Leary and his ship, the Princess Cecil, are ordered to the frontier system of Bagaria, which just revolted against Cinnabar's enemy, The Alliance. The purpose of the mission is to relieve pressure from an important star system besieged by Alliance forces--and to get the well-connected and upstart Leary as far away from Cinnabar as possible.
But Daniel, with the help of his fellow "Sissies" (as the crew of the Princess Cecil call themselves), manage to inject some esprit de corps into the Bagarian "navy," foil a mutiny, uncover treachery among the Bagarian oligarchs, and finally take the fight to the Alliance.
When the Tide Rises has earned an average 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com (25 x 5-stars and 12 x 4-stars). Two common themes among the less-than-5-star-raters are:
1. The characters aren't as fleshed-out as some readers would like them to be.
2. The story arc seems repetitive. That is: The hero is given an impossible task (and even expected to fail), but manages to pull off a stunning victory, with awards--and more importantly, prize money--showered upon the heroes.
Yeah, when reading a series of any sort, a certain repetitiveness and character arc flat-lining may creep in. But I still enjoyed When the Tide Rises and give a 4-star rating. I still find the age-of-sail method of space travel to be fascinating and well thought out. I think by not binge-reading this, or any series, may help lessen the feelings of deja vu.
Since this book is just over the half-way point of a series, my words of caution would be: Read books #1-5 first, before diving into When the Tide Rises.
Currently, there are four more books after this one, so as long as most readers enjoy David Drake's work, the RCN Series tide will continue to rise.
I'm a retired USAF TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) member, now working for Washington State Emergency Management. In addition to being an Emergency Operations Specialist at my day/night/weekend job, I'm a Foreign Affairs Specialist, gamer and writer.
I maintain three blogs as an on-line platform. "Stern Rake Studio," my central site, explores a variety of topics on gaming, pop-culture and writing. "Station WTFO" is where I post comments and discussions on the national and international issues that concern us. Finally, "The Redshift Chronicles," is a spin-off of "Stern Rake Studio." This site focuses on sci-fi gaming and is home to my long-form webcomic "Breakout from Bongolaan."