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Harold: The Last Anglo Saxon King
Ian W. Walker
The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History
Alexander Mikaberidze
Progress: 172/960 pages
For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607 to 2012
William B. Feis, Peter Maslowski, Allan R. Millett
Progress: 467/736 pages
Tales in Time: The Man Who Walked Home and Other Stories
Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Padgett, Garry Douglas Kilworth, Peter Crowther, James Tiptree Jr., Charles de Lint, Spider Robinson, Jack Finney, L. Sprague de Camp, Brian W. Aldiss, H.G. Wells

Starts slow, but comes together well

Doctor Who: Dreams of Empire - Justin Richards

On a fortress built into an asteroid on the frontier of the Haddron Empire rests Hans Keysar. Formerly one of the three consuls of the republic, he is a prisoner after a failed attempt to become emperor that resulted in a debilitating civil war. Now on the eve of a visit by Milton Trayx — his friend, former co-consul and victor in the civil war — someone is engineering a plan of escape. But that plan doesn't factor in the unexpected arrival of the Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria, who arrive just as the first moves are made . . .

I must confess that early on in Justin Richards's novel I was tempted to give up on it, as it starts out slowly and introduces a number of ill-defined characters who were at times difficult to distinguish in the text. Once Richards sets the pieces of his story into place, however, the novel snaps together into a fairly entertaining book that leavens the "base under siege" storyline that was such a standard of the Second Doctor's era with a degree of political intrigue. The twists at the end — some predictable, others less so — keep things lively and entertaining as well. I'm glad I persevered with it, as it proved in the end to be worth the effort.