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Tarnished Knight

av Jack Campbell

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Serier: The Lost Stars (Book 1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3341578,710 (3.63)3
CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndic government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of loyal soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System--assisted by an ally he's unsure he can trust.
  1. 10
    On Basilisk Station av David Weber (Dragget)
    Dragget: There are some differences, but both of these are good military SF. Tarnished Knight focuses more on the rulers as main characters while On Basilisk Station is about a ship commander implementing her government's policies. Both, however, focus the main characters' problem-solving and follow them as they rise to various military and diplomatic challenges.… (mer)
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John G. Henry, a retired naval officer, writes military science fiction under his own name and as Jack Campbell. Tarnished Knight is the first volume of a series spun off from The Lost Stars. Its hero, Artur Drakon, a military leader from the Syndicate Worlds, launches a rebellion in the Midway system. Campbell is a student of military history and has based at least part of the action here on Xenophon’s Anabasis about a small force fighting its way out of trouble. Stealing from the classics is always a good idea. This series is as good as most by Ringo, Weber, or Zahn. ( )
  Tom-e | Apr 9, 2024 |
This book explores the question of how can an authoritarian regime which is falling apart ever stabilize and become something that's good for its own people?

As part of the Lost Fleet and the Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier series, the star system Midway has been profoundly impacted by Admiral Geary's several visits. Geary first saved them from the alien invaders, then after Midway declared independence, Geary saved them from the Syndicate regime which tried to take them over again. That part of the story is told from Geary's viewpoint in Campbell's other series. I suppose you could read this series apart from the other two, but you would definitely be missing a lot of context (who the heck is this all-powerful Geary guy, for example).

This series tells the story of those events (and the aftermath) from the viewpoint of people within the Midway star system itself. Can former rulers under the brutal Syndicate system actually make a better government?

All we know from the beginning (from the other series) is that the two leaders of this star system, unlike many other Syndicate leaders, appear to care at least a little bit about the welfare of their own people, because they stood with the people and refused to run away when it looked like the aliens were going to destroy everything. The question raised here, though, is: will these two leaders, who grew up knowing nothing other than the brutal Syndicate system, be able to make something better? And how will they do it, since they're only a tiny, tiny power with vastly more powerful neighbors lurking ready to attack? For a contemporary analogy, think about the formerly communist countries after the fall of the USSR: there are similar moral issues, and somewhat similar political issues as well.

What I found kept me reading this series was not the political maneuvering (though that was pretty interesting), but the moral choices the characters continued to have to make, and how that plays out. Judging from the book titles, Campbell is fascinated by the fact that his main characters are morally tarnished yet struggling to be better, and I found that to be a good story as well. Sometimes it seems like the characters choose the good too easily, but still, I found it was a good story.

FWIW, Campbell apparently started off this series as a sci-fi take on the Arthurian legends. After all, his main characters are Draco Arturo and Gwen (Guinevere). And there's a Kai, a Merlin who provides advice (Malin), and a Morgan who does some of what you might expect, a foreign hero who adopts the new government, and so on. Plus there is the almost magical help (from aliens, in this story--which you already know about from the previous Campbell series). Unlike the Arthur legends, this is not a tragedy (no more spoilers than that!), and knowing the Arthur legends won't make this very predictable. ( )
  garyrholt | Nov 5, 2020 |
Jack Campbell's books have become a kind of comfort read for me. At the tail end of every school year when I'm burnt out and need to escape with some brain candy I turn to another one of his series. This first book in his 'Lost Stars' spinoff series is just what the doctor ordered in these troubling times. ( )
  iftyzaidi | Mar 22, 2020 |
To read more reviews in this series and others, check out keikii eats books!

85 points, 4 ½ stars!
Warning: Mild Cliffhanger (Ooo next book time!)

Midway Star System used to belong to the Syndicate. That was before Admiral John "Black Jack" Geary came through to save them from the mysterious Enigma race. Now, CEO Artur Drakon and CEO Gwen Iceni have teamed up to remove the remaining forces loyal to the Syndicate government and declare Midway Star System an independent system. It will only work if both of them trust each other, but how can you trust when you've been taught to look for betrayal in everyone?

Tarnished Knight was the best book in the The Lost Fleet saga by Jack Campbell that I have read so far. I've read the The Lost Fleet and The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier series already, and now it is time for The Lost Stars. I enjoyed the hell out of reading it. Where Geary and the Alliance feels stuffy and stilted, Drakon and Iceni feel more realistic. Where Geary is perfect and everything falls in line for him either by luck or by work, Drakon and Iceni struggle. The story just is so much more interesting this way.

The Lost Stars happens concurrently with The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier. You can either read them in publication order or one after the other (though I would recommend reading The Lost Stars after Beyond the Frontier). However, I would also say that The Lost Stars could be read completely without having read The Lost Fleet at all after a bit of initial confusion. If you have read The Lost Fleet, because this happens concurrently, you already have met the characters and you're already aware of the situation.

First, I have to bring up the names in The Lost Stars. Artur Drakon, Gwen Iceni, Rho Morgan, Bran Malin, Donal Rogero, Gaiene, Kai. King Arthur, Lady Gwenivere, Morgan Le Fey, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. The only one I can't place is Rogero. So the theme of The Lost Stars is King Arthur in the same way the theme of The Lost Fleet is Anabasis. Honestly, if you know anything about me, you'll know this is true: the fact that these names are so ridiculously over the top only increases my liking this story. It is sad, but it is true.

I really enjoyed the story of Tarnished Knight. We have seen the Alliance prior to this, now we see some former Syndicates shake off the horrible system they had before and try to make something better. It is action packed as the takeover isn't a peaceful one. However, everything moves much faster than it does in The Lost Fleet because a lot of the battles take place on a planet. I love seeing them break free and become independent.

I mostly just really love the characters. I'm a character person through and through. I need characters to love to make me love the story. That is something I lacked with Geary - I just didn't care about anyone there. Drakon on Iceni make me care because they care. Drakon is the more empathetic of the two, he cares about those under him and it nearly destroyed him in the Syndicate system. Iceni is more of the ice queen who has to be taught how to be empathetic again after years in the Syndicate system.

And both Drakon and Iceni don't trust each other. The entire plan hinges on them trusting each other, and they just don't. They constantly have to remind themselves to believe. They are constantly having to reassure the other and themselves they aren't going to turn on each other. It really is amazing because these two are so going to fall in love with each other by the end of the series. There is a joke made in this book, and I am desperate to see the outcome of it.

Because I have read Beyond the Frontier, I know some of what is coming. I'm actually surprised where Tarnished Knight ended because I thought it was too early for the events that are about to come. I'm in for a treat in the next book indeed! Can't wait! ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
If you liked the Lost Fleet series, and are enjoying the Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier series, then you'll like this book.

It is tough to tell if it is a standalone or the start of a sub-series in the Black Jack Geary universe.

Either way, we get to see a Syndic system [Midway, featured prominently along with the Enigma races in early books] after the fall of the Syndics.

2 CEO's make a go of creating an independent system of Midway. Along the way they must face and takedown the Syndic secret service [officially known as ISS, but popularly as Snakes], have enough trust in the other to not knife them in the back, and deal with gate-connected systems as they go through upheaval as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. There was only 1 or 2 instances of Mr Campbell's love of exposition on space fighting and whatnot. Made for a refreshing change. The story did wrap up ok, but it was completely open for future novels if he so desired.

I, for one, would like to see some more of this Universe without Black Jack. Not because I dislike him, but because writing about a duo seems to bring out a different side of Mr. Campbell's writing. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Jack Campbellprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Vietor, MarcBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndic government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of loyal soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System--assisted by an ally he's unsure he can trust.

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