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SERIES—List & Discussions > Honor Harrington--Honorverse Reading Order

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message 1: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments I know we've batted this about before but I don't think a conclusion was reached. So I thought I'd throw it out here and see what we could come up with. To recap:

We, as a group, are about to discuss #11 of 13 published HH novels. There are 4 related novels (not short story anthologies) in the Honorverse which are not directly about Honor Harrington but do strongly impact the later novels in the main series. The first of these, Crown of Slaves, was published between books 10 & 11.

Based on my experience (I've read 3/4 of the spinoffs and 11/13 published main books), I would recommend reading the 4 related books. Up to #11 can be read without these affecting reading comprehension too greatly but I have heard that #12 & 13 are very involved with the spinoff plotlines.

They are pretty hefty novels, IIRC, so I feel like they should be read as part of our series read, extending it by 4 months (but with the added benefit of a break from HH as a character). Thoughts?


message 2: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 78 comments Having originally only read the first 9 books, I can not comment on the necessity of the 2 sub-series. As part of my personal 2012 challenges, however, I am reading the entire Honoverse collection, including the anthologies, all in chronological order as suggested on the Honorverse wikipedia page

So I vote yes to the spin-offs.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) It might be fun. No promises, but I like Weber's writing for relaxing.


message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I don't mind reading them. I hope the are easily available as ebooks.


message 5: by Nyssa (last edited Jun 13, 2012 05:04PM) (new)

Nyssa | 78 comments Jon wrote: "I don't mind reading them. I hope the are easily available as ebooks."

I would suggest going directly to Baen.com, you might even be able to find them in their free library. If not, Baen's prices are usually very good. Oh, there is also this site, which has Baen's permission to upload the books from the free CDs Baen includes with its hardcover books.
Hope those help. :)

I was able to download/purchase the entire series in MOBI format for my Kindle.


message 6: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments The Fifth Imperium site has them for free from the Mission of Honor CD. The Baen ebook site rotates which installments they offer for free. Currently, Crown of Slaves and Shadow of Saganami are free, Torch of Freedom and Storm from the Shadows are $6 each on their site, DRM-free.


message 7: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
I have 2 of the books and would be interested in reading them with the group as part of the series read.


message 8: by Marty (last edited Jun 14, 2012 09:36AM) (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments I think the bit about slavery and Zilwicki and Montaigne seemed to kind of come out of nowhere in the one we just finished, so I have just started my reread of Crown of Slaves because I felt a little muddled...so it would absolutely suit me to add these.


message 9: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Marty wrote: "I think the bit about slavery and Zilwicki and Montaigne seemed to kind of come out of nowhere in the one we just finished, so I have just started my reread of Crown of Slaves because I felt a litt..."

Marty, I also kept thinking I must have missed something and, in fact, checked back to see that I was reading the right book and hadn't skipped one. Good to know that it was from a different book, although related. Might read that next (Crown of Slaves) before diving into the next "official" Honor book.


message 10: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 78 comments Marty wrote: "I think the bit about slavery and Zilwicki and Montaigne seemed to kind of come out of nowhere in the one we just finished, so I have just started my reread of Crown of Slaves because I felt a litt..."

The Zilwicki are mentioned in the novella From the Highlands in Changer of Worldswhich serves as background for Crown of Slaves.
They are also mentioned very briefly, earlier in The Short Victorious War.


message 11: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Nyssa wrote: "The Zilwicki are mentioned in the novella From the Highlands in Changer of Worlds which serves as background for Crown of Slaves."

so should I be reading Changer of Worlds before Crown of Slaves before At All Costs?


message 12: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Kathi wrote: "Nyssa wrote: "The Zilwicki are mentioned in the novella From the Highlands in Changer of Worlds which serves as background for Crown of Slaves."

so should I be reading Changer of Worlds before Cro..."


Good question, especially since I just finished War of Honor and feel a little confused about some of the characters we ran into.


message 13: by Nyssa (last edited Jun 18, 2012 07:36AM) (new)

Nyssa | 78 comments Kathi wrote: "Nyssa wrote: "The Zilwicki are mentioned in the novella From the Highlands in Changer of Worlds which serves as background for Crown of Slaves."

so should I be reading Changer of Worlds before Cro..."


Yes.

All of the stories in
Changer of Worlds come before War of Honor. In fact, all of the anthologies are pre- War of Honor.

"From the Highlands" is specifically seen as a prequel, if you will, to Crown of Slaves.

"Nightfall" is supposed to be another important one. It is considered an extension of chapter 33 from Ashes of Victory. I will be reading that one in the next week or so.

The other two stories "Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington" & "Changer of Worlds", were nice additions. I would not call them crucial, but I enjoyed them both. "Changer of Worlds" explains how Honor ended up on Grayson with 7 tree-cats, from the tree-cats' perspectives.


message 14: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Nyssa wrote: "Yes"

OK, thanks!


message 15: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments The link that Nyssa provided in the 2nd comment has all the short stories individually in the timeline. It lists title & collection, so hopefully that will help you figure out a good reading order. FYI, there are no spoilers on that chart, just don't scroll up to the rest of the wikipedia article if you are concerned about that.


message 16: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments So are we going to put these in or just read if/as you will? I would like to extend it personally.


message 17: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Marty wrote: "So are we going to put these in or just read if/as you will? I would like to extend it personally."

Marty, my guess, since the discussion folders are already up for At All Costs, is that these are read if/as you will. I read Changer of Worlds, Crown of Slaves, and am nearly finished with Shadow of Saganami. Since I don't have Service of the Sword, I will be diving into At All Costs next. There don't seem to be folders for the "side" reads but I'm certainly willing to discuss them somewhere.


message 18: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
The Shadow of Saganami:
7/10
This book, to me, was good space opera--large-scale conflicts made personal by a large cast of characters, some black, some white, some gray, with a very light sprinkling of romance (very light!). I really enjoyed getting to know Captain Aivars Terekhov and the main members of his crew.

My only complaint is that the exposition, via long discussions between characters, is not always fascinating reading. Those passages, along with detailed descriptions of the weapon systems and construction of the various ships, really bogged down the story for me. I know some of that is critical to understanding both the how and the why of the action. It just seems that it could be done in different ways or smaller chunks.

I'm now going back to the main Honor series and will be interested to see how this and some of the other Honorverse stories affect the action in the main series


message 19: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Marty wrote: "So are we going to put these in or just read if/as you will? I would like to extend it personally."

I finished Changer of Worlds a week or so ago and am about a third done with Crown of Slaves. After that, I'll move right into Shadow and then I'll have to purchase or find a copy of the Service of the Sword novel. Then, I'll rejoin the group with At All Costs, probably a month behind everyone else.


message 20: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Kathi wrote: "The Shadow of Saganami:
7/10
This book, to me, was good space opera--large-scale conflicts made personal by a large cast of characters, some black, some white, some gray, with a very light sprinkli..."


Those expositions are what I use for insomnia. :)


message 21: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments I am going to continue but I think I am going to get very behind....


message 22: by Justin (last edited Aug 14, 2012 03:31PM) (new)

Justin Wilkerson | 27 comments Having read all the Honor Harrington books, including the 4 side books (Crown of Slaves, Torch of Freedom, Shadows of Saganami, and Storm from the Shadows), and all 5 anthologies. I can tell you they play a very important part in the latest couple main-story books.

As for the anthologies, mostly they are just little stories that aren't really needed for the enjoyment and understanding of the other books. The only short story that comes to mind that could be seen as important is there is one with some back story to Zilwicki and his kids that is referenced several times in the Crown/Torch books.


message 23: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
I have found that to be true. I have Torch of Freedom up next but I'm not going to get to it for a bit.


message 24: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments I don't mean to be a pain but is there any way we can get these added in to the group read order? I noticed the latest HH thread for Mission of Honor is pretty much dead right now... assuming it's because we're all trying to read about 6 novels in the series to catch up to that one.


message 25: by Justin (new)

Justin Wilkerson | 27 comments That wouldn't be a bad idea. Obviously I'm new here and don't know if I'll be reading the books with you all (waiting to re-read the books when the 20th anniversary edition of On Basilisk Station comes out next year), but I'll gladly add my two cents into discussions (without giving away spoilers of course).

I would suggest if you were wondering on the specific order to read the side novels in, to read them in order of publication.

Taking dates from Wikipedia and fitting the spin-offs into the the main story in terms of publication date:

War of Honor (October 2002)
Crown of Slaves (September 2003)
The Shadow of Saganami (October 2004)
At All Costs (November 2005)
Storm from the Shadows (March 2009)
Torch of Freedom (November 2009)
Mission of Honor (June 2010)
A Rising Thunder (March 2013)
**The next book in the main story is expected February 2013, but is waiting on the 3rd book in The Crown/Torch series**

Anyways, since it appears you're already reading through Mission of Honor, if you wanted to play catch-up I'd do

Crown, Saganami, Storm, Torch, and then finish up Mission.

I hope this helps.


message 26: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments Not sure where to put this but are we supposed to be reading A Rising Thunder this month? It's out already but I don't see a thread for it yet. Just curious.


message 27: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments Lindsey...since I just read it in record time I am wondering that also.


message 28: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments Marty wrote: "Lindsey...since I just read it in record time I am wondering that also."

Marty (and any one else interested), I emailed our friendly group mods about this today. Still waiting on Stefan's reply but Candiss suggested that I contact Chris about it (which I will do tonight).

Is there interest in adding the spin-offs and book 13 to our group discussion (one per month like before)? If Chris is unable/unwilling to continue leading, I'd have no problem setting up the discussion threads at the right times.


message 29: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Lindsey wrote: "Is there interest in adding the spin-offs and book 13 to our group discussion (one per month like before)? If Chris is unable/unwilling to continue leading, I'd have no problem setting up the discussion threads at the right times. "

I'd be OK with that.


message 30: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments Got the go ahead to add these books to our group read. I will get the particulars set up tomorrow. Excited to continue our Honorverse discussion for a little while longer!


message 31: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments Here's our schedule going forward:

Crown of Slaves September 15 - October 14
Shadow of Saganami October 15 - November 14
Storm from the Shadows November 15 - December 14
Torch of Freedom December 15 - January 14
A Rising Thunder January 15 - February 14

The next book, Shadow of Freedom, premieres on March 5, 2013. If there's interest, I will also post a thread for that one in the middle of March.

I may put up Crown of Slaves a little early just to get things going again. Looking forward to more book talk!


message 32: by Justin (last edited Aug 29, 2012 07:52PM) (new)

Justin Wilkerson | 27 comments Good to see you all going for the spin-offs. I will definitely add my 2-cents to the discussions as they get rolling (always careful of spoilers of course).

It'll also help refresh my memory of all the small details I may have forgotten before the next book.


message 33: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Kathi wrote: "Lindsey wrote: "Is there interest in adding the spin-offs and book 13 to our group discussion (one per month like before)? If Chris is unable/unwilling to continue leading, I'd have no problem sett..."

Me too.


message 34: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Lindsey wrote: "Here's our schedule going forward:

Crown of Slaves September 15 - October 14
Shadow of Saganami October 15 - November 14
Storm from the Shadows November 15 - December 14
Torch of Freedom December ..."


And the folder that already exists for Mission of Honor would fall after Torch of Freedom?


message 35: by Lindsey (last edited Aug 30, 2012 09:50AM) (new)

Lindsey | 376 comments Kathi wrote: And the folder that already exists for Mission of Honor would fall after Torch of Freedom?

Ooo, good point. I was going to just leave it, since technically we've already "done" that book. But... there's not much discussion there yet. We could throw it in from January 15 - February 14 and move Rising Thunder to Feb 15 - Mar 14. That would let us read/review in order AND add Shadow of Freedom (the new one) on at the end for Mar 15 - Apr 14. I like it... what do you guys think?


message 36: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Lindsey wrote: "Kathi wrote: And the folder that already exists for Mission of Honor would fall after Torch of Freedom?

Ooo, good point. I was going to just leave it, since technically we've already "done" that..."


I would prefer to read these books in the best order that makes the most sense for the Honorverse universe. I haven't read Mission of Honor or At All Costs yet because I'm trying to read the supporting short stories before proceeding with the 'main' series novels.

There's a link somewhere in this thread about the suggested reading order for all the books and short stories.


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