Tag Archive | Empire

The Last Praetorian by Mike Smith

The Last PraetorianSource: Own Collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Commander Jonathan Radec is a man desperately trying to escape from the mistakes of his past.

Now the owner of Vanguard Shipping, his primary concerns are trying to keep his ships flying and his crew alive. However, the shadowy Syndicate organisation has set their sights on the Commander and his business, having sent a beautiful assassin to kill him. To make matters worse, she’s become the target of his infatuation, much to the dismay of his ex-girlfriend. Recently elevated to President of the Confederation, she’s still very much in love with him and capable of making his life a living hell.

Surrounded by a galaxy beginning to tear itself apart, with enemies on all sides, he’s now also unwillingly tasked with trying to save the Confederation – for which he has little regard. Jon has little going in his favour, except a crew consisting of the elite of the old Imperial Navy, all of whom would fight to the death for him, and a past that possibly makes him one of the most dangerous men alive.

The Last Praetorian is a Science Fiction adventure/romance, which tries to answer the question: “Can you ever find redemption for the mistakes of your past?”

Just finished reading this book. A brilliant read.

I picked this book up on Amazon for free. To be honest, the cover (and, well, the title too) attracted me. When I began to read it, I hadn’t even read the blurb, so I didn’t know what I was getting in to.

Good thing that I love to read a good military scifi novel. Which this is. Actually, better than good. Smith does an excellent job of creating an invincible character out of Jon Radec, the Commander of the Emperor’s Praetorian Guards, yet making him still human.

The book is really two in parallel. In the first, we see what appears to be the beginning of the end of a five-hundred-year Empire, while in the second, we see events that happen five years later.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It has everything going for it, along with quite a few surprise elements. Smith doesn’t hesitate to put his characters through their paces. His vision of where the events take place is clearly put into words – excellent world-building.

If it weren’t for the fact that this book requires, in some places, extensive editing, it would have got five stars. It is only for this reason that I have allocated four stars to it.

Mike Smith is going to be a force to be reckoned with. I will be looking for the rest of the trilogy.


The Honour of the Knights by Stephen J. Sweeney

The Honour of the KnightsSource: Own Collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

When starfighter pilot Simon Dodds is enrolled in a top secret military project, he and his wingmates begin to suspect that there is a lot more to the theft of a legendary battleship and an Imperial nation’s civil war than either the Confederation Stellar Navy or the government are willing to let on. Within weeks of being reassigned to the Confederate border system of Temper, the five would begin to untangle a web of lies and a cover-up that seemed to span the entire galaxy. And it would not be long before they would come face to face with that which destroyed an empire: an unforgiving, unstoppable, and totally unrelenting foe. There seemed to exist only one glimmer of hope of driving back the darkness: The ATAF Project – a secretly developed set of starfighters that well may just harbour some terrible secrets of their own…

I picked this book up as a freebie on Amazon. And boy am I glad that I did. What an amazing flyboy novel that spans the galaxy. Towards the end of the book I couldn’t help but turn page after page, devouring the images as the tension mounted up to the climax. Sweeney is to be applauded for his vivid writing and the emotions that he coaxes from the reader, involving them wholly in the story.

The Honour of the Knights is a very readable book. More so if you’re a scifi fan who is conversant with combat.

My favourite quote from this book is: ‘There was considerable pause, then, in a grim voice, “They’re the result of the Senate’s desire to control the Empire. They’re a mistake.” “What?” Dodds said. “They’re a mistake?”‘

I’m not sure that I’ll read this book again, but I’ll definitely be looking up the rest of the series, as I need to find out what happens next. The Galaxy will never be the same again, that is for sure!