Legacy of the Daleks
is an excellent adventure story in which the Daleks lurk in the background as an ever-present menace while the Master lurks in the foreground as a more tangible danger. The novel is set several years after the events of the 1964 TV story "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" with the Doctor's granddaughter Susan and her partner David Campbell undergoing a crisis of their own as David has aged but Susan has not. This is a logical development of all that we have been told about the Time Lords and is handled well here. Both the Doctor and Susan are outcasts, not through choice, but through biology, and both must find their niche in the universe.
Meanwhile the Doctor has "lost" his companion Sam (to find out how and why you have to read the previous novel The Longest Day, but this is not a pre-requisite) and the Tardis tracks her to Earth (quite why is unclear) so the Doctor decides to pay a visit to Susan whom he knows to be there too. This way of getting the Doctor to the action is perhaps the clunkiest aspect of the book. It is very unlikely that Sam would be there, and the coincidence of Susan being there, the timing and the Master's and the Daleks' plans all coming together is a little too much. The action on Earth comes thick and fast as Susan investigates a Dalek artefact and discovers its secrets while the Master's plotting as usual lands him in more trouble than he can handle. This is the "Roger Delgado" version of the Master following the events of "Frontier in Space" on TV, and he's very nicely handled. Some of the dialogue rings so true that you can hear Delgado saying it. I even liked the nod to his use of pointless pseudonyms, with the Master here taking the name Estro, apparently Esperanto for "master".
Legacy of the Daleks is an action adventure novel pure and simple. It's also a cracking story, well written and containing some strong characters. The themes and ideas are bold and brash, and Peel handles them well, turning in an adventure that is recognisable as being Doctor Who while also exploring other aspects of the Doctor's character and resolving some hanging series plot threads into the bargain. This is a fun novel true to the spirit of the show and good read in its own right. No-one should ask for more. --David J Howe