Thursday, November 5, 2020

Audiobook: Shadow of Freedom by David Weber

Shadow of Freedom

Author: David Weber
Series: Honor Harrington - Saganami Island Book 3
Narrator: Allyson Johnson
Publication: Audible Studios (March 5, 2013)
Length: 16 hours and 38 minutes

Description: Wrong number? There are two sides to any quarrel . . . unless there are more. 

Queen Elizabeth of Manticore's first cousin and Honor Harrington's best friend, Michelle Henke, has just handed the ""invincible"" Solarian League Navy the most humiliating, one sided defeat in its entire almost thousand year history in defense of the people of the Star Empire's Talbott Quadrant. But the League is the most powerful star nation in the history of humanity. Its navy is going to be back—and this time with thousands of superdreadnoughts 

Yet she also knows scores of other star systems—some independent, some controlled by puppet regimes, and some simply conquered outright by the Solarian Office of Frontier Security—lie in the League's grip along its frontier with the Talbott Quadrant. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation,the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest, and Michelle sympathizes with the oppressed populations wanting only to be free of their hated masters. 

And that puts her in something of a quandary when a messenger from Mobius arrives, because someone's obviously gotten a wrong number. According to him, the Mobians' uprising has been carefully planned to coordinate with a powerful outside ally: the Star Empire of Manticore. Only Manticore—and Mike Henke—have never even heard of the Mobius Liberation Front. 

It's a set up . . . and Michelle knows who's behind it. The shadowy Mesan Alignment has launched a bold move to destroy Manticore's reputation as the champion of freedom. And when the RMN doesn't arrive, when the MLF is brutally and bloodily crushed, no independent star system will ever trust Manticore again. 

Mike Henke knows she has no orders from her government to assist any rebellions or liberation movements, that she has only so many ships, which can be in only so many places at a time . . . and that she can't possibly justify diverting any of her limited, outnumbered strength to missions of liberation the Star Empire never signed on for. She knows that . . . and she doesn't care. 

No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come. 

Not on Mike Henke's watch. 

My Thoughts: This was one of the shorter episodes in the lengthy Honor Harrington series. It stars Admiral Michelle Henke and takes place mainly in the Talbot Quadrant. The Solarian League is still making trouble and Manticore has less resources to defend its new territory since the sneak attack on the Manticore home system which destroyed so much of the kingdom's military infrastructure. 

The Mesan Alliance looks on that as an opportunity and they have agents in place who are determined to support revolutions on many of the planet under the authority of the Solarian Leagues' Office of Frontier Security. Of course, they say that they are helping out as representatives of Manticore which means that, when Manticore doesn't show up with military support and the revolutions are crushed, it is Manticore's reputation that will suffer.

When someone gets out of one of these systems and connects with Manticoran authorities at Montana, the whole promise of support comes as a major surprise to Admiral Henke and her fleet. That doesn't mean that she isn't going to help though. 

I liked learning more about the Mesan Alliance and the things that they have planned. I also look forward to finding out how the good guys are going to disrupt those plans, I hope. Not that the collapse of the Solarian League wouldn't be a good thing for that culture but it will certainly bring about huge changes on all the planets. 

I liked the parts of the story that took place on the planets under the thumbs of Frontier Security. I also liked the way the Manticorans helped those planets. What I didn't like was the cliffhanger ending. Of course, I do have the rest of the series and so didn't have a year or so to wait to find out what will happen next. 

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

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