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    ASHES OF VICTORY by David Weber

    Simon & Schuster, March 2000

    Honor Harrington is back. Having led the greatest prison breakout in history, Harrington returns to terrorize the "peeps" (Peoples' Republic of Haven) as well as disloyal citizens in her own native Manticore and her adopted Grayson.

    Honor's escape panics Haven into escalating its attack on the Manticore alliance. The Committee for Public Safety (led by Rob Pierre and Saint Just), force their navy into operations for which it is unprepared. The eventual Manticore/Grayson counterattack succeeds far beyond the most optimistic dreams of Manticore's admirals and it appears that Haven may finally be completely destroyed.

    Unlike most of the Honor series, Honor herself does not dominate the action in ASHES OF VICTORY. Certainly her involvement in the secret weapon business was central to the Manticore victories, but these victories would have taken place without her. Instead, Honor's involvement has become more personal. She instructs students in the Manticore war college, recuperates from her many injuries, and teaches her tree-cat to sign.

    David Weber (see other reviews of novels by this author) is a master of military science fiction. His ON BASILISK STATION (download ON BASILISK STATION for free from the Baen Free Library), the first novel in the Honor Harrington series, is one of the best books in this genre. In ASHES OF VICTORY, Weber succeeds where he concentrates on Honor and her relationship with others. The military scenes, however, seem to lack some of the fire of his earlier works. New secret weapons, rather than human bravery and sacrifice, drive much of the action. Honor fans will enjoy this latest installment of the saga.

    Two Stars

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