You’d think our time with the CFS Dauntless. Captain Tyler Barron and his crew would have stopped in the last book. They practically saved the entire Confederation by destroying an incredible artifact and thereby keeping it out of the hands of the Union. The Dauntless is a beat-up ship and the crew is definitely worn out. So, they need some refit and rest, lots of both if possible. Surprisingly, this is granted by Admiral Striker, Captain Barron’s boss, who orders the ship back to Dannith. At Dannith, the Dauntless is definitely being repaired. She’s going to look like a new ship by the time the shipyards get through with her. And the crew have been placed on leave for six months! Yes, six months during a time of war. That’s almost of unheard of and a little long for a ship and crew to be out of action. Still, the refit/repair and rest were definitely needed. It also just so happened that there is a lull in the war while both sides try to figure out what to do next.
The Confederation is busy building new ships by the dozens, but they haven’t quite got them ready yet. They are hoping that they can get them to the front lines before the Union tries something new. On the Union side, they are also trying to replace battleships, but they don’t have the construction capacity of the Confederation. Here’s where the conditions that the citizens of both civilization comes to the forefront. The Confederation citizens, namely the shipyard workers, are motivated by patriotism and largely by money. They tend to make maximum effort when they have a maximum contract, whereas, the Union shipyards do what they are told, when they are told and get what the ruling class wants them to have, which isn’t much.
So how does this tie in with the CFS Dauntless and Captain Barron, well, his ship was a priority, but not a high priority since the newer ships were needed much more. So six months has passed and now it’s time for the Dauntless and her crew to go back to the frontline. Or so they thought.
You’ll get a hint (a very big hint) when you start reading this book. It’s not about the Confederation, but about the Alliance! Yeah, you remember in the first book where Captain Barron and the Dauntless barely survived a border fight with one Alliance ship. That ship was sent to test the Confederations defenses. Needless to say, the Confederation passed. That attack was not the Alliance’s idea, but that of the Union. Using the Alliance’s warrior mentality, the Union managed to convince the Imperatrix to make this attack in order to convince them that by joining with the Union in attacking the Confederation, they would share the spoils.
Well, the Union is back at it in Alliance territory. Only this time they are buying Alliance Officers who are disgruntled by the Imperatrix’s lack of courage to go to war which they all feel is something that have to be doing to be happy! Now, with Union bribes, things are getting stirred up in the Alliance and it’s not looking good for officers and men/women who are very loyal to the throne. If something were to happen that would cause the Alliance to go after a full-fledged war with the Confederation, it could mean the end of the Confederation. It cannot fight a two-front war in any way.
So, the CFS Dauntless is sent back to the same place they were in the first book to find out what is going on with the Alliance. Captain Barron’s orders are about as open-ended as they can be. He’s to prevent a war between the Confederation and the Alliance by any means possible even if it means he has to go to war! Now that sounds strange, but if the Alliance wants war, then Captain Barron must delay them as long as possible so the Confederation can get the resources necessary to defend that part of their empire.
It appears that the Dauntless and Captain Tyler Barron have some impossible orders. How is one ship going to stop a war or how can one ship delay a mass fleet? Did the Dauntless just get orders to go and die? Sounds like it. Read the story to see what happens.
Oh, and the next book, “Cauldrons of Fire” is already out. I’ll be reading it very soon.