“To Do The Dragon’s Bidding. Military. (Late Scyran Empire— 532 to 893 ER) (1) To pledge your life and honor to the Empire. The reference was to a soldier’s oath of allegiance to the Imperial Seal which bore the image of a rearing quolla— a creature resembling a mythological First World Dragon. (2) To offer blind obedience. Often derisive.”
Sometimes the best way to honor the Empire is to plot against it.
Commander Kimber Fitzwarren (Fitz) has a mission that requires the assistance of Wolfgang Amadeus Youngblood (Wolf). The mission of two main characters is to find Ari Ransahov, the people’s hero, and convince her to save a corrupt Empire. It seems, in A Hero for the Empire, the title character is not even a main character in the book.
Fitz is a seasoned soldier that grew up in a really tough neighborhood. She herself is equally tough. Augmentations make Fitz a super-soldier both physically, due to cyber-enhancements, and mentally, due to a built in computer. Such augmentations tend to decrease the soldiers life expectancy, so Fitz is determined to succeed in this mission. It may be her last.
Wolf, formally in the service of the Empire, got mad, threw a fist at the emperor in the council chambers, and got kicked out. That’s okay. He is happier at Gold Dragons Private Military Corporation with his mercenary group and has no interest in going back.
Fitz and Wolf don’t exactly hit it off at first. He thinks she is an assassin. She thinks he is an old man. He doesn’t want to help. She thinks she can make him. They both think they should be in charge. As I was reading the first chapter that described their first meeting, I just knew this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! Fitz and Wolf have some awesome chemistry between them.
I like this view of the beginning of their relationship from Fitz’s view.
“She’d found a man who looked at her like she was a woman, not a freaking cyborg, and all they did was argue. How could he antagonize her so thoroughly one minute, and in the next, all she wanted was to wrap herself around his naked body? What was it about him that made her libido go into hyperdrive?”
And here is Wolf’s view:
“Bloody hell, he didn’t need the kind of aggravation FitzWarren brought into his life. She argued with him, she infuriated him, she made him feel twenty-five again, alive and burning with emotions he thought he’d outlived.”
Despite their differences of opinion, they are strongly attracted to each other. And if that is not enough, there is a matchmaking telepathic cat. Jumper, pictured on the cover of the book and the real reason I downloaded it in the first place, is intelligent, funny, and supposed to be on a diet. He can also be quite heroic. Jumper is a one cool cat!
Wolf is Jumper’s person. Fitz is Lizzy’s person. I should explain. Lizzy is the name of the AI that lives in Fitz’s ship. While Jumper is all about matchmaking, Lizzy is not at all keen on the idea. This sets up the cat/ship relationship. More humor. More smiles!
But in all seriousness, there are some pretty heart-racing adventures happening in A Hero for the Empire. I liked that there are plenty of surprises and a lot of action. There is a major bad guy that has it in for Wolf. There is another augmented agent that similarly has it in for Fitz. There is a scientist that may or may not be mad. Lots of intrigue, plots, lies, and half-truths. And bugs. Really big dangerous bugs. There is also hunting, being hunted, getting captured, and being rescued. Earlier I said that the title character is not a main character is the book. But maybe, there is more than one title character.
The adventure is great, but mostly I loved the characters in A Hero for the Empire, human, cat and ship. If the series continues, I hope to see more of Fitz and Wolf.
For adventure, intrigue, spaceships, cybernetics, heroines, heroes and, lets not forget, cats, I recommend A Hero for the Empire.