Oct 28, 2016

[Books] Battletech: Blood Legacy

When I was collecting Battletech books in my much younger years for some reason Blood Legacy was terribly hard to find. No one wants to miss the middle of a trilogy but that's the situation that I found myself in given I had a copy of Lethal Heritage and Lost Destiny but I did not have the middle book of the Blood of Kerensky trilogy of novels.

Blood Legacy is a very important part of the story since it covers that key tuning point that helped the Inner Sphere stand a chance in terms of defending itself against the continued advance of the Clans and it also covered the period of Phelan Kell's return to the life of a warrior as he is reborn as Phelan Wolf. And so it hurt me that I didn't have a copy of this book immediately on-hand.

Over the years I repeatedly read Book 1 and Book 3 of the Kerensky trilogy yet having no success finding the second book. That changed when they started re-releasing the various Battletech books in Kindle format, although even that had a bit of back and forth over the legality of publishing those infamous "unseen" mechs. But it's still one heck of a story.

Synopsis: Battletech: Blood Legacy is the second book in Michael A. Stackpole's Blood of Kerensky trilogy. Along with the other books in the trilogy, they depict the progress of the Clan Invasion.

Jaime Wolf of Wolf's Dragoons has gathered the leaders of the Great Houses to Outreach to discuss the Clans and how the Inner Sphere might respond. He also reveals the truth behind Wolf's Dragoons and offers them a possible path forward - provided they learn to look past their respective differences.

Meanwhile the Clans are dealing with the death of the ilKhan and must elect a new leader to move them forward in this invasion. It is around this time that Phelan's time as a bondsman ends and he is allowed to become a Warrior. However that's a lot different from getting back into a BattleMech and thus he too must train and prepare himself for his challenge to get a Mech.

What I Liked: This book in some ways is a great book about Wolf's Dragoons, although we're distracted by leaders of the Inner Sphere being a pain, Beyond all the speeches Jaime gives, I actually had more fun with Natasha Kerensky, although in this book she's already a part of the Wolf Clan once more. She represents a lovely bit of disruption in the Clan narrative and a good bridge between the old world and the new.

And then there's the big Battle of Luthien, which isn't the greatest battle I've seen documented in a book but it had some great moments. The focus was less on giving the detailed blow-by-blow of the action but instead focusing on the changes within House Kurita.

What Could Have Been Better: The whole plan to train the scions of the Inner Sphere to work together all felt very weird. And it's not like they were dealing with very Clan specific counter-tactics or anything like that. They were pretty much going through low-power exercises against one another in an interesting parallelism to Phelan's Warrior testing. A lot of the book gets lost in the constant sniping and arguing between the young leaders and those were moments I wish we were focused more on the action over in Luthien.

TL;DR: Battletech: Blood Legacy is still an important part of the Blood of Kerensky trilogy but it's not quite the best part of the series. The greater focus on drama instead of combat was necessary but it ended up making the first and third books seem a lot more action-packed. Thus the book gets 3.5 Inner Sphere OmniMechs out of a possible 5.

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