• Tarnished Knight

  • The Lost Stars, Book 1
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (2,875 ratings)

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Tarnished Knight

By: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: Marc Vietor
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author puts the Alliance fleet’s enemy in the spotlight as the people of the Syndicate Worlds attempt to rebuild their lives after Admiral John “Black Jack” Geary defeated them....

The authority of the Syndicate Worlds’ government is crumbling. Civil war and rebellion are breaking out in many star systems, despite the Syndic government’s brutal attempts to suppress disorder. Midway is one of those star systems, and leaders there must decide whether to remain loyal to the old order or fight for something new.

CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndic government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of loyal soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System - assisted by an ally he’s unsure he can trust....

CEO Gwen Iceni was exiled to Midway because she wasn’t ruthless enough in the eyes of her superiors. She’s made them regret their assessment by commandeering some of the warships at Midway and attacking the remaining ships still loyal to the Syndicate empire. Iceni declares independence for the Midway Star System on behalf of the people while staying in charge as “President”. But while she controls the mobile fleet, she has no choice but to rely on 'General' Drakon’s ground forces to keep the peace planet-side....

If their coup is to succeed, Drakon and Iceni must put their differences aside to prevent the population of Midway from rising up in rebellion against them, to defend Midway against the alien threat of the enigma race - and to ferret out saboteurs determined to reestablish Syndic rule....

©2012 John G. Hemry (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Military science fiction at its very best..." (Catherine Asaro, Nebula Award-winning author of Carnelians)

What listeners say about Tarnished Knight

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,481
  • 4 Stars
    1,025
  • 3 Stars
    275
  • 2 Stars
    56
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Story
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    36

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoy OBSTLT (or Be Subject to Life Termination)

I remember when the author first announced his signing a deal for two spinoff series to follow The Lost Fleet about three years ago. Since then, Lost Fleet has come to a close and Beyond the Frontier has been through two volumes, and what was originally referred to as The Phoenix Stars has just seen the light of day.

As the first reviewer notes, this book adds little to the Lost Fleet narrative, but succeeds quite well at expanding the universe through which the Alliance Fleet has rampaged since Dauntless's publication half a decade ago. The Lost Fleet was the author's third series, and the fact that its characters and geography have made it into further stories beyond the Alliance Fleet's escape from Syndic space is a wonderful thing, even if at first blush that is only to add greater depth to the snapshots of life in one system through which the Alliance fleet has passed through in the last three Lost Fleet novels.

Though it is technically the beginning of a new series, Tarnished Knight leans heavily upon the original Lost Fleet series and its continuation, Beyond the Frontier. The events in the Midway star system occur after those depicted in Dreadnaught.

This entry features more space battles and ground combat from the Syndic perspective, as the Midway system battles various internal and external threats. But where the Lost Fleet series proper often turns on fleet politics and combat logistics, Lost Stars deals with the aftermath of revolution and the tenuous balance maintained by two strong leaders with complementary power bases, who both need one another and have the means to bring about the other's undoing. The problem is that we already have the outlines of this story by virtue of the glimpses we've received through Dreadnaught and Invincible, thought it can be interesting to see just how things came to change between visits. Meanwhile, the author dangles the prospect of further developments in Alliance space in the next Beyond the Frontier entry, titled Guardian and due next year as usual.

The perspective of this story is a bit different given that there are two point of view characters. The author maintains a style similar to Lost Fleet though, with great tactical details, scheming, and occasional humorous interludes.

Mark Vietor is terrific as always. For those who have come to associate the voice of Christian Rummel with this universe though, be prepared for slightly varied pronunciation of some character and place names. My wish that Rummel would have been tapped for this series is the only reason for four stars as far as the performance goes.

I can't imagine why one would read this without having read the eight Lost Fleet and Beyond the Frontier books first. If you have though, I think you'll find enough of what made those stories winners to satisfy with this new slant to the universe. Little gems about the Syndic way of doing things like the one referenced in the title are almost worth the price of admission alone.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Twenty minutes into it, and I want a refund!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator and Audible Frontiers! In at least three previous "Lost Fleet" and "Beyond the Frontier" audiobooks CEO Gwen Iceni was pronounced the same. Along comes the "Tarnished Knight" series and suddenly Iceni is pronounced "I-cen-I." Made me so angry that I missed the next few minutes of dialog every time Vietor said "I-cen-I." The producers couldn't maintain a consistancy in the way names are pronounced. Now I don't want to continue the book. The producers also allowed Marc Vietor to be much to "aggressive" in his reading. That's my take, anyway. I wanted to like this book but I'll skip the audio now and get it on my Kindle.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Marc Vietor?

Christian Rummel was so good that it will be hard to replace him.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The story of warlords or new government?.

Side story about syndic worlds, in fact about "midway" system,
the main gateway to the alien stars.
The book is written in a bit different style from the main series,
it doesn't fill any wholes or doesn't give any additional information,
that may be crucial for the main series.
The story spends more time in ground and political (not exactly intrigue,
because everything is too crude) actions, and yet some space battles also have presence.

When something big and expensive is broken, there's always someone to pick up the pieces.
And when you are stuck in a place, which is necessary to everyone (alliance, syndics, and neighbors)......
The story tells about emergence of local government and warlords in midway and neighbouring star systems.

P/S
There's nothing else I can say without spoilers, except that I expected more, perhaps I'll get my expectations from the next book.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a new sub series

I got hooked on The Lost Fleet and then Beyond the Frontier Series and now a new great sub series about the Midway Star system. The story picks up with life on Midway after Geary leaves Midway into the unknown space to explore it. The Midway Star System has declared independence from the Syndic and are forming a new government and alliances of neighbouring star systems. Jack Campbell's usual great space battles, intrigue between different groups all goes into creating action, suspense and the ending leaves me wanting the next volume in the series. If you like the other two series you will enjoy this new one.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Slow Paced and Devoid of Plot

Would you try another book from Jack Campbell and/or Marc Vietor?

Probably. I'm a big fan of the lost fleet series, but found this book incredibly boring. Don't expect the epic space battles and fast moving plots of the earlier books in this series.

What could Jack Campbell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

How about some action and character development? This book is political intrigue minus the intrigue.

Would you be willing to try another one of Marc Vietor’s performances?

I couldn't keep the dialog between characters straight. The narrator sounded as bored with the story as I was.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight?

The book has no redeeming value and adds nothing the the Lost Fleet series.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More from the Lost Fleet world

What a great spinoff concept. Prior to this book the Syndicate, controlled by nefarious CEO's, were nothing more than relative stick figures. In this case we get to delve deeper into Syndicate society in the post-Geary age. The main characters were tangentially introduced in the main series, but now we have a chance to see the desperate fight of the leadership of Midway to separate themselves from the central control of the Syndicate.

This is much more of a political novel than the Lost Fleet books. Yes, there is space combat as well as ground combat, but a lot of the book is devoted to the truly twisted political realm of the CEO's, where you cannot trust anyone. Even though they must work together to wring a small hole of safety for both themselves and the people of Midway, the sheer level of scheming is intense (where every move is never taken at face value and no one is what they seem to be). But the two leaders, Drakon and Iceni, seem to see the value of cooperation and realize that the system that they were born into needs to be changed (but realizing that it cannot be done overnight).

A very solid book and I very much look forward to the next (with a cliffhanger like Jack dropped at the end of the book, it is a given that there needs to be another book).

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good beginning...

The story is almost as engaging as the Lost Fleet books. However, if one hasn't read the Lost Fleet books the story and setting could be a little confusing. Marc Vietor's performance was good but not great; at times it was hard to distinguish the different characters. Christian Rummel has a much larger range of character voices and I wish he were narrating the Lost Stars as well. Overall a good beginning to another series of books from Mr. Hemry.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not the lost fleet by FAR!

Story: Long drawn out story about the other syndicate world military....uninteresting.
Narrator: Very hard to figure out who is talking, because he uses the same voice for most characters.

Also, the book ends right before something interesting is about to happen...

I will not be getting the next installment if it ever comes out.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good Alternative perspective

If you could sum up The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing Alternative Perspective

Which scene was your favorite?

I won't state one so I don't spoil anything, but in general, my favorite scene were when the main characters were trying to figure out each others angles and if the other could be trusted.

Any additional comments?

The book is similar to what the fall of the USSR was like for people. Russian's lives were dominated by government their whole lives, and once it fell, they had freedoms but didn't know what to do with them. Take the make characters as Ukrainians that have just left the USSR but have to fear Russia's heavy handed tactics that are not limited to economic or political aggression.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Weak ,the stores are getting so slow

Would you try another book from Jack Campbell and/or Marc Vietor?

I doubt i would buy any more of these books the stores are getting so slow i could use them to fall a sleep at night with,

Has The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes , but not the genre but the series yes, it is like he is just writing them for the money

Did Marc Vietor do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Audio was ok

Do you think The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No let this dieing horse go

Any additional comments?

I think my review says it all

4 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick
  • 11-06-12

The future looks bright.

Tarnished Knight is a real step forward for Campbell [Hemry] in my opinion. More than in any other of his books in the Alliance/Syndic universe, we the reader actually get some genuine depth to the main cast of characters. When there is introspection it is worth while in the majority of cases. Whilst the earlier novels made for good military Sci-fi they at times they came across like a commentary.



This might a controversial statement to fans of the series, however after reading this i think i like Gwen Iceni's character over Geary or Desjani and Rione's nowhere by comparison. I hope that Iceni continues to receive dur prominence and is treated well by the author.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Poppey
  • 10-19-16

Easy Listening

An enjoyable, easy to listen to, series and one which I will follow.

Sometimes you just want to listen to something which is not too complicated and, more important, has good narration.

This is my first experience of Marc Vietor and I have been pleasantly surprised. I will certainly look out for this narrator again.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Stephen Briglin
  • 01-30-15

Excellent storyline but narration poor!!

I love the Jack Campbell books and listening to the excellently narrated black jack books I was looking forward to this.
The story is great but the problem I found was that the narrator doesn't differentiate between characters well.
It was difficult to keep track of what character was talking at times and I've now reached the end of the first book not knowing the characters as well as in the first set of books.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 10-25-17

interesting start

a good start to the story. interesting to see what the characters are thinking and doing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • david
  • 09-07-17

bit confusing

I didn't really really enjoy this book as way to much time was spent people questioning them selves and being told everyone's thoughts and why they were thinking it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Enright
  • 07-21-15

A great development on the lost fleet series

Where does Tarnished Knight: The Lost Stars, Book 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's got to be in my top 10, I'd definitely listen again

Who was your favorite character and why?

General Drakon, come on, with a name like that he'd have to be everyone's favourite surely!
He's a good no nonsense military commander who seems to realise that he owes his continued position to the loyalty of his troops, and loyalty is a two way street. A nice believable character really

Have you listened to any of Marc Vietor’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Only the other books in this series, and he does a good job. Good pace and storytelling style

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Time never allows for that, but I did listen in a few hearty chunks

Any additional comments?

Whilst the lost fleet is a good fast paced naval drama, this series builds on that story to incorporate the additional challanges faced by a leader who can't sail off into the distance and leave their woes behind them. Makes for a great addition to the whole series of books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Coffee & SciFi Addict
  • 11-14-22

Lost Stars Books 1 to 4

It is a pretty series and well worth listening to. The change of narrator from Lost Fleet series through you off slightly especially when Mr Vietor gives his Blackjack rendition but you get used to it by book 2 or 3, definitely by book 4.

Additionally the early books cover the story already covered in the Lost Fleet which initially makes the new material in books 1 and 2 seem like filler, although this is not really the case.

It sounds a terrible review which does not match the star rating given as I think as a 4 book series it works very well by the time you get to book 4.....but you do have to get to book 4 to see the big picture that Jack Campbell is trying to achieve.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Fouldsy
  • 07-30-22

10 wasted hours

Complicated, dull storyline, no ending…..I need to say no more.
Find a different book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fred Jones
  • 07-26-22

Another classic from a great writer

The Lost Fleet from the other side. Classic military sci-fi with great characters. It is great to see the way the characters work together despite being conditioned to mistrust each other motives. Rebellion, plots and counter plots, the struggle to keep.control.of the system when you are short of support and equipment. Jack Campbell is a Superb writer who gives his characters life and depth. Marc Vietor has a great voice for the story. Wonderful stuff and I look forward to listening to more of these.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • betty sables
  • 03-17-22

a war in space

this is a war book by any other total. it is for men and as such I found it boring and repetitious. there was no enjoyment for me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 12-09-16

Slow to get going

I picked this up as a random buy as it was cheap. It's slow to get moving but I got quite into it. He tries to write some diverse character and there is a strong female lead but still we see reliance upon standard space opera tropes such as the slinky psychopath female. Even with that said I have to admit I'm about to buy the second book as the overall world story is quite interesting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James B. Morris
  • 02-03-15

Loved it!

Excellent work like all of the audio books. Only thing that could make them better is multiple voice actors and maybe sound effects