This book was a big disappointment after the last two in the series.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s still worth reading, it’s full of dramatic tension, and you have to understand what went on here in order to understand the rest of the novels, but it bogs down in most of the first half with painful infodumps and the “downer” of Honor returning to the Manticoran Navy to a position well beneath her talents that puts her in an entirely unnecessary situation. I appreciate the realism of having good people pay for the unrelenting idiocy of others, but as the sixth book in a series I’m beginning to grow impatient with the system’s constant jerking around of Honor Harrington. Her devout loyalty to her Queen is one of the qualities we are meant to admire about her, but personally I don’t see why she doesn’t just tell all of them to take a walk and join the Greyson Navy full time. Certainly her promotion gives her more than ample justification and her new position as a head-of-state of an allied power assures that she will spend lots of time with her friends; more than she did as a mere Manticoran Captain. I think that stretches credibility and because it puts her in an unnecessarily bad situation that she had no real right being in, I find it frustrating and more than a little irritating.