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Patrick Hennesy (also known by his wife's family name, Carrera), a retired soldier, has his family taken from him in a terrorist attack on the building they were visiting. This, to Patrick, cannot stand. Using the money granted to him by another relative also killed in the attack, he builds an army to gain vengeance on the organization that made the attack.

Only there are more enemies awaiting him than he's aware of...

The books in the series as of April 2011:

  • A Desert Called Peace
  • Carnifex
  • The Lotus Eaters
  • The Amazon Legion

Also known as the Legion Del Cid series, or by the title of its first book (used by The Other Wiki)


This Series uses the following tropes:

  • Ace Pilot: Absent for the first 4 four books; the Legion's air force is oriented towards transport and close air support, and deliberately discourages prima donnas and pampered pilots.
  • Amazon Brigade: The focus of The Amazon Legion. Also a case of And Now for Someone Completely Different, as the first three books had focus on Carrera, with Ricardo Cruz as secondary protagonist.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The holder of the title of Marchioness of Amnesty (as in Amnesty International) at the beginning of the series is very much in the "evil" category. The original Marquis of Amnesty[1] and the two marchionesses who have been shown to hold the title prior to Captain Wallenstein being made Marchioness of Amnesty in The Lotus Eaters resemble the stereotypical depiction of the Marquis de Sade.
  • Author Filibuster: the first three books end with a long afterward as Kratman elaborates on themes contained therein. Averted in the afterward for Amazon Legions.
  • Author Tract: The series is basically how Kratman thinks the War on Terror should be fought.
  • Bad Dreams: Carrera is plagued by these, both over the murder of his family and, later, his nuking a city to get the family of the leader of the terrorists he was fighting in the first half of the series.
  • Badass Bystander: Reservist Private Hector Tippi, who foils a hit on Carrera with well-placed rifle fire.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • Tadeo Kurita, in Carnifex, is over 90 years old, but still as ready to fight for the Dos Lindas, losing his life in the process.
    • Mr. Nguyen, who helps the titular characters of The Amazon Legion in their guerrilla warfare campaign against the invaders, even though he's probably[2] well into his seventies by that point.
  • Badass Teacher: Professor Rafael Franco, aka Centurion Rafael Franco, Tercio Gorgidas. Handicapped Badass Jorge Mendoza later becomes this.
  • Badass Preacher: The Mullah of Pumbadeta, who swims across a river to bring intel to Sada's forces and identify rebel leaders against the Salafi Ikhwan.
  • Battle Couple: The Amazon Legion invokes this intentionally with the Tercio Gorgidas, a tercio (roughly equivalent of a regiment) comprised of homosexual male pairs who are married in a special ceremony, with an explicit nod given to the historical Sacred Band of Thebes.
  • Bigger Stick: Played with: Carrera and the Legion's command would like bigger sticks, but financial constraints force compromises. Examples:
    • Unable to afford the Zioni Chariot, the Legion settles for the Jaguar, a rebuilt Volgan White Eagle tank, which is generally inferior to most of the current generation main battle tanks; the Legion compromises by focusing on tactics that exploit the Jaguar's strengths and BFG.
    • The F-26 rifle is generally held to be the superior rifle on the planet, but it took six-odd years before the Legion was able to afford development and is still one of the most expensive rifles ever.
    • The Legion's fleet, while nonetheless capable of landing assault forces and suppressing piracy, cannot stand in the line of battle against a modern fleet.
  • Bilingual Backfire: In A Desert Called Peace, when the main protagonist is drowning his sorrows over the wife and children killed in a terrorist attack, he demonstrates to a woman insulting him in Spanish that he, too, speaks the language in spite of a conversation with the woman's friend being in English.
  • Bling of War:
    • Averted by the Legion, which prefers to keep decorations and medals lower key in comparison to other armies.
    • Played straight by Gallic General Janier's Custom Uniform, which is a reproduction of Napoleon's uniform.
  • Book Ends: Almost; the opening scene of A Desert Called Peace is the start of the denouement in Carnifex.
  • The Captain: Two of them - Roderigo Fosa, commander of the Legion's fleet, and Tadeo Kurita, who serves as his Mentor.
  • Cool Tank: The Volgan White Eagle, renamed Jaguar in Legion service. Colonel Sitnikov's sales pitch in A Desert Called Peace makes it sound like it's the greatest tank in the world; Carrera doesn't believe half of it, but the important thing is that the new tankers believe, for self confidence.
  • Custom Uniform:
    • General Janier's reproduction of Napoleon's uniform.
    • The kilts worn by Tercio Amazonas; it's mentioned that Carrera went to Secordia to personally find a custom tartan pattern that wasn't in use for them.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Balboa, for the most part. Amazon Legions mentions that the Church was not happy about the formation of Tercio Gorgidas and Tercio Amazonas.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Adnan Sada and the Salah al-Din Brigade, which fought hard and well against the Legion, before being forced to surrender. Carrera recruits him to his cause; later, when Sada becomes President of Sumer, he returns the favor, sending the Salah al-Din to Pashtia to help the Legion. The Lotus Eaters also implies that he'll be sending troops defend Balboa from the Tauran Union invasion.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In The Lotus Eaters, Legate Pigna gets wadded up paper thrown in his face and yelled at by Carrera, who was angry about how bureaucratized the Legion was getting in the year after his Heroic BSOD. The response? Plot with the enemy to overthrow the government.
    • Carrera's nuking the city to get at the family of the terrorist organization's leader. In Carnifex it was shown that his people could get at the family members with more selective means of killing.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Several times, including Carrera himself (see Bilingual Backfire) and others whose hearts had been broken.
  • EMP: EMP bombs using conventional explosives to create the pulse are deployed by the legion several times to knock out enemy electronics, particularly their communications.
  • Eye Scream: In the course of escaping the men sent to capture Carrera, in The Lotus Eaters, his wife tricks one of them into position to use a letter opener to kill him, stabbing the intruder through the eye.
  • Face Heel Turn: Legate Pigna.
  • False-Flag Operation:
    • Using Volgan troops in FSC Army battledress, the Legion launches one, correctly judging that the FSC will take the blame and credit.
    • Several progressives that are actively aiding terrorists are murdered by a special unit recruited from the surrendered Salah al-Din Brigade. It's made to look as if the terrorists themselves were committing the crimes, to discourage progressives from helping the terrorists by playing "hostage" for the sake of getting paid ransom money that went to the Salafi Ikhwan's coffers.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In broad strokes, the nations of Terra Nova roughly correspond to Earth. For example:
    • Balboa is Panama
    • The Federated States of Columbia is the United States of America.
    • Secordia is Canada.
    • The Tauran Union is the European Union, further divided:
      • Anglia is England.
      • Castile is Spain.
      • The Republic of Gaul is France.
      • Tuscany is Italy.
      • Haarlem is the Netherlands.
    • Cienfuegos is Cuba.
    • Cochin is Vietnam.
    • Zhong Guo is China.
    • The Volgan Republic, formerly the Volgan Empire, is Russia.
    • Zion is Israel.
    • Santander is Columbia.
    • La Plata is Argentina.
    • Xamar is Somalia.
    • Yamato is Japan.
  • A Father to His Men: Common among many officers and Centurions; notable examples are Sergeant Major Martinez and Centurion Garcia.
  • Four-Star Badass: Both Parilla and Carrera, until the former retires to run for President.
  • Feudal Future: The UN, after becoming a true world government for Earth, has over the centuries become this, with hereditary positions and a rather explicit caste system.
  • Fictional Document: The first three books have their chapters interposed with various fictional documents to build the setting.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: At the climax of Carnifex, Carrera invades Mustafa's fortress in Kashmir, ostensibly in pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Carrera is prepared to plant one of the Sumeri nukes recovered by the Legion in Sumer, ten years prior.
  • Groin Attack: Plenty of attacks on testicles and penises throughout the series, usually intentional, and never played for laughs.
  • Handicapped Badass: Jorge Mendoza, a tank driver, is blinded and loses his legs during A Desert Called Peace. In Carnifex, despite being blind, he stands with Cruz's reserve maniple as they face down a gang of street toughs.
  • Heel Face Turn: First, Sada and his men, though they were more Worthy Opponent figures. Secondly, Esteban, a guerrilla who surrenders to Cruz and later winds up as a Legion enlistee.
  • Heroic BSOD: At the end of Carnifex, Carrera collapses and slips into one of these both from the fatigue built up over the course of a long and hard campaign and the fact that he nuked a city.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Averted. Kratman has experience with the real thing, and it shows.
  • Hot Sub-On-Sub Action: A submarine battle occurs in The Lotus Eaters between a Gallic SSN and a Legion SSK. It ends up in a draw; the Legion sub kills the Gallic sub after being fired upon, but is brought down by a massed salvo of torpedoes from 4 Gallic frigates.
  • Honor Before Reason: When the Gauls prepare a power grab in Balboa, Carrera makes his intentions to destroy all Tauran Union forces in Pashtia clear. In a conversation with the Tuscan commander, the latter admits that he has no hope of winning against the Balboans, is desperately hoping to avoid combat, but is still willing to fight the Balboans and die because "Mine is an honorable country."
  • Human Popsicle: Colonists to Terra Nova were kept in cryogenics to cut down on consumables needed for the trip between the rift and the home planets of either star system, and make them easier to handle, particularly those who weren't making the trip voluntarily.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Lotus Eaters: in the Republic of Gaul's navy, "There is 'My God' and 'My ass', but there is no mon capitaine."[3]
  • It's Personal: The motivation for many members of the Legion entering the Global War On Terror In Space.
  • Kid with the Leash: Linda, Carrera's first wife, is explicitly stated as the only thing that reins in his darker tendencies. Cue Linda's death at the hand of terrorists...
  • Kid Hero: Hamilcar, Carrera's son, during his time in Pashtia.
  • The Laws and Customs of War: Given Kratman is both a former military officer and is trained to be a lawyer, these come up fairly frequently, often addressing misconceptions regarding the actual laws of war. Those who follow them, like Sada and the Salah al-Din Brigade, get treated decently, in accordance with the Laws of War. Those who don't, like the Salafi Ikhwan... don't.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Alena, a Pashtun girl introduced in '"Carnifex, is described as a witch who can see the future. Nobody - including herself - is quite sure whether she's just really smart and intuitive, or an actual seer.
  • The Messiah: Hamilcar is viewed as this by a tribe of Pashtun. He and his father disagree, but he's already fulfilled 5 out of 7 signs...
  • Punctuated Pounding: Marta Bugatti, to a panicking civilian in a bomb shelter they were occupying:

  "Will"-slap-"you"-slap-"shut"-slap-"the"-slap-"fuck"-slap-"up?"

  • No One Could Survive That: Cruz sets up an ambush on a guerilla camp with claymore mines and machine guns. When the smoke clears, he's surprised to find himself face to face with a surrendering guerrilla, the sole survivor.
  • Old Master: Tadao Kurita again. His skill is acknowledged by the FS Navy, and his account of the war is on Ham's required reading list.
  • Oh Crap: Happens multiple times throughout the series. Highlights include:
    • Cruz's reaction to grenade training.
    • Fosa realising that the merchant vessel he's escorting has been converted to a kamikaze ship aimed right at him.
    • Janier realising that his plans are falling to pieces.
  • One World Government: United Earth (UN's successor).
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The rift connecting Old Earth to Terra Nova is never really described in detail, but it acts like a wormhole.
  • President Corrupt: The president of Balboa, Manuel Rocaberti. Later replaced by Raul Parilla, President Personable.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Legion del Cid, initially. They later become an NGO Superpower, minting their own money and having a diplomatic service, and eventually become the army of Balboa.
    • When the Legion is first established, they hire a regiment of Volgan paratroopers as a mercenary opposing force cadre. Ten years later, by time of The Lotus Eaters, said regiment is now the 22nd Parachute Tercio of the Legion del Cid.
    • In The Lotus Eaters, Rocaberti hires several contractors for a hit on Carrera, which fails.
  • Ramming Always Works: Islamic terrorists attempt to ram the Legion carrier Dos Lindas, but instead get intercepted by the Heroic Sacrifice of one of the gunboats escorting it, that rammed the kamikaze cargo freighter before it could deliver its explosive cargo.
  • Recycled in Space: Terra Nova in the 25th century is much like Earth in the 21st century, alongside with the nations of Earth. There is a version of the novel Kratman had available for a time via his website and the Baen boards with the entire plot set in the aftermath of 9/11.
    • It's not just like 21st century Earth, it is a near direct copy of 21st century Earth with some name changes and an East/West swap. For example, Xavier Jiminez's last stand at the Estado Major, is identical to the last stand of the Commandacia in Panama.
  • Sadistic Choice: Carrera offers Mustafa the possibility of him sparing Mustafa's family in exchange for destroying the Ka'aba. Mustafa chooses to save his family, but Carrera nukes them anyway, to make a point to Mustafa that his faith was a lie.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: How Carrera solves the problems of Tercio Gorgidas and Tercio Amazonas: while the Senate won't fund the formation of a regiment of gays and a regiment of women, Carrera still has enough of his own fortune to fund the setup of both regiments.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Carrera's Legion uses this trope to threaten journalists, guerrillas, and suspected supporters of guerrillas.
  • Smug Snake: General Janier, the Gallic officer who plans the TU-backed coup against Carrera.
  • Shout-Out: Early in the first book, Carrera is mentioned to be translating a novel by an author known to those in the setting's time only as "RAH" into Spanish. From Carnifex onwards, Tropas del Espacio is required reading throughout the legion.
    • And then Jorge and Marqueli Mendoza write the text for the History and Moral Philosophy course that Franco teaches and Maria attends, in Amazon Legions.
    • The encyclopedia of choice referred to in the fictional documents is published by Baen Books.
  • Taking You with Me: Hunted by four Gallic frigates, the Captain of a Legion sub decides to invoke this.

  "Friends, we're dead. But we're going to sell ourselves dear."

  • Took a Level In Badass:
    • Secondary protagonist Ricardo Cruz, who goes from New Meat in A Desert Called Peace to Sergeant Rock by the time of The Lotus Eaters.
    • Maria Fuentes, protagonist of The Amazon Legions, who goes from runaway to Sergeant Rock.
  • Torture Always Works:
    • The Aesop is that torture works if you're both clever enough and ruthless enough about it.
    • Both subverted and played straight throughout the series. In Carnifex, a corrupt UN-Earth Admiral makes it clear that under torture a man will say anything. However, the terrorist chief who has captured him reminds him that this includes the truth, and that if he lies, they will continue to torture him until he speaks honestly.
    • In A Desert Called Peace, the Legion tricks an Amnesty Interplanetary investigator into taping them brutally interrogating several prisoners with mock hangings and blow torches, then storming into her press conference to reveal that everyone in her tape was actually a Legionary soldier and the whole thing was one big set up.
    • At the same time, the said Legion operates a ship[4] where captured Terrorists are subjected to horrific procedures, from dental drilling, to finger breaking, to sex change operations over a period of months to get them to give information. It is mentioned repeatedly that they verify all the information gained with that other prisoners and from intercepted messages. If the captured terrorists are found to be lying their parents are brought in.
  • Training From Hell: The Legion's basic training. Cazador school, required for command track for Officers and Centurions, ramps this Up to Eleven.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Carrera isn't quite ugly, but both his wives are hot. Also, Sergeant Major MacNamara and Miss Balboa, Artemensia Jimenez.
  • Worthy Opponent: Adnan Sada and the Salah al-Din Brigade, who fight courageously against the Legion in Sumer while remaining within The Laws and Customs of War. This later leads to a Heel Face Turn and Defeat Means Friendship.
  • Yamatan Christian: Kurita. Lampshaded by Fosa, who finds it odd that a good Catholic believes that ships and swords have souls.

Notes

  1. who basically bought the title and position with gold from Terra Nova, paid by Carrera's ancestor to buy arms to fight the proto-United Earth forces
  2. his age is never really specified
  3. "My captain", in case anyone was uncertain.
  4. reported, in an off-hand mental comment in The Lotus Eaters, as having been sunk once its purpose was fulfilled
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