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With The Lightnings

by David Drake

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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran military SF author Drake (the Hammer's Slammers series) launches an unlikely pair of star warriors at the far-future and evil Alliance of Free Stars, which is locked in mortal combat with the Republic of Cinnabar over the wealthy trading world of Kostroma. Cheeky young Cinnabaran Lt. Cassian Daniels has quarreled with his powerful and merciless father, who has tossed him out and left him to his own slim devices. Spunky young librarian Adele Mundy is the sole survivor of her Cinnabar clan, which was wiped out in a conspiracy led by the elder Daniels. After some colorful initial posturing, Cassian and Adele pool their familial pride and anti-totalitarian views in Cassian's impromptu first command, a scratch crew trapped ashore in an Alliance coup. Together they outwit (Cassian's doing) and outshoot (Adele's forte) the bad guys. Updating dashing Horatio Hornblower tactics and vintage John Wayne heroics with crisply delineated space-age equipment, a convincing extraterrestrial setting and formidably battle-hardened female NCOs, Drake gives a familiar plot a full measure of appealing derring-do. This surely shouldn't, and probably won't, be Cassian and Adele's last adventure together.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
An attempted coup on the neutral world of Kostroma forces an unlikely alliance between Lieutenant Cassian Daniels of the Royal Cinnabar Navy and librarian Adele Mundy, the sole survivor of a family proscribed for treason. Drake's (Lord of the Isles, LJ 9/15/97) latest novel once again demonstrates the author's talent for arcane politics and vivid battle scenes. Featuring a pair of clever and resourceful protagonists, this action-packed space opera is suitable for most sf collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
More military science fiction from one of the leading exponents (Patriots, 1996, etc.). Here, the Republic of Cinnabar is at war with the Alliance of Free Stars. Planet Kostroma trades with both but has a military agreement with Cinnabar. Opponents of Kostroma's supremo, Walter III, however, are unhappy with the agreement, so Cinnabar dispatches a high-level delegation of space Navy bigwigs, including Lt. Cassian Daniels (though estranged from his son, Cassian's father is a political heavyweight). With nothing much to do, Cassian wanders about Kostroma City and meets scholar Adele Mundy, a disgraced aristocrat hired by Walter to set up a grand library. After unwittingly insulting Adele--Cassian's father was responsible for ruining Adele's family-- Cassian sends a detachment of hard-bitten sailors to help Adele out. But unknown to Cassian, ruthless Alliance superspy Markos has pressured computer whiz Adele into providing intelligence, and soon an Alliance-backed military coup overthrows Walter and executes the Cinnabar delegates--except for Cassian, who will team up with Adele and the sailors to create mayhem among the Alliance/Kostroman forces before a rescue fleet from Cinnabar eventually arrives. After a sluggish start--the schmoozing and politicking quickly grow tedious--the yarn unfolds into an authentically taut and exciting tussle, courtesy of Drake's unflinching portrayal of battle's downside and his eye for telling detail. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.



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