History Main / PrinceRoger

27th Mar '13 2:38:10 AM Nohbody
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26th Mar '13 11:02:40 PM Xtifr
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a.k.a. ''The Empire of Man'' series or the ''March Upcountry'' series.

A series by DavidWeber and Creator/JohnRingo. Prince Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang [=MacClintock=] was the third and youngest child of Alexandra VII, Empress of Man. Roger is TheUnfavorite of his mother, considered a foppish clotheshorse who looks a bit too much like his [[{{Bishonen}} father]] for his mother to trust him. With a crisis on the horizon he's sent off to represent the Royal family in a sector capital's chief festival. During transit the crisis starts for real with an attempt on his life. The destroyer transporting him is sabotaged, but Roger and his battalion of [[SpaceMarine Marines]] manage to land on a primitive planet on the farside of the planet from the Imperial trading post.

Most of the first three books deal with character development while Roger and his Battalion of Marines march toward the spaceport. The fourth deals with the consequences of their actions and what has happened while they've been out of contact.

!!Books:
* ''March Upcountry'' (2001)
* ''March to the Sea'' (2001)
* ''March to the Stars'' (2003)
* ''We Few'' (2005)

Ringo is currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled ''Rage of the Seraphs'', from which he's posted snippets on his Website/{{Facebook}} page.

----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: [[PunnyName Ima Hooker]], amongst other characters, were given some importance in the first book. They're [[AnyoneCanDie slaughtered within minutes]] of the second book.
* ActionGirl: Naturally, all female marines. (They do come from a society with gender-equality, after all.) More notable would be the few Mardukan females that qualify: Sena and Pedi, two of the most deadly martial artists in the series.
* AndIMustScream: The narration of the toot zombie early in the first book states that deep inside, the real person is struggling not to do what she's doing.
* AnyoneCanDie: Except for the title character, do not take anyone else's life as a given.
** DeadSidekick: [[spoiler:Kostas,]] who was EatenAlive. Doubles as a SacrificialLion.
** DwindlingParty: Down to only 12 by the time they leave Marduk.
* {{Badass}}: Prince Roger, of course. Rastar and Pedi stand out from the BadassCrew as well.
* BadassCrew: Bronze Company and the ''Basik's'' Own.
* BadassFamily:
--> '''Helmut''': I'd like to see what could change a clothes horse into a...
--> '''Julian''': Just say a [=MacClintock=].
* BarSinister: The flag of the ''Basik'''s Own wears one for Roger.
* BearsAreBadNews: Though not for the good guys in this case. Althari are bear-like aliens whose females are {{Proud Warrior Race G|uy}}irls.
** It's worth pointing out though, that they're a race of huge ''koala bear''-looking aliens.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Roger and Despreaux have this, if only because Roger begins with ''no'' idea how to interact with a woman who genuinely likes him and is not after something.
* {{BFG}}: Par for the Marine course. Bead and plasma cannons, which Mardukans can wield one-handed. All of Pol's weapons -- he's huge even for a Mardukan and can carry vehicle-mounted weaponry. Even Roger's "smoke pole" is big for a chemical-propellant firearm.
* BodyguardCrush: Despreaux and Roger (genderswapped as she is part of his Marine guard). Also the Empress and her paladin in the fourth book.
* BoomHeadshot: Roger's specialty. He astonishes the Captain of his bodyguard when he gets seven in half as many seconds at a reverse-ambush.
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: Guard bodybags have an auto-cremation function so that the fallen can be taken home to bury without overburdening the survivors with the weight.
* CampStraight: Roger is a LongHairedPrettyBoy who loves clothes, and has never shown any sexual interest in any of the women (or men) at court. His butler is so used to the question he laughs at Despreaux's tentative query into his orientation.
* CardSharp: Poertena. Then he makes the mistake of teaching his four-armed friends a few tricks...
** A hilarious scene happens at the beginning of ''March to the Sea'' when Prince Roger [[HustlingTheMark asks him how to play Spades]].
** Turns out all Mardukans love this trope. If you aren't cheating, you're stupid. If you are and get caught, you're incompetent. They spend half the time bragging about how good they are at cheating and the other half denying, tongue-in-cheek, that they'd ever stoop to it. Standard Mardukan poker rules give every player the right to call a card check once per game.
* CassandraTruth: Soon after crashing on Marduk, several Marines needlessly die in an animal attack because the commanding officer refused to listen to Roger who, as an experienced hunter, recognized warning signs.
* CharacterDevelopment: Mostly focused on Roger himself as he has to stop being a RoyalBrat and becomes a {{badass}}.
* ChekhovsGun: The Marine bodies entombed at Voitan. [[spoiler:It tips off a friendly spy in book 3.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Admiral Helmut. Thomas Catrone.
* ChekhovsSkill: Prince Roger and geology. It plays a minor role in the first book, and it plays a more important role in the third.
* [[ClusterFBomb Cluster P Bomb]]: Poertena is unable to form a sentence without every third word being some variation of the word "pock". He's threatened in order to make him stop doing it, but he can't help it.
* CoolPet: Dogzard. Patty.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The Marines' equipment supplier. "Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder", indeed - this kills a ''third'' of the Marines.
* CorruptPolitician: The Parliamentary faction seeking to overthrow Roger's mother isn't portrayed at all positively.
* CunningLinguist: Roger and O'Casey both have UniversalTranslator program in their "toot" implants that let them quickly learn new languages and dialects and then share with the other marines. On the Marduk side, Denat is an absolute natural at learning new languages (and at pretending to be too much of a [[ObfuscatingStupidity dumb barbarian]] to eavesdrop on people).
* TheDandy: Prince Roger, before his CharacterDevelopment. He even tries to get his Marines to lug his UnlimitedWardrobe with them.
* DeadBecauseOfMe: Prince Roger goes through a lot of SurvivorGuilt as he sees more and more people die on his behalf, especially when it's the result of one of his many (usually minor) lapses in judgment.
* DeathWorld: Marduk qualifies due to the large and angry (and more common than should be ecologically possible, until justified) wildlife, but the sneaky, venomous wildlife is NightmareFuel as well.
* DesignerBabies: One of Roger's ancestors had some illegal work done, leaving him with inhuman reflexes and endurance, as well as low-light vision and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking really nice hair]].
* DestructiveSavior: Erkum Pol, thanks to ATeamFiring combined with being able to wield [[{{BFG}} vehicle-mounted weaponry]].
** The Mardukans in general during the assault to capture transport off-planet. Mardukans + plasma cannons + shipboard combat = a ship full of holes.
* DidYouJustHaveSex: Julian to Roger after Roger and Nimashet finally get it together.
--> '''Julian:''' My, Your Highness, you're looking chipper today.
--> '''Roger:''' Oh, shut up, Julian.
* DirtyCoward: Prince Jackson Adoula. [[spoiler:Runs away as the counter-coup starts and sacrifices underlings several times just to save his skin.]] Also, his co-conspirator [[spoiler:New Madrid, Roger's father,]] who is pretty much unable to handle meeting Roger.
* DoomedHometown: Therdan, for Rastar, Honal, and their people.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: Cord comes "into season" while recovering from injuries. As the attendant problems might compromise his recovery, his apprentice Pedi takes care of him. As an additional complication, he did have feelings for Pedi but refused to act on them because he felt it was inappropriate.
* DumbMuscle: Erkum Pol. He is huge, even for a Mardukan, and at one point takes out four people simultaneously with a table. His response to anything and everything said by an officer is "Yes, sir".
* TheEmpath: Phaenurs, a race of centaroid-lizards whose abilities make them {{Living Lie Detector}}s. They are one of the only races never to engage in physical war or have never engaged in cannibalism. I say "physical war," because they do have societal conflicts -- they're just compared to having a JewishMother writ large.
* TheEngineer: Poertena is The Mechanic. Pahner and Julian are very technically savvy as well, and all of the Guard can function as The Combat Engineer with their demo experience. The former Laborers of God can all fulfill the Support Engineer role since their old job was to build levies, dams, canals, and other civilian, fortification-like structures.
* EnsignNewbie: Captain Pahner realizes Prince Roger is this after Roger asks to be called "Colonel [=MacClintock=]" during a planning session.
* EverythingIsTryingToKillYou: If it's not the HungryJungle, it's the oppressive heat; if it's not the barbarian hordes, it's the Byzantine politics.
* {{Expy}}: Kny Camsen is basically GenghisKhan, in the early days.
* ExtendedDisarming: Pedi Karuse in ''We Few''.
* FanNickname: The Series That Must Not Be Named, a result of the authors' typical reaction to frequent questions about when it'll resume.
* FantasticCavalry: The elephant-sized, heavily clawed, triceratops-like ''flar-ta'' and the horse-sized, omnivorous, velociraptor-like ''civan''. The latter is often fed from the dead enemies on a battlefield and will try to take a bite from their riders when in an ill mood or hungry.
* TheFashionista: Pedi Karuse. It falls behind both her ({{lampshaded}}) FieryRedhead personality and being a {{Badass}} as a defining trait for her, but she's the ''only'' fashion & makeup loving Mardukan (since most came from cultures that didn't wear clothes), and she's the only woman of any species to qualify on the team as well.
** Roger was, of course, TheDandy. See above.
* FriendlyFireproof: Played with. When the group is ambushed by a horde of natives and forced to melee, Price Roger picks up a grenade launcher and ''fires it into the mixed group''. On the one hand, this is smarter than it sounds since the light armor marines wear will protect them from the worst the damage, and it would shred the natives. On the other hand, they could've broken the assault without it, and he cost the team needless broken bones and minor shrapnel injuries.
* FunetikAksent: Poertena and others from Pinopa.
* GenderBender: The "[[BiggusDickus embarrassingly male]]" Mardukans are actually female by biological definition, based on the fact that they produce ova. Their "penis" is actually an ovipositor (egg-placer), and the actual males are the gender that receives the eggs, fertilize them, and carry them to term. After this is initially sorted out, the series continues to go with calling the biologically female gender "male" based on their appearance and societal role.
** Also, Julian suggests disguising Prince Roger by giving him a sex change.
*** He DOES suggest they could give one to Despreaux, as well.
* GunAndSword: Prince Roger.
* GunStripping: Happens a good bit because this is a military squad in a hostile environment that really does need to clean and maintain its gear, but special recognition goes to Julian, who can strip down a 40-piece plasma rifle in 7 seconds.
* TheGunslinger: Rastar Komas Ta'Norton, last prince of Therdan. Master of the QuickDraw, 4-armed GunsAkimbo, and ImprobableAimingSkills, all at once while sometimes riding a dinosaur. He's even quicker than ''Roger'' and can pull off ShootingItOutOfTheirHands.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Roger. Before the start of the story, there is only one person in the universe that likes and trusts him -- his valet. His tutor, his mother, and his siblings have ambiguous feelings about him, and everyone else thinks he's a useless prat. [[spoiler:And then while he's on Marduk, the villains finger him as a traitor, which everyone is all too willing to believe.]]
* HeroicBSOD: What happens to [[spoiler:Empress Alexandra VII]], after the [[spoiler:painful AwesomeMomentOfCrowning]] of Roger [=MacClintock=].
** Also happens to Roger a few times -- first when he discovers exactly ''why'' he's trapped on a stinking hellhole of a planet, and then when [[spoiler:his lifelong servant and surrogate father get killed.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: Standing orders for the Empress' Own.
** [[spoiler:Rastar, [[YouShallNotPass holding a gate into the Imperial Palace]].]]
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: From the beginning, Prince Roger never liked himself thanks largely to [[WellDoneSonGuy his mother's ambiguous treatment of him]] and to his own awareness of what a whiny prat he was. It takes him quite a while, with a lot of backsliding thanks to guilt over the deaths of his people, to grow past this.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Krindi Fain and Erkum Pol.
* HiddenDepths: Prerequisite for acceptance to the Empress' Own. TheCaptain is a pretty good machinist, [[SergeantRock the senior NCO]] is a skilled seamstress, the armorer is [[ChekhovsSkill a journeyman shipwright]], their [[AcePilot best pilot]] is a CombatMedic, [[TheLoad the Prince]] is an amateur geologist, one of their heavy gunners is [[BreadEggsMilkSquick an accomplished car thief]]...
* HumansAreSpecial: Not pushed all that much but the inevitable conclusion when there are several species of sentient aliens but of the six interstellar nations only one is non-human and even then humans make up a significant minority of the three race alliance.
* HungryJungle: Featuring hyper-aggressive herbivores, vampire moths, and flesh-dissolving "killerpillars."
* ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin: Some Mardukan poisons have no effect on humans, and even have nutrients the humans need. This ends really, really horribly for a Mardukan traitor in the first book.
* IOweYouMyLife: D'Nal Cord to Roger, and later, Pedi Karuse to Cord.
* ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder: Zig-zagged with Dobrescu. First, he protests that he's a shuttle pilot, not a medic (his MOS is shuttle pilot, but he is trained as a medic too). Then he gets to start treating Mardukans...
--> '''Dobrescu:''' I'm a goddamned medic, not a xeno-surgeon.
** Somewhat of a RunningGag for the character as he asked to be a backup astrogator (he refuses) and to pretend to be a real estate agent (which he does).
** Amanda Beach is "an astrogator, not an engineer." (She does a fine job of the later, anyway.)
* InfoDump (doubling as SceneryPorn): When the protagonists arrive [[spoiler:in the abandoned city of Voitan]], a conversation between Prince Roger and Gunny Jin is interrupted after two lines with a full two pages of scenery and battle lines.
* InsultBackfire: One of the supporting characters is a Satanist. Her (originally Catholic) planet got this way during a religious civil war, in which one side demonized the other as Satanists. The other side accepted and maintained the term, having decided that given the evil of their opponents, Satan must actually be good.
** Notably, this is not a case of GodIsEvil; rather, the Satanists believe that there's so much suffering because the angels are keeping God imprisoned, and Satan is rebelling against those angels to rescue God. Her home planet provides a ''worryingly'' large proportion of its population to the military - when Armageddon comes, ''they will be ready''.
* InterruptedIntimacy: When Pahner walks in on Eva and Julian. Done with malice aforethought with Roger & Nimashet.
* IronicEchoCut: In ''March to the Stars'':
--> '''Pahner''': "I almost wish he was still considered incompetent. Maybe then I'd have sent a decent sized force to look after him." (cut)
--> '''Roger''': "You know," [as Roger fights], "I could wish that Pahner didn't have so much confidence in me!"
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: When [[spoiler:Despreaux is kidnapped]], Roger almost cuts the messenger's hand off to feed to an ''atul'' to find out [[spoiler:where she is]]. He only holds back at all because [[spoiler: [[MoralityChain she wouldn't approve]].]]
* KickTheDog: Governor Mountmarch. Bad enough that he's a Saint-sympathizer. But when they take the spaceport, they find him [[spoiler:with a naked ten-year old boy in his bed]].
* KillerRabbit: '''Humans''', to Mardukans. We look like a large version of a weak, stupid, easily scared prey animal that's usually hunted by children by scaring them into a circle and clubbing them to death. Only we don't even have horns, claws, or armor. And our smiles look like the expression they make right before being clubbed. Fortunately, Mardukans learn ''quickly'' to take humans seriously.
** Honored when "The Basik's Own" forms and takes a nastily smiling ''basik'' as its banner.
** Even better, ''basik''/''vern'' are explicitly compared to rabbits several times.
* KlingonPromotion: It's [[spoiler:Boman tribal]] tradition for a war chief to be "anointed in the blood of his fallen predecessor." This isn't quite ChallengingTheChief, because the previous chief loses his place/head by group consensus, not ritual combat.
* LeeroyJenkins: '''Roger'''. Much to the ''constant'' despair of his bodyguards. In the second book, it actually gets discussed - now that Prince Roger has turned himself around ''and'' has proven himself to be a capable leader, the Marines (and Mardukians) willingly follow him into dangerous situations. Pahner has to lay this out for him, telling him that, with each heroic action he does, he risks another Marine (and a nice dosage of guilt).
* LittleMissBadass: Pedi Karuse. Small and underage-looking. [[spoiler:Pregnant.]] And still capable of wiping the floor with her enemies in job lots, armed or unarmed, chained or free.
* TheLoad: How the marines view Roger at first. Mostly justified (99%) because he's a spoiled clothes horse with three feet of gorgeous blond hair famous for throwing snit fits. Somewhat unjustified in that, for example, the first time he kills something he gets thoroughly yelled at despite the fact that it was, essentially, a Cape Buffalo[[hottip:*:One of the most dangerous animals in the world]] the size of a house, and he did so because he recognized that it was a highly territorial herbivore (like a Cape Buffalo).
** They begin to realize he's not TheLoad when they learn that his extensive experience on safari makes him well qualified to survive a dangerous jungle. Also, he slaughters six enemies in as many seconds with perfectly aimed head shots. [[CaptainObvious That is not easy]]. Not even with cybernetics.
* LowerDeckEpisode: Anything involving Krindi Fain in ''March to the Sea''.
* TheMafiya: Roger's crew runs into some interference from local organized crime in ''We Few'' which seems to be the Russian mob. Unfortunately for Siminov, he fails to take hints that he's biting off more than he can chew by trying to muscle in on the prince's cover operation.
* TheMagnificent: A future historian looking back on the events of the books says that the writers of his time called Prince Roger [[spoiler: Roger the Terrible, Roger the Mad, the Tyrant, the Restorer, or even the Kin-Slayer. Ouch. Talk about ZeroPercentApprovalRating.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Pedi and Cord. Directly named by Roger.
* MindRape: What's done to [[spoiler:Empress Alexandra VII]] while the eponymous prince is stranded on Marduk, [[spoiler:by the usurpers to the throne of the Empire of Man.]]
** Oh, and it's backed up [[spoiler:with real rape too]].
** Also, toot zombies.
* MoralityChain: Despreaux is specifically groomed to be this for Roger. It works, too.
* MisterSeahorse: Technically, Mardukan "women" are male, and vice versa. The "men" have an ovipositor that resembles human male genitalia. But in fact, the men ovulate and implant the ova into a woman, who fertilizes the egg and carries it to term.
* MoreExpendableThanYou: Captain Pahner and his Marines make it painfully clear that no matter what they think of the Prince, their duty is to protect him at all costs, up to and including throwing their lives away to get between him and a threat. As the March continues, Roger comes to accept this, while at the same time taking a more and more active role in his own protection - to the point where [[InvertedTrope the tables get turned]], and Pahner finds himself in the position of relying on Roger to save the Marines, when it's supposed to be vice-versa. Gets deadly serious in the third book when [[spoiler:they find out Roger is suddenly the one-and-only Heir to the Throne, making him absolutely unexpendable]] ... and then even more seriously [[InvertedTrope flipped again]] when things get so desperate that even Roger himself becomes expendable:
--> '''Roger:''' The mission is to safeguard the ''Empire'', Captain. Safeguarding ''me'' is only part of that. ... [The Empress] can [[spoiler:make a new heir. If she wants to, she can use DNA from John and Alexandra's dad.]] The ''mission'', Captain, is "Save the Empire."
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: All the Mardukans, which evolved from a six-limbed, amphibious ancestor. Special credit to Rastar, who can [[DualWielding quadruple-]][[UpToEleven wield]] pistols and still fire all of them with pinpoint accuracy.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: Denat accidentally does this.
--> "I greet you in the name of The People." He hoped he'd all the sounds right. Some of the words were the same, but accented so differently as to make them nearly unintelligible.
--> "Denat," Julian said over the earbud the intel NCO'd installed," if you're having translation problems ask me. I'll give you the right words. You just said 'I sneeze you in the name of The Idiots."
* MySensorsIndicateYouWantToTapThat: Subverted. [[spoiler:Julian is monitoring Despreaux's blood pressure and heartrate. When both go up, she's having an argument with Roger. When the heart rate goes up and the blood pressure drops, it's time to send in a MomentKiller.]]
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: The Boman [[spoiler:kill their clever and adaptable war chief when he decides ''not'' to rush enemy fortifications in a [[LeeroyJenkins suicidal berserk charge]].]]
* [[spoiler:TheObiWan]]: Captain Pahner
* OldMaster: D'Nal Cord. He's almost retirement age, and a shaman of his people. And he takes Roger under his slimy wing.
* OverlyLongName: Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang [=MacClintock=] (and the rest of his family).
** Pedi Dorson Acos Lefan Karuse, Daughter of the King of the Mudh Hemh, called the Light of the Vales.
* PardonMyKlingon: Pocking pock, modderpocker.
** The Saints use "pollution" as their go-to swear word.
** Diasprans use "Water!" or "polluted water" since they worship water as a god.
** Kosutic, as a Satanist, uses "Papists" where most people would use devil-worshippers and swears by "His Wickedness" where most people would swear by Jesus.
* ParentalSubstitute: Kostas & eventually Captain Pahner for Roger. Roger also mentions that a need for one may have been an unconscious influence behind his interest in sports.
* PathOfInspiration: The Church of Ryback, the religion behind the "Saints," which believes that humans should return to Earth and undo all the damage they've done to nature on other worlds. The problem is that they go ''way'' beyond this simple mission into outright hating ''all'' sentient life outside of their own faith, they ruthlessly treat all rivals and their own lower-classes as non-persons, and they engage is pretty much every act of environmental hypocrisy or "can't see the forest for the trees" behavior possible. Worse, some of their fundamentalists are even rumored to [[EatsBabies eat babies as a means of population control]].
* PercussiveMaintenance: Poertena's [[FunetikAksent pig pocking wrench]], the twist being it's actually better than the standard procedure on jammed powered armor.
* PlaceWorseThanDeath: For the unprepared (everybody), it's Marduk. Also, any of the Saints' worlds that are being "reclaimed from humanity's taint". Slave labor provided from captured enemies, political prisoners, and dissidents, all plucking weeds and other Terran plants from the ground. By hand. To "minimize the footprint" caused by, say, basic biological processes like excrement, they're given less than a thousand calories of food a day. Death is kinder.
* PlanetOfHats: Pinopa is a planet of many islands and few continents primarily settled by Polynesians who are talented sailors. Armagh is a planet of Satanists who provide a frightening number of soldiers to the Empire thanks to their religious belief in preparing for Armageddon.
* PlasmaCannon: Heavy artillery, they're notoriously faulty and cost some marines their lives.
* PolitenessJudo: [[SergeantRock Sergeant Major Kosutic]]. She breaks up several arguments prior to planetfall, and O'Casey [[LampshadeHanging drops part]] of the trope name when discussing Roger with her.
* PowerArmor: Its use and maintenance in Marduk's perpetually humid climate makes using them for all but the most important tasks inadvisable.
* [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race Girl]]: Althari females in general.
* PyrrhicVictory: The battle for the tramp freighter at the end of ''March to the Stars''. Not only do they lose [[spoiler:Captain Pahner]] and several other marines, but their Mardukan allies practically gut the ship with plasma fire, not really knowing better.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: Once Roger's group finds out what's happened in the empire while they've been gone, they realized they only have a few months to save it. [[spoiler:Before a new heir is born to a mind-controlled Empress, and her use is at an end.]]
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Although not particularly ragtag, the Empress' Own chooses members with potentially useful skills, such as an ex-carjacker or a high priestess of [[SatanIsGood Satan]].
** All members of the Empress' Own Royal Guard Marine units are chosen on the basis of being exceptionally competent soldiers. The 'Bronze Barbarians' that make up Prince Roger's guard are, as a group, the lowest on that totem pole; they're guarding the least important (and most personally irritating) member of the royal family. A few are experts, sure, but lack the shine to make it in the more publicly visible battalions. A lot of the rest are just waiting for the seniority and experience to make it into Steel Battalion and guard his big sister. Yet they still manage to walk across a murderous hell planet full of '''real''' barbarians and keep their protectee alive. Think about how {{Badass}} this means the higher-tier battalions of the Empress' Own must be. [[spoiler: At least, until they're all killed off camera.]]
* RecycledInSpace. The plot of the first two and the first half of the third book is ''Xenophon's Anabasis'' (which also inspired ''Film/TheWarriors'') in space.
* RedShirtReporter: Harvard Mansul, IAS. We first meet him as a prisoner in a Krath fortress after being sent to investigate Shin barbarians. He ends up following Prince Roger (the story of millennia) through all sorts of combat hell. In his past, he'd encountered bandits and pirates, gotten shot at by inner-city gangs, been stabbed, and nearly died while lost in a desert.
* ReligionOfEvil: The Fire Temples, from the volcanic land of Krath. Despite being a theocracy, none of the natives will talk about their religion at all, and cities are ruled by the principle of "all is forbidden, save that which the law requires." They trade for slaves to act as Servants of the God. [[spoiler:"Servants" are sacrifices which are roasted and then served in chunks to the people of the cities.]] There's a reason the local pirates fight to the last man to avoid capture.
** Later deconstructed when they explain ''how'' Krath went from a peaceful, semi-Taoist religion to the nightmare they encounter.
** Subverted with Armagh's Satanists.
* RescueRomance: Cord and Pedi, after initial annoyance.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The Empire of Man's political system leaves the Emperor/Empress with quite a bit of personal power. The Heirs usually have important roles to get them used to wielding power.
** Despite being a generally useless prat, one of Roger's hobbies is big game hunting which results in him being the best sniper of all the troops.
** It also becomes a headache and problem for the (technically second-in-charge, but he's the unofficial CO anyway) Marine CO, who has to keep reminding him that, if Roger fucks up and dies, the Marines might as well kill themselves.
* SeaMonster: Giant ''coll'' fish. Imagine a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanceia stonefish]] large enough to bite a ship in half.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Cord to Roger, regarding Pedi.
* ShellShockedVeteran: This starts to become a problem by the third book as the fatigue of nearly endless campaigning across Marduk leaves more and more of the Bronze Barbarians unfit for combat duty. Pahner compensates by pulling them into leadership and support roles, while adding competent natives to the ranks.
* ShoutOut: [[{{Spaceballs}} Admiral Helmut, "Dark Lord of the Sixth"]]. Also...
** IBI Special Agent Temu Jin (Temujin being another name of Genghis Khan).
** ''Atul'' liver is apparently nice [[SilenceOfTheLambs served with the local equivalent of fava beans and a light chianti.]]
** Ancient plasma rifles. [[{{Terminator}} Forty kilowatt-range.]]
** [[{{Scarface}} SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!]] In this case, said "little friend" is not a grenade launcher but the [[WrenchWhack big]] pocking [[ImprovisedWeapon wrench.]]
** Captain Pahner seems to know Creator/RudyardKipling's ''Barrack-Room Ballads'' by heart, and can find a Kipling quote to fit almost any situation.
** [[LordOfTheRings Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red dawn!]]
** "[[HogansHeroes Schultzes]]," guards who can be trusted to see, do, and hear nothing. Subverted, since they ignore atrocities, not heroic hijinks.
** "[[KrakenAndLeviathan Fish]] [[ThePrincessBride of unusual size]]."
* StraightGay: Gunny Jin.
* TheStrategist: Admiral Helmut.
* StrawmanPolitical: The Saints are corrupt descendants of Greenpeace. Specifically they claim to ''un''-[[{{Terraforming}} terraform]] planets, but are actually one of the most polluting of the interstellar civilizations.
** Leadership-wise they're really more [[StrawHypocrite Straw Hypocrites]], while as a culture they tend more towards [[DirtyCommunist Dirty Communists]] with a focus on being "green" rather than support of the working class.
* ThenLetMeBeEvil: Subverted by Armagh's Church of Satan. They were the more secular schism on a planet of Catholics and were labeled minions of Satan by their opponents. So they embraced the name, won the holy war, instituted religious freedom, and turned "Satanism" into a positive church in the wake of a discredited Christianity.
* TookALevelInBadass: Prince Roger. Good lord, Prince Roger ([[OverlyLongName Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock)]].
** His Marines, elite of the elite, are selected partially based on their incredible loyalty to the Empress. They start off despising him; in the end, [[spoiler:every one of them is so loyal to the Prince that other (non-Bronze Barbarian) Marines think they're dangerously compromised]].
** It gets to the point where [[spoiler:his subordinates push a woman he loves into marrying him despite her objections, due to the fact that he's Heir Primus to the Throne of Man.. because without her acting as his conscience, he would be a neobarbarian tyrant with "shoot first, ask later" policy. With entire fleets of starships and a massive army at his disposal.]]
** In fairness, most of the skills of badass were those he already had, or were genetic (the marksmanship from big game hunting, the pistol speed from a specially implanted assassin program, the general speed from old [=MacClintock=] gene-tweaking, major exception being the swordsmanship which he learns from Cord). He takes many levels in the ''mental attitudes'' of badass, mainly from getting a real goal (get the Marines off Marduk, and later protect the Empire from Adoula).
* TranslationWithAnAgenda: A particularly insidious one. The only language kernel they have pre-loaded before landing is High Krath, from the "civilized" neighbors of the port. When they start using it, it has a preloaded bias for words translated as "service," "Servant," or "Serve." [[spoiler:These are all euphemisms for being butchered live and then roasted and served to Krath's upper class in a religious ritual.]] Given the likely human (i.e. Saints) inspiration of the practice, there's a good chance the bias is deliberate.
* TurnOutLikeHisFather: The initial reason for Roger's estrangement. He has no idea, and is ticked to find out.
* TheUnfavorite: Roger is despised mostly because he looks like his father, though made worse by his being a foppish twit, since his father is also a foppish twit [[spoiler:as well as a traitor not even permitted within six planets of the Empress]]. [[TheNotSecret Everyone assumes he's intentionally following in his father's footsteps]], when in fact Roger knows nothing about his father and just thinks everyone hates him.
* TheUnfettered: By the time he's finished with Marduk (and vice versa), Roger would be this if not for Nimashet acting as his MoralityChain. He and his people call her his "prosthetic conscience."
* {{Unobtainium}}: [=ChromSten=] collapsed matter armor.
* UnwantedRescue: By the Peoples' traditions, rescuing someone not of your tribe without a personal need to do so makes them your slave. Cord is miffed when Roger does it to him, though they eventually bond.
** And then this is flipped back on him when he unthinkingly rescues Pedi.
* TheUriahGambit: Subverted. Gunny Jin has to keep a plasma gunner who ''should'' be on the front lines in a safer spot because that person is dating someone he's interested in -- all to avoid this trope.
* WeHaveReserves: Barbarian tribes on Marduk seem to exclusively rely on berserk ZergRush tactics. It works for the most part until humans introduce soldier formation tactics. The few who wise up to this fact find themselves quickly overruled for being "weak."
* WeirdnessCensor: The Mardukans are almost shockingly blasé to the presence of humans, partially because we resemble a harmless prey animal. Few towns display any curiosity for more than a couple of days before treating the group like any other traveling traders/warriors. This is {{Lampshaded}} several times.
* WhatDoesThisButtonDo: Honal's "strategy" when they board the Saint ship is to press buttons at random. It works.
* [[WhoNamesTheirKidDude Who Names Their Kid Ima Hooker?]]: [[{{Deconstruction}} A mostly absent junkie with a twisted sense of humor, apparently...]]
* WillTheyOrWontThey: The {{UST}} between [[CelibateHero Prince Roger]] and [[{{Tsundere}} Sgt. Despreaux]] is [[EveryoneCanSeeIt so obvious]] the Marines start a betting pool. Of course, [[TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot the inevitable is delayed]] with several wars, a couple {{Moment Killer}}s, one drunken FalseStart and Roger's amazing ability to put his foot in it.
* YeOldeNuclearSilo: [[CoolOldGuy Thomas "Tomcat" Catrone]] lives in one. He bought a large tract of land in central Asia to retire and start a horse ranch on, and since there already was a large and very solid structure on his property, he converted it into a well-appointed home. The fact that he can hold off an assault platoon on his own in there is a nice bonus.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Weber is fond of this trope, having taken it up to RunningGag levels in the ''EmpireFromTheAshes'' series; it returns here in the fourth book. Prince Jackson Adoula blows up his house on Earth, along with his secret files and household staff; makes a note to eliminate his chauffeur soon thereafter; and intends to do away with at least one of his co-conspirators. Oh, and then there's the whole plot to [[spoiler:murder the Empress after she produces a new heir]]. [[spoiler:He orders her ''and'' the unborn heir eliminated once he has to flee.]]

----

to:

a.k.a. ''The Empire of Man'' series or the ''March Upcountry'' series.

A series by DavidWeber and Creator/JohnRingo. Prince Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang [=MacClintock=] was the third and youngest child of Alexandra VII, Empress of Man. Roger is TheUnfavorite of his mother, considered a foppish clotheshorse who looks a bit too much like his [[{{Bishonen}} father]] for his mother to trust him. With a crisis on the horizon he's sent off to represent the Royal family in a sector capital's chief festival. During transit the crisis starts for real with an attempt on his life. The destroyer transporting him is sabotaged, but Roger and his battalion of [[SpaceMarine Marines]] manage to land on a primitive planet on the farside of the planet from the Imperial trading post.

Most of the first three books deal with character development while Roger and his Battalion of Marines march toward the spaceport. The fourth deals with the consequences of their actions and what has happened while they've been out of contact.

!!Books:
* ''March Upcountry'' (2001)
* ''March to the Sea'' (2001)
* ''March to the Stars'' (2003)
* ''We Few'' (2005)

Ringo is currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled ''Rage of the Seraphs'', from which he's posted snippets on his Website/{{Facebook}} page.

----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: [[PunnyName Ima Hooker]], amongst other characters, were given some importance in the first book. They're [[AnyoneCanDie slaughtered within minutes]] of the second book.
* ActionGirl: Naturally, all female marines. (They do come from a society with gender-equality, after all.) More notable would be the few Mardukan females that qualify: Sena and Pedi, two of the most deadly martial artists in the series.
* AndIMustScream: The narration of the toot zombie early in the first book states that deep inside, the real person is struggling not to do what she's doing.
* AnyoneCanDie: Except for the title character, do not take anyone else's life as a given.
** DeadSidekick: [[spoiler:Kostas,]] who was EatenAlive. Doubles as a SacrificialLion.
** DwindlingParty: Down to only 12 by the time they leave Marduk.
* {{Badass}}: Prince Roger, of course. Rastar and Pedi stand out from the BadassCrew as well.
* BadassCrew: Bronze Company and the ''Basik's'' Own.
* BadassFamily:
--> '''Helmut''': I'd like to see what could change a clothes horse into a...
--> '''Julian''': Just say a [=MacClintock=].
* BarSinister: The flag of the ''Basik'''s Own wears one for Roger.
* BearsAreBadNews: Though not for the good guys in this case. Althari are bear-like aliens whose females are {{Proud Warrior Race G|uy}}irls.
** It's worth pointing out though, that they're a race of huge ''koala bear''-looking aliens.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Roger and Despreaux have this, if only because Roger begins with ''no'' idea how to interact with a woman who genuinely likes him and is not after something.
* {{BFG}}: Par for the Marine course. Bead and plasma cannons, which Mardukans can wield one-handed. All of Pol's weapons -- he's huge even for a Mardukan and can carry vehicle-mounted weaponry. Even Roger's "smoke pole" is big for a chemical-propellant firearm.
* BodyguardCrush: Despreaux and Roger (genderswapped as she is part of his Marine guard). Also the Empress and her paladin in the fourth book.
* BoomHeadshot: Roger's specialty. He astonishes the Captain of his bodyguard when he gets seven in half as many seconds at a reverse-ambush.
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: Guard bodybags have an auto-cremation function so that the fallen can be taken home to bury without overburdening the survivors with the weight.
* CampStraight: Roger is a LongHairedPrettyBoy who loves clothes, and has never shown any sexual interest in any of the women (or men) at court. His butler is so used to the question he laughs at Despreaux's tentative query into his orientation.
* CardSharp: Poertena. Then he makes the mistake of teaching his four-armed friends a few tricks...
** A hilarious scene happens at the beginning of ''March to the Sea'' when Prince Roger [[HustlingTheMark asks him how to play Spades]].
** Turns out all Mardukans love this trope. If you aren't cheating, you're stupid. If you are and get caught, you're incompetent. They spend half the time bragging about how good they are at cheating and the other half denying, tongue-in-cheek, that they'd ever stoop to it. Standard Mardukan poker rules give every player the right to call a card check once per game.
* CassandraTruth: Soon after crashing on Marduk, several Marines needlessly die in an animal attack because the commanding officer refused to listen to Roger who, as an experienced hunter, recognized warning signs.
* CharacterDevelopment: Mostly focused on Roger himself as he has to stop being a RoyalBrat and becomes a {{badass}}.
* ChekhovsGun: The Marine bodies entombed at Voitan. [[spoiler:It tips off a friendly spy in book 3.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Admiral Helmut. Thomas Catrone.
* ChekhovsSkill: Prince Roger and geology. It plays a minor role in the first book, and it plays a more important role in the third.
* [[ClusterFBomb Cluster P Bomb]]: Poertena is unable to form a sentence without every third word being some variation of the word "pock". He's threatened in order to make him stop doing it, but he can't help it.
* CoolPet: Dogzard. Patty.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The Marines' equipment supplier. "Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder", indeed - this kills a ''third'' of the Marines.
* CorruptPolitician: The Parliamentary faction seeking to overthrow Roger's mother isn't portrayed at all positively.
* CunningLinguist: Roger and O'Casey both have UniversalTranslator program in their "toot" implants that let them quickly learn new languages and dialects and then share with the other marines. On the Marduk side, Denat is an absolute natural at learning new languages (and at pretending to be too much of a [[ObfuscatingStupidity dumb barbarian]] to eavesdrop on people).
* TheDandy: Prince Roger, before his CharacterDevelopment. He even tries to get his Marines to lug his UnlimitedWardrobe with them.
* DeadBecauseOfMe: Prince Roger goes through a lot of SurvivorGuilt as he sees more and more people die on his behalf, especially when it's the result of one of his many (usually minor) lapses in judgment.
* DeathWorld: Marduk qualifies due to the large and angry (and more common than should be ecologically possible, until justified) wildlife, but the sneaky, venomous wildlife is NightmareFuel as well.
* DesignerBabies: One of Roger's ancestors had some illegal work done, leaving him with inhuman reflexes and endurance, as well as low-light vision and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking really nice hair]].
* DestructiveSavior: Erkum Pol, thanks to ATeamFiring combined with being able to wield [[{{BFG}} vehicle-mounted weaponry]].
** The Mardukans in general during the assault to capture transport off-planet. Mardukans + plasma cannons + shipboard combat = a ship full of holes.
* DidYouJustHaveSex: Julian to Roger after Roger and Nimashet finally get it together.
--> '''Julian:''' My, Your Highness, you're looking chipper today.
--> '''Roger:''' Oh, shut up, Julian.
* DirtyCoward: Prince Jackson Adoula. [[spoiler:Runs away as the counter-coup starts and sacrifices underlings several times just to save his skin.]] Also, his co-conspirator [[spoiler:New Madrid, Roger's father,]] who is pretty much unable to handle meeting Roger.
* DoomedHometown: Therdan, for Rastar, Honal, and their people.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: Cord comes "into season" while recovering from injuries. As the attendant problems might compromise his recovery, his apprentice Pedi takes care of him. As an additional complication, he did have feelings for Pedi but refused to act on them because he felt it was inappropriate.
* DumbMuscle: Erkum Pol. He is huge, even for a Mardukan, and at one point takes out four people simultaneously with a table. His response to anything and everything said by an officer is "Yes, sir".
* TheEmpath: Phaenurs, a race of centaroid-lizards whose abilities make them {{Living Lie Detector}}s. They are one of the only races never to engage in physical war or have never engaged in cannibalism. I say "physical war," because they do have societal conflicts -- they're just compared to having a JewishMother writ large.
* TheEngineer: Poertena is The Mechanic. Pahner and Julian are very technically savvy as well, and all of the Guard can function as The Combat Engineer with their demo experience. The former Laborers of God can all fulfill the Support Engineer role since their old job was to build levies, dams, canals, and other civilian, fortification-like structures.
* EnsignNewbie: Captain Pahner realizes Prince Roger is this after Roger asks to be called "Colonel [=MacClintock=]" during a planning session.
* EverythingIsTryingToKillYou: If it's not the HungryJungle, it's the oppressive heat; if it's not the barbarian hordes, it's the Byzantine politics.
* {{Expy}}: Kny Camsen is basically GenghisKhan, in the early days.
* ExtendedDisarming: Pedi Karuse in ''We Few''.
* FanNickname: The Series That Must Not Be Named, a result of the authors' typical reaction to frequent questions about when it'll resume.
* FantasticCavalry: The elephant-sized, heavily clawed, triceratops-like ''flar-ta'' and the horse-sized, omnivorous, velociraptor-like ''civan''. The latter is often fed from the dead enemies on a battlefield and will try to take a bite from their riders when in an ill mood or hungry.
* TheFashionista: Pedi Karuse. It falls behind both her ({{lampshaded}}) FieryRedhead personality and being a {{Badass}} as a defining trait for her, but she's the ''only'' fashion & makeup loving Mardukan (since most came from cultures that didn't wear clothes), and she's the only woman of any species to qualify on the team as well.
** Roger was, of course, TheDandy. See above.
* FriendlyFireproof: Played with. When the group is ambushed by a horde of natives and forced to melee, Price Roger picks up a grenade launcher and ''fires it into the mixed group''. On the one hand, this is smarter than it sounds since the light armor marines wear will protect them from the worst the damage, and it would shred the natives. On the other hand, they could've broken the assault without it, and he cost the team needless broken bones and minor shrapnel injuries.
* FunetikAksent: Poertena and others from Pinopa.
* GenderBender: The "[[BiggusDickus embarrassingly male]]" Mardukans are actually female by biological definition, based on the fact that they produce ova. Their "penis" is actually an ovipositor (egg-placer), and the actual males are the gender that receives the eggs, fertilize them, and carry them to term. After this is initially sorted out, the series continues to go with calling the biologically female gender "male" based on their appearance and societal role.
** Also, Julian suggests disguising Prince Roger by giving him a sex change.
*** He DOES suggest they could give one to Despreaux, as well.
* GunAndSword: Prince Roger.
* GunStripping: Happens a good bit because this is a military squad in a hostile environment that really does need to clean and maintain its gear, but special recognition goes to Julian, who can strip down a 40-piece plasma rifle in 7 seconds.
* TheGunslinger: Rastar Komas Ta'Norton, last prince of Therdan. Master of the QuickDraw, 4-armed GunsAkimbo, and ImprobableAimingSkills, all at once while sometimes riding a dinosaur. He's even quicker than ''Roger'' and can pull off ShootingItOutOfTheirHands.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Roger. Before the start of the story, there is only one person in the universe that likes and trusts him -- his valet. His tutor, his mother, and his siblings have ambiguous feelings about him, and everyone else thinks he's a useless prat. [[spoiler:And then while he's on Marduk, the villains finger him as a traitor, which everyone is all too willing to believe.]]
* HeroicBSOD: What happens to [[spoiler:Empress Alexandra VII]], after the [[spoiler:painful AwesomeMomentOfCrowning]] of Roger [=MacClintock=].
** Also happens to Roger a few times -- first when he discovers exactly ''why'' he's trapped on a stinking hellhole of a planet, and then when [[spoiler:his lifelong servant and surrogate father get killed.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: Standing orders for the Empress' Own.
** [[spoiler:Rastar, [[YouShallNotPass holding a gate into the Imperial Palace]].]]
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: From the beginning, Prince Roger never liked himself thanks largely to [[WellDoneSonGuy his mother's ambiguous treatment of him]] and to his own awareness of what a whiny prat he was. It takes him quite a while, with a lot of backsliding thanks to guilt over the deaths of his people, to grow past this.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Krindi Fain and Erkum Pol.
* HiddenDepths: Prerequisite for acceptance to the Empress' Own. TheCaptain is a pretty good machinist, [[SergeantRock the senior NCO]] is a skilled seamstress, the armorer is [[ChekhovsSkill a journeyman shipwright]], their [[AcePilot best pilot]] is a CombatMedic, [[TheLoad the Prince]] is an amateur geologist, one of their heavy gunners is [[BreadEggsMilkSquick an accomplished car thief]]...
* HumansAreSpecial: Not pushed all that much but the inevitable conclusion when there are several species of sentient aliens but of the six interstellar nations only one is non-human and even then humans make up a significant minority of the three race alliance.
* HungryJungle: Featuring hyper-aggressive herbivores, vampire moths, and flesh-dissolving "killerpillars."
* ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin: Some Mardukan poisons have no effect on humans, and even have nutrients the humans need. This ends really, really horribly for a Mardukan traitor in the first book.
* IOweYouMyLife: D'Nal Cord to Roger, and later, Pedi Karuse to Cord.
* ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder: Zig-zagged with Dobrescu. First, he protests that he's a shuttle pilot, not a medic (his MOS is shuttle pilot, but he is trained as a medic too). Then he gets to start treating Mardukans...
--> '''Dobrescu:''' I'm a goddamned medic, not a xeno-surgeon.
** Somewhat of a RunningGag for the character as he asked to be a backup astrogator (he refuses) and to pretend to be a real estate agent (which he does).
** Amanda Beach is "an astrogator, not an engineer." (She does a fine job of the later, anyway.)
* InfoDump (doubling as SceneryPorn): When the protagonists arrive [[spoiler:in the abandoned city of Voitan]], a conversation between Prince Roger and Gunny Jin is interrupted after two lines with a full two pages of scenery and battle lines.
* InsultBackfire: One of the supporting characters is a Satanist. Her (originally Catholic) planet got this way during a religious civil war, in which one side demonized the other as Satanists. The other side accepted and maintained the term, having decided that given the evil of their opponents, Satan must actually be good.
** Notably, this is not a case of GodIsEvil; rather, the Satanists believe that there's so much suffering because the angels are keeping God imprisoned, and Satan is rebelling against those angels to rescue God. Her home planet provides a ''worryingly'' large proportion of its population to the military - when Armageddon comes, ''they will be ready''.
* InterruptedIntimacy: When Pahner walks in on Eva and Julian. Done with malice aforethought with Roger & Nimashet.
* IronicEchoCut: In ''March to the Stars'':
--> '''Pahner''': "I almost wish he was still considered incompetent. Maybe then I'd have sent a decent sized force to look after him." (cut)
--> '''Roger''': "You know," [as Roger fights], "I could wish that Pahner didn't have so much confidence in me!"
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: When [[spoiler:Despreaux is kidnapped]], Roger almost cuts the messenger's hand off to feed to an ''atul'' to find out [[spoiler:where she is]]. He only holds back at all because [[spoiler: [[MoralityChain she wouldn't approve]].]]
* KickTheDog: Governor Mountmarch. Bad enough that he's a Saint-sympathizer. But when they take the spaceport, they find him [[spoiler:with a naked ten-year old boy in his bed]].
* KillerRabbit: '''Humans''', to Mardukans. We look like a large version of a weak, stupid, easily scared prey animal that's usually hunted by children by scaring them into a circle and clubbing them to death. Only we don't even have horns, claws, or armor. And our smiles look like the expression they make right before being clubbed. Fortunately, Mardukans learn ''quickly'' to take humans seriously.
** Honored when "The Basik's Own" forms and takes a nastily smiling ''basik'' as its banner.
** Even better, ''basik''/''vern'' are explicitly compared to rabbits several times.
* KlingonPromotion: It's [[spoiler:Boman tribal]] tradition for a war chief to be "anointed in the blood of his fallen predecessor." This isn't quite ChallengingTheChief, because the previous chief loses his place/head by group consensus, not ritual combat.
* LeeroyJenkins: '''Roger'''. Much to the ''constant'' despair of his bodyguards. In the second book, it actually gets discussed - now that Prince Roger has turned himself around ''and'' has proven himself to be a capable leader, the Marines (and Mardukians) willingly follow him into dangerous situations. Pahner has to lay this out for him, telling him that, with each heroic action he does, he risks another Marine (and a nice dosage of guilt).
* LittleMissBadass: Pedi Karuse. Small and underage-looking. [[spoiler:Pregnant.]] And still capable of wiping the floor with her enemies in job lots, armed or unarmed, chained or free.
* TheLoad: How the marines view Roger at first. Mostly justified (99%) because he's a spoiled clothes horse with three feet of gorgeous blond hair famous for throwing snit fits. Somewhat unjustified in that, for example, the first time he kills something he gets thoroughly yelled at despite the fact that it was, essentially, a Cape Buffalo[[hottip:*:One of the most dangerous animals in the world]] the size of a house, and he did so because he recognized that it was a highly territorial herbivore (like a Cape Buffalo).
** They begin to realize he's not TheLoad when they learn that his extensive experience on safari makes him well qualified to survive a dangerous jungle. Also, he slaughters six enemies in as many seconds with perfectly aimed head shots. [[CaptainObvious That is not easy]]. Not even with cybernetics.
* LowerDeckEpisode: Anything involving Krindi Fain in ''March to the Sea''.
* TheMafiya: Roger's crew runs into some interference from local organized crime in ''We Few'' which seems to be the Russian mob. Unfortunately for Siminov, he fails to take hints that he's biting off more than he can chew by trying to muscle in on the prince's cover operation.
* TheMagnificent: A future historian looking back on the events of the books says that the writers of his time called Prince Roger [[spoiler: Roger the Terrible, Roger the Mad, the Tyrant, the Restorer, or even the Kin-Slayer. Ouch. Talk about ZeroPercentApprovalRating.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Pedi and Cord. Directly named by Roger.
* MindRape: What's done to [[spoiler:Empress Alexandra VII]] while the eponymous prince is stranded on Marduk, [[spoiler:by the usurpers to the throne of the Empire of Man.]]
** Oh, and it's backed up [[spoiler:with real rape too]].
** Also, toot zombies.
* MoralityChain: Despreaux is specifically groomed to be this for Roger. It works, too.
* MisterSeahorse: Technically, Mardukan "women" are male, and vice versa. The "men" have an ovipositor that resembles human male genitalia. But in fact, the men ovulate and implant the ova into a woman, who fertilizes the egg and carries it to term.
* MoreExpendableThanYou: Captain Pahner and his Marines make it painfully clear that no matter what they think of the Prince, their duty is to protect him at all costs, up to and including throwing their lives away to get between him and a threat. As the March continues, Roger comes to accept this, while at the same time taking a more and more active role in his own protection - to the point where [[InvertedTrope the tables get turned]], and Pahner finds himself in the position of relying on Roger to save the Marines, when it's supposed to be vice-versa. Gets deadly serious in the third book when [[spoiler:they find out Roger is suddenly the one-and-only Heir to the Throne, making him absolutely unexpendable]] ... and then even more seriously [[InvertedTrope flipped again]] when things get so desperate that even Roger himself becomes expendable:
--> '''Roger:''' The mission is to safeguard the ''Empire'', Captain. Safeguarding ''me'' is only part of that. ... [The Empress] can [[spoiler:make a new heir. If she wants to, she can use DNA from John and Alexandra's dad.]] The ''mission'', Captain, is "Save the Empire."
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: All the Mardukans, which evolved from a six-limbed, amphibious ancestor. Special credit to Rastar, who can [[DualWielding quadruple-]][[UpToEleven wield]] pistols and still fire all of them with pinpoint accuracy.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: Denat accidentally does this.
--> "I greet you in the name of The People." He hoped he'd all the sounds right. Some of the words were the same, but accented so differently as to make them nearly unintelligible.
--> "Denat," Julian said over the earbud the intel NCO'd installed," if you're having translation problems ask me. I'll give you the right words. You just said 'I sneeze you in the name of The Idiots."
* MySensorsIndicateYouWantToTapThat: Subverted. [[spoiler:Julian is monitoring Despreaux's blood pressure and heartrate. When both go up, she's having an argument with Roger. When the heart rate goes up and the blood pressure drops, it's time to send in a MomentKiller.]]
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: The Boman [[spoiler:kill their clever and adaptable war chief when he decides ''not'' to rush enemy fortifications in a [[LeeroyJenkins suicidal berserk charge]].]]
* [[spoiler:TheObiWan]]: Captain Pahner
* OldMaster: D'Nal Cord. He's almost retirement age, and a shaman of his people. And he takes Roger under his slimy wing.
* OverlyLongName: Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang [=MacClintock=] (and the rest of his family).
** Pedi Dorson Acos Lefan Karuse, Daughter of the King of the Mudh Hemh, called the Light of the Vales.
* PardonMyKlingon: Pocking pock, modderpocker.
** The Saints use "pollution" as their go-to swear word.
** Diasprans use "Water!" or "polluted water" since they worship water as a god.
** Kosutic, as a Satanist, uses "Papists" where most people would use devil-worshippers and swears by "His Wickedness" where most people would swear by Jesus.
* ParentalSubstitute: Kostas & eventually Captain Pahner for Roger. Roger also mentions that a need for one may have been an unconscious influence behind his interest in sports.
* PathOfInspiration: The Church of Ryback, the religion behind the "Saints," which believes that humans should return to Earth and undo all the damage they've done to nature on other worlds. The problem is that they go ''way'' beyond this simple mission into outright hating ''all'' sentient life outside of their own faith, they ruthlessly treat all rivals and their own lower-classes as non-persons, and they engage is pretty much every act of environmental hypocrisy or "can't see the forest for the trees" behavior possible. Worse, some of their fundamentalists are even rumored to [[EatsBabies eat babies as a means of population control]].
* PercussiveMaintenance: Poertena's [[FunetikAksent pig pocking wrench]], the twist being it's actually better than the standard procedure on jammed powered armor.
* PlaceWorseThanDeath: For the unprepared (everybody), it's Marduk. Also, any of the Saints' worlds that are being "reclaimed from humanity's taint". Slave labor provided from captured enemies, political prisoners, and dissidents, all plucking weeds and other Terran plants from the ground. By hand. To "minimize the footprint" caused by, say, basic biological processes like excrement, they're given less than a thousand calories of food a day. Death is kinder.
* PlanetOfHats: Pinopa is a planet of many islands and few continents primarily settled by Polynesians who are talented sailors. Armagh is a planet of Satanists who provide a frightening number of soldiers to the Empire thanks to their religious belief in preparing for Armageddon.
* PlasmaCannon: Heavy artillery, they're notoriously faulty and cost some marines their lives.
* PolitenessJudo: [[SergeantRock Sergeant Major Kosutic]]. She breaks up several arguments prior to planetfall, and O'Casey [[LampshadeHanging drops part]] of the trope name when discussing Roger with her.
* PowerArmor: Its use and maintenance in Marduk's perpetually humid climate makes using them for all but the most important tasks inadvisable.
* [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race Girl]]: Althari females in general.
* PyrrhicVictory: The battle for the tramp freighter at the end of ''March to the Stars''. Not only do they lose [[spoiler:Captain Pahner]] and several other marines, but their Mardukan allies practically gut the ship with plasma fire, not really knowing better.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: Once Roger's group finds out what's happened in the empire while they've been gone, they realized they only have a few months to save it. [[spoiler:Before a new heir is born to a mind-controlled Empress, and her use is at an end.]]
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Although not particularly ragtag, the Empress' Own chooses members with potentially useful skills, such as an ex-carjacker or a high priestess of [[SatanIsGood Satan]].
** All members of the Empress' Own Royal Guard Marine units are chosen on the basis of being exceptionally competent soldiers. The 'Bronze Barbarians' that make up Prince Roger's guard are, as a group, the lowest on that totem pole; they're guarding the least important (and most personally irritating) member of the royal family. A few are experts, sure, but lack the shine to make it in the more publicly visible battalions. A lot of the rest are just waiting for the seniority and experience to make it into Steel Battalion and guard his big sister. Yet they still manage to walk across a murderous hell planet full of '''real''' barbarians and keep their protectee alive. Think about how {{Badass}} this means the higher-tier battalions of the Empress' Own must be. [[spoiler: At least, until they're all killed off camera.]]
* RecycledInSpace. The plot of the first two and the first half of the third book is ''Xenophon's Anabasis'' (which also inspired ''Film/TheWarriors'') in space.
* RedShirtReporter: Harvard Mansul, IAS. We first meet him as a prisoner in a Krath fortress after being sent to investigate Shin barbarians. He ends up following Prince Roger (the story of millennia) through all sorts of combat hell. In his past, he'd encountered bandits and pirates, gotten shot at by inner-city gangs, been stabbed, and nearly died while lost in a desert.
* ReligionOfEvil: The Fire Temples, from the volcanic land of Krath. Despite being a theocracy, none of the natives will talk about their religion at all, and cities are ruled by the principle of "all is forbidden, save that which the law requires." They trade for slaves to act as Servants of the God. [[spoiler:"Servants" are sacrifices which are roasted and then served in chunks to the people of the cities.]] There's a reason the local pirates fight to the last man to avoid capture.
** Later deconstructed when they explain ''how'' Krath went from a peaceful, semi-Taoist religion to the nightmare they encounter.
** Subverted with Armagh's Satanists.
* RescueRomance: Cord and Pedi, after initial annoyance.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The Empire of Man's political system leaves the Emperor/Empress with quite a bit of personal power. The Heirs usually have important roles to get them used to wielding power.
** Despite being a generally useless prat, one of Roger's hobbies is big game hunting which results in him being the best sniper of all the troops.
** It also becomes a headache and problem for the (technically second-in-charge, but he's the unofficial CO anyway) Marine CO, who has to keep reminding him that, if Roger fucks up and dies, the Marines might as well kill themselves.
* SeaMonster: Giant ''coll'' fish. Imagine a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanceia stonefish]] large enough to bite a ship in half.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Cord to Roger, regarding Pedi.
* ShellShockedVeteran: This starts to become a problem by the third book as the fatigue of nearly endless campaigning across Marduk leaves more and more of the Bronze Barbarians unfit for combat duty. Pahner compensates by pulling them into leadership and support roles, while adding competent natives to the ranks.
* ShoutOut: [[{{Spaceballs}} Admiral Helmut, "Dark Lord of the Sixth"]]. Also...
** IBI Special Agent Temu Jin (Temujin being another name of Genghis Khan).
** ''Atul'' liver is apparently nice [[SilenceOfTheLambs served with the local equivalent of fava beans and a light chianti.]]
** Ancient plasma rifles. [[{{Terminator}} Forty kilowatt-range.]]
** [[{{Scarface}} SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!]] In this case, said "little friend" is not a grenade launcher but the [[WrenchWhack big]] pocking [[ImprovisedWeapon wrench.]]
** Captain Pahner seems to know Creator/RudyardKipling's ''Barrack-Room Ballads'' by heart, and can find a Kipling quote to fit almost any situation.
** [[LordOfTheRings Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red dawn!]]
** "[[HogansHeroes Schultzes]]," guards who can be trusted to see, do, and hear nothing. Subverted, since they ignore atrocities, not heroic hijinks.
** "[[KrakenAndLeviathan Fish]] [[ThePrincessBride of unusual size]]."
* StraightGay: Gunny Jin.
* TheStrategist: Admiral Helmut.
* StrawmanPolitical: The Saints are corrupt descendants of Greenpeace. Specifically they claim to ''un''-[[{{Terraforming}} terraform]] planets, but are actually one of the most polluting of the interstellar civilizations.
** Leadership-wise they're really more [[StrawHypocrite Straw Hypocrites]], while as a culture they tend more towards [[DirtyCommunist Dirty Communists]] with a focus on being "green" rather than support of the working class.
* ThenLetMeBeEvil: Subverted by Armagh's Church of Satan. They were the more secular schism on a planet of Catholics and were labeled minions of Satan by their opponents. So they embraced the name, won the holy war, instituted religious freedom, and turned "Satanism" into a positive church in the wake of a discredited Christianity.
* TookALevelInBadass: Prince Roger. Good lord, Prince Roger ([[OverlyLongName Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock)]].
** His Marines, elite of the elite, are selected partially based on their incredible loyalty to the Empress. They start off despising him; in the end, [[spoiler:every one of them is so loyal to the Prince that other (non-Bronze Barbarian) Marines think they're dangerously compromised]].
** It gets to the point where [[spoiler:his subordinates push a woman he loves into marrying him despite her objections, due to the fact that he's Heir Primus to the Throne of Man.. because without her acting as his conscience, he would be a neobarbarian tyrant with "shoot first, ask later" policy. With entire fleets of starships and a massive army at his disposal.]]
** In fairness, most of the skills of badass were those he already had, or were genetic (the marksmanship from big game hunting, the pistol speed from a specially implanted assassin program, the general speed from old [=MacClintock=] gene-tweaking, major exception being the swordsmanship which he learns from Cord). He takes many levels in the ''mental attitudes'' of badass, mainly from getting a real goal (get the Marines off Marduk, and later protect the Empire from Adoula).
* TranslationWithAnAgenda: A particularly insidious one. The only language kernel they have pre-loaded before landing is High Krath, from the "civilized" neighbors of the port. When they start using it, it has a preloaded bias for words translated as "service," "Servant," or "Serve." [[spoiler:These are all euphemisms for being butchered live and then roasted and served to Krath's upper class in a religious ritual.]] Given the likely human (i.e. Saints) inspiration of the practice, there's a good chance the bias is deliberate.
* TurnOutLikeHisFather: The initial reason for Roger's estrangement. He has no idea, and is ticked to find out.
* TheUnfavorite: Roger is despised mostly because he looks like his father, though made worse by his being a foppish twit, since his father is also a foppish twit [[spoiler:as well as a traitor not even permitted within six planets of the Empress]]. [[TheNotSecret Everyone assumes he's intentionally following in his father's footsteps]], when in fact Roger knows nothing about his father and just thinks everyone hates him.
* TheUnfettered: By the time he's finished with Marduk (and vice versa), Roger would be this if not for Nimashet acting as his MoralityChain. He and his people call her his "prosthetic conscience."
* {{Unobtainium}}: [=ChromSten=] collapsed matter armor.
* UnwantedRescue: By the Peoples' traditions, rescuing someone not of your tribe without a personal need to do so makes them your slave. Cord is miffed when Roger does it to him, though they eventually bond.
** And then this is flipped back on him when he unthinkingly rescues Pedi.
* TheUriahGambit: Subverted. Gunny Jin has to keep a plasma gunner who ''should'' be on the front lines in a safer spot because that person is dating someone he's interested in -- all to avoid this trope.
* WeHaveReserves: Barbarian tribes on Marduk seem to exclusively rely on berserk ZergRush tactics. It works for the most part until humans introduce soldier formation tactics. The few who wise up to this fact find themselves quickly overruled for being "weak."
* WeirdnessCensor: The Mardukans are almost shockingly blasé to the presence of humans, partially because we resemble a harmless prey animal. Few towns display any curiosity for more than a couple of days before treating the group like any other traveling traders/warriors. This is {{Lampshaded}} several times.
* WhatDoesThisButtonDo: Honal's "strategy" when they board the Saint ship is to press buttons at random. It works.
* [[WhoNamesTheirKidDude Who Names Their Kid Ima Hooker?]]: [[{{Deconstruction}} A mostly absent junkie with a twisted sense of humor, apparently...]]
* WillTheyOrWontThey: The {{UST}} between [[CelibateHero Prince Roger]] and [[{{Tsundere}} Sgt. Despreaux]] is [[EveryoneCanSeeIt so obvious]] the Marines start a betting pool. Of course, [[TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot the inevitable is delayed]] with several wars, a couple {{Moment Killer}}s, one drunken FalseStart and Roger's amazing ability to put his foot in it.
* YeOldeNuclearSilo: [[CoolOldGuy Thomas "Tomcat" Catrone]] lives in one. He bought a large tract of land in central Asia to retire and start a horse ranch on, and since there already was a large and very solid structure on his property, he converted it into a well-appointed home. The fact that he can hold off an assault platoon on his own in there is a nice bonus.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Weber is fond of this trope, having taken it up to RunningGag levels in the ''EmpireFromTheAshes'' series; it returns here in the fourth book. Prince Jackson Adoula blows up his house on Earth, along with his secret files and household staff; makes a note to eliminate his chauffeur soon thereafter; and intends to do away with at least one of his co-conspirators. Oh, and then there's the whole plot to [[spoiler:murder the Empress after she produces a new heir]]. [[spoiler:He orders her ''and'' the unborn heir eliminated once he has to flee.]]

----
[[redirect:Literature/PrinceRoger]]
21st Mar '13 4:42:52 PM VPhantom
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* BearsAreBadNews: Though not for the good guys in this case. Althari are bear-like aliens whose females are [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race Girls]].

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* BearsAreBadNews: Though not for the good guys in this case. Althari are bear-like aliens whose females are [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud {{Proud Warrior Race Girls]].G|uy}}irls.
21st Mar '13 4:41:23 PM VPhantom
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* BearsAreBadNews: Though not for the good guys in this case. Althari are bear-like aliens whose females are [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race Girls]].
** It's worth pointing out though, that they're a race of huge ''koala bear''-looking aliens.



* EverythingIsWorseWithBears: Though not for the good guys in this case. Althari are bear-like aliens whose females are [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Proud Warrior Race Girls]].
** It's worth pointing out though, that they're a race of huge ''koala bear''-looking aliens.
15th Dec '12 12:47:08 PM DynamicDragon
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Added DiffLines:

5th Dec '12 2:18:41 AM Jinkelheimer
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* ShoutOut: Admiral Helmut, "Dark Lord of the Sixth". Also...

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* ShoutOut: [[{{Spaceballs}} Admiral Helmut, "Dark Lord of the Sixth".Sixth"]]. Also...
5th Dec '12 2:10:56 AM Jinkelheimer
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* LeeroyJenkins: '''Roger'''. Much to the ''constant'' despair of his bodyguards.

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* LeeroyJenkins: '''Roger'''. Much to the ''constant'' despair of his bodyguards. In the second book, it actually gets discussed - now that Prince Roger has turned himself around ''and'' has proven himself to be a capable leader, the Marines (and Mardukians) willingly follow him into dangerous situations. Pahner has to lay this out for him, telling him that, with each heroic action he does, he risks another Marine (and a nice dosage of guilt).
25th Nov '12 4:45:09 PM Nohbody
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Ringo was asked, at Dragoncon 2010, if there will be another book. He stated that there would not be another one on Prince Roger. Instead, he and David Weber would work on a {{prequel}} series that will show the founding of the Empire of Man. However, he later noted that he is writing a synopsis for a fifth book about Roger.

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Ringo was asked, at Dragoncon 2010, if there will be another book. He stated that there would not be another one on Prince Roger. Instead, he and David Weber would work is currently working on a {{prequel}} series that will show the founding sequel, tentatively titled ''Rage of the Empire of Man. However, he later noted that he is writing a synopsis for a fifth book about Roger.
Seraphs'', from which he's posted snippets on his Website/{{Facebook}} page.
23rd Sep '12 6:34:03 PM zarpaulus
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Added DiffLines:

* PlasmaCannon: Heavy artillery, they're notoriously faulty and cost some marines their lives.
8th Sep '12 5:23:13 PM MxC
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* AndIMustScream: The narration of the toot zombie early in the first book states that deep inside, the real person is struggling not to do what he's doing.

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* AndIMustScream: The narration of the toot zombie early in the first book states that deep inside, the real person is struggling not to do what he's she's doing.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.PrinceRoger