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Marque and Reprisal

(Vatta's War #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,448 ratings  ·  336 reviews
Kylara Vatta, risk-taking, rule-breaking, can-do heroine of Trading in Danger, is back in business–the kind that’s anything but usual–in the new military science fiction adventure by ace action storyteller Elizabeth Moon.

The exciting military career she hoped for never got off the ground–but Ky Vatta ended up seeing plenty of combat when she took the helm of one of the com
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by Del Rey
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Alex Shrugged I don't understand what "this" refers to, but "Moving Target" also adequately describes what is going on in this novel. Initially, Ky and her cousin, …moreI don't understand what "this" refers to, but "Moving Target" also adequately describes what is going on in this novel. Initially, Ky and her cousin, Stella, are running from assassins.

Another plot point is "what do we do with this letter of marque and reprisal?"

A letter of marque authorizes private armies (brigands) or private navies (pirates or privateers) to attack the enemies of the nation issuing the letter. It is official piracy with the issuing nation getting a cut of the take. It is a way to build up a national military without having to build an actual navy or standing army. It's cheap and sometimes profitable, but often lacking in the quality of mercy. It is also difficult to keep privateering and piracy separate. The captain may understand the difference but the crew may not and the captain is often under threat from the crew to pirate less selectively.

FYI, Queen Elizabeth the First (16th century) issued letters of marque and reprisal because the British navy was at war with Spain and could not be everywhere it needed to be to protect its interests.(less)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  9,448 ratings  ·  336 reviews

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Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was a fast, light read, lots of action, and lots of discussions on how to provision their ship, how they'd make $, what could they trade, in amidst the fear and constant danger of attack by some unknown entity targeting the Vattas for destruction.
Nothing deep, just a fun, fast read.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got to tell you, I'm really enjoying this series. It's pretty serious, all planning and conspiring and technical stuff. A boatload of death. No sexy times. Not even a love interest (unless I've completely missed something) But, I likey.

My only real complaint is Ky's cousin. Who is a selfish bitch.

Mike (the Paladin)
Oh good grief... Look, that rating is for the edition I "listened" to. I got the audio version from the library here.

Anyone who's read many of my reviews or been in a "fantasy" group where I'm a member will probably know that Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion books are some of my "all time favorite" reads. I like most everything I've read by Ms. Moon. For all I know this is a very good novel...

So, why oh why did they get one of the poorest readers I've ever heard to read the audio versions of the bo
The Captain
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! This here be a combined review of the second and third books of the Vatta's War series. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book and ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

Well book one could have been a standalone but I am extremely glad it wasn't! The second book quickly brings about a major, surprising change for the main character, Ky Vatta, and her family. It was mind-boggling but brilliant. It
Moon's weaknesses as a writer are starting to dominate in this series. While I still read this book cover to cover more or less in a single sitting, that is definitely much more a reflection of my love for space opera than the quality of the work.

The palette of "real" characters (as opposed to transparent props) has expanded a little, but the new faces don't have serious pyschological depth. Perhaps even more serious, deus ex machina is reaching ridiculous proportions: in a civilization spannin
Kara Babcock
I couldn’t resist, guys. I liked Trading in Danger so much that I couldn’t wait any longer, so I got Marque and Reprisal when last I went to the library, and here I am reading it, almost two months to the day since I read the first book. Like I said on Twitter, Elizabeth Moon writes books that are like crack—except better, because it turns out that crack is actually very bad for you. The first book introduced us to Ky Vatta and provided an intense, compelling space opera. Marque and Reprisal ...more
I really enjoyed Trading in Danger, so returning to this series was a delight -- I didn't at all remember what had happened in the previous book, and it doesn't spend a lot of detail filling you in, but you can still get a pretty good indication of the repercussions and fallout from Kylara Vatta's last adventure.

And boy, but this book is explosive. Mysterious enemies start targeting and systematically dismantling the Vatta trading empire, and so Ky is left at loose ends with her clunker of a shi
I'm really enjoying this series. Strongly reminiscent of the Barrayar novels by Lois McMaster Bujold, but somehow more enjoyable.

I am straight on to the next one after finishing this, with literally a minute between them ,
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good (OK?) second book to the series. Major crisis & well fought by our heroine, Kylara. I was a little disappointed by the sudden surge in technology. Without spoiling the story, a crucial resource is suddenly not nearly as scarce as we'd been led to think - or the rest of the universe. It stretched my suspension of belief to the breaking point. It was an almost magical fix, something that marks less than great fiction. It was still a good story, but it lost a lot of points with me for that.

I was annoyed for a lot of the book about how perfect Ky was. She's a 22 year-old kid on her first real tour, didn't even finish the academy, but she's somehow way ahead of all of the experienced people because they're just traders and she's bloodthirsty. Ack, annoying. But she made some mistakes near the end that reduced my irritation. On the other hand, Rafe is a problem. That they just happen upon the one guy in the universe with that tech, history and skill set is too absurd; the author shou ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't think I'm going to continue this series. I like books that are about characters, and I just don't really care about anyone in this book. It's not awful, I just think the characters are a bit wooden. For example Ky is told that her family has been attacked and many people died. She doesn't even really seemed concerned. Then when she knows for sure that her parents, brother, uncle and cousins are dead she never even cries or seems to grieve. So... I think this series is OK, but not good en ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Marque and Reprisal (Vatta’s War #2)” continues the military scifi adventure story of Ky Vatta, her family, the McKinsey Military Assistance Corporation (I just love that name!), the corporate InterStellar Communications Corporation (ISC), and pirates - yes….pirates in space! As a reminder, this series is not lesfic, but that just shows that no series is perfect.

As with Book #1, “Marque and Reprisal” manages to highlight very believable people as individuals, even while adventure and conspirac
Loved this one as much as the first There are additional family members introduced in this book and a good deal of time spent with them in the narrative. They are as interesting as Ky so I wasn't disappointed. I started to wonder if the series may not always be about Ky...

(view spoiler)
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of action & suspense, but too much magic with the ansibles. (view spoiler) It really hurt an otherwise decent story. Some great characters are growing well, too. A fun space opera.

I think this series is better in text where skimming is possible. Moon i
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Vatta wants to be an intrepid member of the Space Force, but family obligation require that she settles for life as a mundane spaceship captain. Then an opposing force almost wipes out her entire family,and she has to go to war, ready or not.

Not bad, although the final reveal didn't do much for me.
Timothy Boyd
Nice SiFi book and series. I think this would be a great series for a younger reader or someone new and just starting to read SiFi. Well written and plotted it does not go deep into the tech and science of the story. Recommended
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2017, genre-sf
short review of the series (huge novel split into 5) under Trading in danger
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
The second book of Vatta's War finally gets to the 'war'. Things take a very violent turn at the start, and everything follows on for that.

We get a little bit of the opposing viewpoint near the beginning, but nothing after that, so it's still too early to know what exactly the plan is. However, there's a feel that they might be a bit incompetent for how competent they're acting.

Part of the setup is InterStellar Communications has an enforced monopoly on... communications. You can travel from sys
Second book in the Vatta series. First book was Trading in Danger.

I found the second book to be as engaging as the first, if not a little slow to start as we watch the crisis unfold and Kylara stocking up with weapons and supplies. I did notice a trend that anyone in an authority position automatically assume the worst and try to add to Kylara's problems. Once or twice, I could see, but every time?

There is something about Moon's dialog that still seems "off" to me. Again the impression of an a
I feel about the same about this book as I did about Trading in Danger, the previous book in the series. The writing is average, but the pacing is tight and there's plenty of action to keep you turning pages to find out what happens next. The downsides are still apparent, in that character development remains somewhat surface-only and there's never really time for true emotional connections both between characters or between characters and reader.

Ky has certainly developed some and she remains a
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Am loving this series. Can't wait to start the NEXT installment! ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is exactly the type of science fiction I love to read. Militaristic believability mixed with the good old space trader polish. Ky Vatta is the type of woman that I'd probably fall over myself to impress and follow to the end of the Earth, because she's good even if she's not right.

I'm not sure yet where her loyalties lie exactly, I'm sure that she's working for Vatta - as a family and as a corporation. I'll be interested in finding out where she's going, especially not with the way tha
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, rounded down because I expected better. (I'm determined to be less of a "Santa Claus" with ratings in 2014. I've been good about 5 stars, but entirely too liberal with 4.) Oh, Moon's writing was still tight and fast paced. I liked it.

But this book is more like an expanded chapter or short story, than a stand-alone novel. Ky meets new people--some of whom she befriends, some she kills--and stumbles through the remains of her disintegrating universe.

I prefer this series over even the Ho
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A relaxing space opera, follow up to Trading in Danger, about the young, inexperienced spaceship captain who became embroiled in a battle with pirates. In the sequel, Kylara Vatta continues to make her way toward her cargoes' destinations, but has to keep foiling assassination attempts. She encounters other Vatta family members and reconnects with the mercenary organization she worked with in book 1. Moon's stories are enjoyable, but not complex or thrilling. For space opera with female leads ov ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Lexxi Kitty
The second book in the Vatta’s War series sees a massive ramping up of conflict. The first book showed both a flash, a brush fire so to speak (minor conflict), and how ‘competent’ both mercenary and the interstellar communications people, ISC, can be in both intimidation and fixing stuff. Basically the first showed the universe as it was on the edge of massive change. The second book, this one here, showed that change.

The conflict in the first book really didn’t seem to require the use of the t
Michael Burnam-Fink
Marque and Reprisal follows up the first book pretty directly. Ky may have thought that having dealt with mutineers and pirates, everything would be back to normal, but she barely has time to land her cargo before a shadowy interstellar conspiracy attacks her family. Most of the family's leadership, including Ky's father/the CEO are killed in the attack, and in the wake Ky is cut off, her cargoes uninsurable, lines of credit frozen, and herself and her ship under attack by assassins and saboteur ...more
Wil C. Fry
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Call it a 4.5 — there is very little to dislike about this book. One thing: it’s not a standalone sequel (which I understand can be difficult to do). It definitely requires having first read Trading In Danger. Another: there is at least one spot in which the author forgets to follow up on something — for example, Ky says she’s about to talk to police about some missing cargo, but then she immediately undocks her ship and flies away.

Aside from these two very minor complaints, Marque And Reprisal

Satisfying! I do wish there was even more humor, bc when it is present it's fantastic. Most of what I said about book one applies likewise to this one. But with some pretty freaking amazing Zero-G combat that was gripping. And hella brutal. I loved it!

A note about the audio version. There is supposed to be a full cast production for this series that's excellent. Unfortunately, that isn't what my library offers. The narrator Cynthia Holloway sounds wonderful when I listen to samples of her work i
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Vatta's War series by Elizabeth Moon. Kylara Vatta is a young woman from a rich shipping family who gets booted out of the Slotter Key military academy, so her father assigns her the captaincy of an old space freighter that needs to be piloted to a distant scrap yard. Naturally, things don't go according to plan. In the first book they end up in the middle of a colonial war and Vatta and her crew must find a way to get out alive and with a whole ship. In this boo ...more
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Elizabeth Moon was born March 7, 1945, and grew up in McAllen, Texas, graduating from McAllen High School in 1963. She has a B.A. in History from Rice University (1968) and another in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin (1975) with graduate work in Biology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

She served in the USMC from 1968 to 1971, first at MCB Quantico and then at HQMC. She marrie

Other books in the series

Vatta's War (5 books)
  • Trading in Danger (Vatta's War, #1)
  • Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War, #3)
  • Command Decision (Vatta's War, #4)
  • Victory Conditions (Vatta's War, #5)

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