Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Book Review: To End in Fire by David Weber & Eric Flint

To End in Fire

David Weber & Eric Flint
Series: Honor Harrington - Crown of Slaves (Book 4)
Publication: Baen (October 5, 2021)


The Solarian League lies in defeat, crushed by the Grand Alliance of Manticore, Haven, and Grayson.

Obedient to the Alliance's surrender demands, the League is writing a new Constitution, to prevent the reemergence of out-of-control bureaucrats, like the "Mandarins" who led it to disaster. Frontier Security has been disbanded, the Outworlds' have regained control of their own economic destinies, and multiple star systems will soon secede from the League entirely.

Yet the League is—and will remain—the largest, most economically powerful human star nation in existence, and despite the overwhelming evidence that their unelected political leaders were the driving force behind the war, many League citizens deeply resent the fashion in which their star nation— the Solarian League —has been humbled. And those who most resent the Grand Alliance continue to blame Manticore for the nuclear bombardment of the planet Mesa after its surrender. They refuse to accept that the League—and the members of the Grand Alliance—could have been manipulated by a deeply hidden interstellar conspiracy called the Mesan Alignment. The Alignment is only an invention of the Grand Alliance, no more than a mask, a cover, for its own horrific Eridani Violations.

Those Solarians will never accept the "war guilt" of the League, because they know the Grand Alliance was just as bad. Because they deeply resent the way in which the Grand Alliance pretends to be the innocent "good guys." And in the fullness of time, those Solarians will seek vengeance upon their enemies.

Not all Solarians feel that way, but even some of those who accept that there was an interstellar conspiracy cherish doubts about its origins. But it is still out there, and now defeated Solarians and agents of the victorious Alliance must join forces to find it. Even if they don't believe in it, it believes in them.

They must find it and identify it, to prove to revanchist Solarians that there was a conspiracy.

And they must find it and destroy it to end its evil—once and for all!

My Thoughts: This story takes place after the Grand Alliance, led by Honor Alexander-Harrington, has conquered the Solarian League's headquarters on Old Earth. One of the major demands is the writing of a new constitution which makes it necessary to gather delegates from the various worlds in the League. 

Also, a new government is in the works for Mesa which was also conquered by the Grand Alliance. Integrating all the the various groups of people - citizens, seccies and slaves - won't be easy. The focus is on organizing a police force that can replace the previous, corrupt forces. This one going to be led by a former Ballroom Terrorist which creates some problems.

Meanwhile, all manner of intelligence agents are in the process of deciphering the various information that has been gathered in order to locate the Mesan Alliance whose undercover actions caused various wars including the war with the Solarian League.

The Mesan Alliance has been working on its goal of enhancing the human race for hundreds of years using all sorts of techniques that have been declared illegal. In this one we learn that their are actually three different Mesan Alliances. The first are the fanatics who have been sowing chaos in the galaxy. The second is the group that remained on Mesa and were unknowingly acting as a cover for the fanatics. There is also a third secret group that we first learn about in this story who are seemingly part of the fanatics but have become disillusioned with that groups tactics. 

The story follows lots of characters from earlier books in the Honorverse including Honor Harrington who comes off maternity leave to lead the task force that will deal with the fanatics once they are found.

I enjoyed this story, liked catching up with characters I knew about from earlier books, and liked seeing what happened after the big, exciting battle was done and the mop up begun. This is definitely the place to jump into the Honorverse. There were so many characters and so many plot threads. They did come together into a coherent story which leaves lots of room for more books. 

Favorite Quote:
"There's an excess of brains in this room," Tretiakovna complained. "If it reaches critical mass, we'll all be incinerated by neuron radiation."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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