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    Review of WE FEW by David Weber and John Ringo

    Baen, April 2005

    Few remain of the regiment assigned to protect Prince Roger after their three-volume battle across an inhospitable and hostile world. But although they, along with their native allies, now control the spaceport and a spaceship, their battles are far from over. Roger's family has been overthrown, his mother a captive, and the Empire of Man held as a for-profit domain by arrogant plutocrats. Somehow, with one ship and a few dozen fighters, Roger must fight his way across not a planet but a galaxy if he's to regain his position and save the Empire from civil war.

    With the help of a foreign intelligence service Roger is able to infiltrate Earth, but every simulation shows his attack on the Palace a complete failure. He needs help, and the only source of help he and his allies can imagine, the retired veterans of the Imperial Guard, are reluctant to throw in their lot with a Prince who was famous for his laziness and poor leadership.

    Authors David Weber (see more reviews of novels by Weber) and John Ringo (see more reviews of novels by Ringo) combine to conclude the saga of Prince Roger's growth. Unlike the earlier books in the series, WE FEW is mostly about political bickering, obsessing about whether Roger would seize the thrown for himself or return it to his mother, and worrying about whether Roger's violent streak would be tempered by his girlfriend, rather than filled with personal and tactical violence. The final chapters alternate between space warfare right out of an Honor Harrington story and the attack on the palace complex--an action payoff.

    Fans of this series, like me, will definitely want to get their hands on this book to see how Roger is able to deal with the larger crisis that happened while he was fighting his way across Marduk. The first half of the book is occasionally slow going, and some of the dialogue is stilted. The payoff occurs primarily in the space battle--something that lacks the personal touch of the hand-to-hand combat that made up the action of the earlier books in the series.

    WE FEW isn't the best book in the series, but it makes an enjoyable military SF read.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 4/30/05

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