, but largely offscreen while
events in space unfold. The Mesharom interactions were an interesting
addition, and I wonder if that ancient race might come out of its shell
just a little bit.