Fifth and latest anthology in the series of these which tells short stories set in the world of the 'Honorverse' the popular series of military science fiction novels by David Weber. This is quite a long running and well established series now, and therefore new readers would be better off starting at the beginning of it with On Basilisk Station (Honorverse) rather than here.
As with the others in this series, this one contains stories written by other writers, about supporting characters from the series. And a story by David Weber himself all about Honor Harrington.
The first story 'Ruthless' by writer Jane Linskold, runs for just under one hundred pages. It tells of how a refugee's young daughter is kidnapped, as part of a plot to bring shame upon the Star Kingdom's royal family. This forces Crown Prince Michael, younger brother of the queen, into some tricky choices. This is capably written and readable enough but the prose isn't always the most involving. It does have some good character moments and a decent ending though. On it's own it would rate 3/5.
Next comes 'An Act of War' By Timothy Zahn. Featuring Charles, a mysterious con artist who gets caught out by the People's Republic of Haven. To save his own skin, he offers them a plan that will make Manticore and a would be ally fall out. He then has to try and stay alive and adapt to changing circumstances. The main character is intriguing and the story does start off very well. It does get a bit involved in the middle, but it does have some clever surprises and twists up it's sleeve, making for a satisfying finale. It would also rate 3/5 on it's own.
But then we have the Honor story. 'Let's Dance'. Set prior to the first book of the series, this runs for just under two hundred pages, and sees young Honor get involved in dealing with a bunch of space pirates and slavers. She has to play at politics and make some very tricky moral choices along the way.
This is probably the best Honor piece in these volumes. It benefits enormously from making her the viewpoint character for ninety nine percent of it. And giving her some nice little character moments. Plus making her and the reader think about the moral issues at hand. There's only a short little bit of action. But that doesn't detract. It is a very readable piece indeed.
After that comes 'an introduction to modern armor starship design,' which is almost fifty pages of information about thre ships of the series and the combat they get into. Some of the more recent Honorverse have contained very long scenes of characters talking about this kind of thing, and they've rather slowed those books down. This isn't even written as dialogue, more in the style of a technical manual. So it's strictly for those who are into that kind of thing.
After that is a short section of spaceship schematics. Then a few preview chapters from other books by David Weber.
Two okay stories. Some dull sections. But a really great adventure for Honor. The latter drags the rating up to a 4/5 as a whole. If you're a fan of the series this is worth getting.