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Lt. Leary, Commanding (Lt. Leary / RCN #2)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  4,036 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Lieutenant Daniel Leary of the Republic of Cinnabar Navy commands the corvette Princess Cecile; his friend Signals Officer Adele Mundy has the latest in spy apparatus and the skill to prowl the most tightly guarded database. All they lack are enemies, and fate is about to supply that in abundance!

A hostage uses the Princess Cecile to regain his freedomand his throne!

An all
Paperback, 556 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Baen (first published 2000)
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Jan 22, 2014 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-scifi, 2017
6/10/17 4th? re-read. Another really enjoyable read in this very good series.
D. Jason
Lt. Daniel Leary, based on his adventures in "With the Lightnings", finds himself in command of a corvette with a loyal and hyper-competent crew, and a mission to deliver a political exile back to his home planet. Or so it would seem.

More space opera goodness, with a good bit more planet-hopping and space-battling than the first go-round, and it ends up being just about as satisfying as the first book.

Just about.

The opening quarter or so of the book felt bloated to me, with Drake giving in to t
Brad K
Feb 17, 2015 Brad K added it
Great military adventure -- although the military structures seems more akin to the British Empire navy.

Lieutenant Leary and his librarian/information specialist companion navigate troubled politics and interstellar travels. This is a good story, well told, with colorful and engaging characters. This is not a romance, Leary is a skirt chaser, in port, his librarian is aloof, faintly amused at Leary's light approach to evenings of intimacy (with different ladies each evening).

This is the second
Apr 06, 2012 James rated it really liked it
This book was so much better than the first it is almost unrecognisable as the work of the same author. Seriously, where did Drake's mojo go when he wrote the last book if this is what he is capable of?! I said in the first review I did for the last book that I would now be extremely wary of ever reading Drake's other works, but now having seen what he is capable of I take it back. This is a great, solid Four Stars.

Plot: Four Stars and a half
Suffice to say that this is in so many ways better tha
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
From Publishers Weekly

No one who read Drake's first account of Lt. Daniel Leary's adventures in With the Lightnings will be surprised at the appearance of this sequel; that novel clearly launched a series. What is surprising, however, is the wonderfully strong quality of the follow-up. Although Drake starts off on an odd note (with a panoramic view of a military-SF hierarchical society), his Dan Leary and Signal Officer Adele Mundy prove an uncommonly engaging pair of protagonists. Mundy in pa

May 02, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it
After the heroic deeds on Kostroma in “With the Lightnings“, Leary is unexpectedly permitted to retain command of the captured corvette Princess Cecile. Mundy becomes an intelligence officer for Cinnabar’s elusive spy chief, Mistress Sand. Leary and his crew must catch up with a squadron en route to prevent a rebellion on a vassal planet. Through high level machinations, one of their passengers is the putative heir of the planet’s ruling family.

The main plot is not terribly strong, but it doesn’
Oct 01, 2011 Doc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Doc by: Jeff
Book 2 of the Leary series sees Lt. Daniel Leary, Communications Officer Adele Mundy, and the crew of the Princess Cecile fighting and allying with pirates; coping with a disapproving, by-the-book squadron commander; and fighting ships much larger than theirs.

Good, swashbuckling space opera that isn't overdone. Drake uses several things to keep the Leary stories from getting too frothy or over the top. These include the two officers' rather grim and quite deadly servants, Hogg and Tovera. They a
Jul 29, 2016 Craig rated it really liked it
Drake's RCN series features the military leader Daniel Leary and his friend Adele Mundy, librarian extraordinaire, along with a delightful, ever-expanding cast of support characters such as Daniels' family and his servant, Hogg, Adele's socially-challenged assistant Tovera, his shipmates, the incomparable Sissies, etc. (And there's usually a despicable character named Platt.) The stories are all solidly grounded on some interesting historical situation, which he explains in the books' introducti ...more
Lt. Leary finally has a command of his own, even if it is a non-RCN-built corvette with the unlikely name of Princess Cecile. He and his Sissie crew are rightly proud of it and the modifications which have brought it closer to RCN standards. Now equipped with his own ship, this series absolutely soars! What a great space opera yarn!

And his partner, Warrant Officer Adele Mundy, is a trained cybersleuth. That's right, she's a librarian who more than knows her way around databases. Security has not
Jul 12, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lieutenant Daniel Leary of the Republic of Cinnabar Navy and Signals Officer Adele Mundy become embroiled in a political situation in a far off protectorate. Pirates, foreign interference and the usual incompetent superior naval officer feature, all resulting in an enjoyable story with the relationship between the two protagonists being of ongoing interest.

The way in which space ships move through hyperspace, called the Matrix in this universe, is directly analogous to ships sailing on the sea,
May 05, 2011 Alec rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Hmmm. I don't quite know what to make of the Drake books. A mixture of some nicely drawn characters and some hints at a promising story-arc, but badly let down by some really poor dialogue and a rather weak ending.

Trying to map 19th century principles of honour and manners, as well as physical ship "rigging" to emulate the Hornblower-esque era 25-30,000 years from now? Well, I felt let down.

I did get the third book in the series (bought together with the second after I enjoyed the first), so I'l
Aug 05, 2009 Roberta rated it really liked it
Shelves: sciencefiction
This book was more enjoyable than the first book, With the Lightnings. The characters are more established, the plot was tighter, and I found it more interesting over all. The battle scenes are well done, and Drake's idea of space travel through alternate bubble universes called the matrix using sails is interesting. The comparison is easily made between the Cinnabar Navy and the British Navy pre-19th century.

A good solid book of military SF or space opera depending on how you personally define
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
There's just something missing from this book. It's not a bad story, but the characters lack some sense of realism and the impossible-odds end battle seems to end rather abruptly and simply. There's also a huge chunk of wrap-up missing from the end of the book...a large part of the underlying plot is completely forgotten and otherwise ignored in order to jump the characters forward in time a few weeks (?) to put a cute counterpoint to the epilogue.
Mar 31, 2010 Mark added it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good book (#2 in the Leary/Mundy series, after "With the Lightnings"). Feels like there was just maybe a little too much packed into it-- with all the subplots, this could have been two books, really-- so the story could have been a bit tighter, but then it's a lot of fun, so it's forgiveable. Sure hope the RCN Princess Cecile is repaired in time for the next book, and looking forward to finding out what's next for Adele Mundy!
Oct 05, 2010 Scarlet rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
I didn't like this one as much as the first, though maybe it was because I read it over a few weeks, mostly a couple of pages at a time right before I fell asleep, so I had trouble remembering what was happening. Still, I like Aubrey and Maturin Daniel and Adele more and more, and I've started the 3rd book.
Feb 23, 2016 Xeddicus rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2015 John rated it liked it
Drake is trying to capture something of C.S. Forrester's Horatio Hornblower series. In this he has some success. Drake has a real tendency to wordiness. Some of the side adventures could have been eliminated.
There are a certain amount of Deus ex Machina solutions to Leary's adventures, but all in all it's entertaining.
Feb 15, 2017 Ron rated it really liked it
Lt. Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy (now a signals officer in Cinnabar Navy) are back in the Princess Cecile, hunting for trouble. When dispatched to the Tannis system, they find mutiny rather than allies and discover a way to complete their mission while bringing peace to the system. A nice 2nd book in the series.
Chris Muck
Jan 13, 2014 Chris Muck rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-sci-fi
It was a good read, much like CS Forrester's Horatio Hornblower, but in space. The detail of interstellar sailing and ship to ship battles is well described, having me on the edge of my seat. The only problem is the political intrigue that comprised the majority of the story can get rather dry a times.
Jun 17, 2008 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
It's okay. I think the book is a mix of action and just musings of the captain. Not sure if I am that interested in the musings of different worlds and their species. But, I guess the action is pretty good.

Reading the next book in the series. (and so far, it is starting out pretty good).
Ralph McEwen
May 06, 2010 Ralph McEwen rated it really liked it
A quite engaging tale with plenty of action and interesting characters. A little Byzantine in the families history and interactions. A good read all in all and can be obtained as a free down load from’s free library.
I.F. Adams
Mar 24, 2016 I.F. Adams rated it liked it
More Jack Aubrey in space. Not quite as awesome as the last one, but still a lot of fun. Can be a little difficult to follow at times though as its pacing is very odd, rapidly changing from plodding to 10,000 things occurring at once.
Jamie Barrows
Another solid space opera from Drake. This time Leary is commanding his own ship on a mission to a backwater sector filled with pirates and rebellious planets. Drake's descriptions of star ship battles aren't as good as his tank combat tales, but they are entertaining nevertheless.
Feb 07, 2013 Ilona rated it really liked it
Another wonderful military adventure by Mr Drake. This one was full of twists and turns and as action packed as I could have hoped for. Mr Leary is becoming as interesting to read about as Honor Harrington or Miles Vorkosigan, my all time favourite heroes of space adventures.
Barbara Ghylin
Jul 26, 2012 Barbara Ghylin rated it really liked it
I am really enjoying this series. Daniel is learning how to command and what it means to command. Adele is finally to starting to fight for what she has lost. I wouldn't underestimate this lady. She is a lot tougher than you think.
Apr 01, 2009 Jan rated it really liked it
Lt Daniel Leary and Signals Officer Adele Mundy are on one of their earliest adventures (2nd one?). The autocratic Cinnibar aristos excel as a part of Navy and learning to climb its own power structure.
Harry Lane
Jan 23, 2013 Harry Lane rated it liked it
Quite good space opera. The book does not rely on too much gee-whiz technology, nor is there a lot of hard science. What it does have is a cast of interesting characters, who interact in plausible ways, and a plot full of delightful predicaments for the good guys.
Michael Barnette
Sep 01, 2010 Michael Barnette rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of miltary scifi
Shelves: scifi
Another book that deserves a 4.5 and no option to add half stars.

I really liked this book and read it in under 24 hours--I was home sick from work at the time--it was just that good.

Another terrific military scifi read from David Drake.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
Apr 10, 2013 Steven Vaughan-Nichols rated it really liked it
In this book, the pattern is set for the rest of the Leary/Mundy series. Military adventures and starships, which if you like this kind of thing--and I do--you'll love. If you don't, look elsewhere for your reading pleasure.
Jeff Crosby
This is a solid entry in the series. The political machinations and pirate society are fun elements. The only odd note are the humanoid creatures that just appear to be a castoff element. Highly recommended to Doc.
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David Drake is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the major authors of the military science fiction genre.
More about David Drake...

Other Books in the Series

Lt. Leary / RCN (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • With the Lightnings (Lt. Leary, #1)
  • The Far Side of the Stars (Lt. Leary, #3)
  • The Way to Glory (Lt. Leary, #4)
  • Some Golden Harbor (Lt. Leary, #5)
  • When the Tide Rises (Lt. Leary, #6)
  • In the Stormy Red Sky (Lt. Leary, #7)
  • What Distant Deeps (Lt. Leary, #8)
  • The Road of Danger (Lt. Leary, #9)
  • The Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary, #10)
  • Death's Bright Day (Lt. Leary, #11)

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