Timeframe: 1904 PD – May 1905 PD
- The families who rule the People's Republic of Haven are in trouble. The treasury's empty, the Proles are restless, and civil war is imminent.
- But the ruling class knows what they need to keep in power: another short, victorious war to unite the people and fill the treasury once more. It's a card they've played often in the last half-century, always successfully, and all that stands in their way is the Star Kingdom of Manticore and its threadbare allies. Enemies who in the past have alway backed down.
- Only this time the peeps face something different. This time they're up against Captain Honor Harrington and a Royal Manticoran Navy that's prepared to give them a war that's far from short... and anything but victorious
The People's Republic of Haven finds itself teetering at the edge of economic disaster. Unable to maintain its massive welfare state in the face of inflation and deficit and with opposition to the government getting bolder, the leaders of the People's Republic decide to resort to war against the Star Kingdom of Manticore. A short, victorious war, they believe, will both distract the proles from their current economic problems and allow them to use the riches of the Manticore system to prop up their wellfare state.
Meanwhile Honor returns to duty after injuries she sustained at Yeltsin's Star, to command the brand-new battlecruiser HMS Nike, the pride of the Royal Manticoran Navy, with some of her old crew aboard and her old friend Michelle Henke as Executive Officer. But on their way to her post, the engineers of the Nike discover a flaw in one of her fusion reactors, which hampers her first operational deployment to the critical Manticoran base at Hancock Station. Honor spends the time her ship is in dock by beginning her first real romantic relationship with Hancock Station senior officer, Captain (JG) Paul Tankersley.
The Havenites' plan is to launch probing missions on Manticoran Alliance members to push the Alliance into re-deploying its forces to create weak points and allow them to strike at Mantircore directly. They are aided greatly in this through the use of project Argus, stealth sensor platforms purchased from the Solarian League and planted to watch the movements of Manticoran forces. When Admiral Mark Sarnow's superior deploys most of Hancock Station's ships to other star systems to guard against further Havenite provocation, the Argus net allows the Havenites to see this weakness in the Manticore position, and they decide to attack Hancock Station in force.
Honor joins Admiral Sarnow's fleet alongside her old enemy, Captain Pavel Young. With most of the Royal Manticoran Navy deployed elsewhere to prevent the Havenite provocations, Honor and Sarnow find themselves forced to defend Hancock Station from a vastly superior Havenite armada. With the help of Honor's unorthodox tactics, the task force is able to hold off the Havenites for long enough for reinforcements to arrive. In the final stages of the First Battle of Hancock, Captain Young's cowardice nearly costs Honor her life when he disobeys orders and flees the defensive formation protecting the wounded Nike.
After the battle, Young is removed from command and placed under arrest to be court-martialed on Manticore. Captain Tankersley is promoted to Captain of the List and is to be re-assigned to HMSS Hephaestus as its deputy constructor.
After the first disastrous battles of the war, three Havenite revolutionaries, Rob S. Pierre, Oscar Saint-Just, and Cordelia Ransom, lead an overthrow of the Legislaturalist government, killing Hereditary President Sidney Harris and nearly his entire government with an air strike during his birthday celebration using People's Navy shuttles. Blaming the killings on the Navy, Pierre and his collaborators use the fear of a possible military coup to form a Committee of Public Safety in the People's Quorum, their stated intent to rule the People's Republic "until a new government can be formed". Shortly thereafter, the Committee of Public Safety begins a purge of senior military officers and political figures to cement their rule.
A short scene depicting a Havenite raid on a Manticoran convoy introduces Anton Zilwicki and his daughter Helen, two characters who will become very important to the Honorverse years later, to the reader.
Starting in this novel, David Weber changes the spelling of the Havenite government from "Legislaturist" to "Legislaturalist".
Hamish Alexander | Ronald Bergren | Rafael Cardones | Cavendish | Evelyn Chandler | Thomas Caparelli | Genevieve Chin | Constanza | Lucien Cortez | Raoul Courvosier | George de la Sangliere | Francis DeSoto | Elaine Dumarest | Eisenbrei | Elizabeth III | Walter Frankel | Gregory | Eric Grossman | Guzman | Al Hale | Harding | Honor Harrington | Sidney Harris | Hartley | Michelle Henke | Ed Holcombe | Edward Janacek | Jasper | Duncan Jessup | Everett Kanamashi | Klein | Francine Maurier | McAllister | George Monet | Fritz Montoya | Nimitz | Charlotte Oselli | Constance Palmer-Levy | Cal Panokulous | Yancey Parks | Amos Parnell | Ivan Ravicz | Cordelia Ransom | Reardon | Yuri Rollins | Mark Sarnow | Simpkins | Singh | Allen Summervale | Paul Tankersley | Trent | Stephen Van Slyke | James Webster | Pavel Young | Anton Zilwicki | Helen Zilwicki Senior | Helen Zilwicki Junior
Royal Manticoran Navy
Alizon | Aphid | Asgard | Barnett | Basilisk | Candor | Casca | Chelsea | Clairmont | Clearaway | Doreas | Durandel | Endicott | Enki | Erewhon | Gemini | Gregor | Grendelsbane | Hancock | Hannah's Star | Haven | Manticore | Matapan | Mendoza | Minette | Minora | Nanda | New Berlin | Phoenix | Poicters | Quentin | Quest | Ralko | Reevesport | Santander | Seaford Nine | Sigma Draconis | Silesia | Solway | Suchien | Talbot | Talisman | Trevor's Star | Yalta | Yeltsin's Star | Yorik | Zanzibar | Zuckerman
- Protectorate of Grayson
- Republic of Candor
- People's Republic of Haven
- Silesian Confederacy
- Star Kingdom of Manticore
Admiralty | aircar | astrography | Basic Living Stipend | Battlecruiser Division 53 | Bureau of Mental Hygiene | Chief of Naval Operations (Haven) | Citizens' Rights Union | Commanding Officers Board | Conspicuous Gallantry Medal | Copperwalls | crown oak | Delacourt | Distinguished Service Order | Dolist | Duvalier City | Earth | First Space Lord | Hancock Station | hang gliding | Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven | Manticoran Alliance | Manticore Colony, LTD | Manticore Cross | Ministry of Public Health | Monarch's Thanks Medal | Barony of Morncreek | New Bavaria | Earldom of North Hollow | Nouveau Paris | picket wood | President's Day | Promenade of the People | Queen's Cup | People's Navy | People's Quorum | Rochelle Tower | Royal Manticoran Marine Corps | Royal Manticoran Navy | Secretary of the Economy | Secretary of Education | Secretary of Public Information | Secretary of War | Sphinx albatross | Star of Grayson | stim tab | Tannerman Ocean
|Main Honor Harrington series|
|HH1||On Basilisk Station||HH8||Echoes of Honor|
|HH2||The Honor of the Queen||HH9||Ashes of Victory|
|HH3||The Short Victorious War||HH10||War of Honor|
|HH4||Field of Dishonor||HH11||At All Costs|
|HH5||Flag in Exile||HH12||Mission of Honor|
|HH6||Honor Among Enemies||HH13||A Rising Thunder|
|HH7||In Enemy Hands||HH14||Shadow of Freedom|
|Spin off Series|
|Crown of Slaves||Saganami Island|
|CS1||Crown of Slaves||SI1||The Shadow of Saganami|
|CS2||Torch of Freedom||SI2||Storm from the Shadows|
|SK1||A Beautiful Friendship||SK3||Treecat Wars|
|HHA1||More Than Honor||HHA4||The Service of the Sword|
|HHA2||Worlds of Honor||HHA5||In Fire Forged|
|HHA3||Changer of Worlds||HHA6||Beginnings|