It may be of interest to you to read my review of the previous book, The High-Tech Knight
The Radiant Warrior is the third book in Leo Frankowski’s Adventures of Conrad Stargard series. It is a pivot point for the series’ plotline, because it begins to ramp up for the upcoming war with the Mongol invaders.
There’s nothing new under the sun in The Radiant Warrior, unless you count all the extra calculations that Frankowski did for his base-12 numbering system, and the new metric systems that Conrad devises, including “army” time, which has hours double the length of normal ones. This latter institution had much to do with his previous invention of a grandfather clock (and eventually wristwatches, I believe).
The name of the novel comes from the “Order of Radiant Warriors,” which is a fanciful name for the first “sergeants” of Conrad’s army. The building of a school—and the training of an elite core of warriors, eventually drill sergeants—actually takes up significantly fewer pages than I remembered. It is no great loss. There are plenty of other things to keep the reader occupied: Conrad’s new city/facility for the mining and smelting of iron; Conrad’s new facility/city for the mining and processing of coal; Conrad’s new city/school for the education of aeronautical engineers, headed by the impetuous Count Lambert; finally, Conrad’s run-in with the Inquisition, among other things.
With each novel, my ability to expound at length is diminished. Suffice it to say that while there is without argument a series-long plot arch (at least through book 5), the books themselves are largely episodic, and the majority of their action is self-contained, devoted only marginally to treating slower-moving plot devices. This is an upward curve, however, as the series approaches its (original) climax.
It goes without saying that if you enjoyed the previous books, you’ll want to read this one as well.