The families who rule the People's Republic of Haven are in trouble. The treasury's empty, the Proles are restless, and civil war is imminent.
But the ruling class knows what they need to keep in power: a "short victorious war" to unite the people and fill the treasury once more. It's a card they've played often in the last half-century, always successfully, and all that stands in their way is the Star Kingdom of Manticore and its threadbare allies: enemies in the past who have always backed down.
Only this time the Peeps face something different. This time they're up against Captain Honor Harrington and a Royal Manticoran Navy that's prepared to give them a war that's far from short - or victorious.
A Note from Author David Weber
There's been some confusion—not to say, um, energetic debate, readers and fans being readers and fans—about the correct pronunciation of "Manticoran." The truth, alas, is that a stitch was dropped. An error occurred. A mistake was made… and it wasn't Audible's fault. It was mine. Before Audible recorded the very first Honor Harrington book, narrator Allyson Johnson and I not only corresponded by e-mail but actually spoke to one another by phone. She wanted to make absolutely certain she had the correct pronunciations for names, places, star nations, etc., and I tried to make certain all of her questions were answered. And so they were. Unfortunately, at some point in the process, I replied to one of her e-mails by telling her that "Man-ti-core-ahn" was pronounced "Man-tik-er-ahn." Exactly how this happened is more than I can say at this point, except to blushingly disclose that the original e-mail remains intact, confirming to all the world that it was, indeed, my fault. I can ascribe it only to a temporary mental hiccup on my part and crave your forgiveness. If, however, you must blame someone for the mix-up, that someone should be me and not Audible, who have done everything they could to get it right.
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A Short Victorious War
An increasingly interesting series
I was a little worried that the series would start to become repetitive (Honor faces huge odds, Honor's ship barely survives, Honor becomes an interplanetary hero), and perhaps by the time I hit book 11 it will be, but this book is significantly different. It spends a lot of time on other characters, Honor works as just one part of a team, and there is some interesting political intrigue (however, it is not _all_ political intrigue, like Weber's Armageddon Reef series)
I like her; whilst some of her accents are a bit questionable sometimes, but she has a lot of characters she needs to differentiate between. The whole
Nope. Enjoyable, exciting, interesting. Not great literature, but very good writing and dialog for a sci-fi series. Characters, if not fully 3D, are at least 2.5 dimensional (some sympathetic enemies, though there are a couple of caricatures)
Weber does a good job writing about a (near) zero-sexism culture without completely ignoring sexism (like the Lost Fleet series) but also without being blazingly obvious and preachy about it.
The previous book, which addressed the issue directly by pitting Honor against two different patriarchies (one openly misogynistic, the other less so, but still very chauvinistic), did it in an interesting manner; this book doesn't specifically address the issue, although it does reveal the fact that sexual assault still exists in Honor's world.
It's an issue that I think Weber handles well, and is not one usually addressed in action/sci-fi.