Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Rods And The Axe-Tom Kratman

The Rods And The Axe
Tom Kratman
Baen, Jul 1 2014, $25.00
ISBN: 9781476736563

After leading his adopted country Balboa in victory against the more powerful Tauran Union, Duque of the Legion del Cid Patricio Carrera knows the war is not over even if the enemy was forced to humiliatingly retreat.  He also accepts his side does not have the logistical capability to bring the combat to Tauran and expects the adversary to invade again within two months, but wants it on his terms.  Thus he and former general turned elected President Raul Parilla argue over what to do with the overwhelming number of POWs besides using the uninjured to dig anti-tank trenches.

Carrera believes Tauran will bring an ally with them in the next battle; but he wants to select who.  Based on the theory that “my friend’s enemy is my friend” he angers the Zhong Guo Empress so she deploys her troops as an unreliable ally of the Tauran.  The countdown to the final battle begins with the Zhong knowing they must seize the Isla Real fortress as the first step in their final solution.

With a nod to a premise of Reddington (Black List) that “…and sometimes the enemy of my enemy is just an enemy”, this exciting, action-packed Carrera military science fiction is an entertaining thriller.  In order to fight under his terms and thus reduce the chance of defeat, once again Carrera executes the same general principal he successfully used previously to bait foes; who never learned Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Series fans will enjoy this entry while looking forward to the continuation of the latest battle in the next tale.

Harriet Klausner

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