Rules of Engagement (#5)

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After proving herself in battle, Esmay Suiza is continuing her RSS Fleet training alongside her erstwhile love Barin when she meets Brun—the ebullient daughter of Lord Thornbuckle—who idolizes her as a reluctant hero. But Esmay cannot abide Brun’s highborn airs. And when their shared affection for Barin ignites a rivalry between them, Esmay is exiled to remote duty. Crushed by the rebuke of her friendship, Brun leaves the facility—and enters a nightmare.

For the enemies of civilization are on the move. The savage New Texas Militia, driven to spread their fanatical dogma, has been stealing the Familias government’s own weaponry to use against them. When Brun accidentally witnesses their depredations, her life is all but forfeit. Taken by the Militia, she is subjected to inhuman torment as Esmay is blamed for the disastrous situation and the galaxy prepares for inevitable conflict.

With the life of Brun and the dominance of the Familias Regnant both in peril, Esmay must go into action once again against a brutal, deranged enemy who would rather die than face defeat…


“Great female characters, vigorous plotting, a solid military-family backdrop.”


“Intensely lively characters, inspired detail and smart pacing ensure this novel will win readers’ interest.”

Publishers Weekly

“This fast-paced yarn just sucks you in with irresistible force.”


“Proof that the best space opera is being written by women […] Moon lets excellent characterizations carry this story along, and she knows how to write a sequel without requiring the reader to backtrack.”


“Fun, emotionally charged, entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking to boot.”


“Fans of Esmay Suiza, the main character of ONCE A HERO, will be delighted […] [Moon] engages all our emotions with vibrant characterization and spellbinding plotting.”

RT Book Reviews

Awards & Accolades


#2 Locus Hardcover Bestseller List


#2 Barnes & Noble/Dalton Paperback Bestseller List


#3 Barnes & Noble/Dalton Hardcover Bestseller List


#5 Waldenbooks Paperback Bestseller List


#6 Waldenbooks Hardcover Bestseller List