This is the first in the "Roger McLintock" series of books, and also begins the Marduk trilogy in which Prince Roger McLintock, spoilt younger son of the Empress of an interstellar empire, is stranded on the primitive planet Marduk.
The sequence of books so far in the series is:
March to the Sea
March to the Stars
The title is a reference to Xenophon's "The Persian Expedition" which is the story of ten thousand" Greek mercenaries who found themselves stranded in the middle of Persia when Prince Cyrus, whose bid for the throne they had been hired to support, was killed in battle in 401 BC. They had to fight their way home through enemy territory. Xenophon, who was in command of the survivors by the time they got home, subsequently wrote an epic account of their story. These days it is most commonly available under the title "The Persian Expedition" but it has also been known as "The Ten Thousand" and as "Anabasis" - which means "March Upcountry".
Prince Roger, third in line to the throne of the Empire of Man, is on his way with his bodyguard to a ceremonial visit when their ship is sabotaged and damaged. As they limp to the nearest spaceport, on the largely unexplored and barbarian planet Marduk, they are jumped by two carriers from a hostile star nation,the "Saints."
Roger and a company of his bodyguard find themselves stranded, with no weapons or equipment beyond what they can carry, on the opposite side of the planet from the starport. To return home they will have to trek thousands of miles through all kinds of terrain, and cross the oceans. The flora and fauna of Marduk are as dangerous as anything which has ever lived on earth - the land animals make T-Rex or Velociraptor packs look like a minor nuisance and the sea creatures could have Liplorodon for breakfast.
But the animals of Marduk are as nothing compared with the challenge of dealing with some of the tribes of the indigenous intelligent species.
If he and his companions are to get home, Prince Roger will have to grow up in a hurry ...
This series is an excellent collaboration between John Ringo and David Weber. The naval battle scenes and political manouvering could have come out of an Honor Harrington book, while the ground fighting scenes are very reminiscent of the "Posleen" series. In other words, the best of both writers.
Perhaps there was some hubris in giving this novel the name of a classic story of high adventure which has been read avidly for nearly two and a half thousand years. If there were any chance that I would be around to collect my winnings or pay up, I would be prepared to bet that in 4,404 AD, when this novel is as old as the original "March Upcountry" was when this came out, people will still be reading Xenophon. I doubt if they will still be reading about Prince Roger. But that doesn't mean our generation can't read it and ejoy it.
on 23 May 2001
I was allready a fan of Mr Weabers Honner Harrington books when I read this book. I felt the premise of the book was very good. The 3rd in line to the throne of the Empire of Man a spoilt brat stranded on an alein planet, with just his bodyguards a marine company and his valet and tuter. They having to cross the planet to get the the starport. I like the why that Prince Roger grows and matures as the book progressing as he relises that these marines will sacrifeice themselves for him and the problems facing his mother are mirrored in his problems dealing with the Indigunious lifeforms and why his relationship is so difficult. I am looking forwaredf to its sequel.
on 9 September 2008
Started reading this series on the third book and have to say it made me want to actually read to rest of the series.
My biggest impression was that frankly their cover artist was appalling.
My next largest one about this book is that it does take a bit to get into but once you do get into it, it does get quite interesting and exiting.
I liked the personalities of the characters, it's kinda what you could imagine this group of people would be like with them all having their own foibles and personality quirks.
Character development is good although the characters which we don't see much don't really get any, then again we don't see them much so it doesn't really matter.
It also has some humorous elements in it too which *can* be quite funny and fit in the the characters and how they'd handle things. One of the things I liked about this was how everyone had their own unique personalities EVERYONE. Which was nice, there wasn't any steriotyped ones and the entire universe was nicely original.
Plot sounds quite simple but once you start actually breaking it down it becomes quite engrossing and the story of people marching halfway around a globe *does* actually become fascinating watching them deal with everything that gets in their way by whatever means are available.
on 5 November 2014
What a team and I don't just mean Prince Roger McLintock and his bodyguard stranded on the alien planet Marduk - David Weber and John Ringo write excellent together, with all the characterisation and historic knowledge put to good use in the series of books of which this is the first (March Upcountry, March to the sea, March to the stars and We few). A trek across an alien world with only the human know how of how to survive all manner of dangers to reach an escape from the planet to journey boldly home.
on 28 May 2011
It's not only a great Do or Die novel, but also a cautionary tale about the dangerous path the green terrorism can take in the future. The recent calls by some of environment groups to suspend democratic process in the climate-change issues make the portrayed future of entire planets enslaved and forced to labor to restore the "pristine environments" until they die from the starvation, under a pitiless church, subscribing into various eco-friendly policies quite scary.