Cain's Last Stand (Ciaphas Cain Novels)

Cain's Last Stand - Sandy Mitchell Another fun adventure for the wily commissar. Ciaphas Cain is finally enjoying retirement. I bet he was thinking he was safe, that he made it to retirement in one piece. Plus, nice cushy job in a schola teaching cadet commissars. Life is good. But trouble and mayhem just have a way to find him. So, when a Dark Crusade threatens Perlia, Cain and his cadets along with every able-bodied person have to rise to the defense of the planet. He will have to use all his guile and skill to make it through once more. And if that were not enough, the Inquisition has given him a secret task that is crucial to the survival of the galaxy (ain't that always the case?). What I enjoy about this series is the nice combination of light humor with the dark, grim military scifi of Warhammer 40K. For this novel, there is a nice element of comfort for Ciaphas is returning the setting of a previous adventure. Years have passed, and after the previous invasion, Cain is now seen as The Liberator and a hero, much to his chagrin given his preference for the quiet life. At any rate, it was a very entertaining and enjoyable book. Fans of the series will enjoy it, but some may find a bit of a feeling of going back through previously trod ground. For me, that was just fine. Seeing Cain now as military academy teacher was an interesting take. In the end, I will note that though many like to compare Cain to Flashman, Cain is not really a coward. I do not think the comparison is fair. The man is more the sort of guy who just wants an easy life and minimal attention and spotlight. But he certainly is a skilled warrior, duelist, and in the end, always does the right thing. He is a pragmatic fellow. And maybe that is why I enjoy these books so much. I will certainly be looking for the next one in the series.