RogerBW's Blog

Mage-Commander, Glynn Stewart 10 May 2024

2021 SF, eleventh of its series. Roslyn Chambers is now a battlecruiser's XO, but not for long…

This is mostly a dual-viewpoint book: Chambers as the conventional naval commander, and Kelly LaMonte, captain of a stealth ship that can get in and conduct sneaky observation. (I'm still fond of the way Stewart admits that, well, you can make your ship as low-observable as you like, against the background of space it's still going to be easily spotted… unless you use magic.) Damian Montgomery, protagonist of the first few books, is still present in the background, but unless there's another novel dealing primarily with life in the palace on Mars he seems unlikely to return to lead-character status.

In any case, what seems at first to be a straightforward pirate-hunting expedition quickly breaks into something rather more serious, with multiple enemy factions—and all of them are the Navy's job to deal with, but some of them are definitely of a higher priority than others, and some may not be survivable with the forces on hand.

Well, it's book 11 of a series. If you started at the beginning, you already know whether you like it, and if you haven't, you might as well go and read those early books and come back here with the emotional weight of knowing these people's histories. It's good straightforward space adventure with people who face tremendous challenges, doubt themselves, but pull through anyway.

Even if it does have someone responding to an information warfare attack "like an etymologist studying a fascinating new bug".

The business of the aliens likely to invade at some point in the near future seems to have been ignored for now, and I confess I'd like to be reminded that that's burbling along in the background.

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Previous in series: A Darker Magic | Series: Starship's Mage

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