I picked "Once a Hero" off a bookstore shelf on a whim, and became so engrossed in it that I stayed until the bookstore closed, standing in the aisle consuming chapter upon chapter. Having read all of the Esmay Suiza series, I've found each book to be unique and excellent in its own right, and this one is no exception. The well-thought-out strategy and fast-paced action of the earlier Esmay Suiza books are what initially drew me in. Upon concluding the last chapter, I suddenly realized that there hadn't been nearly as much action as I had hoped for. But oddly enough, I didn't feel the least bit disappointed. I had cracked open the cover looking for battle action and glory, and instead found romance, interpersonal conflict, and political manipulation. Upon digesting the book, I realized that I was quite satisfied, even if I had paid hardcover price. I picked up this book expecting to find resolution to some of the unresolved plotlines from previous books. I was not disappointed, and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my plot predictions often proved incorrect. Had I known this book was low on action scenes, I wouldn't have read it. But I'm GLAD I was ignorant, because I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I started reading a book the other day that was so awful I literally hurled it into the trash can without finishing it. "Against the Odds" will not be joining that book, and is currently serving as a bookend for a growing collection of Elizabeth Moon books on my shelf... It's a keeper.