Jason Anspach and Nick Cole have now consistently produced a series of military science fiction adventure stories that compares favorably to the better products in the genre from whatever era one might choose. And I am being specific. This is science fiction not Tolstoy. The criterion is enjoyment not enlightenment or prose purity. They write a story that has interesting characters caught up in a cataclysmic moment in the history of their science fictional civilization. With respect to the question I asked in the review of the first installment, that is whether the authors could build on a well written military science fiction story about a small battle and produce a series that holds the reader’s interest, the answer is an emphatic yes! Here we are at book five and I’m completely sold. The story keeps expanding and becoming more complex and interesting. The range of characters keeps growing and they are varied and entertaining. Once again, this is not deathless prose. It is a very well written science fiction series that can hold its head up among any of the favorites in its genre.
Getting back to the review of the book, the action begins before the end of the previous volume, “Attack of Shadows.” In that book, the Black Fleet was attacking Tarrago in order to capture its shipyards. The Republic and the Black Fleet needed those shipyards for the coming war. The majority of the present book chronicles a kill team working to destroy those shipyards. And like the battle scenes from the earlier books the action is non-stop and well written. We renew our acquaintance with Dark Ops Team Victory. And then the story collides with Wraith and his shipload of oddballs. Here two threads of the larger story touch and the last quarter of the book lurches off in a completely unexpected direction and we meet an even more sinister force than Goth Sullus. In fact, I’m starting to like old Goth. He seems conflicted about having to kill old friends. I’m really looking forward to a more thorough understanding of his back story. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say that the new threat to the Galaxy is much more existential than the Black Fleet and its leader.
“Sword of the Legion” is lots of fun and is one more stepping stone in the journey that is Galaxy’s Edge. If you’ve come this far you either like the series or you have an OCD thing going on. This book is highly recommended.