My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book completely converted me to the Honor Harrington series. Not only was this an outstanding bit of space opera, but somehow, David Weber managed to insert a strong-willed female vaguely agnostic protagonist into a diplomatic and military role with a Mormonesque patriarchal religious culture . . . and it worked; and made sense, and didn’t descend into any number of several possible bad tropes, or psychological abuse, or preaching about either side’s views.
Honor came across as an intelligent and effective military leader and diplomat and I read the whole novel at the edge of my seat. A lot of things happened in the story that are difficult and traumatizing for a realistic character, and neither did she wallow in self-pity nor sail blithely through the situation as though entirely unaffected. She is angry in some cases and almost violates all sorts of protocols due to her very human emotions.
I fell in love with her completely, and Weber’s complex political worlds even more so. Interplanetary and imperial politics have direct effects on Weber’s Manticoran Navy, some of which are quite bad for its starfarers.
It’s not perfect of course. Weber still insists on the story-bogging infodumps. And some of the bad guys might as well be curling their mustachios and cackling. But all in all, a fine piece of writing, one that inspires me to better work in my own writing. If you are a fan of space opera or nautical fiction, you *must* read this book. You’ll thank me for the recommendation.