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With the Lightnings by David Drake
Published by Baen Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
Lt. Daniel Leary is an officer of the Republic of Cinnabar Navy, fulfilling a dream he has held since he was a small child. However his father, one of the most powerful politicians in the star nation of Cinnabar, does not see that as a worthy career for his son. Angry that Daniel has refused to follow him into a career in politics, Corder Leary, Speaker of the Republic, has cut off all Daniel's support and treated him as a non-entity.
Adele Mundy was the daughter of another of Cinnabar's leading families, the Mundies of Chatsworth. A genius librarian, she considered mere political brangling beneath her notice, preferring the pursuit of higher knowledge on a distant world. Then Speaker Leary accused the Mundies and several other leading families of Cinnabar of having conspired with Cinnabar's greatest enemies. In the Proscriptions that followed, Adele's entire family was massacred, right down to her painfully shy ten-year-old sister, who had to first endure all manner of ill-use and betrayal by those she thought to be her protectors. Adele survived only because the vagaries of shipping shedules put her off-world and in transit when everything went down.
Now both Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy are on Kostroma, a corrupt backwater planet that vaguely resembles Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. A land of rich, cowardly nobles and crushing poverty for the common folk, it is the focus of a conspiracy of the greater powers that swirl around it. When another coup d'etat racks its unstable government, Daniel and Adele are thrown together, forced to co-operate to save some fragment of their interests.
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Review posted November 19, 2002
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