Captain Rick Galloway is still on the planet Tran with his mercenary company. He has successfully formed an alliance between the kingdom of Drantos, Tamaratheon and the Roman Empire. Whats more a renegade faction of mercs lead by corporal Arnold Gengrich have come back giving him needed experienced men. He needs them for there is still plenty of enemies to fight. To the south a religious fanatic who opposes the new merged religion of Yatar and Christianity. To the north is the Five Kingdoms that want to retake Drantos and they outnumber Galloway’s forces by five to one. Only the star weapons and advanced tactics might win the day. All the while the alien confederacy continues to debate the fate of humans on both Tran and Earth.
The third entry in the Janissaries series has what made the first two great. Plenty of set piece battles that could go either way. Medieval intrigue, the threat of aliens bombing them and the approach of the Demon star which will plunge Tran into environmental ruin. We do get more insight into the aliens but it is still fleeting. A good portion involves the Lady Tylara who is feeling guilty for having a trusted friend assassinated. Carodoc a loyal general was married to Gwen Tremaine the girlfriend of the human Les who is working for the alien Shalnuksis. His return threatened to cause a problem that could either disrupt the alliance or anger the aliens. His death made the problems conveniently go away but now she suffers guilt and even tries to commit suicide by charging the enemy alone in battle. She gets captured and manages to bring a count from the enemies side to hers.
So the book ends with them victorious after a big battle. There was obviously supposed to be another book forthcoming. Pournelle and Green for some reason pursued other projects and it was never written. Pournelle had been working on the fourth book Janissaries The Mamelukes. Although Jim Baen didn’t like the title. Probably because most people wouldn’t get the Mameluke reference. The Mamelukes were the Muslin rulers of Egypt and the main rivals of the Ottoman Empire. The Mamelukes were on the losing end and the Ottomans extended their empire into North Africa.
Whatever the title the book is mostly finished but sadly Jerry Pournelle died last year so the future of the book is in doubt. It was supposed to end the story and tie up all the loose threads. I would hope they can find someone to finish it and it gets a release. It would be nice to get some closure to this fascinating and unique series. I guess only time will tell if that happens.