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Publisher's Summary

The Federation has endured for hundreds of years, but now it is dying, killed by the corruption and decadence of the Senate and the rising power of military warlords. The shipping lanes are coming apart, the colonists are revolting, and outside forces are pressing against undefended borders. Now, as one warlord makes a bid for supreme power, the entire edifice is on the verge of falling apart. Two officers, bearers of a proud military tradition, may be all that stands between the Federation and total destruction.
For Admiral Marius Drake, there is no greater cause than the survival of humanity's prized unity. For the young and ambitious Roman Garibaldi, the growing civil war offers a chance of promotion far beyond the usual boundaries. Together they will save the Federation or die trying. But with the Senate suspicious of any competent commanding officers, their success may condemn them to an inglorious death.
©2014 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Trudy Owens on 10-18-15

the best way to become king is to not want to!

This is an interesting world Nuttal has created. There are some freaky aliens mentioned but they do not really enter into the story. This is all about internal affairs, corruption at the core. And the straight firm bold ones who take it on. This may be the prequel or setup to The Empire's Corps, but maybe not, although it seems there is about 2,500 years from here to there, so it could be. But, maybe they are not related.

The first part of the story is a bit like so many others in that our young graduate is prematurely thrust into captaincy due to the death of all 19 above him. They have gone out to deal with a rebellion in the ranks. The second part of the story is about them coming back to deal with corruption at home, and the focus switches to an admiral. In summary, like this, it sounds like Campbell's Lost Fleet, but it is worked differently. It's okay. There is side-switching, treachery, surprising alliances, sudden betrayals. The morality play condemnation of current society, politics, and education is visible, but not so blatant as in Reality Check (the one Empire's Corps book to skip).

The story line is pretty good; the core of the tale is interesting. The characters are a little thin, and the point of view suddenly changes to that of other characters you've never heard of. And then they die. There is also a lot of author talk that gets dull. And Nuttal uses pithy quotes from "history books" to preface each chapter as he does in his Empire's Corps books (which are much better than this).

The narration is okay, the Scottish and Hindi accents being the best. It doesn't match up to the works of the best narrators, but it was not confusing or maddening.

This is an acceptable book, but doesn't seem as good as Nuttal's other things. Nevertheless, seeing as how there is a second installment, I am going for it.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 10-14-15


This is a new series based on the same basic idea as the other series that of a collapsing Empire. In this book the Federation is collapsing and warlords are staking out their territories. Our protagonists are Admiral Marius drake and Lt. Roman Garibaldi.

The book has more naval action than most of the other series by Nuttall. I have read enough of Nuttall’s books now to be amazed at his imagination. As this is the first book in the series Nuttall is building his baseline for the series. I enjoyed the space combat and the tactical strategy of commanding a fleet.

I noted the Italian names and the title and thought Nuttall is playing with the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Overall I enjoyed the story. The narrator is new to me but Time Gerard Reynolds did a good job narrating the book.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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