Elizabeth Moon’s thrilling Vatta’s War series, featuring the no-holds-barred space-faring heroine Kylara Vatta, has secured her reputation as a master of first-rate military science fiction. Now Commander Vatta is back–locked and loaded and ready to win the fight against the marauding forces of ruthless space pirate Gammis Turek.
For Ky, it’s not just about liberating the star systems subjugated by Turek and defending the rest of the galaxy’s freedom. There’s also a score to be settled and payback to be meted out for the obliteration of the Vatta Transport dynasty . . . and the slaughter of Ky’s family. But the enemy have their own escalation efforts under way–including the placement of covert agents among the allies with whom Ky and the surviving Vattas are collaborating in the war effort. And when a spy ring linked to a wealthy businessman is exposed, a cracked pirate code reveals a galaxywide conspiracy fueling the proliferation of Turek’s warship fleet. Matching the invaders’ swelling firepower will mean marshaling an armada of battle-ready ships for Ky to lead into combat. But a violent skirmish leaves Ky reeling–and presumed dead by her enemies. Now, as Turek readies an all-out attack on the Nexus system–a key conquest that could seal the rest of the galaxy’s doom–Ky must rally to the challenge, draw upon every last reserve of her strategic skills, and reach deep if she is to tear from the ashes of tragedy her most decisive victory.
With the Vatta’s War series, award-winning author Elizabeth Moon has claimed a place alongside such preeminent writers of military science fiction as David Weber and Lois McMaster Bujold. Now Moon is back–and so is her butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners heroine, Kylara Vatta. Once the black-sheep scion of a prosperous merchant family, Kylara now leads a motley space force dedicated to the defeat of a rapacious pirate empire led by the mysterious Gammis Turek.
After orchestrating a galaxy-wide failure of the communications network owned and maintained by the powerful ISC corporation, Turek and his marauders strike swiftly and without mercy. First they shatter Vatta Transport. Then they overrun entire star systems, growing stronger and bolder. No one is safe from the pirate fleet. But while they continue to move forward with their diabolical plan, they have made two critical mistakes.
Their first mistake was killing Kylara Vatta’s family.
Their second mistake was leaving her alive.
Now Kylara is going to make them pay.
But with a “fleet” consisting of only three ships–including her flagship, the Vanguard, a souped-up merchant cruiser–Kylara needs allies, and fast. Because even though she possesses the same coveted communication technology as the enemy, she has nowhere near their numbers or firepower.
Meanwhile, as Kylara’ s cousin Stella tries to bring together the shattered pieces of the family trading empire, new treachery is unfolding at ISC headquarters, where undercover agent Rafael Dunbarger, estranged son of the corporation’s CEO, is trying to learn why the damaged network is not being repaired. What he discovers will send shock waves across the galaxy and crashing into Kylara’s newly christened Space Defense Force at the worst possible moment.
In the aftermath of the cold-blooded assassinations that killed her parents and shattered the Vatta interstellar shipping empire, Kylara Vatta sets out to avenge the killings and salvage the family business. Ky soon discovers a conspiracy of terrifying scope, breathtaking audacity, and utter ruthlessness. The only hope against such powerful evil is for all the space merchants to band together. Unfortunately, because she commands a ship that once belonged to a notorious pirate, Ky is met with suspicion, if not outright hostility . . . even from her own cousin. Before she can take the fight to the enemy, Kylara must survive a deadly minefield of deception and betrayal.
Praise for Engaging the Enemy
“A fast-paced space adventure, with a heroine that will captivate readers.”—Omaha World-Herald
“Excels in character development as well as in its fast-paced action sequences and intricate plotting.”—Library Journal
“You’ll have fun with this one, for Moon keeps things moving.”—Analog
“An utterly satisfying adventure . . . In Kylara Vatta, Moon has created another tough and complex heroine.”—Scifi
Though the exciting military career she hoped for never materialized, Ky Vatta still sees plenty of combat. An unknown adversary has launched a full-throttle offensive against Vatta Transport Ltd., Ky’s father’s interstellar shipping empire—killing most of Ky’s family. Fighting for her very survival, Ky is determined to avenge her family’s deaths. Teaming up with a band of stranded mercenaries, her black-sheep cousin Stella, and Stella’s roguish ex-lover, Ky struggles to penetrate the tangled web of political intrigue that surrounds the attacks. Amid suspicion and deception, she is prepared to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that Vatta stays in business. What she’s not prepared for is the shocking truth behind the terror— and a confrontation with murderous treachery. . . .
Praise for Marque and Reprisal
“The intrigue-filled plot lends a marque of distinction.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Excellent plotting and characters support the utterly realistic action sequences: swift, jolting, [and] merciless.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Filled with fast-paced action and well-conceived characters.”—Booklist
Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, and her father’s only child to buck tradition by choosing a military career instead of joining the family business. For Ky, it’s no contest: Even running the prestigious Vatta Transport Ltd. shipping concern can’t hold a candle to shipping out as an officer aboard an interstellar cruiser. It’s adventure, not commerce, that stirs her soul. And despite her family’s misgivings, there can be no doubt that a Vatta in the service will prove a valuable asset. But with a single error in judgment, it all comes crumbling down.
Expelled from the Academy in disgrace–and returning home to her humiliated family, a storm of high-profile media coverage, and the gaping void of her own future–Ky is ready to face the inevitable onslaught of anger, disappointment, even pity. But soon after opportunity’s door slams shut, Ky finds herself with a ticket to ride– and a shot at redemption–as captain of a Vatta Transport ship.
It’s a simple assignment: escorting one of the Vatta fleet’s oldest ships on its final voyage . . . to the scrapyard. But keeping it simple has never been Ky’s style. And even though her father has provided a crew of seasoned veterans to baby-sit the fledgling captain on her maiden milk run, they can’t stop Ky from turning the routine mission into a risky venture–in the name of turning a profit for Vatta Transport, of course.
By snapping up a lucrative delivery contract defaulted on by a rival company, and using part of the proceeds to upgrade her condemned vehicle, Ky aims to prove she’s got more going for her than just her family’s famous name. But business will soon have to take a backseat to bravery, when Ky’s change of plans sails her and the crew straight into the middle of a colonial war. For all her commercial savvy, it’s her military training and born-soldier’s instincts that Ky will need to call on in the face of deadly combat, dangerous mercenaries, and violent mutiny. . . .
“Compelling . . . a superior novel . . . Trading in Danger [has] originality and intelligence.”—SciFi