A perfectly enjoyable and fast-reading space opera. One third of the book goes to space battles, one third to politics/world building, and one third to surprisingly non-terrible romances. The world building and sci-fi elements are well thought out, meaty, and occasionally clever. They aren't as brilliant as you would find in M. Banks, and there are occasional mis-steps (authors, please stop mixing psionics in with your sci-fi stories! Keep the psychics in the fantasy ghetto! Thank you!), but overall the story doesn't make you feel dumb when you read and enjoy it.