Moving briskly along following the dark story of the fall of Centauri Prime and the ascencion of Londo Mollari to the throne as Emperor, we now have to deal with the Drakh and their infiltration of all that is Homeworld.
The citizens of Centauri Prime are working to rebuild their planet following the bombardment as the Shadows departed. Londo Mollari is Emperor, but as we find out, in name only. The power behind his throne is the Drakh and their pawn Lord Durla. Although Durla seems to think that his political ambitions are his own idea, and Londo (when sober) appears to be aware of the backstabbing Durla's agenda, the influence of the Drakh combined with the Centauri love of intrigue leads all the players down a path not of their own making.
A most surprising ally of the Alliance, in the person of Vir Cotto, arrives on the scene. Actually behind the scenes, as he begins a resistance movement to undermine the control of the Emperor. Vir knows something is not quite right with Londo, but he has no idea what it is. But his deep love of his homeworld and the people of Centauri Prime motivates Vir to do whatever he can to give the planet back to those it really belongs to. John Sheridan sends Michael Garibaldi to investigate the situation on Centauri Prime.
Garibaldi has to be discreet, he has to discover what the Centauri military is building, and he has to keep the Alliance out of it. One war was enough and Sheridan, Garibaldi and Cotto all know what the consequences will be if their efforts are discovered by the Drakh, by Londo and by Lord Durla.
Just to make things more interesting, Galen the Technomage has his hand in the plot, as does Mariel, who seems to bounce back from whatever disaster she creates. This is one nasty, sneaky lady and it seems no one is safe from her. Senna, Londo's ward, is again a strong influence and she, along with Galen and Garibaldi, are Vir Cotto's strongest allies. For a bit of humor, more intrigue and a steady hand, G'Kar lends his support, but one can never be quite sure just what is motivating this Narn.
Discoveries, revelations and discord, these are the very strong elements in this 2nd book of the series. The development of the characters, especially Vir, Galen, G'Kar and Senna, along with Londo's suffering at the hands of the Drakh are exceptionally well written and those characters are very much the reason one keeps reading. Although bits and pieces of the story can be found among the television episodes and movies of Babylon5, there is much more to be learned, including the final outcome. Will Centauri Prime recover? And, will there be another war?
Title: The Armies of Light & Dark