by Tom Kratman
Book 7 in the Desert Called Peace series (2018)
Carrera’s held off his enemies coming by sea from the north, in the process dealing the naval and amphibious forces of the Zhong Empire a stinging defeat. The Zhong won’t soon forget the blood-stained waters and the heaped up bodies on the shores of Balboa’s Isla Real.
Now, though, his adopted country of Balboa is under assault from the east, from the south, from the west, from the air, and from space. The Zhong, smarting from the butchery around the island, have bounced back and forced a lodgment east of the capital. Their lodgment is still a-building but when it is done Carrera can expect several hundred thousand brave and determined Zhong to show up on his barely defended flank.
The Taurans, remembering their military roots, have assaulted Balboa from the south, taking half the area of, and cutting, the Transitway that joins Terra Nova’s Mar Fusioso and her Shimmering Sea. In the process, they’ve cut off and besieged the second city of the country, Cristobal, trapping inside the city Carrera’s Fourth Corps, and overrunning and capturing a large portion of Carrera’s artillery train.
West of Cristobal, the Taurans have created, almost from scratch, a series of small ports and airfields to support their siege.
Inside the town, a sense of desperation is growing among the men and women of the Fourth Corps: Has their leader forgotten about or abandoned them?