Tarnished Knight (#1)

Next: Perilous Shield

CEO Artur Drakon has been betrayed. The Syndicate Worlds’ government failed to protect its citizens from both the Alliance and the alien enigmas. With a cadre of reliable soldiers under his command, Drakon launches a battle for control of the Midway Star System—assisted by an ally he’s unsure he can trust…

CEO Gwen Iceni was exiled to Midway because she wasn’t ruthless enough in the eyes of her superiors. She proved them wrong by commandeering some of the warships at Midway and declaring the star system’s independence on behalf of the people though staying in charge as “President.” But while she controls the mobile fleet, she has no choice but to rely on “General” Drakon’s ground forces to keep the peace planet-side.

If their coup is to succeed, Drakon and Iceni must put their differences aside to prevent the population of Midway from rebelling against them, to defend their star system from the enigmas—and to ferret out saboteurs determined to reestablish Syndic rule…


“Campbell maintains the military, political and even sexual tension with sure-handed proficiency […] Campbell focuses on the human element: two strong, well-developed characters locked in mutual dependence, fumbling their way toward a different and hopefully brighter future. What emerges is a fascinating and vividly rendered character study, fully and expertly contextualized.”


"If there is at this present time a better writer of pure popcorn explosive-BOOM military space opera working in the field, I haven’t found them.”


“TARNISHED KNIGHT is as much an intellectual puzzle as it is a space adventure. The political and social aspects of overturning a centrally run government that controls its people through terror and strict regulations are truly interesting.”

Fantasy Literature

“TARNISHED KNIGHT proves that Campbell can continue to produce entertaining, thought-provoking far future, space-based science fiction. In an era where fantasy is dominant over the science fiction side of the SFF tree, I’d welcome more US authors [who] write and publish novels like Jack Campbell does.”


“I truly enjoy Jack Campbell’s writing and pacing […] One of the most interesting aspects of the story is the internal fighting that has become part and parcel with advancement in their system of government. The rampant abuse of power and casual disregard for underlings is so pervasive that no one can imagine a way that it could be different.”


“The military battle sequences are very well done with the land-based action adding a new dimension […] Fans of the ‘Lost Fleet’ series will almost certainly buy and enjoy this book.”


“THE LOST STARS: TARNISHED KNIGHT is a true page turner as Jack Campbell takes you from one cliff-hanger to the next before you’ve had time to readjust to the newest twist. You feel just a little bit of the paranoia and fear that is an everyday accompaniment to a world that is just getting its first taste of freedom. I look forward to the next book to continue the adventures!”

My Bookish Ways

“This brilliant sidebar, new series occurs during a period between the Beyond the Frontier last two entries: Dreadnaught and Invincible […] Jack Campbell runs a strong saga shown from the viewpoints of the Syndicate at a time when the vicious totalitarian military regime teeters on the brink of total collapse.”

Alternative Worlds

“This imaginative science fiction novel does a nice job of exploring the difficulty of forming alliances in a climate where suspicion and backstabbing has traditionally been not only encouraged but virtually required in order to get ahead.”

Night Owl Reviews

“On the surface TARNISHED KNIGHT is a simple story of fast flowing hi-tech battles on the ground, complex and gripping battles in space, invasion and mayhem. But very close to the surface its a different story altogether.”


“TARNISHED KNIGHT is a delicious dish from an exciting new Syndic establishment that includes an appetizer of rebellion and civil war, an entree of political intrigue and survival, and is now served with a side of aliens.”

Fresh Fiction

“TARNISHED KNIGHT is a promising start of a new series that expands the world Campbell has created in The Lost Fleet. While there are plenty of military engagements, overall there is less action, and more emphasis on character development and a complex political plot.”

The Guilded Earlobe

Awards & Accolades