Sometimes an exciting book can get a little boring. I found myself in this situation when reading about Arkarin Blackhawk during the first part of this book. I mean, the mission he and his crew of the Wolf’s Claw” was really going south and they were soon to be in big trouble, but I knew they were going to get out of it as they always do. That took away some of the drama that I had experienced in the first book. Still, this is a good series once it gets going.
If you’ll remember, Arkarin Blackhawk was some what of a rogue semi-pirate out among the stars. He and his crew did what they were hired to do and only they job didn’t cause undo harm to the good guys. The good guys were not only Akarin and his crew, but other nice and innocent people. Most of his employers were definitely not the kind that cared about anyone but themselves. Blackhawk tried to stay on the right side of the law, but out in space which is so vast, who’s to say what exactly is the law on the fringes of civilization! Yet, Blackhawk had a definite moral code that made him a good person even if he though otherwise. He has a background which he definitely doesn’t want his crew to know about. While he knows just about everything about each one of his crew members, they know he doesn’t talk about his past and they are smart enough not to bug him about it. The only person who does know just who Arkairn Blackhawk really is, is Marshal Augustin Lucerne, now ruler of Celtiboria and Chairman of the newly established Confederation of Far Stars planets. And even he didn’t care about Blackhawk’s past.
So, we first find the Wolf’s Claw on a semi-civilized planet ruled by a wealthy magnate that makes his money through the gambling establishments and other illegal activities of planet Castilla. This magnate goes by the name of Arragonzo Francisco de Aragona and he is going to be kidnapped by Blackhawk and his crew very shortly.
While they thought they could take him at his huge home, a convoy of what appeared to be Imperial soldiers was also headed for the estate. So, Blackhawk had to fallback to plan B. They had located Mr. Aragona at one of his casinos and were going to take him from that location even though it was heavily guarded. So, what was going to be a relatively easy snatch and grab, turned out to be an escape with their lives and with one of the Wolf’s Claw seriously injured!
Still, they accomplish that job and then are called back to Celtiboria to meet with Marshal Lucerne. He is getting information that one of his Confederation allies might be working for the Empire while at the same time trying to undermine his efforts to establish the Confederation. Marshal Lucerne has gathered his considerably large armada and is heading to Antille expecting another bloody war.
Fortunately, Blackhawk and the Wolf’s Claw have arrived there ahead of the Marshal and he’s attempting to find out what’s really going on. He has proof that the Empire has been meddling in other Far Star affairs and has found Imperial weapons where there shouldn’t have been any. Now he has to find proof on Antille that the Empire was in-fact spreading false rumors about Antille supplying some of the Far Stars dictators with Imperial weapons. That task won’t be too hard if he can find the one person on the planet responsible for these rumors. He needs to find him alive and get him to admit what he knows to Marshal Lucerne or millions will die in a bloody war that’s not necessary.
Now the story does get exciting. Amongst the fighting, Blackhawk runs into a man from his past who knows who he is. He can’t let this man live, but he doesn’t want to just kill him in cold blood. Still, he has to do what he must to keep his past a secret, although even after this scene with this enemy, Blackhawk’s story does come out.
Now that we know Blackhawk’s past, his crew is allowed to decide if they want to stay with him or leave. One of the giant twin’s doesn’t get a choice. The others eventually make their decisions also. Finally, Astra, the daughter of Marshal Lucerne and Blackhawks love interest tells him what she thinks about his past and now he has to live with that.
I guess we’ll have to read the next book to find out what happens to Arkarin Blackhawk and the Wolf’s Claw.