Top critical review
Read this first... Trust me... I'll save you time and money.
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2021
What makes Roslyn Chambers special?
Nothing... and it shows all book long.
Started Starships Mage with a starships mage that was dedicated, principled and powerful using his special ability to help people he cared about. Watched him rise and overcome to the point he saved humanity AND everyone became his to protect. He was powerful thoughtful and effective a western in space.
That was given up to follow an angst filled young woman in command of a single ship. Originally thought perhaps I was a chauvinist for the last two books but realized I enjoyed the Mage Queen more than her father or brother. So I think it's not me but that Mage Commander Roslyn Chambers has become a terrible character, its like reading a propaganda book for the Martian navy no real foibles or failures just terrible terrible angst about breaking a regulation or doing something wrong the twenty year olds were sleeping with people they weren't supposed to... the horror.
Damien Montgomry's fist book fights off pirates, illegally alters a jump matrix, escapes custody, evades a hand, discovers runes of power for himself, and destroys a RMN cruiser with his jump freighter ending the largest criminal piracy syndicate in the galaxy. Illegal and thrilling.
Roslyn Chambers third book plays XO, angst, promoted because she is well connected and decorated, angst about leading, shows how dedicated to the regs she is with the world's cleanest pirate base assault, more angst, destroys cruiser with a destroyer does not actually get the info she wanted.
Roslyn Chambers was a wonderful character when she was a street smart and mouthy teen mage aiding Damien (on his NOT by the book operation) Why the author chose to follow her indoctrination by the navy I will never understand. The whole plot feels like it's going backwards I am more interested in daily meetings of the cyborg governor ruling legatus (really) than Roslyn Chambers saving the multiverse at this point.
Heres to hoping Damien kidnaps the queen and escapes Roslyn Chambers fanatical (by the book) clutches and joins Nemesis or even the First Legion. His conquest of the protectorate would be a fun alternative as he is obviously never going to put Nemesis down and the RIN will live forever.
Until they provide the unexpected support against the aliens that have been coming for what feels like a dozen books now.. Get on with it already!!! Damien being chancellor and petting his cat must be too important to end the people that killed the last king, betrayed the protectorate and continue to sabotage his efforts. (And have to be dropping sales) Barring that have Romanov sent to kill Roslyn if sales are needed that would be immensely satisfying, I would give that book a dozen stars. Hell I'd go back and give the Roslyn books five stars each for the amazing buildup of the galaxy's most annoying enemy. At least then we would have a main character worth following if only for one book.
Two stars one for Damien and one for Admiral Jakobs and their combined four pages of presence. The Mage Queen will get a star when she tells Damien to go protect her protectorate. Until then this once wonderful series has fallen to obscurity in a market with hundreds of better choices.