Timeframe: 1903 PD
- Right Woman, Wrong Place
- It's hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards war as the necessary prelude to conquest, and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That's why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the so-called "Republic" of Haven-and the planet Grayson is just the right strategic place to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty's Foreign Office had overlooked a "minor cultural difference" when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet Grayson are without rank or rights: Honor's presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.
- At first Honor doesn't take it personally; where she comes from gender discrimination is barely a historical memory, right up there in significance with fear of the left-handed. But in time such treatment she receives from the Graysonites does become wearing, and Honor would withdraw if she could - but Grayson's fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning and she must stay and prevail, not just for Honor's honor, but for her sovereign's, for The Honor of the Queen.
Three years after the First Battle of Basilisk, Captain Honor Harrington returns to the Star Kingdom of Manticore after a long anti-piracy patrol in the Silesian Confederacy. While her ship, the heavy cruiser HMS Fearless, goes through its first major refit, new orders arrive: Honor is to lead a small Manticoran squadron supporting a diplomatic mission to Grayson, a planet originally settled by a religous group called the Church of Humanity Unchained. The diplomatic mission is to be led by Admiral Raoul Courvosier, Honor's mentor and personal friend. With the long-awaited war with Haven looming close, Manticore is working to form an alliance with many smaller star nations. Grayson is critical to this effort, as it would close a flank of advance for a possible Havenite invasion fleet. Adding to the pressure, Haven is negotiating its own alliance with Masada, Grayson's historical rival.
The Manticoran ships arrive in the Yeltsin's Star System, where Grayson is located, and are greeted by the small Grayson Space Navy. However, the welcome is soured by sexism in the conservative Graysons, for whom the notion of a woman in uniform is intolerable. After the Graysons and the Manticorans rub each other the wrong way despite the best of intentions, Honor leaves the system to escort a convoy of freighters, even though Admiral Courvosier tries to convince her not to do so.
After Honor leaves with three of the four Manticoran warships, Courvosier meets with High Admiral Bernard Yanakov, the commander of the GSN, and the officers begin to work their way through their cultural differences. Courvosier gets an explanation for the Grayson rivalry with Masada: Long ago, an extremist faction called the "Faithful" left Grayson after a civil war and settled on Masada. For centuries, the two worlds threatened each other with nuclear weapons, with Masada vowing to reclaim Grayson from the hands of the "Apostate". If Grayson is considered to be religiously conservative, Masada is nothing short of a fundamentalist theocracy.
Everything is cut short when a Masadan fleet arrives at Yeltsin's Star and begins attacking space stations throughout the system. Admiral Courvosier accepts Yanakov's offer to join his fleet in chasing the Masadans. However, Masada's fleet (already numerically superior) has two powerful warships "bought" from the People's Republic of Haven, and they make quick work of Grayson's outdated fleet and the Manticoran destroyer HMS Madrigal. Both Courvosier and Yanakov die during the First Battle of Yeltsin's Star.
Honor's ships return to Grayson and are attacked by Masadan light attack craft, which merely damage one of her ships. After entering Grayson's orbit, they are appraised of the critical situation following the battle and the death of Admiral Courvosier. Honor strong-arms the Grayson government to allow her to take a leading role in the defense of the planet. Their attitude against women in uniform is shattered in most Graysons when Honor saves the Grayson monarch, Protector Benjamin IX, and his family from an assassination attempt by traitors loyal to Masada.
Coercing and perhaps torturing information from the surviving traitors, the Graysons and Manticorans discover that Masada has built an advanced base on Blackbird, a moon of the Grayson gas giant Uriel. Leading her ships and the remnants of the GSN fleet, Honor battles and devastates a group of Masadan warships, including a Havenite destroyer masquerading as a Masadan ship. A captured Havenite officer, Thomas Theisman, tells Honor that there are survivors from Madrigal at the Blackbird Base, and that the Masadans are torturing and raping them. An assault by Manticoran Marines follows, and Blackbird Base is captured. The Manticoran survivors are found, and Honor nearly shoots the Masadan commander after finding out the brutal treatment inflicted upon the Manticorans.
On Masada, the Havenite "advisors" see that Masada's bid to conquer Grayson is doomed and try to pull out. However, the Masadans find out and seize control of Thunder of God, the Havenite battlecruiser they "bought". Armed with this ship, far more powerful than any of Honor's, the Masadan fanatics launch their final attack on Grayson.
With little choice, Honor dispatches the light cruiser HMS Apollo to Manticore for reinforcements and prepares her last two ships, Fearless and Troubadour, to fight the Masadans. The Manticorans' superior tactical skills allow them to inflict damage on Thunder of God, but their enemies' firepower seriously damages Fearless and destroys Troubadour. Manticoran reinforcements enter the system, confusing the Masadan captain and allowing Honor to destroy the enemy ship before it can reach Grayson.
With Grayson secured, a Manticorian fleet attacks Masada and occupies the planet, finding the Havenite survivors, most of which defect to the Star Kingdom. Honor recovers from the wounds sustained during the many battles and the attack on the Mayhew family. Protector Benjamin decorates her with the Star of Grayson and appoints her as Steadholder of the newly created Harrington Steading, giving her more political power than any woman has ever had in Grayson history. This is also supposed to speed up Benjamin's planned social reforms. In order to correspond with her new status among their Grayson allies, the Manticoran government creates Honor Harrington a Countess and a Knight of the Order of King Roger.
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- The Honor of the Queen in the Baen Free Library
|Book Companions||Ad Astra Companions|
|HOS||House of Steel Companion||SOTF||Ships of the Fleet Calendars|
|HOSH||House of Shadows Companion||SITS||Saganami Island Tactical Simulator|
|HOL||House of Lies Companion|
|Jayne's Intelligence Review||Jayne's Fighting Ships of the Galaxy|
|JIR1||The Royal Manticoran Navy||SB1||Ship Book 1: The Havenite Sector|
|JIR2||The Havenite Republican Navy||SB2||Ship Book 2: The Silesian Confederacy|
|JIR3||The Silesian Confederate Navy||SB3||Ship Book 3: The Short Victorious War|