By David Weber, John Ringo
Prince Roger MacClintock used to be an inheritor to the galaxy's Throne of Man-and a self-obsessed spoiled younger brat . . . till he and the Royal Marines despatched to guard him have been stranded on Marduk with basically their toes to get them part manner round the whole planet. to date, they have traversed a continent, crossed a sea filled with ship-eating monsters, taken over an enemy spaceport, and hijacked a starship. yet they don't seem to be home-free but, simply because house is not loose. In Roger's absence, a palace coup by way of enemies of the MacClintock kinfolk has seized keep watch over of the Empire. His mom the Empress is a captive within the palace or even in her personal physique, drugged in order that her will isn't her personal. Roger's hassle, the inheritor to the throne, is lifeless. And Roger himself has been branded an outlaw and traitor. Roger and his trustworthy band of human marines and local alien warriors have crushed the barbarian planet Marduk. Now they have to re-conquer an interstellar empire. yet they are not approximately to renounce, and with the aid of these at the throne planet who're nonetheless dependable to the Empress they'll infiltrate (under hide of a restaurant focusing on unique Mardukan dishes, no less), they are going to make someone who will get of their manner (such as neighborhood mobsters who make the error of kidnapping Roger's fiancé) very sorry that they did, and they're going to no longer relaxation until eventually the rightful ruler has been restored. once more, loads of power-hungry individuals are going to profit a difficult lesson: you don't, ever, mess with a MacClintock!
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If whatever, the recent glance outfitted his character greater. If now not his accessory. "How undesirable can it's? " Denat requested. The Mardukan used to be D'Nal Cord's nephew. not like his uncle, he was once lower than no honor legal responsibility to wander besides the people, yet he did be afflicted by a critical case of horizon fever. He'd followed them to the 1st city—what he'd thought of a urban on the time—Q'Nkok, to aid his uncle in negotiations with the neighborhood rulers. but if wire Roger and his band off into the Kranolta-haunted wasteland, Denat (for purposes he could not even outline on the time) had alongside, even though all people knew it was once suicide. within the resulting 3rd of a Mardukan 12 months, he'd been enthralled, horrified, and terrified by means of turns, each one past trust. He'd very not often been bored, although. He'd additionally came upon a hidden present for languages and a capability to "blend in" with an area population—both of which skills have been pretty much hidden between a tribe of bone-grinding savages—which had proved hugely worthy to the people. And in Marshad, he had got a spouse as striking, in her personal method, as Pedi Karuse. T'Leen Sena was once as really good a covert operator as any race had ever produced, and even though she was once small—petite, actually—for a Mardukan, and a "sheltered urban girl," in addition, she used to be additionally a really, very risky individual. the truth that she'd obvious healthy to marry a wandering warrior from a tribe of stone-using barbarians may need stunned her friends and family; it didn't surprise an individual who knew Denat. as well as gaining event, wealth, repute, and a spouse he doted upon, he and Poertena had develop into associates. Representatives of 2 assorted species, from wildly divergent backgrounds, by some means they clicked. a part of that was once a shared love of playing, at the very least if the stakes have been correct. the 2 of them had brought quite a few card video games to unsuspecting Mardukans throughout part a planet, and performed very well financially within the method. To a Mardukan, dishonest used to be simply a part of the sport. "Ask me if I trus' him," Poertena griped as he packed his valise. "He's a Poertena! I gotta say definite, yet t'ey bought no notion what an insult t'at will be. after all you could' trus' him. " "I belief you," Denat acknowledged. "I suggest, now not with playing cards or something, yet i would take you at my again. i might belief you with my knife. " "Well, sure," Poertena acknowledged. "But . . . rattling, you don' need to make a tremendous t'ing approximately it. An' it ain't t'e comparable t'ing, anways. If Julian is going in all 'good of t'e Empire,' Marciel's gonna preak. " "Well, a minimum of you are getting off this damned planet," Denat grumped. "It's a pocking ice ball, cards with those damned bears is uninteresting, and the sky is overhead for all time. does not it ever rain? " Rain and overcast skies have been consistent partners on Marduk, one of many purposes the locals had developed with slime-covered dermis. "You wanna come alongside, come along," Poertena stated, having a look up from his packing. "Don't tempt me," Denat stated wistfully. "Sena could kill me if I ran off with no her. " "So? " Portena snorted.