Thursday, November 19, 2020

Audiobook: Cauldron of Ghosts by David Weber and Eric Flint

Cauldron of Ghosts

David Weber and Eric Flint
Series: Crown of Slaves - Honor Harrington Universe Book 3
Narrator: Peter Larkin
Publication: Audible Studios (April 8, 2014)
Length: 22 hours and 53 minutes

Description: The Mesan Alignment: a centuries-old cabal that seeks to impose its vision of a society dominated by genetic rank onto the human race. Now the conspiracy stands exposed by spies Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat—one an agent of Honor Harrington’s Star Kingdom of Manticore, the other a Havenite operative. The outing of the Alignment has turned the galaxy’s political framework topsy-turvy. Old coalitions have disintegrated. New alliances have been born.

For starters, the long and hard-fought war between the Republic of Haven and the Star Empire of Manticore is not only over, but these bitter enemies have formed a new pact. Their common foe: the Mesan Alignment itself.

But more information is needed to bring the Alignment out of the shadows. Now, defying the odds and relying on genetic wizardry themselves for a disguise, Zilwicki and Cachat return to Mesa—only to discover that even they have underestimated the Alignment’s ruthlessness and savagery.

Soon they are on the run in Mesa’s underworld, not only hunted by the Alignment but threatened by the exploding conflict on the planet between Mesa’s overlords and the brutalized slaves and descendants of slaves who have suffered under their rule for so long. But if Zilwicki and Cachat succeed in rooting out the ancient conspiracy, a great evil may be finally removed from the galaxy—and on a long-oppressed planet, freedom may finally dawn.

My Thoughts: This episode concentrates on Zilwicki and Cachat's efforts on Mesa to discover more about the Mesan Alignment. A lot of time is spent learning about the culture of the planet which is divided into three groups: the full citizens, the seccies who are descendants of manumitted slaves, and the slaves. The concentration is on the seccies. 

The problem is that the Mesan Alignment needs to get its essential people off the planet without alerting anyone to their disappearance. The solution they decide to implement is to execute a number of terrorist attacks which they can blame on the Audubon Ballroom and Manticore. The result is that the law forces and army of the Mesan planet which are composed of full citizens blame the seccies who they claim are sheltering the terrorists for the attacks and decide to teach them a lesson.

What they don't know is that the seccies have been gathering armament for years because they feared just such an event. And now they have the assistance of Cachat and Thandi Palane to help them defeat the invaders. Zilwicki escapes to Manticore to try to get help before the seccies lose the war and he loses his friends Cachat and Palane now knowing that Admiral Henke also has plans to visit Mesa along with her fleet.

The story also follows the journey of Zachariah McBryde who is one of the people the Mesan Alignment is evacuating to their new stronghold. He seems to be starting to have some second thoughts about the goals of the Alignment but is still generally in agreement with the master plan.

There are a number of other subplots including the revolutions the Alignment is fomenting on Verge planets and in the Maya System. 

All in all, a long but interesting entry into the Honor Harrington series. 

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

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