The final volume of the Man of War series starts, as usual, in medias res with the USS Cumberland stuck in an impossible situation. Unlike the previous volume, this one flows naturally from the situation at the end, but there’s also a decided tendency to make the opening action bigger and badder than the previous.

Once out of this bit of formula, we’re back to our usual mix of well-done military SF, with plenty of action. The character side is less evident here; I assume it got crowded out by other concerns (or deadlines). The bulk of the book is involved in a daring and dangerous mission (or two missions, really) behind enemy lines. Some early parts of this got done a bit episodically, and I wondered if I’d accidentally missed something, but no, there’s just less bridging between sections than I expected.

Man of War is billed as a trilogy, but Brothers in Valor does not bring the action to a close. How this is considered ‘the end’ is way off in spoiler territory, but needless to say, I’m eager to see what happens next, and am disappointed that the next two (shorter) books are prequels, as opposed to the promised next series.

Despite some minor problems, overall the writing is holding up, and I do recommend the entire series as good military SF.