Honor Harrington is the heroine of a space opera
series created by David Weber
. He admits the influence of C.S.Forester's Hornblower upon the series (even having Honor receive a copy of one of the books from her father).
The series charts the career of Honor from her first hyper-capable command. She is a very talented officer in the Manticorian Royal Navy who rises through the ranks without the aid of patronage. She has the disturbing habit of being in the midst of problems and of acquiting herself well (sometimes despite the actions of her superiors). As she is promoted she becomes more involved in politics as well as the military and her career suffers various setbacks (not the least of which is being thought dead for a couple of years).
Honor is accompanied through her adventures by her companion Nimitz (a Sphinxian Treecat) and her steward James MacGuiness.
Whilst Honor does survive from book to book. She does not survive unscathed (neither emotionally nor physically). Weber does a good job of showing her maturing - particularly as to her distate she has to become involved in the world of politics.
The background of the series is realised in quite a degree of detail. The People's Repubic of Haven is engaged in a war of acquisition against their neghbours and they have expanded to come up against the Star Kingdom of Manicore. The series shows the development of the war as well as the political machinations that are going on around the region.
Weber has worked hard to come up with a consistant and intelligent examination of how space battles would be fought with his technologies. As the war continues the changes in technology force the development of new tactics.
Above all however these are good romps populated with interesting characters and lots of excitement. Weber presents all his characters as complex individuals with their own motivations. All of them have goals and objectives that seem reasonable (at least to them).
There are currently 9 books in the series:
- On Basilisk Station - Sent to a backwater posting Honor must deal with obstacles both from the enemy and her superiors to prevent a planetary revolt and foil an invasion by Haven.
- The Honor of the Queen - Honor is posted to the Yeltsin system to encourage an alliance between Manticore and Grayson (a planet where women do not fight). She must deal with both the Grayson's prejudice and a threat from their old enemies the Masadans, then the People's Republic of Haven comes calling.
- The Short Victorious War - The People's Republic are desperate for a victory to quell unrest within and they attack Hancock. Unfortunately for them Honor Harrington is there.
- Field of Dishonor - After killing Pavel Young's assassin Honor now tries to confront Young himself. But at what cost both personal and professional?
- Flag in Exile - Exiled to Grayson Honor must deal with the plots against both her and the reforms the Protector is pushing through.
- Honor Amongst Enemies - Honor is back in the Manticorian Navy but must lead a small task group of Q ships to deal with pirates raiding merchants in Silesian space.
- In Enemy Hands - Honor is escorting a convoy when they are attacked by Haven forces. Although the merchants escape Honor is captured and find herself in the hands of Cordellia Ransom and the People's Committee for Public Safety.
- Echoes of Honor - While Manticore and Grayson believe Honor is dead (and Haven starts to carry the fight to them). Honor must confront the forces of Hell itself.
- Ashes of Victory - Back from the dead Honor must deal with the repercussions of her presumed death. Whilst Manticore prepares to strike back against Haven.