Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: #2 Armies of Light and Dark by Peter David

Armies of Light and Dark - Peter David, J. Michael Straczynski

This book covers the years 2268 to 2273 and focuses more on Vir and his "growing-up" as it's called.


Vir allies himself with Technomages (among them Galen from "Crusade") who, already in the first part, helped him prevent an assassination attempt on Sheridan. Together they manage to destroy a Shadow base on a border world that the Drakh, with Centauri help, began to put into use again. But not before a bioweapon is launched towards Earth. Also with Galen's help Vir manages to get his exile overturned and slowly learns what's really going on on Centauri Prime and with Londo.


Vir really grows up from the bubbling buffoon, afraid of his own shadow, to a sarcastic, battle-weary tactician who has to weigh the ongoing existence of the Centauri against the threat posed by the Drakh and their associates and who is willing to stretch, if not cross boundaries (such as coercion and even murder) - and who's not afraid of dying yet because of a simple prophecy that shows him succeeding Londo to the throne. And somehow, he convinces the Technomages and Sheridan, who catches on that something is not right on Centauri Prime, to let him fight from within first - and so it comes that he's forming his own rebellion movement.


Meanwhile, Londo's adversaries within the Centauri government are gaining power, but they are not willing to remove him... yet. But otherwise, they're ruthless in their brainwashing the general population against the Alliance and secretly (and often unwittingly) working to further the Drakh's agenda, removing every obstacle, one of those being Lou Welch, a welcome cameo, who's investigating and later killed by one of the Hitler Youth-members. A chilling glimpse into the making and sustaining of a dictatorial state with a puppet as leader.


This is a pretty intense 2nd part of a trilogy, filled with regret, grief, manipulation, self-disgust and sacrifice, fleshing out especially Vir and also the Technomages. On to the conclusion.