Thursday, March 10, 2022

Book & Audio Review: The Far Side of the Stars by David Drake

The Far Side of the Stars

David Drake
Narrator: David Drake, Victor Bevine
Series: RCN (Book 3)
Publication: Baen Books; 1st edition (December 9, 2013); Audible Studios (November 4, 2008)
Length: 503 p,; 16 hours and 51 minutes

Description: While the Republic of Cinnabar is at peace with the Alliance, warriors like Lt. Daniel Leary and Signals Officer Adele Mundy must find other work, like escorting a pair of wealthy nobles on an expedition to the back of beyond!

The Princess Cecile, the corvette in which they carved their reputations in letters of fire, has been sold as a private yacht, but she still has her guns, her missiles, and her veteran crew. Daniel and Adele will need all of those things as they face winged dragons, an Alliance auxiliary cruiser, jealous lovers, and a mysterious oracle that really does foresee the future.

That won't be enough, though, when they penetrate a secret Alliance base and find a hostile fleet ready for a war that will sweep Cinnabar out of a strategically crucial arm of the galaxy. Preventing that will involve skill, courage, and more luck than a sane man could even pray for; and it will require a space battle on a scale that a tiny corvette like the Princess Cecile has no business being involved in.

But she'll be in the middle of it anyway, because Daniel, Adele, and their Cinnabar crew would never turn their backs on a fight!

My Thoughts: This space opera was another engaging entry into the Daniel Leary/Adele Mundy series. With peace breaking out, Daniel is put on half-pay by the RCN and the Princess Cecile is set to be sold. 

When the ship is purchased by rich outworlders, Daniel is hired as Captain, and he hires her former crew. They are heading to the Galactic North on a search for a legendary artifact known as the Earth Diamond. Adele has been tasked by Mistress Sand to check into rumors that the Alliance is building a base which is nearly finished. 

The pair have a variety of adventures along the way. They hunt flying dragons, encounter jealous lovers, flee from a riot begun with an accusation of cheating at cards, and run into a religious order with shady practices, before they find that the rumors of the Alliance Base are true.

Adele has a stronger than usual role in this story. She is a viewpoint character here and we get to know more about how she feels about the Three Circle Conspiracy which changed her life and murdered her family. She has found a new family in Daniel Leary and the crew of the Princess Cecile and her loyalty to them is absolute.

Despite Daniel's hobbies of drinking and consorting of vapid young women, he is a man of deep loyalties to Cinnabar and the RCN. And, though he tries to distance himself from his estranged father, he is a savvy political operator when he has to be.

The story was exciting and fast-paced. It was filled with various adventures which show the world Drake has built. The narrator did a good job with both the pacing of the story and the various characters. Fans of space opera will enjoy this tale. 

Favorite Quote:
The Daniel Learys of this world somehow made childhood homilies not only seem true but, based on her own experience, come true.
I bought the paperback October 15, 2006, and the Audible copy in November 2021. You can buy your copy here.

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