- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Baen; 1st Edition edition (Aug. 26 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780743471480
- ISBN-13: 978-0743471480
- ASIN: 0743471482
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 717 g
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #900,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Crown Of Slaves Hardcover – Aug 26 2003
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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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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 Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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However, there is a great deal of interplay between nascent characters, a few new and interesting characters like the extremely deadly Solarian Lieutenant Thandi Plane are introduced, and a few interesting characters like Michael Oversteegen, Victor Cachat, the Audubon Ballroom and some "Scrags" get considerable depth added to their characters.
We have the traditional Weber young-girls-doing-brave-things scenes, although none as young as Stephanie Harrington: Princess Ruth (also ex TSotS in "Promised Land") and Berry Zilwiki as late-teens/early-twenties get major parts and do well with them.
Anton comes and goes, but I enjoy almost every scene of his in this book, his Highlander personality comes across well. There is an undercurrent of big changes afoot for the Solarian League, including an interesting new character in Solarian Captain Luiz Roszak which bodes well for the megabattle aspect in following books.
All in all, a great read.
CAPTAIN MICHAEL OVERSTEEGEN (commander, CA Gauntlet)
"I will leave out of all this the petty consideration that we're talkin' about the life of a teenage girl. I realize that's a matter beneath your contempt. I will just take the opportunity t' tell you, since I don't believe I've ever done it before at one of our family gatherin's - not precisely, I mean - just how brainless you are, [Countess] Deborah [Fraser, Manticoran Ambassador to Erewhon]. Truly brainless. Not simply stupid. Bar-ain-less. As in: brains of a carrot."
GINNY USHER (wife of Kevin Usher, head of Haven's internal security)
"Don't believe 've been introduced," Ginny blurted out. Words were at a premium now, running out like water on a beach before the tidal wave hits. "You people really make me sick."
The tsunami arrived, then, washing across five of the six before it was done. Some portion of Victor's brain decided he was witnessing a miracle. Two miracles, in fact - first, that any of the six diplomats had emerged unscathed, given the volume of the torrent and its volcanic energy; second, that a woman as small as Ginny could produce such a volume in the first place.
"See here!" he [Victor] heard one of the diplomats cry out angrily.
"Sure," hissed Ginny. "Did I miss one?" She began struggling in Victor's grip, apparently determined to return and rectify the oversight.
I tended to like Eric Flint's novels at the beginning, but lost interest later. His books often seem to have an ideological slant that annoys me, and to start with a straightforward plot I like, than go in a different direction.
I was a little worried having Flint write in the Honorverse would introduce inconsistency, because the "bad guys" are often exaggerated liberals in the Honorverse.
I was relieved to see that this was NOT the case in _Crown of Slaves_. Flint was able to show a different side to the "bad guys" without introducing inconsistency or excessive polemics.
This book was a very good "cloak and dagger" novel set in the Honorverse just before the last Honor Harrington novel. It involves former spies from Haven and Manticore who go to Erewhon to vie for the allegiance of that potential ally, and get caught up in a conflict involving the genetic slave trade. The authors did a a great job at handling Machiavellian political scheming and elaborate plots. They also created some excellent characters, from the kind of plucky teenage heroines that L'Engle gave me a taste for to larger than life super-spies. There were also several characters from the Wrong Side of the Tracks. There were characters who were famously dangerous and could scare people with a look that reminded me of the protagonist from _Nightingale's Lament_. The "super spies" were super-competent enough to be heroic, but still managed to seem both human and plausible.
There were an unusual number of typos in the book, most words that were followed by a synonym that was clearly supposed to have been deleted. There was a case where a character was portrayed as ruthless, than had a bout of conscience over something that had to be less ethically problematic than things he had done in the past. The end was satisfying, but marred by a sudden burst of naivety.
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