"Gold will not always get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can get you gold." (Niccolò Machiavelli)
Recent Academy graduate Lieutenant Hal Slater is traveling first class to a cushy first assignment when he is suddenly preempted into a new detachment headed for a wild frontier world. Captain John Christian Falkenberg is forming a new unit from conscripts, guard house scrapings, and the remnants of decimated units, and has the authority to scoop up junior officers wherever he can find them. Hal is caught in that scoop. Falkenberg and three companies of CoDominium Line Marines are being sent to a frontier planet that had requested—and needed—a regiment. There will be no more reinforcements, and the whole structure of civilization is threatened.
Even the planetary commandant believes this assignment will be beyond the Marines' capabilities, but the Line Marine tradition does not allow them to give up without trying. Falkenberg does the best he can against a force of bandits, pirates, and desperate refugees, and Hal Slater is thrust into command in his first battle. As the campaign continues, Slater finds personal reasons to become deeply involved in a fight that will test the honor of the CoDominium Marines.
About the Author
Jerry Pournelle, a master of military science fiction, is the author of the series of novels about John Christian Falkenberg and his legion of interstellar mercenaries, and many other books, such as Janissaries and Exiles to Glory. He has also collaborated on a string of bestselling novels with Larry Niven. Pournelle served as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1973. As well, he holds advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering, and political science, and has been involved professionally in all these fields.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Falkenberg's Legion book. Well thought out, with detailed combat and interesting characters. Every book in this series is very good. B&N are missing a few / more detailed versions of the series.
The Co Dominick stories are still the best I'd love to see Netflix turn this into a series
Published towards the middle of the series, by internal chronology this is very nearly the first book, and certainly should be read as the first book of the series. In it we are introduced to the 'hero' of the next several books, one John Falkenberg. However he isn't ever the focal point of the story. It is told in first person view by one new commissioned lieutenant Slater, who has only just joined Falkenberg's company en route to a beleaguered planet. The planet originally ignored by industrial colonists was instead settled by agrarian independent ranchers. However eventually the hordes of Earths' malcontent were shipped there, and proceeded to disrupt the settlers' peaceful existence. This in itself wouldn't be cause for CoDominium intervention, but the convicts have disrupted the miners's RnR, and the miners are making a lot of money for vested interests, so Falkenberg is ordered to settle the matter down. Given such leeway he does the best he can with the minimal forces at his command. The rest of the book proceeds pretty much as be might expected, the Lieutenant doesn't make any grievous mistakes, the soldiers do or die, there's brief love interest, and the captain makes a few speeches. We see more of Falkenberg here than in any of the other books in the series, observed first person by new eyes. There isn't much else to say about the writing, it's ok, not much focus on specific details, but enough to understand the tactics and the obstacles. There interesting side effects of the absence of technology makes itself felt, and are well communicated.If you like Mil SF this is the start of several quite worthwhile books set in the same Universe as Mote in God's Eye.
Jerry Pournelle's version of the Dorsai saga, or Bujold's Vorkosigian books. All 3 are great writers, so that's not a bad comparison.