This week we will focus on a character who appears in the first book, but for the sake of this blog, we will refer to him by his name.
In the previous book, his name wasn’t used, even though he was in the story. I can’t say what made me decide to obscure his identity in the book, other than you wouldn’t need to know who he was to see his influence on the story. I could’ve also been obsessing about some other trivial detail, but that’s been lost to time.
Before we continue, I will point out that I will be quoting from both books in this blog, and I’m not planning to make a point of identifying which is from which. If you’ve read the first one, you’ll know anyway.
Here is the first words of ‘Kassandar’ in the book:
It is clear that the Alexandrian empire feels that we are a threat to their dominance in this area of the galaxy. They have already attacked ships that were sent to retrieve officers, now held against their will and killed 200 officers in our forces, in a display of their power.”Lysimachus Kassandar
Kassandar’s opening words, in an interview for Earth’s media, presents a problem that seems to be developing between Earth and Richard’s people. It also indicates an escalation that has occurred since, in the first book, Earth was working with Richard to stop what was then thought to be The Silent Invader.
While I could quote other comments he makes regarding this situation, it would be better to focus on who he is for now. In the book, you will see him referred to in a number of ways, but two may stand out to some.
One is just prior to that quote, in the media interview:
…the words ‘Prime Minister Lysimachus Kassandar’ appearing beneath his face…
‘Prime Minister’ Kassandar appears to have a great deal of authority within the Pact, by the sound of this title. In most places around the world, the Prime Minister is often the head of state, or very near the top of government, with a ‘President’ usually being the only other role in government that would supersede it. In the United States, these roles are combined in the office of the president. I could elaborate as to what particular things he has authority over as Prime Minister, but that may prove to be the least of what you need to know about him.
Especially when you learn he has another title, as blurted by one of the characters:
I want to make sure I clear this up before it is asked: The main narrative of the novel is written in the present tense because you are reading it as it happens. Only the Prologue and Epilogue are not, since, in the context of the story, they could be things that happen in the distant past, the recent past, or the recent future. Thus, they are taken out of the story flow. I didn’t put them into the body (beyond just that they’re sometimes happening well outside the story timeframe) because they don’t have to be read to get through the story. They will lend depth to some of the characters in the story though, and possibly help you understand what shapes them.
With that said, this comment is made in an Epilogue, but when you read it, you will realize this title is not one he had, but one he still retains. He even is known by it better than as a prime minister:
“But why six battleships?” Maice asked.Maice
The deck officer looked at Maice. “For a three dimensionally sound defense. With only four, one axis is always left open, forcing fighters to fill in the gap.”
Maice nodded. “Application of Admiral Kassandars’ battle principal. This is good to see.”
With the book presenting his battle theories as elevated along with holding office in civil governance, this offers a reality some may not expect possible, though others may be all too familiar with: A commissioned military officer who is also the head of state. Not merely in charge of the military, but an officer in it. I will admit there are some practical issues with this setup, but I think what I was going for him was less a military dictator, and more a need for the few remaining people to accept more roles. You could say he’s defending the state both legislatively and literally.
I mentioned there is one other party that will be properly introduced in the book. Previously, you’ve heard the name, but now you will learn about to whom it belongs. And, I’ll mention a bonus group of characters along with.
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