David Weber, Author, John Ringo, Author . Baen $26 (544p) ISBN 978-0-7434-3562-8

In their third outstanding military SF novel about a spoiled, foppish princeling's coming of age while marooned on the primitive planet of Marduk after a bungled assassination attempt, Weber and Flint (March Upcountry; March to the Sea) show Prince Roger developing into a thoughtful and highly competent (not to mention dangerous and charismatic) leader, who can inspire loyalty among both his Marine bodyguards and the Mardukan troops who have lent a hand or four. Parallels with Prince Hal in Henry IV are probably intentional, adding a certain gravitas to the many exceptionally well-done battle scenes, especially one that recalls the scale of Tolkien's Helm's Deep, which Roger wins by exercise of intelligence rather than strength. The prince and his followers discover that the original assassination attempt is part of a wider plot, as is a particularly loathsome example of cross-cultural contamination affecting the dominant Mardukan society. As Roger and company prepare to leave the planet, readers can look forward to seeing how the authors will retell Henry V. It should be one hell of a St. Crispin's Day. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/13/2003
Release date: 01/01/2003
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-30505-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-4757-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-6341-0
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-7260-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 626 pages - 978-0-7434-8818-1
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