This is classic space opera. The Shaa aliens conquered most of our region of space, bringing 6 other alien species (including humanity) under their rule. Now the last of them has died, leaving a gaping power vacuum waiting to be filled. Our hero commands a ship trying deperately to thwart an alien takeover of the government, while also battling the stultifying mindset of a navy that hasn't fought a war in over 3 millenia. There's also a woman who has clawed her way to the middle of the naval heirarchy; the story of her journey intersperses with the space opera and the political maneuvering.
The review of this Book prepared by Karen Burnham