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Weber, David
book-date: 1994
cvr art:
cvr price:
(Tall) Hardcover
Gary Ruddell

Baen Books "1st hardcover printing" October 1999 (paperback was 1994.) Cover by Gary Ruddell, 311 pages, $4.99 cover price. Condition is near-Fine: tight and almost square (square at bottom, 1/16" or less tilt at top); age-tanning is mild and uniform (with the caveat that the paper quality is not the best); very light rubbing wear - mostly on blank back cover. One remainder-mark on bottom page block; no interior stamps, marks or writing - this is probably unread.

Field of Dishonor - 4th in Weber's "Honor Harrington" series. The People's Republic of Haven's sneak attack on the Kingdom of Manticore has failed. The Peeps are in disarray, their leaders fighting for power in bloody revolution, and the Royal Manticoran Navy stands victorious. But Manticore has domestic problems of its own, and success can be more treacherous than defeat for Honor Harrington. Now, trapped at the core of a political crisis she never sought, betrayed by an old and vicious enemy she'd thought vanquished forever, she stand alone. She must fight for justice on a battlefield she never trained for in a private war that offers just two choices: death... or a "victory" that can only end in dishonor and the loss of all she loves. [That's the blurb-copy from the back of the book, which is the same as the back cover of the paperback.] The first 3 books ended in space-battles of increasing scope - this book has no major space battles, but does have action seqences and incidents. It makes for a nice change of pace to see Honor trying to have a personal life, and we see more of the workings of the government and politicos as Manticore is moving to a war footing. As her mentor pointed out in book 2, Honor is politically naive, a shortcoming she will have to address or it will come back and bite her. She becomes more aware, but when her enemy hands her a devasating blow, she faces the problem in her own head-on, full-tilt way - quite aware that the consequences will cost her the career she loves, but unable to follow any other course and remain true to herself.

I find Weber's books to be compulsively readable, and he has been a consistent exception to the rule that "sequels are bad" - coming up with new directions to go that are worth exploring. Weber is firmly in the military-SF camp, but I like the thinking that he brings to matters of organization - while writing action or "Space Opera." The first 5 books in this series were paperback originals (1993-95.) Starting with #6 in 1996, all subsequent books came out in hardcover first, and apparently there was enough clamor or demand for hardcovers of the first 5 that Baen did hardcover reprints, with #1 and #4 in 1999, #2 in 2000, #5 in 2001, and finally #3 in 2002. While I might have preferred a more lavish production with cloth boards and a dustjacket, these "printed-cover" hardcovers will certainly stand up much better to multiple readings than your average paperbacks - and Weber is definitely worth re-reading. I bought my copies new as soon as they came out, and didn't see copies linger very long on the bookstore shelves - I don't think the print run was big enough for the eventual demand. I consider the titles reprinted in hardcover to be Weber at his finest - and I'll be happy to sell as many nice copies as I can find.

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