Friday Review: The Long Night of Centauri Prime (Legions of Fire #1) by Peter David

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This first installment in Peter David’s Legions of Fire trilogy, based on the scifi TV show Babylon 5, picks up almost immediately where the show left Londo Molari. He has been crowned Emperor of the new Centauri republic, but he also has been implanted with a Keeper by the Drakh. The Keeper is a sort of psychic symbiont that transmits Londo’s thoughts and feelings to his Drakh guardian. The Drakh plan to use the Centauri to launch an attack against the Alliance, and in particular, its president, John Sheridan. Londo is walking a fine line between rebuilding the Centauri Empire in his way and keeping the Drakh from knowing his defiance.

I loved Babylon 5, and have been reading the novels associated with the show for a long time. This one was a favorite, I have to admit. Mostly because Londo has always been a favorite character, and it was good to watch him grow and change over the course of the series. Here, he is left to lead the Centauri in their efforts to rebuild their planet after the Narn essentially destroyed it. But there are others with plans for the Centauri, as well. Particularly the Drakh who want to unravel the Alliance and bring down Sheridan.

The book here is not an action packed space adventure. This is much more internal, focusing on Londo’s troubled reign as emperor and his efforts to thwart the Drakh as best he can. Londo has changed from his first appearance on the Babylon 5 station, and here he continues to move along the new path he has chosen, even though he knows it can’t end well for him. His one-time assistant when stationed on B5, Vir, is here also, returning to Centauri Prime to find things have changed in the palace, and things have not. The entire story is more introspective and personal than action-adventure.

I enjoyed the book. I liked Londo as a character, and it was good to have some more insight into his character, motives, and plans.

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