Friday, June 5, 2015

Forge a New Blade by Peter Grant

 In Forge a New Blade, Grant continues the story of how the Laredo government in exile finds a way to drive the occupying Bactrian forces from their planet. President Pro Tem, Dave, gets introduced to our old friend Steve Maxwell, of the Lancastrian fleet, who has been recruited into the branch responsible for plausibly deniable operations, it appears. The Lancastrians want Laredo to form and possibly lead a coalition of small colonies against the forces of piracy and annexation, like the Bactrians,

One of the themes that the author explores in this book is that of  bad guys who aren't necessarily bad, from an omniscient POV. In this case, the original hawkish coalition which invaded Laredo and perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities on its populace are the true villains - unrepentant - while the new ruler of Bactria, having succeeded his father to the uneasy throne, would like to withdraw his forces from the occupation, but is hamstrung by needing to appease the nobles and military leaders who began the  invasion to increase their own power. If he comes out and opposes them directly, he risks losing the throne, and incidentally, his life.

So, there's some great plotting and scheming going on on Bactria, while the rebellion simmers on Laredo and other parts of the galaxy. You find yourself hoping that somehow, some way, President Dave and Satrap Rostom could just get together for a few drinks and figure out a way to thwart the crazed plans of the rich and powerful, but it'd be a short story in that case.

Another great bit of military SF from Peter Grant. Can't wait for the sequel, or a new Maxwell Saga book.

No comments: