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1,0371516,334 (3.89)18
Beginning a new blockbuster series set in the "Honorverse"-the universe of Honor Harrington. The Star Kingdom's ally Erewhon is growing increasingly restive in the alliance because the new High Ridge regime ignores its needs. Add to that the longstanding problem of a slave labor planet controlled by hostile Mesans in Erewhon's stellar back yard, a problem which High Ridge also ignores. Finally, the recent assassination of the Solarian League's most prominent voice of public conscience indicates the growing danger of political instability in the Solarian League - which is also close to Erewhon. In desperation, Queen Elizabeth tries to defuse the situation by sending a private mission to Erewhon led by Captain Zilwicki, accompanied by one of her nieces. When they arrive on Erewhon, however, Manticore's most capable agent and one of its princesses find themselves in a mess. Not only do they encounter one of the Republic of Haven's most capable agents - Victor Cachat - but they also discover that the Solarian League's military delegation seems up to its neck in skullduggery. And, just to put the icing on the cake, the radical freed slave organization, the Audubon Ballroom, is also on the scene - led by its most notorious killer, Jeremy X.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Great space opera romp. Two young female characters, ages 17 and 23, are the focus of the plot. Intrigue everywhere, subplots abound, and it's a page turner.

Honor Harrington makes a guest appearance but that's all. Victor Cachat has a prominent role. Cathy Montaigne, Anton Zilwicki, Jeremy X, Kevin Usher, and Queen Elizabeth of Manticore are minor characters.

Eric Flint adds his own distinctive touch to the novel, more light-hearted and breezy, than Weber's usual imprint. ( )
  Bookjoy144 | Mar 2, 2022 |
This companion series to the mainline Honor Harrington series takes place on Erewhon which has become a gathering point for all sorts of political opinions. While the new High Ridge government seems to be trying to destroy their alliance with Erewhon, the Queen decides to send delegates of her own to the funeral of a noted politician. She chooses her niece Ruth and also sends Anton Zilwicki and his adopted daughter Berry.

To provide more security for Princess Ruth, she and Berry change places. It takes some nanotech intervention which just makes Berry and Ruth closer. The girls are quite different. Ruth has been raised in the isolation of the Mantacoran Royal Family but as the adopted daughter of the Queen's brother, she is not in the line of succession. In fact, Ruth really wants to be a spy. Traveling with the Zilwickis gives her a great opportunity since Anton is likely one of the best spies Manticore has. Berry doesn't have the same goals. She is good at all sorts of things but doesn't have a focus for her future yet since she's only seventeen. She does think her talents would make her a good queen but there aren't any openings for queens right now.

Also converging on Erewhon to attend the funeral are Victor Cachat who is a very talented intelligence agent for the new Republic of Haven and Ginny Usher who is the wife of Kevin Usher who is Haven's best spy. They are sent to try to convince Erewhon that Haven would be interested in an alliance with them since the government of Manticore doesn't seem to value them at all.

Throw in a Solarian Captain with a plot to gain power in the Solarian League, some Masadan terrorists who want to capture Princess Ruth, and a wide variety of anti-slavery terrorists and you have a complex and engaging adventure.

I liked the focus on these new characters. I liked the political wrangling and dealing and liked the different look at Haven we get. This was a great beginning to a new series. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 26, 2020 |
This companion series to the mainline Honor Harrington series takes place on Erewhon which has become a gathering point for all sorts of political opinions. While the new High Ridge government seems to be trying to destroy their alliance with Erewhon, the Queen decides to send delegates of her own to the funeral of a noted politician. She chooses her niece Ruth and also sends Anton Zilwicki and his adopted daughter Berry.

To provide more security for Princess Ruth, she and Berry change places. It takes some nanotech intervention which just makes Berry and Ruth closer. The girls are quite different. Ruth has been raised in the isolation of the Mantacoran Royal Family but as the adopted daughter of the Queen's brother, she is not in the line of succession. In fact, Ruth really wants to be a spy. Traveling with the Zilwickis gives her a great opportunity since Anton is likely one of the best spies Manticore has. Berry doesn't have the same goals. She is good at all sorts of things but doesn't have a focus for her future yet since she's only seventeen. She does think her talents would make her a good queen but there aren't any openings for queens right now.

Also converging on Erewhon to attend the funeral are Victor Cachat who is a very talented intelligence agent for the new Republic of Haven and Ginny Usher who is the wife of Kevin Usher who is Haven's best spy. They are sent to try to convince Erewhon that Haven would be interested in an alliance with them since the government of Manticore doesn't seem to value them at all.

Throw in a Solarian Captain with a plot to gain power in the Solarian League, some Masadan terrorists who want to capture Princess Ruth, and a wide variety of anti-slavery terrorists and you have a complex and engaging adventure.

I liked the focus on these new characters. I liked the political wrangling and dealing and liked the different look at Haven we get. This was a great beginning to a new series. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 26, 2020 |
Much better than the other Honorverse books I've read. The political intrigue, the quirky characters - much more fun. ( )
  dreamweaversunited | Apr 27, 2020 |
It is easy to detect Eric Flint's hand in this book as it seems a bit lighter in some ways. There is still a good amount of darkness about it as the reader is no doubt aware of what is going on in Manticore and Haven, not to mention the whole topic of genetic slavery.

So Anton Zilwicki, Berry Zilwicki (Anton's adopted daughter), and Ruth Winton (Queen Elizabeth's niece) are sent off to Erewhon as an informal delegation from Manticore. Then there is Victor Cachat and Ginny Usher from Haven. Add in Solarians, Erewhonese, Masadans, and slavers and there is bound to be enough action to satisfy the heart of any James Bond fan.

While in many ways a stand-alone novel, this benefits from having read From the Highlands (short novel in Changer of Worlds) and Fanatic (novella in The Service of the Sword) first. That said, I would recommend it to fans of the Honor Harrington series and to people who enjoy action and politics in their science fiction. It certainly had me turning the pages. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Aug 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Weberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Flint, Ericmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kotarski, JarosławTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattingly, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Andre Norton ---

Andre, you proved long ago that being a giant
has nothing to do with physical stature. You've been
taking giant steps and teaching the art of story-telling
for over half a century, and we are among those---
those many---who have been privileged to be your
students. It's time we told the teacher thank you.
First words
"I'm really nervous, Daddy," whispered Berry, glancing almost furtively at the resplendently uniformed soldiers who seemed to line the entire length of the hallway leading to Queen Elizabeth's private audience chamber.
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Beginning a new blockbuster series set in the "Honorverse"-the universe of Honor Harrington. The Star Kingdom's ally Erewhon is growing increasingly restive in the alliance because the new High Ridge regime ignores its needs. Add to that the longstanding problem of a slave labor planet controlled by hostile Mesans in Erewhon's stellar back yard, a problem which High Ridge also ignores. Finally, the recent assassination of the Solarian League's most prominent voice of public conscience indicates the growing danger of political instability in the Solarian League - which is also close to Erewhon. In desperation, Queen Elizabeth tries to defuse the situation by sending a private mission to Erewhon led by Captain Zilwicki, accompanied by one of her nieces. When they arrive on Erewhon, however, Manticore's most capable agent and one of its princesses find themselves in a mess. Not only do they encounter one of the Republic of Haven's most capable agents - Victor Cachat - but they also discover that the Solarian League's military delegation seems up to its neck in skullduggery. And, just to put the icing on the cake, the radical freed slave organization, the Audubon Ballroom, is also on the scene - led by its most notorious killer, Jeremy X.

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