Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock has had a really bad year.
Bad enough to be the spoiled rotten fop of a prince no one wanted or trusted.
Worse to be sent off on a meaningless diplomatic mission, simply to get you out from underfoot, with a bodyguard of Marines who loathe and despise you.
Worse yet to be assumed dead and marooned for almost a year on a hell-hole planet while you and those same Marines fight your way through carnivorous beasts, murderous natives, and perpetual rain to the only starport. . . which is controlled by the Empire's worst enemies.
Worst of all to have discovered that you were born to be a warrior prince. One whose bodyguards have learned the same lesson. And one haunted by the deaths of almost a hundred of your Marines... for what you know now was an unnecessary exercise in political expediency.
A warrior prince who wants to have a few choice words with your Lady Mother, the Empress of Man.
But to have them, you, your surviving Marines, and your Mardukan allies must cross a demon-haunted ocean, face a civilization that is "civilized" in name alone and "barbarians" who may not be exactly what they seem, and once again battle against impossible odds. All so that you can attempt to somehow seize a heavily defended spaceport and hijack a starship to take you home.
Yet what neither Roger, nor the Marines, nor his allies know is that the battle to leave Marduk is only the beginning. And that words with Roger's mother will be hard to come by.
But that's all right. Because what the Galaxy doesn't know is that it's about to receive a fresh proof of an old truism:
You don't mess with a MacClintock.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
David Weber is the science fiction phenomenon of the decade, a New York Times bestselling author who receives critical praise worthy of a Heinlein or an Asimov. He is often compared to C.S. Forester (celebrated creator of Captain Horatio Hornblower) for his novels of the exploits of starship commander Honor Harrington, the most recent of which was the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon.com bestseller, Ashes of Victory. Weber's work ranges from epic fantasy (Oath of Swords, The War God's Own) to breathtaking space opera (Path of the Fury, The Armageddon Inheritance) to military science fiction with in-depth characterization (the awesomely popular Honor Harrington novels, the latest being last year's War of Honor). Weber lives in South Carolina with his wife Sharon.
John Ringo had visited 23 countries and attended 14 schools by the time he graduated high school. This left him with a wonderful appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent aversion to foreign food. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, he later studied marine biology, but the pay was for beans, so he turned to quality control database management (much higher-paying). Then Fate took a hand, and he now is in the early stages of becoming fabulously wealthy, which his publisher has ASSURED him is the common lot of science fiction writers who write for Baen Books. With his bachelor years spent in the Airborne, cave diving, rock climbing, rappelling, hunting, spear-fishing, and sailing, the author is now happy to let other people risk their necks. He prefers to read (and of course write) science fiction (such as the top-selling military SF series so far comprising A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, and When the Devil Dances), raise Arabian horses, dandle his kids and watch the grass grow.