For those not familiar with Michael Z. Williamson‘s Freehold universe, let me give you the short take: A planet settled by hardcore libertarians is targeted by the United Nations for takeover. They don’t roll over and show their tummies; instead, they rise up and bare their fangs.
I’ve been reading works in this universe since the original book, Freehold, appeared in 2004. Freehold Defiance is a collection of short stories by Williamson and other writers. It’s the first I’ve read that gives some insight to the UN side of the war. It consists of 14 stories by various authors, including Williamson. I read it in 3 sittings, and I only did that because I was interrupted by a family supper and an urgent rescue mission for Son, who has now learned an embarrassing lesson about modern autos and their damnable keyless systems. He’s now learned that spare batteries tucked into the glove compartment are your friends.
Overall, I found the writing to be of only slightly varying quality, with the worst story being at about the level of fan fiction. The rest are all of the quality one expects from professionals.
Worth the time and money. While it can stand on its own, I would recommend that anyone who wants to understand the Freehold universe read Freehold first. Besides, it’s a good book, and you can get the Kindle version for free (at least right now). After that, as far as I can tell you can read them in any sequence you wish.