"The Golden Brat", Reinhard von Lohengramm, a military prodigy and admiral of the Galactic Empire, has ambitions beyond protecting the borders or even defeating the empire's enemies. He seeks to overthrow the old order and become a truly absolute - yet benevolent - dictator. His rival, the humble Yang Wen-li of the Free Planets Alliance, wishes to preserve democracy even if he must sacrifice his political ideals to defeat the empire. Their political and military battles play out over a galactic chessboard in an epic saga 15 centuries in the making!
©2016 Yoshiki Tanaka (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
I have always been intrigued by this anime/manga/series, because it seemed to be the biggest epic space opera that had never been brought over to US shores. And since it came out back in the '80s, I knew the animation quality of the anime probably wouldn't hold up to modern standards. Therefore when I found out about this new English publication of the novels, I was cautiously excited to find out what all the fuss was about.
If you have read a lot of space opera or military sci-fi, you're either going to find you like this series because it tries to marry both genres, or you're going to be disappointed because it fails to deliver the depth into either one that you may be used to. This novel stays at a very high level throughout most of the book, delivering hundreds of years of history and conflict almost like a Wikipedia entry, while glossing over details of battles involving tens of thousands of starships as though you're watching everything on a strategic starmap. Because of such a huge scale, and a large cast of characters, we don't get to see them developed in detail much other than to establish a few stereotypes and certain likes/dislikes and character traits. Even though the novel eventually focuses down onto the two protagonists, we don't really get any sense of what their lives are actually like. Everything is done within the context of driving ahead this massive historical machine.
There are parts of the novel that are certainly enjoyable, and a lot of the tactical combat techniques are interesting, reminiscent of Jack Campbell's "Lost Fleet" engagements (although still falling far short). However, one problem that keeps repeating itself is that the book portrays all the establishment leaders on both sides of the war as utter imbeciles. They make very stupid strategic and tactical blunders that are just too difficult to believe, especially when the fates of literally millions of lives are affected by those decisions. Somehow we must believe that only the two geniuses on either side of the conflict are capable of making good decisions, and therefore their rise into power, which this book essentially chronicles, is made with a speed that is simply impossible to take as believable.
I admit I am still interested in seeing where this series is going, but I'm worried that it will just continue to be more of the same.
The first book of the LoGH series does a great deal of stage setting that I expect will pay off in the remaining books. The pov characters are interesting and the two leads, Reinhard and Yang are good foils for one another. The reader, Tim Gerard Reynolds is, as always, fantastic. Definitely plan to follow this series.
Like Isaac Asimov's Foundation, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an outstanding science fiction epic. Even though this is only the first book in the series, I eagerly await the next installment!
This book is fantastic. Tim Gerard Reynolds really pull you into the world. Both main characters are portrayed so well. The world is engaging. 10/10
The first book of Tanaka's space epic did not disappoint. The translation and narration were superb. I really have been waiting over a decade for these novels to be translated into English and it was so worth the wait. Bring on book two!
I liked the characters. And the story line is good. But too much time is spent on talking over issues and trying to decide what to do next. It was an effort to finish this book.
If you're looking for galactic scale political and military conflict and 'rise to power' stories revolving around wonderfully charismatic characters, look no further, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a delight!
This a book I've been waiting a very very long time to read. Having watched some of the anime series I knew it would be a good read. I'm glad to see I was right. If you like David Weber's Honorverse series you will like this.
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