Sequel to national best sellers Torch of Freedom and Crown of Slaves, book three in the Crown of Slaves-Honor Harrington universe. Secret agent Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat return in this classic tie-in series set in David Weber's Honorverse.
Toil and trouble in the cauldron of ghosts
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.
©2014 Words of Weber, Inc., and Eric Flint (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"Spies in Mesa"
This is the third book in the “Crown of Slaves Series” set in the “Honoverse”, the world of Honor Harrington. Victor Cachet, spy from the Republic of Haven and Anton Zilwicki spy from the Empire of Manticore are the two main characters in the “Crown of Slaves series” In prior books they began working together in Torch a planet of ex-slaves who elected Berry Zilwicki , Anton’s youngest daughter their Queen. They had discovered that Mesa, who create genetic slaves, plot to set Haven and Manticore to war with each other. If you have not read the main series it is best to start at the beginning with “On Basilisk Station” and proceed through the series and sub series, the books do not do well as standalone books. Cachet and Zilwicki decide they need to go back to Mesa and try to find out more about what is happening with the newly discovered Mesan Alignment and how it ties into events and situation that have been happening. They adopt new personas and new skin (literally) through the wonders of modern Beowulf genetics and medical engineering. Accompanied by General Thandi Plane (Chief of Staff of Torch military) and Yana Tretiakovna (super solider) also of Torch. Weber has been known for producing very large volume books and this is no exemption. Weber goes into long explanation of the technology and society which I find helpful in obtaining a complete understanding of the world he creates. This book has less of the explanations instead it focused on moving the story along. Our spies find that the Mesa Alignment has been moving their personnel off Mesa and creating large scale attack resulting massive amounts of deaths to cover all their missing people. Of course, the Mesa Alignment blames the “ballroom” (group of ex-slaves) for the terrorist attacks. Victor and Anton help out the main crime boss of the slums in resisting the reprisals by the police and Mesa military. Honor Harrington plays only a background role. I sure hope Weber does another book staring Honor. When it looks like the end for our heroes a large Manticore Naval Fleet suddenly appears. We knew from the last book that the fleet was on the way commanded by Honor’s friend Admiral Goldpeak also known as Michele Henke niece of Queen Elizabeth of Manticore. Weber has set us up again anxiously waiting for the next book. Peter Larkin does a good job narrating the book
"Another Strong Honorverse Title"
I've read the book and am listening to the audiobook. The story while long and sometimes too involved holds together well with great characters. Unfortunately the narrator should stick to narration but his characterizations are terrible. His range seems to be making people sound very old or very young and it seems like there's been no prep work done by listening to previous Honorverse titles. Please find another narrator for these titles.
Not unless it's a children's book or a non-fiction.
"Much rehashing of previous books, Flat performance"
I have generally enjoyed all the Honorverse books. The stories are enjoyable.
It is very comparable to the other Honorverse books (sidestories to the Honor Harrington books). These include Crown of Slaves, Shadow of Saganami, Storm from the Shadows, Torch of Freedom, Shadow of Freedom) listed in internal chronological order.
I preferred Allyson Johnson, she did a tremendous job on the 13 main Honor Harrington books. I could tell where people were from by the accents (French for Haven, Scottish for Gryphon, etc.). Since Weber switches locale without any statement . . . this was very helpful. Larkin (this book) is a good "reader" but not a good "performer" and the bad pronunciation of French names and words is just really bad.
I found it annoying and a big let down that the reading performance (Peter Larkin) is so flat and without the wonderful accents and flavor of the previous (Allyson Johnson) books. There is also a significant amount of reprinting of sections from other books. (Rising Thunder and Shadow of Freedom)
The story or does progress. I'm terribly disappointed in the quality of the performance, though. Glad I only payed the "add on" price to the kindle book.
Looking forward the next story. Pretty well narrated. Good characterization of key players. Well done.
l am a big fan of David Weber and have just about every book he has written. First read a Bolo book.
"Well written, compelling story"
Great story overall. it would have been nice if the narrator had understood the military use of acronyms better. That distracted a little from the story on several occasions. I would still recommend this story to any fan of David Weber.
One of the best Honorverse books. Several awesome moments.
Could have had a bit more meat to the end though.
"The neverending series"
I thought I could avoid cliffhanger shock by reading books that were published several years ago, but I was wrong. The story grabs me and suddenly I'm finished, and have to buy the next in the series. Now I've caught up. O the horror!
"Good book, bad performance."
This is probably my favorite Honorverse book of the last decade - the least formulaic and most generally unpredictable, even if some of the side characters get far more attention than I'd prefer.
This performance, on the other hand, is just excruciatingly awful. Larkin has a voice which is better-suited to lighter material - it always feels like there's a chuckle lurking in the background and yes this book tries for humor at times but it really needs to be played straighter. The accents are truly unfortunate and mostly inappropriate for the setting - their assignment, particularly to female characters starts getting insulting fast.
At least it's technically proficient, and not badly edited like a few other books I've purchased here.
There's a rather different narrator who reads the other two main series of Honorverse books, and I dearly wish she had been picked for this effort instead.
Messers Weber and Flint. Thank you so very very much for the Torch slave stories!
"Appalling narration spoils a good story"
I love David Weber's writing and the whole Honor Harrington series, but I can't finish this, the narration is so dreadful.
I haven't got to the end, I'll have to wait till I read the book.
Another narrator - almost anyone would be an improvement.
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