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Literature: Kris Longknife
Jack: "I see they didn't hang you."
Kris: "Nope, they missed their chance. The Navy still has a Longknife."
Jack: "Why do I feel like saying 'God help us all'?"
Kris: "'Cause it just may be true."
-Mutineer, by Mike Shepherd

A Military Science-Fiction series about the titular Kris Longknife, a rich young naval officer who struggles to deal with the expectation and reputations (both good and bad) of a famous family of military leaders, politicians, and billionaires, written by Mike Shepherd (also known as Mike Moscoe).

There are currently eleven books within the series, with additional books planned:

  • Mutineer (2004)
  • Deserter (2004)
  • Defiant (2005)
  • Resolute (2006)
  • Audacious (2007)
  • Intrepid (2008)
  • Undaunted (2009)
  • Redoubtable (2010)
  • Daring (2011)
  • Furious (2012)
  • Defender (2013)

In addition, there are three associated ebook novellas:
  • Kris Longknife's Bloodhound
  • Welcome Home/Go Away
  • Training Daze

Also, set in the same universe, Mike Moscoe earlier wrote a trilogy of books under his own name:
  • The First Casualty (1999)
  • The Price of Peace (2000)
  • They Also Serve (2001)

These books are currently out of print, though they will be republished in 2013.


This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Kris, obviously.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Nelly, Kris' personal computer.
    • And her kids.
  • Badass Family: Those damned Longknifes.
  • Badass Princess: Kris.
  • Battle Couple: Tom and Penny, who are both Navy officers and lovers.
  • Berserk Button: Kris really hates kidnappers, especially those that kidnap children. This is an understandable byproduct of her little brother getting kidnapped and murdered when she was 10.
  • Bodyguard Crush: There are some very strong hints that Jack is in love with Kris. He marries her in Defender
  • But Not Too Native American: In Furious, Kris is stated to have Native American ancestry. You wouldn't know it from the cover art.
  • Celibate Hero: It looks like everybody in the series is getting some romance except for poor Kris.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Author Mike Shepherd mentioned that while most marines had to be trained out of notions of fighting fair, Kris took to dirty fighting like a duck to water.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Kris honestly believed she was a drug addict for years as a result of spending most of the two years following her brother's death either stoned (From medication provided by her mother), drunk (from various items stolen from the family liquor cabinet) or both. Her great-grandfather Trouble managed to get her the help she needed to stop, and she didn't touch drugs or alcohol of any kind for years afterwards for fear of restarting a potential addiction. Later evidence showed that she had yet to reach that stage.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Hank's sister, Vicky at least somewhat. Her improvement comes after she's assigned to a military ship as a very junior officer to discipline her following her actions in a previous book. After doing so, she learns not only to take pride in actually being good at something on her own merits and not because of her wealth or family, but that she's learning how to be a proper officer, something that Hank lacked and actually caused his death.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: General Terrance "Trouble" Torden. Victoria "Vicky" Peterwald.
  • Memetic Badass: The Longknife family are an in-universe example - at least, the ones that are considered "one of those damned Longknifes" - not totally a good thing, as many people would prefer to avoid associating with them.
  • Ninja Maid: Abby, Kris's body servant, knows how to dress that body in ball gowns as well as protect it with guns and bombs.
  • Rebellious Princess: Kris becomes a princess at the end of the first novel and hates it.
  • Romeo and Juliet: Hank, the son of a rival family, says that he and Kris might be like this in the second novel. Kris denies this, since she has no intention of dying. Also, the next time they meet, his categoric refusal to consider the possibility that anyone on his side might be in the wrong turns them into enemies. Then he dies.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Most Longknife family members, from King Ray to Princess Kristine.
  • Space Fighter: Averted. The fast patrol boats Kris pilots in Defiant fill a similar role, but with a crew of 15 and non-reloadable lasers, they tend to be more Space Torpedo Bombers.
  • Space Marine: A company eventually come under Kris's command.
  • Space Navy: What Kris joins, much to the dismay of her parents.
  • Space Opera: While the series is marketed as Military Science-Fiction, there are so many sprawling civilizations and empires, political conflicts and intrigues with a good dose of romantic tension, that the series would be better described as new Space Opera that combine fast-paced adventure plots with some degree of hard SF rigor.
  • Spoiled Brat: Hank's sister, with shadings of Rich Bitch.
  • Survivor Guilt: Kris has this big time and knows it. The only reason she wasn't snagged by the same kidnappers that killed her brother Eddy was that she had stepped out for five minutes to buy ice cream. It took a considerable amount of therapy before she could admit to herself that even if she had been there, there was nothing a ten year old girl could have done that would have made any difference.
    • Again after Defiant, where hundreds of civilian volunteers were killed fighting in the Battle of Wardhaven.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Kris dresses as a man on several occasions in the second novel, when she has to do some undercover work.
  • Precursors: The Three. The ancient race which might have built the faster than light transportation network. Or might not have and it is all natural. Oh, and they left behind a bunch of planets they used to live on, at least 3 have been discovered and visited in the novels set in the universe.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Not quite lovers. In order to free Tom, who is being held captive in a motel, Kris and Jack pose as a prostitute and her client to get into the place.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Kris and Jack.
    • As of Defender they are married.
  • Wedding Deadline: In Defender, Kris and Jack have their wedding planned, scheduled and performed in a single afternoon, so that they can get married before orders can be cut that place them in the same chain of command, which would make their relationship against Navy regulations.

Here Be DragonsMilitary Science-FictionTom Kratman
K-PAXScience Fiction LiteratureLabyrinth Of Reflections
KoizoraLiterature of the 2000sKushiel's Legacy

alternative title(s): Kris Longknife
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