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The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack…

The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight (edition 2012)

by Jack Campbell

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134989,677 (3.51)2
Title:The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight
Authors:Jack Campbell
Info:Ace Hardcover (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Young Adult, Science Fiction

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The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell

  1. 10
    On Basilisk Station by 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.… (more)

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This is not the sort of action-packed book you might expect of a spinoff from the Lost Fleet series. Instead, it's much more psychological and political, addressing the problem of how two basically decent people who have attained high rank in a seriously corrupt system can overthrow both that system and the habits it has forced upon them. How do you lead a meaningful coup against the secret police when you're used to ordering assassinations for the sake of convenience? If you've lied and blackmailed your way to the top, how do you react to the alien notion of open elections? Finally, what do you do when neighboring systems are facing similar questions...and they have assets you want?

It's good, meaty philosophical material, but sometimes it could use a bit of variety to break things up and speed the book along. There are a couple of battles, but most of the action is handled off-the-page, letting the ethical issues keep the focus. If you've read the Lost Fleet books and enjoyed the discussions between Geary and the two ranking women he has to deal with in his life, this book is similar to those sections and you'll probably enjoy it. On the other hand, if you mainly skip over those passages to get to the next military obstacle, you should probably skip this.

Oh, one more thing: this DOES end on a cliffhanger. Be thee warned. ;) ( )
  RevBobMIB | Oct 21, 2015 |
Tarnished Knight begins a second series taking place concurrently with the Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier novels. It follows the CEOs Draken and Iceni (later General and President respectively) as they lead Midway’s revolt against Syndicate control. Feeling their way through new concepts and ideas of government, they are faced with the continued threat of the Enigmas, the dangers from Prime and neighboring star systems, and controlling a population that could easily grow a mob mentality resulting in the tumult, anarchy, and civil wars other star systems are embroiled in. Both have dedicated aids (Draken’s Colonels Malin and Morgan are particularly interesting and fun to follow), but both have ultimately been taught to trust no one-- not even one another, as either could decide to sway the population away from their co-leader or arrange an ‘accident’ to leave himself/herself the sole leader.
As always Campbell writes incredible fight scenes, focusing both on Draken’s ground forces and on mobile forces engagements. The forces are much smaller than Geary’s in the original Lost Fleet novels, resulting in different tactics, different tasks for the various leaders, and an emphasis on individuals and small groups. The perspective is intriguing as Iceni (especially) and Draken are both affected by Black Jack Geary. Iceni has studied Syndicate engagements with Black Jack for months (despite their being classified), and would give almost anything for lessons from the man. Although she attempts to utilize some of the patterns she found, such as unpredictable behavior and using unexpected vectors and movements, she is painfully aware that she is no Black Jack and cannot duplicate or even understand the intricacies of what he does.
The novel takes place during Geary’s expedition into Enigma space, ending shortly before the Alliance fleet’s return in Beyond the Frontier: Invincible. ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
In general I like Jack Campbell's books, but I didn't care for this one as much as the others. This is an offshoot of the Lost Fleet series, he returns to the Midway system to tell the story of the former Syndicate Worlds system. Unfortunately, instead of treating it as an entirely new series, he picks up exactly where the previous books left off. He doesn't spend enough time developing the background of a Syndicate World and not enough time developing the new characters. That leave it feeling like a book that is just waiting for Black Jack Geary to appear. Since we already know most of the story from the previous books, there isn't much here in the way of plot either. ( )
  Karlstar | Feb 12, 2015 |
In an interesting spinoff from his Lost Fleet Series, Campbell takes Aurthurian Legend and uses it as the basis for this story about two leaders: Artur Drakon = Arthur Pendragon, Gwen Icheni = Guinevere, Morgan = Morgana LeFay, Malin = Merlin... (there are other names like this as well if you look.) And then we have "Midway" which is on the fringes of the collapsing Syndicate star-nation and stands in for Britain during the final collapse of the Western Roman Empire (The Syndicate Worlds).
So we see that Campbell has taken the same basic plot and cast of characters as the Arthurian legend and recast it against the background of his Lost Stars series. The parallels may not be immediately obvious, but as the story unfolds, they slowly become apparent. He's done an excellent job so far of retelling this classic legend in a futuristic space-opera setting, and I hope the following books are as well thought out as this one was. (Though I do hope the ending is a bit less tragic than how the original Arthurian legend turned out.)

NOTE: If you're just interested in following the adventures of "Black Jack" Geary, don't bother with this one. This story happens in the same universe but Geary plays only a background role in this story. That said, it's an excellent book in its own right. ( )
  Dragget | Jan 17, 2015 |
This series covers some of the same ground as the Black Jack Geary books, but from the point of view of some former Syndics. I like the distrust between the two main characters, and the fact that they constantly assume no one does anything for altruistic purposes - although they're driving towards a rather altruistic government (relatively speaking). ( )
  4hounds | Dec 15, 2014 |
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To my agent, Joshua Bilmes, who has stuck with me through thick and thin, offering support, encouragement, and advice.

For S., as always
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Treason could be as simple as walking through a doorway.
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Book description
CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndicate Worlds’ government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of reliable 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…

CEO Gwen Iceni was exiled to Midway because she wasn’t ruthless enough in the eyes of her superiors. She proved them wrong by commandeering some of the warships at Midway and declaring the star system’s independence on behalf of the people though staying in charge as “President.” But while she controls the mobile fleet, she has no choice but to rely on “General” Drakon’s ground forces to keep the peace planet-side.

If their coup is to succeed, Drakon and Iceni must put their differences aside to prevent the population of Midway from rebelling against them, to defend their star system from the enigmas—and to ferret out saboteurs determined to reestablish Syndic rule… [retrieved 7/15/2014 from Amazon.com]
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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.… (more)

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