From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Weber's Honor Harrington series know that one of its more intriguing aspects is the "Honorverse," the historical, political and astrophysical foundation upon which he builds his plots. They will be delighted with this offshoot in which he and coauthor Flint (1633) develop several situations and characters from other stories. Due to the incompetence of Queen Elizabeth's current government, the alliance between the Star Kingdom of Manticore and Erewhon is on the verge of dissolution, so the queen sends her niece, Ruth, as a representative to a state funeral to patch things up. When a band of terrorists attack Ruth, Havenite agent Victor Cachat seizes the opportunity to forge new bonds between the Erewhonese and his own star nation. At the same time, Cachat liberates an interstellar slave ship and, in a Machiavellian scheme, puts together an alliance that includes Manticorans, Havenites, Erewhonese and units of the Solarian League Navy to liberate a slave planet and form a new star nation dedicated to the extirpation of slavery. Despite the authors' opposing political views, they have managed, in a rare and impressive display of bipartisanism, to blend Edmund Burke and Carlos Marighella into an intriguing synthesis that should appeal to readers of both persuasions. This outstanding effort transcends the label "space opera" and truly is a novel of ideas.
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Judith, leader of the Masadan women's escape, and Havenite superspy Victor Cachat reappear some 20 years after the events of The Service of the Sword
[BKL Ap 15 02]. Ruth, the queen of Manticore's niece and Judith's daughter by Prince Michael, is on a diplomatic mission to the planet Erewhon with Berry, spymaster Anton Zilwicki's adopted daughter, who, when it is deemed advantageous, acts as Ruth's double. Unfortunately, everybody else they meet is engaged in games of deception, too, some of them quite lethal and all of which altogether involve quite a regiment of thugs, terrorists, and freedom fighters. The ensuing action, powered by Weber and Flint's hallmark breathless pacing and larger-than-life characters (literally, in the case of Solarian League marine lieutenant Thandi Palane), fills the book very nicely. In the end, a major body blow has been made to the interstellar slave rings, Berry Zilwicki has a new career, and the Solarian League and Erewhon have emerged as real players in the Honorverse (i.e., the space Weber's multi-storied Honor Harrington haunts). Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved