The Helverti Invasion by John Dalmas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Helverti Invasion is the second novel in John Dalmas’s Monitor Service series, following The Lizard War. In the previous book, Brothers from the Order of Saint Higuchi infiltrated the Saint Lawrence People’s Democratic Republic in order to attack a number of aliens, the Lizards, who had been manipulating the local government and goading it to invade neighboring states. In the book’s climax, Luis Raoul DenUyl managed to gain access to the alien spaceship, kill the captain and other aliens, wreck many controls, and disable their shield. Meanwhile, Lemmi Tsinnajinni penetrated the PDR headquarters and killed the Chairman. Excellent book.
In this novel, five years later, Luis and Lemmi and two other Higuchi masters are flown to the brother house at Moleen in a Monitor Service aircraft where they are then briefed. They learn that a group of alien Fohanni chaos cultists has made “illegal” contact with the primary chief of the Dkota tribe and is probably stirring up a war with the Kingdom of Sota. Three years ago, the Dkota and Sota had signed a peace treaty; the king of Sota is a peacenik who refuses to listen to any talk of the Dkota breaking the treaty. Lemmi is tasked with studying the Dkota situation and Luis is ordered to check the readiness of Sota.
Meanwile, Jorval, the leader of the Fohanni cultists, learns that all is going well with the war plans, but the Dkota chief, Mazeppa Tall Man, has made changes to the plans. He wants to start the war sooner, with more warriors, and to a far greater extent than previously thought.
This story involves war and an effort to avoid war or, if it is inevitable, to force the invaders to lose an unacceptable number of warriors and be routed. The situation is complicated by a vision that Mazeppa once had that told him that he was destined to rule the whole area. Jorval has made things worse by telling him that the Sota kingdom is planning to kill all of the buffalo. And King Eldred is weakening Sota by eliminating the militias and reducing the number of guards allowed in each duchy and barony.
The invasion occurs, with numerous warriors. The defenders… Are they prepared? You really should read the book.
This book was a great sequel to an excellent first book, and if one likes detailed plots, intrigue, and ultimately some good combat, it too is a very good book. Is it worth five stars? No, but it’s a solid four-star book and comes recommended.