No Quarter by Rachel Ford is the fourth book in the Black Flag space opera series. It is about a quirky group of space privateers, the adventures they have and the bonds they form. The novel works as a standalone but trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the rest of the series.
Love is in the air as Magdalene Landon, dashing interstellar pirate captain (ok, ok, privateer) and head engineer extraordinaire Katherine Ellis prepare to tie the knot. Friends and family have joined them on the picturesque planet Kalesia to share in their joy. Everything is perfect except for the small snag of the missing officiant. Fortunately, the multi-talented and extremely helpful Battlebot, Sydney steps in to save day as only he could.
Moments before they are about to start their honeymoon, Sydney apprehensively interrupts with the news that war has broken out and all Union ships have been recalled into service. Time is of the essence and the honeymoon must be postponed. But before the newlyweds can leave, they are faced with Kay’s very angry and very stranded family members. With all Union ships recalled they have no way of getting home…unless of course they can catch a ride with the Black Flag.
So, with ornery family tow, the crew make their way to their assignment, a seemingly boring peacekeeping mission on Terga II. The ship is supposed to be there simply as a show of force to keep the planet’s warring factions in line. But with one side being overly friendly and the other completely standoffish, discerning the truth and keeping them from destroying one another is going to be near impossible. With the planet teetering on war, and their relatives teetering on their own rebellion, keeping the peace is going to be harder than they ever imagined.
The crew of the Black Flag are a wonderful mix of different species and very different personalities that have become a close-knit family. Which of course means that along with the love and loyalty comes quite a bit of bickering. It is heartwarming watching them grow closer throughout their many adventures in the series, especially finally seeing Maggie and Katherine’s wedding in this volume! And speaking of family, we get to know some of Katherine’s in this book. Her uncle, mother and brother are trapped on board the Black Flag for this mission which brings even more hilarity into the mix.
The Writing Style
This a fast read with the perfect balance of sweetness, comedy and action. The universe Ford has created is full of variety with so many interesting creatures and planets, and the political intrigue in this book keeps things even more interesting. The story moves along at a great pace as it bounces between the comedy and tenderness of the family situation and the action and intrigue of the planet situation.
I have to admit, I have become very attached to the characters in this series with their many different quirks. Watching their relationships progress throughout their adventures has been a wonderful experience.
I also am a big fan of how Ford manages to perfectly balance different plot elements throughout this book. It keeps the excitement level up and my fingers did not want to stop turning those pages.
There are no major cons to speak of, just some minor editing issues that did not affect my enjoyment of the book in any way.
Space operas will always hold a special place in my heart and this series hits many of the space opera tropes I love right on the nose! If you are looking for a fun, heartwarming story that also has a ship load of action, then look no further. This series has it all.
Excerpt from No Quarter by Rachel Ford
Maggie and I had just gotten off the dance floor, and I was laughing a little breathlessly. “Katherine,” he said, “I need to ask you something.”
“Sure Syd. What’s up?”
“This is a hypothetical question.”
I exchanged a glance with Maggie. She raised an eyebrow. “Since when do you do hypotheticals, Sydney?”
“Since approximately eighteen seconds ago.”
I laughed. “Well, that’s ominous. What’s up, Syd?”
“I know a wedding is supposed to be the most joyous day of a bride’s life.”
“Well, it has been pretty amazing,” I smiled.
Maggie laughed. “I don’t know about most joyous, though. I’ve got a few things in mend that should beat it.”
I flushed at her suggestive grin. Syd ignored both of us. “My point is, I understand the importance of a wedding day to brides. So my question is, if – hypothetically speaking, of course – someone learned terrible news, the kind of news that had the potential to destroy billions and reshape galaxies, on your wedding day, would you want to know about it then, or at some later time?
I blinked. At first, I thought he was joking. Syd had the perfect deadpan delivery for jokes. But some sense – I couldn’t say what – told me that he wasn’t joking. “Syd, what the hell is going on?”
“We’re speaking of hypotheticals, remember,” the battle bot tried.
But I wasn’t reassured. “Syd, what’s going on? No hypotheticals. Did you hear something?”
“Am I to take it that you would prefer to know then?”
“Of course we’d prefer to know,” Maggie said. “Dammit Sydney, I’m your captain. Tell me what’s going on.”
“…as of nine forty-five standard Union time last night, the Union is at war with the Denari empire.”
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Black Flag Series
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9798632771542
- Publisher: Indie author
- Rachel Ford Online
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