by David Weber and John Ringo
Book 4 in Empire of Man series (2004)
Prince Roger MacClintock was an heir to the galaxy’s Throne of Man-and a self-obsessed spoiled young brat . . . until he and the Royal Marines sent to protect him were stranded on Marduk with only their feet to get them half way around the entire planet.
So far, they’ve traversed a continent, crossed a sea full of ship-eating monsters, taken over an enemy spaceport, and hijacked a starship. But they’re not home-free yet, because home is no longer free. In Roger’s absence, a palace coup by enemies of the MacClintock family has seized control of the Empire. His mother the Empress is a captive in the palace and even in her own body, drugged so that her will is not her own. Roger’s bother, the heir to the throne, is dead. And Roger himself has been branded an outlaw and traitor. Roger and his faithful band of human marines and native alien warriors have beaten the barbarian planet Marduk.
Now they must re-conquer an interstellar empire. But they aren’t about to give up, and with the help of those on the throne planet who are still loyal to the Empress they will infiltrate (under cover of a restaurant specializing in exotic Mardukan dishes, no less), they will make anyone who gets in their way (such as local mobsters who make the mistake of kidnapping Roger’s fiancé) very sorry that they did, and they will not rest until the rightful ruler has been restored.
Once again, a lot of power-hungry people are going to learn a hard lesson: You do not, ever, mess with a MacClintock!