In Her Name (Omnibus Edition) by Michael R. Hicks
Published by Imperial Guard Publishing
This is the omnibus edition, and contains the complete novels of IN HER NAME: EMPIRE, CONFEDERATION, and FINAL BATTLE in a single volume.
As one reviewer said, IN HER NAME is “a grand story of love, power, sacrifice and good versus evil” that seamlessly blends together epic fantasy, science fiction, and romance as it chronicles the coming-of-age of a young warrior hero torn between love and honor...
This is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Enduring the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together by fate and a prophecy foretold millennia before they were born.
Banished from the Kreelan Empire, Reza is once again a stranger in a strange land as he returns to the human Confederation.. There, a heartbreaking
reunion awaits him, along with the discovery of an ages-old power that the Kreelan Empire will stop at nothing to control.
Space Opera writ large
Reza awakens in a hospital on Earth after having been in a coma for months. Escaping with the help of Jodi Mackenzie, who is now hunted for what she knows about the death of the president, Reza discovers that something is deeply wrong with the Empire: ... the human fleet - and humanity itself - will be doomed to utter annihilation unless Reza can reach the Empress in time...
About the book:
This book begins with a battle between humans and the kreela, a battle which the humans are losing. During the course of the first scene we are introduced to the small boy, Reza Gard, and we see this small child commit such a daring act it is surprising he lives through it. But it is this act that sets his whole life in motion, from surviving on the orphanage planet to being captured by the enemy to being released by that same enemy to his 'death'.
Along the way Reza forms deep, life long friendships with a handful of people: Nicole from the orphanage; Jodi, Braddock and Eustus from the marines; and Esah-Zhurah from the empire. He also meets up with some powerful enemies, human enemies, not the least of which is Markus Thorella.
I always love well written, well edited books that have more than one story line. This book is no exception. The focus of the book is Reza and the boy gets girl - boy loses girl - boy tries to regain girl plot while a sideline is the war between the humans and the kreela. Another subplot involves the power grab being made by a senator and a general.
This is space opera at its best. Normally, I don't do much in the way of space opera because there is just too much blood and gore for me. While In Her Name is no different, the story itself goes well beyond several dozen well fought battles. If you really don't like fighting and killing, this is not the book for you, especially if you don't like killing for the sake of killing as there is honor with the kreela in kill or be killed battles, even among themselves. However, the plot is well done, the story somewhat unique, the characters full with complete and interesting back stories and motivations, the descriptions clear, and the end interesting.
This book made me feel like I did when I first read "Tactics of Mistakes" by Gordon R. Dickson. I hungered to learn more about this world and to read more from this author to the point of being insatiable. The only thing that stops me from reading more by Michael R. Hicks is my long, long TBR list.