Paperback: 364 pages
Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (1 Jul 1999)
(The first of the Serrano Legacy stories, this is also available with books #2 and #3 in an omnibus volume. This has been a public service announcement. Thank you.)
If there's a theme that Moon seems to repeat, it's that of promising young military officer who's been forced to resign due to circumstances beyond her control, and who is now on the civvie side of things. Unlike the Vatta's War series,our heroine here, Heris Serrano, has no big family shipping company to slot into, so she accepts a commission to become the skipper of an eccentric old lady's private yacht. This is not going to be a particularly onerous command, since such an employer won't want to spend that much time in space. Lady Cecilia is no different.
The first trip is out to a private estate planet. Yes, the rich are even richer in this world than ours, and the social set-up is like something from a Republican's wet dream. Lady Cecilia is an enthusiastic horsewoman, a pursuit she tries to interest her captain in, and much of her social life involves horse trials and the like. This trip is to go for the fox hunting season - and there's a clutch of somewhat feckless young things along too, partly because of trouble at court.
As it happens, foxes are not the only things that will get hunted, and some of the characters have to grow up fast if they're going to survive.
This is a well-paced, good fun initial outing in what is a 7 book series.