The Shadow of Saganami consists of a prologue, 58 chapters, and an epilogue.
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Aivars Terekhov has a nightmare, a violent flashback to the death and destruction he witnessed while commanding the light cruiser HMS Defiant during the Battle of Hyacinth. His wife, Sinead wakes him up and makes him promise to return to her safely now that he is about to return to active duty with the Royal Manticoran Navy.
Chapter One Edit
Admiral Lady Dame Honor Harrington delivers the Last View speech to the latest class of graduates at the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy on Saganami Island. She tells them that in a few days, they will begin to continue the tradition of service and sacrifice that has defined the RMN -- and the other Alliance navies -- for centuries, then shows them the original recording of Commodore Edward Saganami and his heroism at the Battle of Carson almost 250 years ago; he laid down his own life to protect a convoy from pirates. As the recording ends, Honor tells the young midshipmen and midshipwomen that "the tradition lives" and dismisses them.
Chapter Two Edit
Helen Zilwicki learns from her classmate and best friend, Aikawa Kagiyama, that they are both assigned to do their Midshipman cruise aboard the brand new heavy cruiser HMS Hexapuma. The other "middies" include shipping company heiress Ragnhild Pavletic, "soccer jock" Leopold Stottmeister, and Paulo d'Arezzo, whom Helen has never met. They also learn that aristocrat Kenneth Bashanova was reassigned off the ship, suggesting that their mission is going to be a dangerous one. This theory is supported by the fact that the Hexapuma is to be commanded by Captain Aivars Terekhov, the hero of Hyacinth.
Lieutenant Abigail Hearns, daughter of Steadholder Owens and one of the first female officers of the Grayson Space Navy, arrives aboard the space station Hephaestus with her personal armsman, former Manticoran marine Mateo Gutierrez. After making clear that he will not call her "My Lady" when she is on duty, they proceed to board HMS Hexapuma.