A sci-fi satire complete with a Martian patriarch
Famine! War! Plagues to both man and metal! A virulent and insane Emperor who fancies himself the human incarnation of Hercules! These are a few of my favorite things when it comes to close-future science-fiction military novels.
The already crumbling Pan-Polarian Empire descends from gold to rust under an undeserving heir and his excesses. Meanwhile, Justa Black—the illegitimate daughter of General Peter Black—stands by her father at the end of his military life as the world becomes more confusing and less accommodating for his kind. She relates the tale by flipping between two eras: The rise and fall of the tyrannical emperor, and the events that bring her father home from Mars (hence the title).
Author Theodore Judson’s attention to detail in mirroring Roman history in decline makes for a skewed, satirical story with a cautionary eye on both the past and the future.