Baen, Jan 2010, $13.00
“Ensign Flandry”. In 3019, Terran Empire Imperial Navy security chief on Planet Starkad Commander Max Abrams recruits intelligent and debonair in spite of his young age Dominic Flandry as an ensign, a glorious title for a field agent. The assignment can prove dangerous as Terran is at war with the Merseians with Starkad as a war zone. However, Flandry uncovers something so nefarious; both sides in the combat want him dead.
“A Circus of Hells”. In 3021, Lieutenant Dominc Flandry is posted on planet Ironclaw, a backwater orb 200 light-years from Sol. The Merseians are cruising nearby so Flandry knows that the ennui he expected would not be for long especially after he runs into Tachwy the Dark in Old Town. Flandry meets with Citizen Ammon who assigns him to investigate mineral deposits on the moon Wayland with a female partner Djana. However, they find much more than just some uranium.
“The Rebel Worlds”. In 3025, former Admiral Hugh McCormac leads dissenters against the increasing corruption of the Terran Empire, but in Betelgeuse he is put on military trial by ambitious Governor Shelund at a time when the Merseians are making noise in the demilitarized zone. On Terra Vice Admiral Sir Ilya Kheraskov gives Lieutenant Commander Flandry a vessel to command and sends him to the remote zone to keep the wild races from revolting for the first time in over four decades. Planet side he rescues McCormac’s beautiful wife Kathryn and falls in love.
These are three exciting reprints of the first Flandry tales. The hero is a James Bond-Hans Solo who accepts the fact that the Empire is collapsing due to its size, corruption, and bad leadership, but Flandry and others like Abrams and Kheraskov remain loyal, tough and do their best. Although at times the back story of the fall of the Terran Empire overwhelms the action especially in books two and three, fans will enjoy the adventures of this young swashbuckler in space.