This is how I like my Space Opera!!!
A universe in the depths of civil war, a shady bad guy threatening the throne and a 'low born' hero Casimir Ormuz who just might be the one to save the day.......yup, I'll have me some of that.
I'll be the first to admit I worried this book may be a bit too heavy going for me (Ian's Apollo Quartet books I found very 'tech heavy' but manageable as they were novella length - aPoW is a whopping 650 pages). I was wrong to worry. Although this is a bit of a slow starter once the pace picks up this novel fair rattles along. Plenty of swashbuckling action and heroics make this a hell of a ride for the reader once you're into the flow of the story.
One thing I got from this book is that Ian Sales certainly knows his stuff when it comes to Sci-fi and Sci-Fi technology but doesn't feel the need to prove to the reader how clever he is. There is plenty of futuristic tech type stuff, sure, but also a colonial feel to it as well. The fighting isn't all done with Super-Massive Photon Cannons and lasers that can decimate a small town in seconds. Here our heroes get down and dirty with hand-to-hand style combat.
The World Building works for me too. I like a Universe that feels believable and that is certainly the case here. When I was 10 I remember my mum taking me to the cinema to see Star Wars for the first time. This book was the literary equivalent, to me, of that. Starts off steady and grows into something that's just a bit more than special.