by David Weber and John Ringo
Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of your sleeping bag.
It wasn't so much that Prince Roger and his surviving remnant of elite bodyguards are marooned on a barbarian planet. Or that they have been on continuous operations for so long they are getting shocky. Or that they still have half a planet to cross. Or that they are basically out of ammunition for their plasma and bead rifles and just about out of cash. Sure, those are all problems, but they're not the real problem.
No, the problem is Roger is in love. With one of his bodyguards. And the romance is not going well. Damnbeast Sure. Vampiric moths Okay. Screaming waves of barbarians No problem. But when you have Nimashet Despreaux and Prince Roger Ramius Sergei Chiang MacClintock at sword's point, that's real danger.
And it's just the beginning.
To get to the distant port that is their only way off the planet, they'll be forced to battle enraged monsters, displaced mercenaries, religious fanatics and a barbarian horde to shame the Huns. Along the way they'll have to recreate the Reformation, the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. And do it all in a context their four-armed, horned, grizzly-bear sized native allies can handle.
It will strain all their experience and knowledge, as the most elite, the most multitalented and above all the toughest bodyguards in human space. But the really hard part will be keeping Roger and Nimashet from killing each other.