"Why in Christ's name can the woman never
bring a ship back intact?" muses Hamish Alexander at the triumphant return of Honor Harrington in Ashes of Victory
, the apparent resurrection of a woman he'd seen executed by the Peeps some two years earlier. Yep, she's back: minus a left arm and an eye, minus a few inches of hair, and more than a little banged up in the process, the indestructible, ever-resilient Honor is back from the dead--and she's got some 400,000 liberated POWs from Hades in tow for good measure.
Picking up where Echoes of Honor left off, the ecstatic reunion that begins Ashes proves short-lived as Honor once again lives up to her nickname of "The Salamander," always ending up where the fire's hottest. In the longest book of this naval space-opera series, David Weber plunges his beloved heroine (now an admiral!) into a thick tangle of political plots, as she takes on a more mature, behind-the-scenes role than in previous books. But don't fret: there's still some good action as HH prevents an assassination attempt and Manticore and its allies test-drive their new weaponry. And quite a few characters get what's coming to them too, including a few who drop like picked-off Peeps. All in all, yet another worthy installment in the series--check out On Basilisk Station first if you're new to HH. --Paul Hughes
The new Honor Harrington novel is the longest yet, but justifies its length and complexity by greatly advancing the story of Honor and her universe. Honor has triumphally returned from Hades, at the head of a fleet of liberated POWs. Her reward is to become an admiral, a duchess, and a billionaire. She also becomes an elder sister of twins and, since Nimitz has lost some of his telepathy to war wounds, helps the ever delightful treecats learn signing, thereby proving they are fully sapient. But the war goes on, and the Star Kingdom's superior technology and training increasingly give it the advantage, despite the People's Republic of Haven's efforts to catch up. After several years, the kingdom is approaching total victory, and the "Peeps" must purge the last ideologues on the Committee of Public Safety to maintain any hope of survival. Factor in Honor's personal and professional dilemmas, realistic R&D and procurement problems, spine-tingling action, and the series' usual dry wit, and it is clear that Weber has produced another mandatory acquisition. Roland Green