Zachary's Reviews > Field of Dishonor

Field of Dishonor by David Weber
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Nov 30, 08

bookshelves: science-fiction
Read in November, 2008

After reading this book I realized that The Short Victorious War was just a prelude to what Weber wanted to do here. While Harrington was barely a player in that novel, she is the center of this one. And while all the other novels of this series have indulged in a large amount of militaristic (as well as political) strategy , this focuses on the character development of Honor Harrington herself more than any other portion of the series I have read yet.

It is a story of loss and dealing with that loss. Of controlling hatred and seeking justice instead of revenge. The previous books have displayed Harrington's military and tactical prowess, her innate ability to command and lead, but this book really reveals the cold killer that she can unleash from within as well.

But don't let that deter you from reading it. It is really wonderfully written, with a rather relentless pace. Though the politics from the previous novels are still running in the background they take a backseat to the primary story. The war with Haven still looms, but it has yet to have been realized at this point.

The book starts with the total disgracing of Pavel Young, who is virtually Honor's sworn enemy. He blames her for all his misfortune and disgrace and is almost insane with his need to destroy her. [slight SPOILER ahead...] He hires a professional dueler to instigate a duel with Paul Tankersley to kill him - because Pavel knows that will hurt Harrington. He also has hired the dueler to instigate a duel with Honor and kill her as well - but they all underestimate her. All Young really manages to do is awake her full wrath and bring it upon himself

I highly recommend this book, especially to those who love and enjoy any of the other Harrington novels. I would recommend reading The Short Victorious War, as it leads directly into this one. It actually sets up several plot lines which are not concluded until this novel.

As a standalone science fiction novel it doesn't quite meet the standard of the genre - mainly that if you remove the science or technology there would be no story. No, I think this story could have been told in a historical narrative as well - but it would lack Harrington, and that makes all the difference in my mind. Weber has woven quite a driving tale full of intriguing characters once again, and it is definitely well worth the read.
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