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March to the Sea by David Weber and John Ringo
Published by Baen Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
It's been a long way from the desperate landing in a dry lakebed on the jungle world of Marduk, but Prince Roger and his band of doughty Marine bodyguards still have a long way to fight ahead of them. Their vital supplies of vitamin supplements are rapidly running out, and if they don't get to that spaceport soon, they may well be so badly debilitated by deficiency diseases that they can no longer function.
But if they don't take the time to establish alliances with the peoples among whom they move on their route, they may be so badly depleted by their battles that there simply aren't enough of them left to successfully take the spaceport. So it's stop and stop again to train local civilizations' armies in modern squad discipline and large-scale tactics in order to fight the barbarian hordes sweeping down upon them.
And it means forging alliances strong enough that they can incorporate native auxiliary forces to reinforce the few surviving Marines. And there's still a long sea journey ahead of them, over an ocean the natives have never successfully crossed.
But Prince Roger has become a man, and a commander worthy of honor. He may yet be what it takes to weld together this motley group of survivors into a force that can change the history of an entire world, and even an interstellar empire.
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Review posted March 14, 2002
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