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March to the Stars    by David Weber & John Ringo order for
March to the Stars
by David Weber
Order:  USA  Can
Baen, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Having read March Upcountry and March to the Sea, the previous volumes in the odyssey of Prince Roger and his bodyguard of marines, I was anxiously awaiting Volume 3. March to the Stars does not disappoint. Having finally reached the sea, Roger and his surviving marines must undertake an ocean voyage. The planet Marduk's only spaceport lies beyond the sea. According to their native allies, no one has succeeded in crossing that expanse, home to ferocious water dwellers - just as the Mardukan jungles are home to huge predators and fierce warriors.

They manage to reach the other shore and find themselves embroiled - again in local politics. Mardukans tend to settle political differences by warfare, and Roger and his people once more find themselves fighting for their own survival, while attempting to help their new allies survive as well. Success means a real possibility to reach the spaceport at last. However, after a year of constant life-and-death battles, many of the marines are near the end of their endurance; and battle fatigue is seriously eroding their effectiveness.

The once indolent and spoiled prince has matured in a pitiless school. Just as he has harnessed his physical abilities to the need for survival, he now is using his brain as well. If they manage to commandeer a starship, Prince Roger and his people may find themselves in battles more subtle and more dangerous than the ones they survived on Marduk. As in the other volumes, March to the Stars boasts memorable characters and alien cultures, while the action is swift-paced and suspenseful.

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