Denholm Carew enjoys a life most would envy. Scion of a wealthy family on New London, he can have almost anything he wants. But what he wants more than anything is the freedom to make his own way and build his own legacy to pass down to his children. Together with his wife, Lynelle, he sells everything to buy shares in a colonial company and settle the newly discovered world of Dalthus IV.
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Jon Bartlett's path is clear before him: finish his last year of schooling, then off on the family's ships to learn the intricacies of interstellar trade. But a message of tragedy at home comes for him, and his expected life is flung far out of reach.
At 15, Alexis Carew has to face an age old problem - she's a girl, and only a boy can inherit the family's vast holdings. Her options are few. She must marry and watch a stranger run the lands, or become a penniless tenant and see the lands she so dearly loves sold off. Yet there may be another option, one that involves becoming a midshipman on a shorthanded spaceship with no other females.
Just as Midshipman Alexis Carew thinks she's found a place in the Royal Navy, she's transferred aboard H.M.S. Hermione. Her captain is a Tartar, liberal with the cat, who thinks girls have no place aboard ship. The other midshipmen in the berth are no better and the only advice she's offered is to keep her head down and mouth shut - things Alexis is rarely able to do.
Fast-paced, imaginative, light-hearted
Newly commissioned lieutenant Alexis Carew is appointed into HMS Shrewsbury, a 74-gun ship of the line in New London's space navy. She expects Shrewsbury will be sent into action in the war against Hanover, but instead she finds that she and her new ship are pivotal in a Foreign Office plot to bring the star systems of the French Republic into the war and end the threat of Hanover forever.