David Drake borrows from events in Italy, circa 5th Century BC, merges it with elements from Patrick O'Brien's novels and sets it in space. This 5th book in the "RCN Series" continues the adventures of Commander Daniel Leary and his signals officer/spy/librian friend Adele Mundy. Together, with their shipmates from the corvette Princess Cecile, they confound the corrupt politicians on four planets, stop an army from invading an allied world and shoot down a blockading cruiser. The story is a little slow at several points, because the good ship & crew end up traveling back & forth several times between three planets, to obtain weapons, crewmen and even a destroyer. The author's premise for space travel appears plausible and makes readers feel they're immersed a "Horatio Hornblower in space" yarn. While it's a decent stand alone novel, it's best appreciated if you've read the previous four books.
I give the story a 4-star rating and according to Amazon.com, three reviewers out of 22 agree with me. Some Golden Harbor garnered six 5-star ratings. However, most of the reviewers, nine in all, gave the book a 3-star rating. Two 2-star and one 1-star rating followed in the novel's wake, giving it 3.5-star average:
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