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Honor back on form!
on 4 July 2001
After going into exile after a little contretemps with Lord Young at the end of the last book, Honor takes up her duties as a Steadholder on Grayson. As Grayson's most experienced officer, she is made a Graysonian Admiral and some unexpected old acquaintances are appointed as her deputies.
But the traditionalists on Grayson, never happy with her appointment in the first place, are plotting to bring down Honor in any way they can - no matter what the cost. When they can't remove her legally, they execute a terrorist outrage to destroy her politically.
Meanwhile, the easy victories in the war with the Havenites have come to an end as the Red Terror (it's not actually referred to as that, but that's clearly what it's based on) cuts a swathe through the Havenite ranks, leaving the rest knowing the high cost of failiure. They've even started making offensive plans of their own - including a plan to bring about a revolt in Massada (Grayson's bitterest enemy) to divert the Manties Navy away from the front.
Of course, Honor overcomes all her enemies. In a frenetic last hundred pages, she faces an attempted assassination, a duel and a naval engagement. This is a great improvement on the previous volume (Fields of Dishonor) as it's much faster paced and, despite there being a significant amount of political fighting and some economic discussion, it's packed with fights of one kind or another.
PS. I also found the afterword rather poignant - this book was written at the time of the Oklahoma bombing and the author expresses his condemnation of those who claim that "the ends justifies the means." As it happens, I was rading it in the week when they finally executed Timothy McVeigh.