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The universe has fallen into bloody chaos now that the dread empire of the tyrannical Shaa is no more -- at the mercy of the merciless insectoid Naxid, who now hunger for domination. But the far-flung human descendants of Terra have finally tasted liberty, and their warrior heroes will not submit. Separated by light-years, Lord Gareth Martinez and the mysterious guerrilla fighter Caroline Sula each pursue a different road to victory in tomorrow's ultimate battle -- for the new order will be far more terrible than the old ... unless one last, desperate stratagem can hold a shattered galaxy together.
“Space opera the way it ought to be [...] Bujold and Weber, bend the knee; interstellar adventure has a new king, and his name is Walter Jon Williams.” -- George R.R. Martin The first book in the completed Dread Empire's Fall trilogy, followed by The Sundering and Conventions of War. All will must bend to the perfect truth of The Praxis For millennia, the Shaa have subjugated the universe, forcing the myriad sentient races to bow to their joyless tyranny. But the Shaa will soon be no more. The dread empire is in its rapidly fading twilight, and with its impending fall comes the promise of a new galactic order . . . and bloody chaos. A young Terran naval officer marked by his lowly birth, Lt. Gareth Martinez is the first to recognize the insidious plot of the Naxid -- the powerful, warlike insectoid society that was enslaved before all others -- to replace the masters’ despotic rule with their own. Barely escaping a swarming surprise attack, Martinez and Caroline Sula, a pilot whose beautiful face conceals a deadly secret, are now the last hope for freedom for every being who ever languished in Shaa chains -- as the interstellar battle begins against a merciless foe whose only perfect truth is annihilation.
The Dread Empire of the Shaa is no more, following the death of the last oppressor. But freedom remains elusive for the myriad sentient races enslaved for ten centuries, as an even greater terror arises. The Naxids—a powerful insectoid species themselves subjugated until the recent Shaa demise—plan to fill the vacuum with their own bloody domination, and have already won a shattering victory with superior force and unimaginable cruelty. But two heroes survived the carnage at Magaria: Lord Gareth Martinez and the fiery, mysterious gun pilot Lady Caroline Sula, whose courageous exploits are becoming legend in the new history of galactic civil war. Yet their cunning, skill, and bravery may be no match for the overwhelming enemy descending upon the loyalist stronghold of Zanshaa, as the horrific battle looms that will determine the structure of the universe—and who shall live to inhabit it—for millennia to come.
Blending fast-paced military science fiction and space opera, the first volume in a dynamic trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Praxis, set in the universe of his popular and critically acclaimed Dread Empire’s Fall series—a tale of blood, courage, adventure and battle in which the fate of an empire rests in the hands of a cadre of desperate exiles. It’s been seven years since the end of the Naxid War. Sidelined for their unorthodox tactics by a rigid, tradition-bound military establishment, Captain Gareth Martinez and Captain the Lady Sula are stewing in exile, frustrated and impatient to exercise the effective and lethal skills they were born to use in fighting the enemy. Yet after the ramshackle empire left by the Shaa conquerors is shaken by a series of hammer blows that threaten the foundations of the commonwealth, the result is a war that no one planned, no one expected, and no one knows how to end. Now, Martinez, Sula, and their confederate Nikki Severin must escape the clutches of their enemies, rally the disorganized elements of the fleet, and somehow restore the fragile peace—or face annihilation at the hands of a vastly superior force.
Nebula Award-winning author Walter Jon Williams returns to the sweeping space opera adventure of his Praxis universe with Impersonations, an exciting new novel featuring the hero of Dread Empire's Fall! Having offended her superiors by winning a battle without permission, Caroline Sula has been posted to the planet Earth, a dismal backwater where careers go to die. But Sula has always been fascinated by Earth history, and she plans to reward herself with a long, happy vacation amid the ancient monuments of humanity's home world. Sula may be an Earth history buff, but there are aspects of her own history she doesn't want known. Exposure is threatened when an old acquaintance turns up unexpectedly. Someone seems to be forging evidence that would send her to prison. And all that is before someone tries to kill her. If she's going to survive, Sula has no choice but to make some history of her own. Reviews: "Well told with story plot, well-drawn characters, and excellent wordsmithing...It feels like Williams is having a great time with Impersonations." — Locus "Readers will savor this intriguing glimpse into the life of a woman who struggles with her own identity and the price of her action." — Publishers Weekly At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
“Walter Jon Williams has succeeded in creating the perfect contemporary space opera, revved up and ready to take the SF genre by force with all the artistry and panache one could ask for.” --Enigma “This is a hugely fun ride. It has empires crashing, civil wars, aliens, humans, scheming clans, plucky young heroes and villains fighting battles in huge starships--- what more can you ask for?” --Alien Online “Walter Jon Williams has been compared to writers as diverse as Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen; both comparisons, bizarrely, make sense. This is classic space opera, elegantly written and beautifully plotted.” --Guardian For millennia the alien Shaa have ruled their empire with a merciless hand. But soon their rule will end, and their subject species are already beginning to bid for power. Will their ruthless competition lead to bloody chaos, or a tyranny even worse than that of the Shaa? Cadet Caroline Sula is a brilliant, beautiful, brittle officer with a deadly secret that could bring her career crashing in ruins. Lt. Gareth Martinez is a provincial who struggles for recognition by the glittering lords of the empire. Together they discover that one of the empire’s subject races is planning a murderous conquest that will leave humanity helpless, and soon they’re in a fight against overwhelming odds to save humanity’s last hope from extinction.

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