‘The Dream of the Iron Dragon,’ by Robert Kroese

The Dream of the Iron Dragon

I was offered a free copy of Robert Kroese’s The Dream of the Iron Dragon, and I figured it’s a space opera with Vikings, I’ll give it a shot. I found it an entertaining read.

It’s the 23rd Century, and earth is no longer habitable. An alien enemy called the Cho-ta’an destroyed the planet, and now humanity survives on a handful of scattered earth-like worlds, grimly awaiting the day when the technologically superior Cho-ta’an will finish the job.

The Andrea Luhman is a small scouting ship, sent out to hunt for new habitable planets. They are not prepared for a mysterious message, sent from an unlikely ally who offers them a doomsday weapon that could turn the whole war around.

Soon they are racing home, pursued by a Cho-ta’an ship. A desperate maneuver sends them back in time, to earth in the 9th Century, and they crash-land in Norway.

King Harald Fairhair is at that point consolidating his unification of the country. The space people soon find themselves caught up in the resistance, using their rapidly diminishing weapons and ammunition, plus their technological knowledge, to help a chieftain in his campaign to avenge himself on Harald.

The Dream of the Iron Dragon is pretty good. I’m not personally a big fan of space opera, but I judge this pretty much the kind of optimistic military sci fi story Baen Books fans would welcome. As for the Viking elements, they could be worse. There were some errors – especially toward the end – but author Kroese has clearly done some serious research, and he manages to craft a plausible Viking world.

First of a trilogy. Recommended, with cautions for language and violence.

2 thoughts on “‘The Dream of the Iron Dragon,’ by Robert Kroese”

  1. Based on your review here and Phil’s review of Aye, Robot, we found a couple of Kroese books in our local library. We are always on the lookout for something my wife can read to my teen daughters before bedtime. Yes, after 22 years of parenthood we still read bedtime stories in our house. We are now about halfway through The Big Sheep. We enjoy the very imaginative sci-fi that is Douglas Adams-esque in the characterization and plot twists. But we are rather disgusted with the constant vulgar language, the honoring of perversity, and incessant innuendo. Since the author highlights Calvin College as his alma-mater, we expected something more suitable for family reading. Perhaps we haven’t read enough modern literature to be jaded into accepting the “usual cautions” as something to be ignored or overlooked.

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