Peril and strife strike on a double front for Honor Harrington and company. After a brutal attack on the Manticoran home system, Honor Harrington has rooted out a plan designed to enslave the entire human species. Behind that plan lies the shadowy organization known as the Mesan Alignment. Task number one for Honor is to shut down and secure the wormhole network that is the source of the Star Kingdom's wealth and power—but also its greatest vulnerability. Yet this is an act that the ancient and corrupt Earth-based Solarian League inevitably takes as a declaration of war.
The thunder of battle rolls as the Solarian League directs its massive power against the Star Kingdom. And once again, Honor Harrington is thrust into a desperate battle that she must win if she is to survive to take the fight to the real enemy of galactic freedom—the insidious puppetmasters of war who lurk behind the Mesan Alignment!
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Intrigue and counter-intrigue heighten the tension in Weber's 13th Honor Harrington novel (after Mission of Honor). Two wary interstellar nations, the monarchical Star Kingdom of Manticore and the oligarchic, Earth-based Solarian League, have often crossed swords in skirmishes, but an unprovoked attack by Solarian forces at Spindle and a recent homeworld assault known as the Yawata Strike leads the Empire to believe that the League is the dupe of the slaveholding and manipulative Mesan Alignment. Tensions rise as the Manticoran Empire impedes Solarian trade through its wormhole junctions in preparation for war. Duchess Honor Harrington acts mostly as advisor to the Empire but for a brief interlude is charged with protecting Manticore from an invading fleet of Solarian superdreadnaughts, as the author highlights the complex maneuverings of government leaders in this politically savvy but militarily uneventful novel that bridges the gap between the last novel and the expected sequel.