With the exception of the ending Change of Command is one of the best of Elizabeth Moon‘s Serrano book I’ve read, yet. A wealth of complex motives, spread among a wealth of groups of people, sets the stage for a full scale galactic power struggle – in the midst of which is the Fleet officers Barin Serrano and Esmay Suiza, trying to get married; a counterpoint to the menacing seriousness of several megalomaniac righteous bastards competing for power, with or without knowledge of each other.
This book is far far removed from the lightness – despite the gravity of the topics handled – and boisterous adventurism of the previous books in the Familias Regnant series; something hinted at in the previous instalment (Rules of Engagement) but now come to full bloom… and I’m no longer so sure the Serrano/Familias Regnant books should be considered the fluff I’ve previously marked it as.
Sadly for everyone who haven’t read the previous books this one, despite it’s other qualities, does not stand on it’s own – rather it depends heavily on the previous books for story, background and character development, and not only that; it acts as a bridge to the concluding book – Against The Odds (which I’ll be reading next).
Which in itself says something about the quality of this series.
Or so I think.