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The Honor of the Queen - David Weber This was my first foray into the Honor Harrington series. I got this one instead of the first in the series (On Basilisk Station) because it was the one available to me more easily.

HOTQ is a book about a young Captain in the employ of the navy of the "Star Kingdom of Manticore" (SKM). Manticore is ruled by a queen and seems to be set up in a more or less standard constitutional monarchy. (Why is it that the more libertarian writers like Niven, Weber, Pournelle and frankly the vast majority of Baen's stable seem to lean heavily toward monarchy?)

SKM is attempting to form a treaty with a planet (Grayson) in a star system strategically located between SKM and their main enemy the People's Republic of Haven (PRH) AKA "peeps" or "Havenites". As you might have guessed from the name they are (gasp) Socialists and are therefore made out of suck. On several occasions we are shown how awful socialism is under the PRH, especially when juxtaposed with the joys of living under a monarch(?). As a humorous aside, the capital of the PRH is "Nouveau Paris".

Anyway,Cpt. Harrington is charged with leading the military aspect of the mission to Grayson. The only issue is that Grayson is a planet which was founded by fundamentalist Christians who were so fundamentalist that they rejected the new testament and lived by the laws of the old testament. I had heard that people like this were called "Jews" but apparently not in the David Weber universe. Because of their fundamentalism, the Grayson folks were highly sexist, with gender roles very tightly circumscribed. Women, as one could imagine, were definitely not to serve in the military. Harrington of course is a woman, which lead, inexorably, to all types of nonsense that no military would ever accept from it's officers .

If you thought Grayson was bad, there is another habitable planet in the system (might have been a moon, I don't recall now.) Masada. Masada is so fundamentalist that it makes Grayson look like a bunch of Berkeley hippies smoking weed at a My Morning Jacket concert. Masada has been at war with Grayson in the past and has sworn to destroy them all. It is not known if they laughed evilly and stroked a cat while they made this pledge.

I don't want to get much more into the plot of the book at this point because spoilers abound. The Graysons and the SKM end up getting into it with the Graysons which were surreptitiously supported by the PRH and it all comes to a head.

I am of two minds when it comes to this book. I was very impressed with the battle and action scenes (very well done with a slight tendency to pull something out of their ass at the last minute.),the intricate plotting,and the fully developed world i which the story takes place. The characters, unfortunately, were wooden and quite unbelievable. I also was not too impressed with Cpt. Harrington's Ninja cat or whatever the hell that was. The entire time I was reading in absolute disbelief. Nothing could have taken me out of the book more than this.

All in all, despite the goofy parts listed above, I thought this was an average book. There were many good points and many bad points but it was essentially an enjoyable read. An easy 3 stars. I will probably be willing to try the next book in the series at some point.