A thoroughly good backstory for the Ben Styke character. Although it takes place years before "Sins of Empire", I think it should be read after "Sins", once we actually care about Styke's character.
Unlike many novellas or short stories, which often seem to be scraped together from the author's cutting room floor, this is a cohesive, solidly written piece with the same flavor and cadence as the main novels. It could easily be a hundred pages longer and no less enjoyable. Recommended for any fans of the Blood and Powder series.