Book Review: David Weber’s Uncompromising Honor

December 7, 2018 Book Reviews 2

Book Review: David Weber’s Uncompromising Honor

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Uncompromising Honor by David Weber
Genres: Military Science Fiction
Published by Baen on October 2, 2018
Pages: 773
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Cauldron of Ghosts, Treecat Wars, A Call to Duty, Hell's Foundations Quiver, At the Sign of Triumph, A Call to Vengeance

Fourteenth and last in the Honor Harrington military science fiction series and revolving around Admiral Honor Alexander-Harrington. It’s been five months since the Yawata Strike.

My Take

One thing I never understand. Why is it the bad guys can murder millions, but hurt one hair on their heads, and suddenly it’s not okay? It is, however, the first crack in the Detweiler plans.

This is damned scary to read; I had to put the book down every few chapters, as I read about the improvements in the Solarian League Navy, “helped” by Mesan technology. I knew, I just knew Weber was setting me up for deaths of characters I did NOT want to die. It was one of the very, very few times I’ve wanted to read the end to see who does die, just to take away the tension.

There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes manipulation, strategy, politics, and a semblance of diplomacy throughout the story. Just as there is an overwhelming glut of information about the weapons, their systems, and the types of ships that make up the various fleets, task forces, divisions, etc. I’m no science fan, so I mostly read through the weapons stuff with more of an eye to grasping how useful it’ll be. Certainly enough to scare the pants off me when it comes to describing the SLN’s improvements!

I could wish for more of that balance Weber provides in humanizing the series with friendships, the banter, loving families, humor, and grief for those lost.

“‘You’re incorrigible,’ he said, smothering a laugh.’

‘I don’t know why you and Honor keep saying that. I’m the most encouragable person I know!'”

These Mandarins are so obsessed with their own importance and desire to survive, that they’ll condone any illegality, including firing on civilians and ships that have surrendered. There’s a Nazi-like adherence to obey orders when so many Sollies are against the concept of Operation Buccaneer. As for Weber’s references to the “average woman on the street*” and her cluelessness, sadly, the US is in many ways like the average Solarian. We know we’re the greatest, and we don’t look beyond our own borders, never meeting foreigners, believing all that we hear on the news.

* Weber’s series uses the feminine as its generic people reference, just as we use “he” and “his”.

There are a couple of interesting revelations in here about Honor. Hamish observes that she has chained her inner monster with compassion while the Detweilers regret the Alpha line that got away.

Some interesting asides: Honor complaining that there’s still too much “paper” flying about. The League mining entire planets for fuel and water for their navy. Wonder how long the planets will last? Daud does a nice job of summing up the restraint shown by the Alliance.

I did enjoy Weber giving us yet more information about the treecat bond and how it affects the human using the scenes between Clean Killer and Harahap instead of the boring info dump. We sure do learn a lot about Harahap as a result. I suspect Weber will be making use of Damien in a future spin-off. He’d be so handy in tracking down the Detweilers’ new base. And that’s just one of the tidbits that lead me to think Weber will continue on with the Honorverse. So many possibilities…!

And we wouldn’t know all this, if Weber hadn’t been using third person global subjective point-of-view.

Tit for tat, baby…

P.S. Writers should read the Afterword, as Weber explains how the series extended and wove in and around itself.

The Story

The Solarian League is facing disaster on so many fronts, including the Beowulf and Hypatia referendums which will determine if said planets secede from the League, the economic woes caused by the Manticoran blockade, and the string of disasters as the SL discovers how far behind they are technologically.

The League is battling for its life, or rather, the Mandarins are battling to save themselves and will do anything, anything at all. The atrocities they rain down will change the will of the Manticoran people.

Hell will reign, and justice will prevail.

The Characters

Manticore has…

…become an empire with its Empress Elizabeth Adrienne Samantha Annette Winton III (Ariel is her treecat) and heads up the Grand Alliance that includes Grayson, Haven, and the Talbott Quadrant. She’s married to Prince Consort Justin; his treecat is Monroe. Crown Princess Consort Rivka Rosenfeld-Winton is married to Crown Prince Roger. Colonel Ellen Shemais is the head of Elizabeth’s protective detail. HMS Duke of Cromarty is the queen’s personal yacht and captained by Steven Firestine. Commander Alex Rice doesn’t like the speed Firestine is insisting on.

The City of Landing is the capitol. William Alexander, Baron Grantville, is Hamish’s brother and the prime minister; Tree Master is his treecat. Admiral Patricia Givens, Second Space Lord, is brilliant and in charge of spy stuff; Thought Chaser is her treecat. Commander Terry Lassaline is her new chief of staff. Rear Admiral Joanna Saleta is her deputy. Sir Barton is Given’s civilian counterpart at Special Intelligence Service (SIS); Crooked Tooth is his bodyguard. Sir Tyler Abercrombie is the Home Secretary; Stone Climber is his treecat.

Sir Anthony Langtry was the Manticoran ambassador to the Solarian League and is now the current foreign secretary; Moon Dancer is his treecat. Officially, Charles O’Daley works for Sir Anthony, but actually is with Special Intelligence. Baroness Morncreek is head of the Exchequer. Bruce Wijenberg is at the Ministry of Trade. Charlotte, Countess Maiden Hill, is the minister for industry.

With the unwieldly Grand Alliance, the Joint Chiefs are created with Thom Theisman and his treecat Springs From Above with Rear Admiral Alenka Borderwijk as his assistant chief of staff; Sir Thomas “Tom” Caparelli and his treecat Clear Mind; and, High Admiral Yanakov of Grayson. Admiral Allen Higgins holds the non-rotating position of Vice Chief of Staff; the treecats call him Shadow Heart, and his treecat is Sorrow Hunter. Honor is here as Vice Chief of Staff (Operations). Patricia Givens will be Assistant Chief to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Intelligence).

Fleet Admiral Lady Dame Honor Alexander-Harrington, Duchess and Steadholder Harrington, commanding officer, Grand Fleet, a.k.a., the Salamander and Dances on Clouds, may be a savior of her world, but she still puts her pants on one leg at a time. Nimitz, a.k.a., Stinker and Laughs Brightly, doesn’t wear pants, ’cause he’s a treecat who bonded with Honor decades ago. He still hasn’t recovered his ability to mind-speak. Lord Hamish Alexander-Harrington, Earl White Haven and First Lord of Admiralty, is her 107-year-old husband; Samantha is his treecat and bodyguard. Emily is their wife, a famed actress paralyzed in an accident; she’ll be speaking with Dr Illescue at Briarwood. They have a set of twenty-two-month-old twins, Raoul and Katherine, who are surrounded by protective treecats from Sun Heart, Crooked Toe and his twin, Straight Toe, and more with Lindsey Phillips as their nursemaid.

James MacGuiness is Honor’s chief steward. Major Spencer Hawke, Joshua Atkins, and McGraw are Honor’s armsmen. Lieutenant Luca Tomei is Honor’s new (and dedicated) public information officer. Tobias Stimson is Hamish’s personal armsman. Sandra Thurston is Emily’s nurse and companion.

Harrington House is Honor’s home and the Grayson embassy in the city of Landing. Lucie Šárová, a Grayson, is her new personal maid, replacing (as if!) Miranda LaFollett. Sue Thorn is the cook.

Honor commands the HMS Imperator. Captain Rafe Cardones is the CO; Admiral Alfredo Yu ( Flag in Exile, 5) is Honor’s deputy CO. Commander Angela Clayton of the Grayson Space navy is Honor’s liaison between Yanakov and the Grand Fleet’s logistics officer. Commodore Mercedes Brigham is Honor’s chief of staff. Captain George Reynolds is Honor’s staff intelligence officer. Andrea Jaruwalski is her ops officer. Lieutenant Commander Harper Brantley is the com officer. Theophile Kgari. Flag Lieutenant Waldemar Tümmel.

Dr Allison Harrington is Honor’s very pregnant mother and a brilliant geneticist. Her father, Dr Alfred Harrington, had been a Marine in the past before he took back up with medicine, although tonight he’s gone back to active duty as the CO of Bassingford Medical Center.

Bassingford Medical Center
Captain Sara Kate Tillman Lessem is an old friend of Honor’s, and now the assistant director and head of Nursing and Physical Therapy at Bassingford. Dr Flint is the new head of Psychology.

Dempsey’s Bar is a chain of restaurants. Lucy is a hostess at the Landing one. Michael had been the maître d’ at the Dempsey’s on Hephaestus. George Brockman has no clue what monogamy means.

HMS Tristram is…
…captained by Commander Naomi Kaplan. Lieutenant Xamar. Clorinda Brinkman is the chief steward. Lieutenant Abigail Hearns is tactical officer with her personal armsman, Mateo Gutierrez (she’s a distant heir to the Owens Steading). Lieutenant Simpkins is the Grayson-born astrogator. Lieutenant Wanda O’Reilly. Master Chief Andrew Dawson.

Damien Harahap, a.k.a., Firebrand, worked for the Mesan Alignment, fomenting revolutions on Protector planets, claiming to work for Manticore. Now he’s a prisoner of Manticore. (Ulrike Eichbauer had been a friend.) Indiana Graham is the head of the Seraphim Independence Movement and had been one of his dupes; Mackenzie is his sister. Bruce Graham is their rescued father. A friend, Tanawat Saaowaluk, is part of the team to set up an interim government. Commodore Zavala and HMS Tristram arrived just in time.

Lacoön Two is…
…an economic blockade imposed by Manticore against the Solarian League.
Prime System is…
…under League protection and has a wormhole. They’re led by System Director Gregor Cho.

Cruiser Squadron 912 is…
…part of the task force stationed at Prime System’s wormhole junction and in command of Sara Kate’s husband, Commodore Sir Martin Lessem, who commands HMS Clas Fleming, the flagship. Commander Lester Thúi, is CruRon 912’s chief of staff. Lieutenant George Gordon is Lessem’s com officer. Commander Tom Wozniak is the operations officer. Commander Brent Krösche is tactical officer; Joanne O’Reilly is the CO. Commander Constanta Solis is in charge of electronics warfare. Randy. Vice Admiral Correia is part of the Task Group 47.3 task force. Commander Palko Nakada is the TG 47.3 astrogator.

Other ships in Lessem’s squadron include HMSs David K. Brown (the “Brownie” is commanded by Captain Harriet Amberline), Ajax, Honda Tadakatsu, Shelly Ann Jensen, Jennifer Woodward, Margaret Mallory, William S Patterson, Oliver Savander, and Rich Rucholka.

Second Division is commanded by Captain Jessica Rice with HMS Peregrine S Faye her flag ship and including HMSs Lisa Holtz, Robert L Gartner (Captain Reicher), Michael Cucchiarelli, Edward Dravecky, and Echidna (carries LACs — Shrike and Katana class; Menendez is its COLAC).

Commander Aaloka Menendez commands HMS Boomslang. Sarah Chi is the tactical officer. Andreas “Andy” Bazingnos is Menendez’s XO. Sally Parkins is in engineering. Lieutenant (JG) Josh Whitaker is the com officer. Lieutenant Giselle Parkkinen is Fire Snake‘s XO.

Destroyer Division 94.2 is led by Commander Aamodt who commands HMS So-po and includes HMS Obusier.

Ajay is…
…on the other end of the Prime System wormhole and doesn’t like the League. They’re close to Manticore and Beowulf. Their president is Tyson who offers up nominal protests in case things go belly up.

SLN Task Force 1027 is…
…sent on Operation Buccaneer to Ajay and led by Admiral Jane Isotalo aboard SLNS Foudroyant. Captaining the ship is Raghavendra. Rear Admiral Barthilu Rosiak. Rear Admiral Maleen Lamizana (Frontier Fleet) is the intelligence officer. Rear Admiral Kimmo Ramaalas (Frontier Fleet) is chief of staff. Commodore Magumo Saintula is astrogator.

Isotalo’s task force includes TF 1027.2 with Vice Admiral Elvis Tsukahara, Bonrepaux, and Vice Admiral Helmut Santini who commands SLNS Colossus with Jansen Vasiliou, TG 1027.3 chief of staff; Commander Sheila O’Reilly is TG’s operations officer; and, Captain Franziska Ridolfi is staff communications officer. Captain Isadore Hampton is the TF staff astrogator while Lieutenant Commander Ranald Kivlocahn is CruRon 912’s staff astrogator. Commodore Millicent Quigley commands TG 1027.4, three freighters from the TUFT fleet (civilian vessels that can be “taken up from trade” during war) with supplies, the repair ship Hercules, and their escorts. More escorts include?? Minion and Lancaster.

SLNS Voltigeur is commanded by Captain Oglesby. Commander Patricia Richtmann is tactical officer. SLNS Kilkis blows up with all hands. SLNSs Hindustan and Océn (Captain Chayula Hackenbroch) are sister ships coming to join SLNSs Ohio, Neptune, and Minotaur.

Manticore’s Tenth Fleet is…
…stationed in the Talbott Quadrant where Joachim Alquezar is prime minister. The fleet is commanded by Admiral Michelle Henke, Countess of Gold Peak, which raced to Mesa. Captain Cynthia Lecter is chief of staff and intelligence officer. Lecter Victoria Armstrong is Gold Peak’s flag captain. Commander Dominica Adenauer is the ops officer. Lieutenant Weaver is an analyst. Rear Admiral Michael Oversteegen. Lieutenant “Gwen” Archer.

Admiral Lester Tourville is partnered with Lurks in Branches. Rear Admiral Shulamit Onasis is CO of BarCruRon 106, which will be supported at Visigoth Terminus by Rear Admiral Gunnar Malbois‘ BatCruRon 19 of the Havenite navy. Vice Admiral Jennifer Bellefeuille is the Havenite who commands Lester Tourville’s Task Force 101. Commander Oliver Diamoto is another.

General Susan Hibson commands the ground forces. General Saartje van Heemskerck is Hibson’s second-in-command and senior officer of the Talbott Quadrant Guard planetary combat forces.

Manticore B where…
…the Hauptman Cartel’s Unicorn Salvage Yard and the Unicorn Seven refineries were repurposed as a Manticore-B reclamation center, processing battle wreckage, specifically Massimo Filareta’s Eleventh Fleet. Sandra Crandall’s remnants will be joining them. Captain Philip Clayton is a Grayson from Burdette Steading whose Mom Joan understood his desire to go into space. Lieutenant David Kalet is his copilot.

Commander Bill Knight and Midshipman Elijah Dimas, who are the best of the Royal Manticoran Navy’s cyberneticists, are assessing the SLNS Leonard Euler. Evidence exists of a conversation between Captain Clarence, Leonard Euler‘s com officer, and her cousin Captain Reuben Sedgewick, Filareta’s staff com officer. Admiral William Daniels had been the operations officer for the fleet.

Beowulf was…

…one of the Core System planets that helped create the Solarian League. Now they intend to secede and formally ally with Manticore. Chyang Benton-Ramirez is the chairman and CEO (and another of Honor’s relatives). Devorah Ophir-Giaconni is a Beowulfan Director and highly respected. Konstantin “Bear” Bruléchou is the director of Human Affairs. Joshua Pinder-Swun is the board secretary. Saana-Lebel is director of Technology. Gabe Caddell-Markham is married to Joanna.

Uncle Jacques Benton-Ramirez y Chou got Honor involved in the Society of Creative Anachronism; he’s Allison’s twin. Bark Chewer’s Bane is Jacques’ treecat. Jacques is undercover as a playboy for the Biological Survey Corps, a role that is supported by his yacht, the Anachronism, from its mink-lined vibrating toilet seats to… Jennifer Benton-Ramirez y Chou is the grand dame of the family and Allison’s mother.

Captain John Neitz commands BSDS Hawthorne; Christina is his wife; Lizzie is their daughter who lost her friends at a concert on Alpha: her best friend Katsuko Johnson, Felicia Cummings, Tim Qwan, and more. Commander David Badilotti is his XO. Carla is the com officer. Bosun Lochen is the senior master chief petty officer who has been in Search and Rescue for decades.

Admiral Corey McAvoy is in charge of Beowulf defense (who organized the block ships) with Admiral Cheryl Dunstan-Meyers his operations officer. Captain Chasnikov is one of Dunstan-Meyers’ assistants.

Ivaldi of Beowulf is the primary weapons manufacturer on Beowulf where Jacqueline Somerset-Caruso is manager of Orbital Works One, and Barney Feukov-Stimson reports on their positions.

Beowulf Alpha is…
…a habitat in Beowulf where the Adrienne Warshawski University, the Warshawski Center for Applied Astrophysics, and the George Benton Center for Interstellar Studies are based. Those who will be going to the conference on Beowulf Alpha include Victor Dyson, Lucien Cortez, Francine Maurier, Tony, Tyler Abercombie, Anthony Langtry and three senior aides, Barton Salgado, Joshua Pinder-Swun…

Harold Simmons-Gilchrest is a third-shift cargo master for the Beowulf Gamma habitat’s number seven freight hub. And he’s a Manpower agent. George Benton is the revered savior and founder of the League, having done so much to save it after the Final War on Old Earth.

Third Fleet includes
Task Force 31 with both commanded by Admiral Alice Truman and is tasked with protecting the Beowulf Terminus. Captain Benjamin Masters is her chief of staff. Vice Admiral Holmon-Sanders commands Third Fleet’s second task force. Holman-Sanders’ flag captain is Henriette François aboard the Leander.

Hypatia System Unified Government is…

…a Core System of the League and a founding member of that League. Now a vote is approaching on secession and is led by President Adam Vangelis. Thanos Boyagis is the attorney general; Varkas is chief justice. Special Representatives Brad Lambrou and Sofronia Tsakabikou (ambassadors to Beowulf) had a chat with Director of State Longacre. Senator Makiko Allerton is opposed to the referendum. Felicia Hadley is very much for. Kyrene Morris is the System Vice President. Frederica Saraphis is the senate majority leader and chairwoman of the Liberal Centrists. Mildred Roanoke is the secretary of Industry.

Kay Goode is Langtry’s special envoy from Manticore; Dizzy is her treecat.

The Hypatia System Parol isn’t…
…set up to combat anyone. Commodore Franklin Nisyrios is the senior officer. Lieutenant Paulette Kilgore and Sergeant John Debnam who is acting as her flight engineer of the HSP Shuttle Asteria are desperately shuttling people off the Habitat. Corporal Helike Vasdekio is also a member of Alpha Seven, an elite Search and Rescue Team.

The Solarian Gendarmerie…
…headquarters are in the city of Vivliothḗké. Major Ingrid Latimer is the in-system third-in-command of the Criminal Investigation Division. Carl is her husband, and they have a son, Peter. Major Lawrence Kourniakis is the head of Security Division and is second-in-command to Colonel Ganesh Naran. Angelika is Kourniakis’ wife, and they have twin girls.

Rupert Chernikov is the managing director for Alexandria Belt Extraction and against secession. Kassandra Tsoliao is desperate to get her five-year-old daughter, Petra, off the Habitat before the League blows it up; Mikey is the cat they’ll have to leave behind. She doesn’t know that her husband, Sebastianos Tsoliao, who works Traffic Control for this quadrant of the Habitat, already knows he won’t survive. Alexandros Karaxis and Apollo Dukakis are part of the vicious Green Leaf Griffins gang.

Manticore Task Group 110 consists of…
Rear Admiral Kotoū aboard his flagship HMS Phantom (captained by Květa Tonová) which will lead HMSs Cinqueda (Captain Ellis Rupp and senior ship commander; Commander Jayson Stob is his XO and Megan’s husband), Shikomizue (Captain Jackson Ortega-Burns), Talwar (Captain Ching-yan Lewis), and Arngrim (Commander Megan Petersen; Lieutenant Commander Rolf Thirunavu is her XO; Lieutenant Bill Berden is tactical; Lieutenant Albamonte is the electronic warfare officer who focuses on defense. Commander Markéta Ilkova is TG 110.2’s operations officer. Captain Jim Clarke. Commander Jason Kindrick is staff astrogator. Lieutenant Commander Štěpan Vyhnálek is TB 110.2’s intelligence officer). Vukodlak (Captain Acworth) is coming late to the party.

This TG of nine ships will pull a Saganami to save the Hypatian Habitat and all the people those 170 SNL ships intend to murder.

SNL Task Force 1030…
…will launch from here. Vice Admiral Hajdu Győző doesn’t like Floyd, and not only because a friend of Hajdu’s, Liam Pyun, made Floyd look bad. His ship is SNLS Camperdown. Commodore Fred Brigman is the TF chief of staff. Commodore Daphne Koopman is TF staff operations officer. Captain Denton Adenauer is intelligence officer.

The Honorable Madhura Yang-O’Grady is Innokentiy’s personal representative aboard who is to convince Hypatia to void the referendum. Jason is her husband, a regional commissioner in OFS and a senior member of MacArtney’s ministry. Cheng Hai-shwun is the CO of Operational Analysis and totally incompetent.

Battle Cruiser Squadron 4012 is…
…part of Task Force 1030. Rear Admiral Martin Gogunov is its CO aboard SLNS Lepanto. Captain Indira Turner is Gogunov’s flag captain. Commodore Sandra Haskell is chief of staff. Only Queen and Revenge are left of their squadron. Commodore Gregory Ham is the operations officer. Captain Alexis Choi is communications. Rear Admiral Thomas Yountz‘s flagship is the Yashima. Captain Rochetti is the ops officer. Commodore Justin Dantas is CruRon 4018’s chief of staff. Commander Taťána Holečková is the com officer.

Gogunov has his issues, losing many of his family to the Manties: Commdore Marguerite Gogunov, his sister, and Captain Allen Gognunov, his brother, are Frontier Fleet. Vice Admiral Marshall Gogunov, an older brother, died with Sandra Crandall. Captain Scott Gogunov, the baby, was killed with Filareta.

SLNS Troubadour is captained by Commander Madison Echols. Lieutenant Commander Ellen Riba is the XO. Captain Florence Abshire is in charge of pod deployment. Lieutenant Fedosei Castello is the electronics and com officer. Merchant Mart, Stevedore, Re Umberto, Enterprise, Friedland, Charles Martel, Potemkin, Dingyman, Iéna, Barfleur, Custoza, Marengo Edinorg, Ontario, Espana, Impero, Libertad, Belliqueuse, Ne Tron Meia, and Novogorod are part of the fleet.

The People’s Republic of Haven had been…

…an enemy of the Manties for decades. Eloise Pritchart is the president who has become friends with Elizabeth. The capitol is Nouveau Paris. Admiral Shannon Foraker is a genius when it comes to inventing new ways of warring; her office is aboard Forge One. Senior Chief Jean-Louis Jackson is Foraker’s yeoman. Manticore’s Admiral Sonja Hemphill will be joining her at Bolthole, the Havenite R&D shipbuilding center of the Grand Alliance. Hunts Silently is the treecat who assigned himself as her bodyguard. Kevin Usher and Wilhelm Trajan are in charge of Havenite intelligence.

Admiral Pascaline L’anglais had commanded the Republic’s Capital Fleet, the best after Lester Tourville. Sun Catcher is the ‘cat who agreed to be her bodyguard.

Grayson is…

…an independent, highly religious, theocratic planet allied with Manticore. Michael Mayhew is the ambassador to Manticore and younger brother to its ruler, Benjamin Mayhew. Rear Admiral Michal Lukáč has Captain Zacharay White for a flag captain of Protector Oliver. The upset Edward is White’s son; Misty is White’s wife, a real treasure who is attached to the Grayson Family Support Command, which is under the technical command of Captain Leonard Fitzhugh who simply gets out of her way. Captain Lenka Lukáčová is Michal’s wife. Captain Elizabeth Davis is Lukáč’s operations officer. Captain James Sena is BatDiv 1’s chief of staff.

Bishop Telmachi is helping the Mantie crews absorb the notion of shipboard chaplains. The Reverend Sullivan is similar to our pope; he succeeded the Reverend Hanks‘ who died saving Honor’s life ( Flag in Exile, 5).

Honor is highly revered here and is the head of Grayson Steading. Randy Todd was in the Harrington Guard and was Harrington’s first master armorer before he retired as Sergeant Major. He designed a pulser for treecats.

The Andermani Empire is…

…officially neutral but willing to go to some lengths to help the Manties. Emperor Gustav is its head of state. Chien-lu Anderman, Herzog von Rabenstrange, is Gustav’s cousin and third in line to the throne. He’s the Andermani ambassador to Manticore and a personal friend of Honor’s.

The Solarian League evolved…

…from Old Earth with its current headquarters in Old Chicago. It’s ruled by the Mandarins, a corrupt group of five bureaucrats, the Permanent Senior Undersecretaries, in it for the money and the power: Nathan MacArtney of the Interior; Innokentiy Kolokoltsov for Foreign Affairs (Arnold Kilpatrick-Schuster is his senior aide); Malachi Abruzzi of Information whose people constantly massage the news to present the League in a good light; Omosupe Quartermain for Commerce; and, Agatá Wodoslawski of Treasury.

They keep coming up with one stupid plan after another. The latest is Operation Buccaneer intended to spread the Manties thin and warn systems to stay away from the Manties by destroying the entire industrial and orbital infrastructures of entire star systems…and results in poetic justice at the end. The fact that the mighty Solarian League is terrorizing planets unable to defend themselves is neither here nor there. Victims will include Cachalot, a Beowulf trading partner; Hypatia which is voting on secession; Maize; Snyder; Waterfall; Golem; Kenniac; and, Bryant whose President McGillicuddy ran off both Manticore and the League.

Another backup plan is Parthian: shooting off missiles and running off and not leaving time for evacuation, which was proposed by Captain Mardyola Salazar to MacArtney. Operation Fabius will rely upon misdirection.

Audrey Hanrahan is a muckracking journalist whom the government fears and everyone believes because she actually publishes facts, verified facts. She’s also a Mesan deep cover agent.

There is only a token Justice Department with three divisions: Criminal Law headed by Deputy Attorney General Marie-Claire Rorendaal who is incredibly competent compared to Attorney General Ronanye. CL can’t act upon crimes of malfeasance and corruption unless Ludovico Mazarello, the head of Ethics and Integrity says it’s okay. Amazingly there never is any corruption to be found. Uwan Illalangi is head of Constitutional Compliance and Conformity and does what he’s told. Brandy Spraker is trusted by Innokentiy to not massage the truth.

Admiral Winston Kingsford is in charge of the Solarian League Navy (SLN). Admiral Jennings is his chief of staff. Vice Admiral Marge Simpson is solid, methodical, and organized as Kingsford’s staff operations officer. Captain Turner Rabindra is his staff logistics officer although she technically reports to Admiral Jennings first. Chief Petty Officer Marilis Chernova is Kingsford’s personal yeoman.

Commander Pamela Furman is the com officer of the watch when the Manty wall of battle shows up.

Fleet Admiral Evangeline Bernard is in charge of the Office of Strategy and Planning. Brenner is the CO of Strategy and Planning. Admiral Heinrich Bergman replaces Admiral Kal-Heinz Thimár as head of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Brigadier Meindert Osterhaut is the CO of Marine Intelligence. Their best analyst is Rear Admiral Casell Gweon, the CO of Economic Analysis (Erzébet “Erzi” Pelletier is his supposed fiancée). Vice Admiral Karen Clarke replaces Rosalinda Hoover at ONI’s Section Two, the Office of Technical Analysis. Brigadier Noritoshi Väinöla is with counterintelligence. Major Jerzy Scarlatti is one of Weng’s most trusted people.

Naval Station Ganymede
Admiral Maridors Haeckle commands the station. Rear Admiral Léonard Pataloeshti is chief of staff. Captain Franklin Tsukatani is the duty officer. Captain Volodimerov had been the Communications watch officer when the hyper footprints arrive. Lieutenant Watson sent out the challenge. Lieutenant Enwright McGill.

Admiral Tory Kindrick, who replaced Martinos Polydorou as CO of Systems Development, is stationed in Systems Development Command.

Rear Admiral Bethany Ning-ju commands the SLNS Andromeda positioned before Ganymede. Commander Daiichi Rangwala is her XO. Commander Gregoire Koenig. Lieutenant Commander Yvonne Paulson is the tactical officer.

The Ghost Hunters are…
…Sollies who don’t believe the hype being bruited about by the Mandarins and because they are hunting a ghost. Lieutenant Colonel Weng Zhing-hwan, Major Bryce Tarkovsky, Lupe Blanton, Lieutenant Colonel Natsuko Okiku, Irene Teague, and Captain Daud al-Fanudahi are being supported in their search for the truth by Brigadier Simeon Gaddis who is in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division. Long ago, Gaddis put together his Outcasts, men only interested in the truth.

Natsuko.

SLN Task Force 783 will later become Task Force 790 and is…
…being led by SLNS Québec and captained by Gabriella Timberlake along with Admiral Vincent Capriotti (Battle Fleet), Vice-Admiral Angelica Helland is the chief of staff for the task force, and Rear Admiral Lyang-tau Rutgers, formerly of Frontier Fleet, are with them. Commodore Jason Schlegel is the task force intelligence officer. Commodore Anthony is the staff communications officer. Out of 400 Solarian ships, 37 survived.

The Office of Frontier Security (OFS) was…
…originally intended to help planets that had not joined the League. It has evolved into a corrupt enforcement group that props up local despots and dictators, ignores human rights, façades of democracies, and suppressing local objections. Adāo Ukhtomskoy is MacArtney’s senior spook. Marianne Haavikko has been his secretary for a long time.

Rajmund Nyhus is the head of OFS Intelligence Branch’s Section Two, which is responsible for analysis of internal threats. And deeply in bed with several of the more corrupt transstellars. Keiran MacQuilkin is a senior agent in Sprague at their Landing office.

Shafiqa Bolton may be a senior partner at Nuñez, Poldak, Bolton, and Hwang, but she’s also a handler for…someone. Those she’s handling include Colonel Timothy Laughton is an analyst in Marine Intelligence, Stephanos Nye, a senior policy analyst for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Captain Mardyola Salazar is a staffer in the Office of Strategy and Planning, and Erzi Pelletier.

The Protectorates

Planets that “requested” Solarian protection.

Maya System is…
…the crown jewel of the Protectorates. Their governor these days is Oravil Barregos who has been quite popular with the people and based on Smoking Frog. Vegar Spangen is the governor’s bodyguard; Jeremy Frank is Barregos’ senior aide; and, Julie Magilen is his office manager. Gail Brosnan is the lieutenant governor and “spy” for Nyhus. Admiral Luiz Rozak, the senior Solarian League Navy officer, is in charge of Maya’s navy. Brigadier Philip Allfrey is a longtime friend of Jerzy’s.

Sir Hokon Ellingsen and Captain Abernathy have been representing Manticore, they say. Laura Lochen is the Solarian News Services bureau chief; Christopher Robin is her senior reporter who retired out here. Ziggy is the huge Beowulf Manx cat.

Erewhon is…
…a system which switches back and forth between warring parties. I think Havlicek is their president.

Genovese System
Commissioner Hirokichi Floyd seems to be in charge.

Meroa System is…
…technically an independent star nation BUT a protectorate. Adenauer Kellogg is system president and regards the economy as his personal cookie jar. Johannes Stankiewicz is Kellogg’s OFS advisor who is panicking. Minister Freeman and the Meroan Citizen Protection Force provides intelligence assessments. Colonel Jessica Myhrvold commands this police force. Commodore François Malinowski’s System Patrol is a joke.

The Meroa Resistance Movement is the opposition that includes Gottfried McAnally, his wife, Seiko, and Michael van Wyk. Belinda McCleskey is Gottfried’s aunt. Uncle Leopold had died in the Argo III Incident of 1898 when miners protested the lack of safety equipment.

The Renaissance Factor is…
…a newly organized cluster of independent Verge star systems proclaiming their independence from the League. It seems that the Republic of Mannerheim is the driving force.

Transstellars are…
…super-mega corporations. Technodyne Industries of Yildun, an important naval supplier, is in bed with the Mesan Alignment but found itself in deep doo-doo after the Republic of Monica (The Shadow of Saganami, 1 (10.5)). They’ve recently developed the “Husky“. Trifecta isn’t one of the big ones. Zumwalt and De Soto Industries are.

Independents

Torch is…
…officially known as Verdant Vista. Originally a Manpower, Inc. base, genetic slaves (created by Manpower) took it over for their own planet. Its queen is the adopted daughter of Anton Zilwicki and Catherine Montaigne. Some of those slaves were with the Audubon Ballroom, a terrorist organization intent on ending slavery and the Mesan Alignment.

Cachalot is…
…led by System President Miriam Jahnke who is based on the planet Orca. It has no navy and has been scrupulously neutral. Perfect for the League to terrorize.

Captain John Crouch arrived just after the Solly visit and is staying to help. HMS Mortar was sent on to report.

Mobius had…
…been taken in The Shadow of Saganami, 1 (10.5). The true version of this battle was kicked up by a woman in Davenant-Prydmor’s Analysis shop.

The Startman System is/was…
…where Damien Hanrahap originated. When he was seven, the entire home world was handed over by OFS to StratoCorp, one of the most rapacious transstellars.

Captain Anton Zilwicki (a Gryphon Highlander) and Victor Cachat (a Havenite) are fairly independent and highly successful spies, chasing their interests. Antoine Jubair is Hanrahap’s current interrogator; Pounces on Leaves is sitting in.

The People are…

…are how the treecats refer to themselves. Clean Killer, who will bond with Harahap, heard his sister Silver Claw, her family, and her entire clan die in the Yawata Strike. Heart Singer was Mossy Tree’s mind-healer.

Clean Killer refers to Cloud Dancer’s Joy, her kitten, and I’m assuming he refers to one of Honor’s children.

Dame Lisa Llorens had been the second principal Dancer in the Royal Ballet’s Company of Sphinx. That ended with the Yawata Strike. Grace is her treecat, and they’ve become involved with Dr Adelin Arif‘s project to teach treecats how to communicate with humans.

Mesan Alignment is…

…the ghost that has manipulated star systems, arranged assassinations, and manipulated genes to create supermen and -women, all in the name of the centuries-long Detweiler Plan. Based on Mesa, it’s the planet Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat visited and helped set up the seccie evolution, leaving General Thandi Palane behind with the Citizens’ Union. Tretiakovna will need regen. Jurgen Dusek is “difficult to recognize … in the heroic, freedom-loving, father-of-his-star-nation-scale revolutionary”.

Manpower, Inc. is…
…the real power, which has engaged in the involuntary redesign of humanity and creates genetic slaves for profit. The organization abandoned Mesa when the Manties were coming and are now hiding in the Darius System, a.k.a., Alpha Prime.

Albrecht and Evelina Detweiler are the parents of Daniel who is married to Trudi, and Angela is their horse-mad daughter; Everett; Collin is chief of intelligence; Benjamin is married to Rochelle, and they have twin daughters, Susanna and Tabitha; Franklin; and, Gervais. Captain Abbott was supposed to pull the last Detweilers off the planet.

Rufino Chernyshev is the new director of operations for Collin, replacing Isabella Bardasano. Jack McBryde blew up Gamma Center. The Wraith is equivalent to the Manty Ghost Rider recon platforms.

Warner is a Mesan ally from which the Silver Bullets will be loaded on the Star Galleon, a merchant ship in the Kalokainos Lines headed up by Heinrich Kalokainos who hates the Manticorans (and is passionately hated by Harahap), captained by Simeon Russo. Evelyn Chernitskaya is first officer.

Wormhole junctions are shortcuts through space. Core Systems are full-fledged, self-governing members of the Solarian League. Protectorates are referred to as Verge and Fringe. Last View is similar to a graduation rite of passage in which the graduates are exposed to the truth of what they’re heading into. The Eridani Edict is a pact written by the Solarian League that no one will fire on civilians; it’s the pact that the Solarians selectively ignore as it suits them. The Deneb Accords forbid targeting obviously disabled ships. Mycroft is a new Manty weapon with Mistletoe coming up behind them.

The Cover and Title

The cover is the signature Baen/Harrington cover of the determined Honor in her beret and at the center of it all, one hand upraised, shooting fire from her fingertips (probably fueled by all that anger in her), even as missiles rain down. The author’s name is in an embossed gold at the top, a white info blurb announces the series on the left, a saw-toothed gold circle is another info blurb while the title is an embossed copper at the very bottom.

The title is our Uncompromising Honor, for she will not back down. Not this time.

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