Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
The first 13 Omegas have been brought onto the alien's ship. The aliens have all the technology, millions of years of society, and a higher intelligence. Not to mention that individually, they are all older than the oldest Terran. The Terrans have what we have always had, wits and a wiliness to do what is necessary for the survival of the race. The aliens are going to be fighting to maintain control and their way of doing things. The Omegas are going to be fighting to carve a place in this new galactic empire that isn't just as a subservient fighter-servent one. And neither side can lose if either is to win.
The Phoenix Empire series takes on epic proportions with the release of Forging Of The Blade with Shaffer releasing another Military Science Fiction novel that's sure to exceed expectations. Firing Of The Crucible laid the foundations and left us intrigued but now the war with the Easlank has begun anew and it makes for a high-octane Science Fiction epic read as the thirteen Omegas are integrated into the war effort. As with his first release the perspectives and technology that underpin his plot are not overly exacting in terms of understanding the mechanics of the alien cultures being portrayed, but this feels appropriate to the story and allows him to really focus on his characters and on this level it is superbly balanced and packed full of ideas and subtleties which really bring them to life. A fine example of this is the thought given to the Dvane language which includes an alphabet for reference. Far too many Science Fiction novels lose story momentum with too much time spent on world building or given over to exposition but despite a hefty word count Shaffer manages to find the right balance as he maintains the momentum of his plot.
Military Science Fiction has become a highly popular and discerning sub-genre and there’s little doubt that Shaffer continues to carve a niche for himself. With a vivid imagination and prose which clearly convey his passion, he’s certainly an author that genre fans should be reading.
With an open ending, it’s fair to say that Forging Of The Blade is less of a sequel and more of a continuation and one that promises an ever thrilling and burgeoning story arc. It is highly recommended.
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