Baen, Jan 2003, 26.00, 526 pp.
The diplomatic mission assigned to Prince Roger was more to get rid of him for awhile than any real need except palace relief as the royals including his mother the Empress are tired of his boorish spoiled behavior. One thousand rugged Marines accompany Roger on his meaningless mission, but every one of these tough soldiers detests this royal pain in the butt. The assignment goes wrong and Roger and his troops become stuck on Marduk, a hostile planet.
Over the next year or so, Roger leads his Marines and loyal Mardukans in a deadly march to reach the only spaceport held by the enemy. During the dangerous crossing that costs the lives of 100 men, Roger feels every death personally and turns into a strong military leader whose supporters are as loyal to him as any person can expect. However, whether he manages to lead the way off-planet still remains to be proven because he learns that there is more to this disaster than just what resides on Marduk.
MARCH TO THE SEA is a powerful military science fiction novel that works on several levels as Roger turns from a hedonistic rotter into a strong leader. The story line is action packed as the land and ocean of Marduk seems real and in turn provides an authenticity to the adventures of the outsiders. Still it is Roger whose metamorphose against an antagonistic backdrop makes the latest outer space thriller from David Weber and John Ringo into must reading for sub-genre fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner