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Freehold Books In Order

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Publication Order of Freehold Books

Writing for quite some time now, the British born author who moved to Canada then America Michael Z. Williamson is well known for being a high-octane writer of science-fiction, specifically military science-fiction, that’s both fast paced and exciting throughout, with a political underpinning to the narrative that provides his work with a weight behind the action, as he incorporates real world events into his story-lines. Also going under the pen-names of ‘Crazy Einar’ and ‘Mad Mike’, he’s definitely seen as a charismatic and idiosyncratic presence within the literary industry, creating stories and characters that are thrilling and engaging. Not only that, but he’s also got an extensive list of franchises behind him that incorporate many of these themes and ideas out over a long series of novels. One such series is that of his Freehold franchise which manages to incorporate a number of different series into its backlog of universe building material, creating a large and expansive world for his many readers worldwide to explore, taking them on a journey that’s both immersive and highly entertaining. With many of them crossing over between each other, they manage to create an in-depth world that justifies the action within them all, which also helps set them up to be a highly engrossing set of novels to follow, as there’s plenty to get involved in throughout the course of them all. This also helps to build upon the characters as well, as many of them return at different stages, allowing readers to become a lot more invested in them and their development overall.

The franchise itself spans for two separate series that cross-over between each other at various points, both these series being the ‘Grainne War/Aftermath’ series and the ‘Ripple Creek’ series. The ‘Grainne War/Aftermath’ series consists of five titles so far and counting, whilst the ‘Ripple Creek’ series only consists of three titles, essentially making a trilogy of novels. Set in futuristic world where the Earth along with all the planets are under the rule of an oppressive single government, it sees the people fighting back against the more fascistic elements that are attempting to keep them down. The in-depth technical aspects of the series are also noteworthy as well, as Williamson has managed to use his extensive knowledge of weaponry to create a more elaborate and detailed universe.


Originally published in 2003 on the 30th of December, this title was first released through the Baen publishing label. Setting up the overall franchise, it worked at establishing the entire Freehold universe, creating the series arc as a whole. Developing a style and a tone, it managed to build upon the initial premise, giving the readers a clear idea of what to expect in the novels to follow.

Set in a fully realized dark and dystopic vision of the future, it takes the solar-system as it’s currently known and turns it on its head. Using ideas and firm staples of the genre such as individuality, totalitarianism and what it takes to be well and truly free, it then manages to turn them on their head. Creating a subverted view of it, Williamson manages to draw all the more traditional elements together and make them his own, all whilst answering some of the larger questions.

An innocent woman is on the run as Sergeant Kendra Pacelli is being pursued by government forces set on taking her down. Looking to cover-up a mistake, the government is trying hide the fact that billions in embezzled money has been made through illegal weapon sales. It seems, though, that there’s nowhere for Kendra to run, especially when she’s a fugitive of a one world government. Looking to hide out in the ‘Freehold of Grainne’, which is the only place where government doesn’t have power, she hopes to make a new life for herself. Will the government find out, though? Can she remain hidden? What will become of the Freehold?

The Weapon

Initially published in 2005 on the 27th of March, this was set to continue on directly from the first with another story set entirely in the Freehold universe. Coming out through the Baen publishing house once again, it manages to capture a lot of what made the first title work, whilst also building upon it and setting up a whole range of new elements in the process. Really knowing what he is creating here, Williamson has developed a lot more from the original book, moving the series and the franchise as a whole forwards.

Similar to the first, there are many ideas here that reflect the philosophy of Williamson well, as he perfectly manages to articulate his viewpoint and perspective. Showing a highly technical knowledge of military maneuvers and regimes this time, he’s become a lot more adept at his craft. Knowing exactly what he wants to say here, everything is extremely precise and very well structured throughout.

Featuring the story of one Kenneth Chinran, it sees him as a disaffected youth who went and joined up to the military only to be deployed undercover on the fascist controlled planet Earth. Living there for many years he marries and has a daughter, all the while remaining dormant until the time is right, only to then have the Earth forces attack his own system, which then causes him and his allies to come out of hiding and cause some damage to the infrastructure of Earth. This leaves him to go on the run with his daughter, as he then has to make an attempt to leave the planet and return to safety and freedom with her. Will he be able to do so? Can he save them both? What will become of the weapon?

The Freehold Series

Clearly holding a passion for the subject matter Michael Z. Williamson has managed to create a rich and vibrant world within this overall franchise, especially when it comes to highlighting his technical knowledge of the military and how they operate. Keeping it exciting as well, he’s managed to keep it going at a fast pace throughout, something which keeps his many loyal readers on the edges-of-their-seats and constantly coming back for more time and time again. The characters are also indicative of this as well, as they manage to resonate with the reader in their struggles against the ever oppressive regime. This is something that will continue for some time yet, with a lot more titles set to come in the future, as the series brand grows from strength-to-strength for many years to come.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Freehold

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