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Monday, July 23, 2012

Cover and Synopsis for "Shadow of Freedom" by David Weber (with comments by Liviu Suciu)

As everyone following my thoughts here or on sffworld probably knows, the Honorverse is my favorite ongoing series and it represented a number of firsts for me since I discovered it in 1994 when the first 4 books were out. A combination of military sf and space opera with hundreds of named characters, many of them with "speaking parts", the Honorverse is first and foremost superb story-telling and each new book is a huge asap, while I follow Baen's Bar and the author's forums for any new hints where the series will go, any snippets etc. For example you can find a small passage from Shadow of Freedom HERE, passage published more than a year ago when even A Rising Thunder was a distant prospect. 

Shadow of Freedom is the 3rd Talbott Quadrant novel and the 18th series novel and it will be out in March 2013, while hopefully an e-arc will be available in late fall from Baen! Note that the following has major spoilers for the direction of the series if you have not read beyond At All Costs which essentially ended the second stage (military space opera but on a regional scale) of the series, while the following book Storm from the Shadow started the current third stage.

The synopsis below has the usual mixture of humor and seriousness that you tend to find in the Honorverse blurbs and it highly entertained me. Enjoy!

"#18 in the multiply-bestselling Honor Harrington series.

Wrong number? There are two sides to any quarrel . . . unless there are more.

Michelle Henke, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore's first cousin, Honor Harrington's best friend, and the commanding officer of Manticore's Tenth Fleet, is just a bit surprised when a messenger arrives from the Mobius System to inform her that the Mobius Liberation Front is prepared to rise in rebellion against the hated regime President Svein Lombroso. She can understand why
anyone would want to rebel against someone like Lombroso, but why tell her about it? After all, she has problems of her own, like the minor matter of a life-or-death war against the Solarian League.

Michelle has just handed the "invincible" Solarian League Navy the most humiliating, one-sided defeat in its entire almost thousand-year history in defense of the people of the Star Empire's Talbott Quadrant. But the League is the most powerful star nation in the history of humanity. Its navy is going to be back – and this time with thousands of superdreadnoughts.

Yet she also knows scores of other star systems — some independent, some controlled by puppet regimes, and some simply conquered outright by the Solarian Office of Frontier Security — lie in the League's grip along its frontier with the Talbott Quadrant. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation, the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest, and Michelle sympathizes with the oppressed populations wanting only to be free of their hated masters.

And that puts her in something of a quandary when the messenger from Mobius arrives, because someone's obviously gotten a wrong number. According to him, the Mobians’ uprising has been carefully planned to coordinate with a powerful outside ally: the Star Empire of Manticore. Only Manticore — and Mike Henke — have never even heard of the Mobius Liberation Front.

It's a set-up . . . and Michelle knows who's behind it. The shadowy Mesan Alignment has launched a bold move to destroy Manticore's reputation as the champion of freedom. And when the RMN
doesn't arrive, when the MLF is brutally and bloodily crushed, no independent star system will ever trust Manticore again.

Mike Henke knows she has no orders from her government to assist
any rebellions or liberation movements, that she has only so many ships, which can be in only so many places at a time . . . and that she can't possibly justify diverting any of her limited, outnumbered strength to missions of liberation the Star Empire never signed on for.

She knows that . . . and she doesn't care.

No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come.

Not on Mike Henke's watch."


David H. said...

Oh, man, I love this series, and I can't wait for this book! Good to know that this is a Talbott book (should've known from the title), I was wondering why the next HH book didn't have "Honor" in it...

Liviu said...

The (formerly as now all stories converged anyway) "mainline" books have alternating Honor in the title (OBS followed by Honor of the Queen, etc up to at All Costs followed by Mission of Honor followed by A Rising Thunder) so the next one that will advance the storyline from ART (Beowulf, Houdini etc) will most likely have Honor in them.

The Talbott ones seem to have Shadow in the title so far, while the Cachat/Zilwicky collaborations with E. Flint seem to have a symbol in the title (Crown, Torch) so I expect the 3rd title there to continue that also

Huge asap of course, late fall (end October till end November) most likely an e-arc to buy


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