Thursday, October 8, 2020

Audiobook: Crown of Slaves by David Weber

Crown of Slaves
Author: David Weber and Eric Flint
Series: Crown of Slaves - Honor Harrington Universe Book 1
Narrator: Peter Larkin
Publication: Audible Studios (Dec. 22, 2009)
Length: 19 hours and 19 minutes

Description: The Star Kingdom's ally Erewhon is growing increasingly restive in the alliance because the new High Ridge regime ignores its needs. Added to the longstanding problem of a slave labor planet controlled by hostile Mesans in Erewhon's stellar backyard, which High Ridge refuses to deal with, the recent assassination of the Solarian League's most prominent voice of public conscience indicates the growing danger of political instability in the Solarian League—which is also close to Erewhon.

In desperation, Queen Elizabeth tries to defuse the situation by sending a private mission to Erewhon led by Captain Zilwicki, accompanied by one of her nieces. When they arrive on Erewhon, however, Manticore's envoys find themselves in a mess. Not only do they encounter one of the Republic of Haven's most capable agents—Victor Cachat—but they also discover that the Solarian League's military delegation seems up to its neck in skullduggery.

And, just to put the icing on the cake, the radical freed slave organization, the Audubon Ballroom, is also on the scene—led by its notorious and ruthless assassin, Jeremy X.

My Thoughts: This companion series to the mainline Honor Harrington series takes place on Erewhon which has become a gathering point for all sorts of political opinions. While the new High Ridge government seems to be trying to destroy their alliance with Erewhon, the Queen decides to send delegates of her own to the funeral of a noted politician. She chooses her niece Ruth and also sends Anton Zilwicki and his adopted daughter Berry.

To provide more security for Princess Ruth, she and Berry change places. It takes some nanotech intervention which just makes Berry and Ruth closer. The girls are quite different. Ruth has been raised in the isolation of the Mantacoran Royal Family but as the adopted daughter of the Queen's brother, she is not in the line of succession. In fact, Ruth really wants to be a spy. Traveling with the Zilwickis gives her a great opportunity since Anton is likely one of the best spies Manticore has. Berry doesn't have the same goals. She is good at all sorts of things but doesn't have a focus for her future yet since she's only seventeen. She does think her talents would make her a good queen but there aren't any openings for queens right now.

Also converging on Erewhon to attend the funeral are Victor Cachat who is a very talented intelligence agent for the new Republic of Haven and Ginny Usher who is the wife of Kevin Usher who is Haven's best spy. They are sent to try to convince Erewhon that Haven would be interested in an alliance with them since the government of Manticore doesn't seem to value them at all.

Throw in a Solarian Captain with a plot to gain power in the Solarian League, some Masadan terrorists who want to capture Princess Ruth, and a wide variety of anti-slavery terrorists and you have a complex and engaging adventure.

I liked the focus on these new characters. I liked the political wrangling and dealing and liked the different look at Haven we get. This was a great beginning to a new series.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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