Book Two of the Blood of Kerensky Trilogy by Michael A. Stackpole
After the conclusion of “Lethal Heritage” you’re left in a bind. Michael A. Stackpole left us at the end of that book with a heck of a shock. We’ll continue exploring Blood Legacy as part of a continuing series of articles (starting with this one) to look back at the 25th anniversary of the Blood of Kerensky Trilogy.
With the basic elements of the BattleTech universe laid out in Lethal Heritage, Stackpole was able to devote some more time and energy in fleshing out both the plot and the universe at large, and the efforts show.
Continuing on with the dual major plot line themes in the first book, with the events from the Inner Sphere side as well as the events of budding ristar Phelan Wolf (Former Phelan Kell) taking center stage, an interesting weave starts to form. The Clans were halted at Radstadt, forcing an interesting political battle within the Clans to elect a new leader. This in turn led to a pause in hostilities that gave the Inner Sphere a chance to try and regain their breath and attempted to train up to meet the Clans as equals. Once the Clan leadership was in place, the invasion resumed and culminated in the epic Battle of Luthien, in which the Clans were defeated, thanks to some unorthodox help.
The book does add a few more ancillary characters, but for the most part concentrates on the existing characters that were introduced in the first book. What was more important was the actual character development, as we can see their progression from confused wet-behind-the-ears Inner Sphere troops to soldiers able to barely hold their own against a superior force. In the case of Phelan, he does his best to act as a sponge and picks up on Clan culture and strategy/tactics and starts to turn their strengths against them, both politically and on the field of battle.
This addition of a political element, more pronounced in this book than the previous one, actually does add more tension as well as provide a chance for the characters to step up to the plate. You do start to see them live up to their skills, and in some cases overshadow the legacies of those that came before them.
IMPACT OF THE BOOK ON THE BATTLETECH UNIVERSE
It’s hard to argue that the addition of certain key events in the book lead to great changes and upheaval in the BattleTech universe. From the bombshell of the true origins of Wolf’s Dragoons, to the early and shaky truces and alliances among the Inner Sphere leaders, to the fascinating peek into Clan culture, politics, and warfighting, to even the information gleaned about the extremely secretive ComStar all came together in a satisfying conclusion with the Battle of Luthien, where former bitter enemies put aside all to battle a much more dangerous foe.
Where Lethal Heritage is a great start to the BattleTech universe, Blood Legacy continues and expands upon the work of the previous book and gives us a worthy sequel, one that is full of intrigue and action as such is highly recommended.