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on 18 January 2008
I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Moon, who writes excellent military science-fiction with very sympathetic and rounded main characters and great, action-filled plots in a very believable future universe.
This book contains books 4 and 5 of the Serrano series. The focus changes from the Serranos to new lead character, Esmay Suiza, which at first disappoints because of the fondness the reader has built up for the main character of the previous books, but in reality is a good idea to stop the series from becoming stale and repetitive.
Moon's own obsessions tend to appear in all of her books, particularly the military setting and horse-riding (neither of which I share). However, they are well written and generally great, classic-style science fiction.
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on 1 July 2015
I already have most of Elizabeth Moon's books in paperback but my Kindle is much easier to carry. They are great stories and I am happy to recommend them to anyone who likes Sci-Fi adventures. Do try her other books too!
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on 2 August 2011
Having read Auther C Clarke for 50 years, I found that Elizabeth Moon was filling the gap that he left most satisfactorily. I enjoyed the whole Serrano series and did not seem to notice the problems stated by other people. Even with Clarke's wonderful Rama series, I was begging for the story to end by book 4. However, Elizabeth Moon sidestepped the 'three books is enough' problem by introducing the Suiza element at just the right moment.
I have read the whole series three times and always find something that I have missed.
Unlike the Serrano books, where I was hooked from the first paragraph, I found the Vatta series harder to engage with but half way through the first chapter, I was back in tune with the stories.
I have found the individual books by Elizabeth Moon to be equally enjoyable, although I found 'The Speed of Dark' to be somewhat disturbing. Perhaps I just do not like interfering with the mind.
The Paksenarrion books left me struggling to follow the plot, whilst still being enjoyable.
Keep up the good work, Elizabeth.
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on 27 November 2009
I gave earlier books in the Serrano series a mixed review since the focus seemed to me uneven, veering from the inner thoughts of a teenager to the details of horse-riding to the occasional space battle. But in volume 2 the author has settled on a good balance. There are two main characters, both young women with great strengths and also character flaws that they're aware of and struggle with. One is a rising star in the space navy held back by her insecurity and background on a planet where women aren't expected to fight battles. The other is the daughter of a leading aristocrat, genetically engineered for courage and intelligence but spoiled by wealth and easy living.

In the first story of the duo in this volume, the first of the duo, Esmay Suiza (a distant relative of the Serranos who link the stories in the series) stars the book after having saved the day by mutiny in the previous volume. The authorities recognise her talent but she diffidently declines to go for seniofr command, so she is sent to serve as a junior officer on an obscure repair ship. This happens to be the site of a plot by the sinister Bloodhorde, and her resourcefulness is stretched to the full as the plot unfolds.

In the second story, both characters find themselves in advanced training together, and fall out violently, with rich girl Brun leaving the service and sailing off in her own ship, where she recklessly intercedes in a hijacking and is caught by a reactionary misogynist sect (loosely modelled on Texan survivalists). Esmay is suspecting of complicity...

Moon's writing is always fluent and engaging: you can readily see how the characters feel as they do, and want things to work out for them; as they are far from always successful, there's a good deal of suspense. The villains tend to be cardboard cutouts, though - the Bloodhorde are basically savage warriors from Central Casting, and the truly nasty pseudo-Texans are not much subtler. With that small reservation, it's a very good buy.
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on 6 January 2014
Moon clearly knows exactly how a marine vessel and action are organised and controlled - such a relief after the woolly incompetent waffling by other writers! Sympathetic characters, too.
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on 30 September 2013
Everything was exactly as I needed it to be and delivery time frame was excellent thank you
will pass the good news on to my family and friends and network
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on 28 October 2013
I enjoy Elizabeth Moon's books, and the military science fiction is well constructed around a believable and engaging female protagonist.
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on 8 September 2015
I love all Elizabeth Moon's work, I find her world's believable and her plots and characters very satisfying.
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on 17 December 2008
Strangely, Elizabeth Moon's books seem to be declining in quality as her career progresses. "Deed of Paksenarrion" was well-written and properly thought out (although the sudden, unconvincing finish might have served as an early warning). The "Serrano Legacy" was more patchy, with its rather stereotyped characterisation (sometimes benevolent, sometimes critical) of both military and socialites, but was partly redeemed by the well-paced action.

This volume has all the drawbacks of the preceding one, is inconsistent in its characterisation, full of cardboard figures - a series of clichés. Even the action is unconvincing and contrivedly lurid. Disappointing.
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