This book surprised me in that it was pretty interesting all the way to the end. Oh, there were parts that I wished I didn’t have to slog through, but in the end, I liked the way the book ended.
Corporal Talker or Talk to most is again narrating this story as he has written it in his Journal. He’s the Ranger linguist, historian, and story teller for this weird world they are in. As you’ll remember, this company of Ranges has been accidentally sent ten thousand years into the future. They found themselves in a world totally different from the world they left and one that seemed to be derived from the game of Dungeons and Dragons. Yeah, there were orcs, wizards, witches, dragons and other such creatures which the Rangers quickly found out that they had to kill. Fortunately, there were stranded in this strange world with the Forge. This apparently was a device/machine that could make all sorts of equipment to keep the Ranger company well supplied in bullets and food. Only in this particular book, they are a long ways away from their main base and having to have resupplies sent in by chopper.
As Talker tells it, they have taken the desert stronghold of Sûstagul from the dragon/lizard men called Saur. They didn’t like that and their King had began arranging with various tribes of orcs to take back the city. Theres orcs were pretty fierce warriors if not kind of short. There was one group in particular, the Guzzim Hazadi that were a kind of Ranger orcs and they were planning on hitting the Ranger in Sûstagul that night. As the book opens, Talker is interrogating an orc prisoner trying to find out where the orcs might make their attack. The orc isn’t that cooperative until Talker starts cutting parts of him off. Now this isn’t something that Talker normally does. But, he’s just lost two of his heroes, Sergeants Brumm and Kurtz. Both were very instrumental in instructing him in the way of the Ranger. Talker is grieving but he doesn’t really know it right now.
Anyway, Talker gets the information he needs and helps the Rangers prepare to defend themselves. He’s placed in charge of the QRF for this defense, showing some leadership which something which every Ranger should have the opportunity to do. So, Talker will tell you the story of this defensive action, but sometimes he just drones on and on and I wish he’d just get to the point. There are some pretty spectacular things that happen in this battle, but it’s not the only battle you’ll read about. No, there’s a lot more going on with the defense of Sûstagul.
They soon realize that without the Forge in the city, they are quickly running out of ammo. They are also running out of Rangers, now down to a hundred or so. The Captain says they need to bring in the C-5A with the Forge and all the ammo, supplies and food it can bring. This is going to be an epic battle getting that aircraft down and unloaded. They’ve had to prepare a run-way on the outskirts of the city and the Accordion Legionnaires have been doing a magnificent job of getting that ready. This will be a major battle as the Captain tells his Rangers in their oporder briefing.
Just so you know, Talker says they will be facing some sixteen thousand Saur’s or dragon/lizard men along with their wizards and spell-casters and whatnot. This army is going to be lead by a tough medusa General that has never lost a battle. So, the Rangers know they are in for it. Talker does a good job of describing all the action throughout the book even though he wasn’t part of everything. He’s only a Corporal after all and he did something that almost got that taken away from him. Still, as long as he has his coffee, he’s good to go and the Rangers will keep on Rangering.
I like the end of this story. It was well done and didn’t leave me hanging like a lot of these books have. It looks like the series continues in book 8, “High Value Target”, but it won’t be out until 22 November 2023 so we got a bit of await for it. I’m still going to mark it down for my reading list.