Read Rules Of Engagement by Elizabeth Moon Online


"The Serrano Legacy," an entertaining SF sequence with strong female leads and a realistic space-military flavor, began with Hunting Party. Young lieutenant Esmay Suiza came to center stage in book 4: Rules of Engagement is book 5, continuing her story. Suiza may be a fine leader and tactician, but she doesn't know how to handle falling for Ensign Barin Serrano, a man she"The Serrano Legacy," an entertaining SF sequence with strong female leads and a realistic space-military flavor, began with Hunting Party. Young lieutenant Esmay Suiza came to center stage in book 4: Rules of Engagement is book 5, continuing her story. Suiza may be a fine leader and tactician, but she doesn't know how to handle falling for Ensign Barin Serrano, a man she outranks. Frictions in command training school worsen when well-born beauty Brun makes a play for Serrano: Suiza's explosion of temper blights her career. Then Brun falls into the hands of the series' most plausibly nasty villains to date, a murderous, Bible-thumping militia that controls several planets where women are kept down and--if they protest--are surgically deprived of their voices. Moon remarks: ... it would be not only useless but dishonest to pretend that the New Texas Godfearing Militia did not derive its nature from elements all too close to home, in Waco, Fort Davis, and even Oklahoma City. The "Nutex" have also grabbed a nuclear arms cache for Oklahoma-style terrorist bombing in Familias space, home of the Fleet in which Suiza and Serrano are officers. Multiple story lines cover Suiza's wrestle with her public and private life, Brun's sufferings and determination, Serrano's ups and downs with unwritten rules of command, and eventually a risky rescue mission into a Nutex solar system. Things work out excitingly and as they should. This is enjoyable interstellar adventure that is more harrowing than previous episodes. The next and final volume is Change of Command. --David Langford,

Title : Rules Of Engagement
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780671578411
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 512 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rules Of Engagement Reviews

  • Dan
    2019-01-21 00:00


  • Richard
    2019-01-15 20:13

    I want to say this was simply a bad book but I think that's just my disappointment with Elizabeth Moon for basically phoning it in. She adheres to the rather annoying trope of RAPE IS DRAMA that so turned me off Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. Which to me is just a sign of laziness. I also found it really annoying to have the author keep throwing in lines about the various rapes that are supposed to leave it up to our imaginations as to what happened, as lets be honest, there are only so many ways a woman or anyone for that matter can be sexually assaulted. And I really doubt a culture in which the discussion of sex is not any form of taboo would have people of any age think a line like "she didn't even know the words for what had been done to them". Either fade to black and skip to afterwards or be explicit. This 12a certificate non-sense is just insulting.The absurd bad guys, who are straight out of a cartoon except for all the rape and breeding of women, don't belong in this series that has been fairly realistic with it's setting so far. The space barbarians where are least a credible societal model rather than a bad joke at the expense of Texas.The thing that really did it for me though was her rewriting of Brun's character to something that only barely fit within the believable given how she developed over the first trilogy. I could hear Brun being stretched and twisted to fit into a shape that was more appropriate for her Bubbles persona.All in all I think I'm done with this series. Vatta Wars is a better series from the word go. The Familias Regnant series is so obviously a trial run that just went out of control.

  • Beth Cato
    2019-01-12 18:04

    Continuing with the Serrano Legacy series. This is the second book following Esmay Suiza.[return][return]After surviving and and refuting a hostile takeover of a spaceship, Esmay is excited to return to school on a command track. It looks like the worst is behind her, and she can become a better officer as a result. She doesn't count on the arrival of the Speaker's daughter, the vibrant and spoiled Brun. Brun latches onto Esmay--just what the overbooked student wants the least--and then starts making moves on Esmay's man. The situation spirals out of control, and after Brun leaves she ends up captive in an impossible situation... one that leaves Esmay disgraced, but ready to come to the rescue yet again.[return][return]I didn't like this book as much as the previous one. The drama wasn't of the space opera variety (not until the end), but more psychological. It was very difficult to read about Brun's situation as captive of a sort of super-future Texan polygamist cult. Esmay's travails were also of a more personal nature, and rather frustrating at times. Most importantly, the major inciting incident of the book didn't feel that horrible to me, because I felt Esmay's sentiments on Brun were quite true.[return][return]In all, an uneven read, but I'm continuing with the next two books in the series.

  • Peter Tillman
    2019-01-08 23:18

    Rules of Engagement is the sequel to Once a Hero (1997), and shares some supporting characters with the Heris Serrano trilogy (1993-95). It's reasonably self-contained, though you'll enjoy it more if you've read some of the preceding books, all of which I've liked.Esmay Suiza is a likeably nerdy young officer. Her heroic exploits overshadow her difficult childhood, her love life is terrible, she's had a bad-hair *life*... When Brun, rich, spoiled and beautiful, breezes into her life with hairdressing tips, and then goes after Esmay's secret beau... Well!Another reviewer, Christina Schulman, commented that "these confident, decisive people behave like insecure teenagers when they're thrown together at Command School..." Ah, but I think that's precisely Moon's point -- Cupid's tardy arrow will turn someone like Esmay, a seriously repressed over-achiever, to instant mush. Ms. Moon and I were classmates at Rice in the mid-60s (though I don't think we ever met), and I'm willing to bet she was a TRG, just as I was a TRB -- earnest, nerdy, bad hair, socially-awkward, sexually-repressed... oh god, it's excruciating just to think about those times...Anyway, Moon's delightfully Wodehousian aunts-in-space arrive just in time to save Esmay's butt (and career), and young love prevails. As usual, Moon's fast-&-furious action, meticulous military-medical backgrounding, and formidable storytelling skills carry the day.Rules of Engagement is Ms. Moon's fifth book set in her Familias Regnant universe -- an implausible interstellar constitutional-aristocracy with corruption/kleptocracy/rejuvenation problems -- threatened by, e.g., the Bloodhorde barbs-in-space (Once a Hero) and the NuTexas God-fearing Militia (Rules of Engagement). This background was light entertainment for the Heris Serrano books, but Ms. Moon seems to have somewhat deeper intentions for the Esmay Suiza books, and the backstory creaks ominously under the load. After this obligatory critical carp, I should note that she is just carrying on an historic space-opera convention, and the scratchy backstory will interfere little (if at all) with your reading pleasure. My 1999 review:

  • Kate
    2019-01-06 00:25

    This is the only Serrano book that I consistently skip. It has too many disturbing events for me to stomach. The main character, Brun, (view spoiler)[is repeatedly raped and then forced to give birth to the sons of her captors. (hide spoiler)]

  • Dev Null
    2018-12-29 22:24

    Enjoyed this; working my way through the series again, though I think this was the last one, last time I went through.Solid 3d characters. Interesting world. Action and politics. My one problem with this book is that the central conceit, around which everything else is based, feels so contrived. Brun, who we like from previous books, is the rich girl taking classes at the elite military academy - without enlisting - to try and gain some real world skills. And we like that about her... but she's still a dilettante. She doesn't get what she wants at one point and throws a major spoiled-brat temper tantrum. Esmay, who we also like from previous books, walked away from a privileged life to devote herself to the military. She's taking two sets of classes, so she's overworked and stressed, so when Brun drops the tantrum - including calling Esmay herself a "cold fish", and more-or-less lying to say that she's slept with Esmay's boyfriend - Esmay tells her she's behaving like a spoiled brat, and should grow up. Which she is, and should.After which incident everyone in the book, including a lot of Esmay's friends, treat her like she has tortured kittens in public. People make comments like "Wow; I'm glad _I'm_ not your enemy." She gets threatened with discharge from the military for goodness sake. And this isn't one person's reaction, its the universal reaction of every single person who sees the video of the confrontation (which gets out.) It was weird. I actually went back and re-read the section describing the confrontation again, because I was sure I must have missed something. Nope; she pretty much tells the kid behaving like a spoiled brat that she's behaving like a spoiled brat. And for this, everyone brands her as the Flanders Pigeon Murderer, and tries to drum her out of the corps. Its possible their society has different rules, and what she said really was quite awful to them, but we don't really get that from the book. Later, circumstances and backstabbing machinations make everyone's reaction worse, but it just rang a bit hollow because I knew they'd all seen the video of the actual confrontation, which really wasn't bad at all.However, despite my grumbling, it doesn't take much away from a good tale. It'd be like not liking Lord of the Rings because you thought Sauron putting so much of his power in the ring was silly; all right, maybe the premise feels weak, but the story is good. We get Moon's usual touch for gritty realism informing forensics and battles and rescues in space, with an interesting cast and a deep, well-fleshed-out world.A word of warning; there are some scenes and topics in this book I found disturbing. Not graphic, nor gratuitous, but skin-crawling all the same. Kidnapping, rape, and slavery all make an appearance.

  • G33z3r
    2019-01-17 20:08

    "Rules of Engagement" is a solid, old-fashioned space opera. It returns to the world begun with the Heris Sarrano trilogy, continuing the exploits of Lieut. Esmay Suiza that began in "Once a Hero". It also brings back another character from the Heris Serrano trilogy, Brun, a.k.a. "Bubbles". As with several of the predecessor novels, "Rules of Engagement" tells the story from half a dozen different characters' points of view. It's a good solid blend of action/adventure and character development. I thought the only weakness was the use of an extreme, fundamentalist religious cult as the villain of the piece (amazing one can get a whole planet full of these nut jobs mixing interstellar travel with a very low-tech culture of home-spun garments and agriculture. But then, this is Elizabeth Moon, who also manages to slip some horse-mounted foxhunting into her interstellar tales.)

  • Katie Bee
    2019-01-21 00:19

    This is my least favorite of the Serrano books so far. Why?* Brun's character suddenly changes from what it was in the earlier books, becoming very unlikeable in many ways, so that she can be used as a foil for Esmay and argue with her, setting in motion many of the events of the novel.* I don't believe that Esmay would have let the initial situation ((view spoiler)[that she was in love with Barin, and was jealous of Brun (hide spoiler)]) drag on like she did, or that she would have confronted Brun the way she did. * The "patriarchal religion world" has been done in a lot of books, and done better. This one was uncomfortable without being interesting or novel.* Trigger warning: (view spoiler)[Rape, murder, mutilation, brainwashing, enslavement, forced pregnancy - all sorts of really difficult material. (hide spoiler)]

  • Vickey Foggin
    2019-01-08 21:12

    Esmay and Brun are opposites that could have been the same given different circumstances. I liked the world-building in this one, I liked the kind of young-adult angst that developed between the characters, I liked the escapes and survival techniques. Did not so much like the rapes. Rape rape rape. So much effing rape. Super gratuitous. I flipped past the rape scenes and think most could have been left out.

  • Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
    2019-01-01 21:02

    It was this book plus the previous one that made me think that this setting was rape-culture-tastic. It's actually not that bad, but it was a major focus of this book and the one before it.This one was a bit heavy-handed with the moralizing, plus there was a subplot involving an antagonist that was just ... completely embarrassing/high school/love triangle yuck.

  • Leila P
    2018-12-28 23:16

    The first 100 pages were rather boring, but after that things started to happen and then I could not put the book down. Most gripping!

  • Joseph Santiago
    2019-01-01 00:26

    I enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. This was an easy read that got me solidly beginning to ask myself what I would do in the character's place. It is a hard one to review without giving away spoilers but I am beginning to see how the author is pushing back against gender stereotypes with these characters. This was a good read.Mr. Joe

  • Sarah
    2018-12-25 19:10

    A good book that keeps you interested. I enjoyed it and Elizabeth Moon does a good job of sucking you into the story. I found the whole capture and imprisonment hard to read in parts although I couldn't put it down. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

  • Marsha Wilcox
    2018-12-26 20:10

    This was my intro to Elizabeth Moon's engaging, fast-paced, believable style -- I was hooked! Had to buy the ones that came before, and the ones after. Then Vatta's War ... I want The Speed of Dark. What IS the speed of dark, anyway?

  • JoEllen
    2019-01-01 00:14

    Well, the author redeemed herself with a fine story. She never really answered my previous questions, but the results were more than satisfying, anyway.

  • Lushr
    2019-01-13 21:02

    trigger warning: sexual assault, slavery, physical assaultbasically i stopped reading this. why would i want to read this? i’m quite angry at the way Moon has destroyed unique unusual women almost systematically throughout this series as though to make a point. it’s not appreciated.i wanted to read sci fi with female protagonists. i read fiction, science fiction to exercise my imagination and escape the stress of reality. if i wanted to read about sexual slavery i’d have gotten a non-fiction book on the topic. i would not be reading science fiction with female protagonists.i won’t touch the rest of this series, and may not read any more Moon. wishing i could get a refund.

  • Margaret
    2019-01-11 22:08

    Reasonable scifi

  • Alex
    2018-12-25 17:26

    "Rules of Engagement" is the second book I've read from Elizabeth Moon and it is reasonably good. It is the sequel to "Once a Hero" which I liked a lot.The Story: In the previous book Esmay Suiza has shown great promise as a command track officer in the space navy so in this book she goes back to the Academy for additional training in leadership and formal training in battlefield escape and evasion.... like she needs it to get a formal assignment. At the Academy she meets a rich girl, the daughter of the Speaker, who tries to befriend her but it all goes wrong and soon the Speaker has blamed Esmay for the trouble and also the Serrano family because Admiral Serrano had recommended the Academy for "his little girl". Soon "his little girl" gets into BIG trouble and needs Esmay to bail her out. You knew it was going to happen.If you read Once a Hero you know that this is all about Esmay's stunted emotional growth. She was abused as a child and never grew to trust men. Now that she is over that problem, she is way behind in her emotional growth so she is making blunders that most people worked out in high school. But she manages.I won't say more.Elizabeth Moon is an Austin, Texas writer and she's pretty good. She tends to focus on women's feelings and while I'm OK with that, I always worry that her male characters might suffer for it. Luckily she handles male characters (the main characters) just fine. Not perfect, but reasonable. In this book some of the male characters are cartoonishly macho. She does that for a reason.... something similar to how David Weber handled his religious villains in "The Honor of the Queen". They had to be cartoonish or else the book would become oppressive social commentary rather than a fun science fiction story. In the preface to the book the author makes it clear that she was tempted to turn the book into social commentary but resisted the temptation. Good for her.I don't recall much cursing but there must have been some. There was sex...rape actually. I was most unhappy with that but it fit into the context of the story. Violence against women is fairly bad in this book, even aside from the rape. This is probably not a book for kids... but maybe high school kids. That sounds right but I'd have to think about that. Religion does not fair well in this book although it is also cartoonish so it is hard to take the implied criticism seriously. Finally, she leaves a loose end dangling and I don't think she does it well. The book has a good ending. Everyone can be reasonably satisfied and there always a few loose ends as a book finishes but they are left dangling gracefully. There was a side thread running through the book which the reader would expect to have been addressed by the end of the book.... not resolved... but at least acknowledged and set aside as a mystery to be solved later. Yet... nothing. It just trails off and the reader is left to think it was nothing at all. I really doubt that it was nothing at all. It was probably the seed for the next book. I'll find out when I get the next book..."Change of Command".I own this book so I'll probably read it again, but if it was a library book I probably wouldn't unless the third book turns out to be really good. We'll see.

  • Gemma
    2018-12-26 19:09

    Rules of Engagement continues the story of Esmay Suiza, who is now undergoing training in Command track. The change of scenery (as it were) was refreshing, however I decided on three, rather than four, stars because some of the main themes were a bit similar: we have the 'bad guys' (in this case, the Nutex Militia) treating women as property (once again including rape and mutilation), and a single event on behalf of Esmay (and argument between her and Brun, which was conducted in Esmay's supposed private quarters, and not in public) changing everyone's opinions (a lot of whom, being experienced adults, should know better) on her suitability in Command.Aside from the above gripes, I still found it to be an enjoyable read (as I have felt with the others in the series) and will happily be reading it (and the others) again.

  • Rbette1299
    2019-01-13 16:06

    I really struggled with this story. Either the author is a Southern bigot, except of course for Texas where she lives, or she couldn't make up her mind which one of the many ethnicities or sects through out the world that are known for raping and impregnating unwilling women to use in this book. There are a lot of these sub human men in the news what with the middle east conflict and the sexual proclivities and anti feminism of many European migrants. I did manage to finish the book but it is far and away the most repulsive book of hers that I have read. The other issue she pounds on is natural birth versus genetically modified humans and she definitely is in favor of playing God and genetically modifying humans probably to weed out those raping Southerners. I gave it a 1 to write this review but it was a waste of time. I don't like to read stories where bigotry is on the main theme.

  • hrh
    2019-01-06 00:04

    Lower rating than usual because Moon shows her uneducated bias in placing her male brutality religious cult in Old Earth Texas as some offshoot of Christianity - when the real-world reality is that her fictional cult's beliefs and actions match Sharia Law Islam to the letter. Would she dared have placed her men-abusing-women cult in Old Earth Saudi Arabia or Iran? In general, as a science fiction reader it is always disappointing when otherwise great, intelligent writers show their extreme bias and ignorance regarding Christianity. It really takes this reader completely out of their stories.I've gone on to the next in the series, "Change of Command," based on Moon's other fine writing qualities of character and plot. I hope she sticks to what she does best - and stays away from what she doesn't know anything about.

  • springsnotfail
    2019-01-05 16:27

    I really struggled to get through this book, not because it wasn't well-paced and a good story, but because I felt like the progress the characters made in the last books and previous trilogy was reversed for the purpose of plot. I found Brun extremely annoying, but I also found the forced-pregnancy and rape plots really, really upsetting, especially as it felt, in parallel with the plotline about the ambitious lieutenant with her sights on Barin, like the book was about brutally punishing women for enjoying sex and using their own physical desirability. I felt like I was being encouraged to feel like Brun had met her just desserts, which was very upsetting. Also, the obstacles to the romance between Esmay and Barin were REALLY DUMB. JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER!

  • Unwisely
    2019-01-08 17:23

    I read this book in a day. There were some external circumstances that helped this along, but, it was a pretty engrossing yarn. More Esmay Suiza, Brun, and Barin Serrano. This time their hijinks involved a kidnapping by the New Texas Godfearing Militia, a group who believes that only men have the right to speak, tradition gender roles are god-ordained, etc etc. There is schooling, there is backstabbing, there is formal misunderstanding, and the action is, as usually, mostly women-driven. The one complaint I have is that the series finally fell into the raped-or-pregnant trap. Which I hate. But, I suppose it was inevitable. *sigh* Overall a good read, which opens still leaves enough open for the sequel to resolve.

  • Laura
    2019-01-13 19:21

    I am in awe of the diversity of Elizabeth Moon's writing. She is equally at home in a full-blown space opera or a world of high fantasy. Rules of Engagement is one of her space books. This book focuses for much of the time on Esmay Suiza, not a Serrano ((view spoiler)[yet! (hide spoiler)]), but a friend of Serranos. I loved Esmay's character. And we see more of Brun. she seems to have lost some of the character growth she experienced in the first 3 books, but events conspire in this book to force her character into some serious development. Some of it wasn't easy to read. But the story was engaging, and the world/universe was well developed.

  • Jennifer Heise
    2019-01-07 16:13

    Like the other books in the series, more or less standard military science fiction, but with a non-traditional female focus. I liked this almost as much as Once a Hero, despite the fact that the plotting (involving a religious MRA 6-planet society and a daring rescue) had huge holes you could drive a truck through. Doesn't matter. I liked many of the characters, I liked the character driven plot, and I admired Moon's touch with making even the worst characters have human elements. I admire Esmay Suiza's character and still understand her difficulties; the same with Brun Meager. Still, there were many people I would have happily slapped in the story, also. Bunny Thornbuckle among them.

  • Faith
    2019-01-15 16:20

    Not the best entry in the series -- probably the weakest, actually, but entertaining nonetheless. Started out interesting, then dragged a bit, then picked up again once the escape got going properly. I missed the politicking, as this book is the most narrowly focused in the series to date -- and I'm here to read about the Familias, not alt-Texas. But the few hints dropped here and there indicate that trouble is brewing, albeit offscreen, and hopefully all this Rejuvenation business will be resolved in the next two books.

  • Lorena
    2018-12-30 19:01

    My least favorite in the series. Part of me wonders if this book was written before any of the others, because it seemed that a lot of the characters - especially Brun - had a huge emotional backslide that made them as annoying, if not more annoying, than the were in the first book in the series. I kept reading because at this point I'd read four of them, and had two more to go after this one, but I have to admit it was a bit of a slog towards the end. This is one of my favorite authors, though, and I understand that not everyone can hit one out of the park every time.

  • Scott Stillman
    2018-12-30 17:05

    Brun is abducted by the "New Texas Godfearing Militia" after she storms out of the Fleet training back on Copper Mountain having had a very public argument with Esmay. Esmay, staggering under a heavy course load, finds Brun to be shallow and far to interested in Barin Serrano her secret love.Brun is to be turned into a "proper wife" by the religious zealots and video of this transformation is sent back to the familias and Brun's father, the speaker. Esmay is blamed. Fun ensues.

  • Steven Allen
    2019-01-20 19:30

    Much more politics in this book, but I like how Esmay is growing as a character. I did call that she would marry into the Serrano family, as that was a no-brainer. Not a whole lot of action in this book, it is more political and relationship heavy than action. I do like the fact that Moon does not write "damsel in distress" SciFi like some authors. She writes strong women who are still women, without sounding like any of the usual cliches.

  • Choko
    2019-01-06 16:30

    This was not an easy book to read, but not due to the quality of writing. Stories do not always go how we want them to, as hard as it is for us readers to accept. I love Brunes' character and the arc here was not merciful to her, and there was a lot of childish drama, but it was justified in this context. I found nothing wrong with this installment apart from it not going the way I wanted...