Saturday, February 1, 2014

eBook Review: Prince of Mercenaries

Jerry Pournelle, Prince of Mercenaries

Product Details from Baen's Books

Published 3/1/1989
SKU: 0671698117
Price: $5.00
1. Short review:  (Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- I love it.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  I am a fan and a friend of Jerry Pournelle. He writes well. I enjoy his Falkenberg's Legion stories.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Roller coasters. There are three stories packed into this novel, woven together to make a coherent whole.
Good value for the money. 

2.2. What I did not like: Nothing. It's all good.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Science fiction fans. Military sf fans. JP fans.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes. No worries.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell:
     Falkenberg's Legion is bivouacked on Tanith, the second worst world in the CoDominium. Tanith is hot, covered by jungle, teeming with vicious indigenous fauna, and continually overcast. It is also the sole source of borloi, the drug that keeps the welfare citizens of Earth placid and pliable.
     A couple of interludes tell you how Lieutenant Mark Fuller and Captain Peter Owensford joined the Legion. These come from the novellas 'Silent Leges' (Fuller) and 'His Truth Goes Marching On' (Owensford). These stories also give you much of the background of the CoDominium.
     The constituted gov't of Tanith hired Falkenberg's Legion to 1) reduce a collective of contract fugitives and 2) ensure the delivery of borloi from opposition farmers. The Legion did the first. To do the second, the Legion has to 1) find the hidden borloi and 2) take it from Barton's Bulldogs, another mercenary force. They must do this without destroying the borloi. Without the borloi, neither party in the conflict will have the money to pay the mercenaries.
     With the help of Prince Lysander of Sparta, Falkenberg accomplishes his objectives.
 2.7. Other:
     I like military sf. Jerry's CoDominium world is one of my two favorites. The other is Hammer's Slammers.
     Jerry Pournelle writes well and that shows through in Prince of Mercenaries.
     I read this book in a couple of days on Calibre. I downloaded it to my Kindle, but I did not have a spot in my reading rotation for it. That is why I read it on Calibre. Originally, I planned to work it into my reading rotation, but it was such a rocking good read that I devoured it in a couple of sittings.
     Only recently did I discover that Baen's Books website offers books from other publishers, too. E-Reads offers the famed Dangerous Visions. You can also pick up Schlock Mercenary.
     Check out Tor Books offerings to see what a goat rope Tor has become.

2.8. Links: Jerry Pournelle 

2.9. Buy the book:  Prince of Mercenaries

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