David Weber, Author, John Ringo, Author
David Weber, Author, John Ringo, Author . Baen $26 (400p) ISBN 978-0-684-03540-6
Reviewed on: 03/21/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005

In the thoroughly satisfactory fourth and final installment in the interplanetary bildungsroman that Weber (The Shadow of Saganami ) and Ringo (When the Devil Dances ) began with March Upcountry (2001), Prince Roger and his Marine bodyguards, who've been struggling on the primitive planet Marduk, manage to obtain a starship. Later, they discover not only that Roger's Royal Mother's person and power have been co-opted in a palace coup but that the sabotage that marooned them on Marduk was designed to implicate the prince. Roger and friends devise a clever Trojan Horse strategy that allows them to contact potential recruits to their cause surreptitiously. Alas, most of their new allies remember Roger as the young snot he was and not as the formidable leader he has become. Meanwhile, Roger's human advisers wrestle with the implications these changes suggest about his possible leadership of a constitutional monarchy. Whereas the first three volumes dealt with how the humans adapted to conditions on Marduk, this book shows how the alien Mardukians cope with human society, often with humorous results. (Apr.)

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