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by David Weber And John Ringo
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From Publishers Weekly
An established master of military SF, Weber, and a fast-rising comer in the genre, Ringo, combine forces in the first of a new series sure to please their fans. Prince Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock has a problem. Thanks to terrorist sabotage, he and a company of space marines are marooned in the wilderness of the planet Marduk, noted for high mountains, high temperatures, low technology and the short tempers of its nine-foot, four-armed, slime-covered natives. They have to get out of this place. In their effort to do so, they win allies among the Mardukans (mostly in legitimate ways) and overcome others by judiciously combining sneakiness and firepower. Along the way, the prince turns from a spoiled brat into a useful, even valuable member of the company. This coming-of-age theme often crops up in military SF, and indeed both authors are working within territory they know well. The pace never gets too slow, despite generous world-building and extended action scenes. Another strength is the deceptively deep characterization particularly of Prince Roger, whose transformation draws on skills and character traits carefully planted early in the novel. The book could actually use more background (the villainous terrorist Saints are shadow figures) and ends on a cliff-hanger (or cliff-climber), but overall the superb storytelling will add considerably to the reputation of both authors. (May)most recent novel is Gust Front, reviewed in Forecasts, Mar. 12.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Prince Roger, third child of the Empress of Man, finds himself a reluctant warrior when sabotage forces his diplomatic mission to make an emergency landing on a barbaric planet filled with savage predators and unexpected dangers. As the soldiers of the Bronze Battalion of the Empress's Own Regiment face a brutal march across the planet to get their royal charge to safety, Roger finds his own courage tested to the limit. Best known for his "Honor Harrington" series, Weber teams with Ringo (A Hymn Before Battle) to inaugurate a new series that combines military sf with political intrigue. Sure to appeal to both authors' avid readers.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
His Highness Prince Roger MacClintock is third in line to rule the Empire of Man, a federation of worlds that originated long ago on Earth. No one takes Roger seriously, however, especially his empress mother. With the possibility of war with the empire's archrivals brewing, she sends Roger on a meaningless mission far away. But his ship is sabotaged, and he must make an emergency landing on a disputed planet, Marduka. Accompanied by a company of fiercely loyal marines and a great deal of firepower, Roger battles his way across Marduka in search of its only spaceport. In his pampered days a clotheshorse and the definition of petulance, Roger now learns what it means to be a marine as the company slaughters literally thousands of Mardukian life-forms and outwits a ruthless king, prime directive be damned! With their intermediary arms and propensity for swordplay, the Mardukians are much like the green Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter yarns, and Roger even forms a bond with a Tars Tarkas sort of character, Cord. As for Roger's marines, they would be too gung ho to believe if their creators, Weber and Ringo, weren't veterans themselves, so that their fictional soldiers' repartee, punctuated with humor and pathos, is convincingly fatalistic. This is as good as military sf gets, though it could get tiresome if it goes on beyond the promised sequel, March to the Sea. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Prince Roger was young, handsome, an excellent dresser, and very spoiled. But that was before he found himself shipwrecked on the barbarian jungle planet Marduk. Can Roger grow up in time to get himself off Marduk alive, capture a spaceport from the Bad Guys, and commandeer a starship home?
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