Military science-fiction specialist Drake continues the series he began with With the Lightnings (1998). For the uninitiated, the heroic Republic of Cinnabar is at war with the evil-empire Alliance of Free Stars. Last time out, disgraced aristocrat and data-whiz Adele Mundy teamed up with Lt. Cassian Daniels to throw a spanner in the empire's works. This time, Adele teams up with the lieutenant of the title, another veteran of the previous episode, now in command of his own space corvette. As always with Drake, you take the politicking along with the action, though the proportions vary from yarn to yarn.