No matter the size of your star fleet, do not mess with Lady Harrington, her crew, her country, her family and especially her 'cat. The 'cat will cut you.
Honor Harrington is a Military Science-Fiction series by David Weber. The book series is mainly set around the adventures of the titular heroine, although we see a fair amount of the wider universe. The primary conflict of the storyline is the Star Kingdom of Manticore (The Good Guys) vs. The People's Republic of Haven (The Bad Guys Who Aren't Entirely Unsympathetic).Weber has explicitly described the series as "Horatio Hornblower" IN SPACE! with the series being a great deal more focused on (Space) Naval operations than other science fiction series. Honor Harrington occasionally performs ground-based and political adventures, but the vast majority of the series is focused on her ship-to-ship conflicts, where she serves as commanding officer. However, like almost all Long Runners, the story's scope has expanded a fair bit, with an increase in moments when Honor isn't "on-screen."There is now a Spin-OffYoung Adult series centered on one of Honor's ancestors. For that series, see Stephanie Harrington. Upcoming is a prequel series collectively titled Manticore Ascendant, written by Timothy Zahn; the first novel, A Call to Duty, is slated for an October 2014 release.
Brief Synopses of the Books
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The main-line novel series, primarily following the adventures of the titular character and events on and around Manticore, as well as those in the (People's) Republic of Haven and the Protectorate of Grayson. Among others.
On Basilisk Station: When the prototype weapon mounted on Honor's light cruiser HMS Fearless fails to work as well as its designer wished, she and the crew are sent off to the eponymous backwater where Honor's old enemy Pavel Young is in command, the natives are troublesome, and Haven is behaving suspiciously.
The Honor of the Queen: Manticore sends a delegation to Grayson, hoping to form an alliance, but the other side's sexism makes things difficult, and Haven is working through their old enemies Masada against them.
The Short Victorious War: Haven attempts to thrust further into Manticoran alliance territory, but the threats to the existing Havenite system are not solely external this time.
Field of Dishonor: Pavel Young plans a vicious revenge against Honor and succeeds. Though that decision backfires, it still doesn't make Honor's life any easier.
Flag in Exile: Events lead to Honor returning to Grayson to manage her steading, where enemies conspire against her, and Honor finds that even out of space she has more than one battle to fight. Meanwhile, the war intensifies, and Manticore starts to lose momentum.
Honor Among Enemies: Honor is called back from Grayson to command an anti-piracy mission of Q-ships in the Silesian Confederacy, a lawless but important trading market, and finds a few unlikely allies. Meanwhile, Havenite officers frustrated with the current regime try to force a change.
In Enemy Hands: Honor is captured by Haven and is taken to be executed for crimes she was convicted of by Haven following On Basilisk Station, but her capture will have cataclysmic results for the People's Republic.
Echoes of Honor: Manticore grieves over Honor's execution while the emboldened Peeps launch devastating deep raids, but the video of her death is a fake and Honor is actually plotting her escape from a Haven prison planet called Hades — with the help of a few unlikely allies.
Ashes of Victory: Honor recovers from her long stay on Hades while teaching at Saganami Island. The war between Manticore and Haven heats up even more, with major events on both sides that completely change the politics of the conflict. And Thomas Theisman, with the help of a few fellow patriots, finally makes a stand for the Republic he loves.
War of Honor: A cease-fire has held between Manticore and Haven for years. Honor, out of favor with the current Manticoran government, has lost her command, but she's vocally opposed to reduced military spending and considers the new government to be fools. To quiet her, the government gives her a command at a remote outpost near Silesia, but where "The Salamander" is, fires will burn. Meanwhile, the new government of Haven struggles to keep the peace against popular pressure and dangerous political rivals.
At All Costs: Manticore struggles to overcome the loss of so much of their navy due to cutbacks in War of Honor, so Honor commands a fleet equipped with cutting edge technology to make quick strikes deep into Haven territory. Haven sees Manticore's weakness but is terrified by the implications of the new technology, and what they do next causes the war to come to a climax.
Mission of Honor: Honor leads a diplomatic mission to the heart of Haven in order to finally create true peace, but the Solarian League threatens the negotiations by drawing Manticore into a second conflict and tipping the balance of power. Eloise Pritchart takes the risk of her life to clear the air once and for all, and may be the answer to Manticore's prayers. Meanwhile, the mysterious planet of Mesa has dangerous plans of its own.
A Rising Thunder: The Grand Alliance has formed and begins to knit together as wounds old and new start to heal. But the cracks in the Solarian League are beginning to show, and the young alliance now faces an escalating conflict with the Solarian League Navy.
Shadow of Freedom: While Manticore is occupied with the Solarian League, Michelle Henke is confronted with Mesa's latest gambit.note This book continues the plot threads from Storm from the Shadows and doesn't feature the titular character, meaning that despite its advertising it properly belongs to the Saganami Island subseries, and its title reflects this.
Wages of Sin
The Torch sub-series, following events on and around the planets of Torch and Mesa, and the adventures of Victor Cachat and Anton Zilwicki.
Crown of Slaves: Anton Zilwicki leads a small group to the Republic of Erewhon to try and convince it to stay under the Manticoran umbrella. The problem is, Havenite superspy Victor Cachat is there to convince the locals to his side, a group of Solarians are up to no good, and other factions have their own plans.note This novel runs concurrently with War of Honor.
Torch of Freedom: Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat go into the belly of the beast to find out what Manpower is up to, while the villains put the finishing touches on their preparations for Oyster Bay.note This novel runs concurrently with At All Costs and Mission of Honor.
Cauldron of Ghosts (due April 2014): Zilwicki and Cachat go after the Mesan Alignment itself — but can even they manage to uproot the ancient conspiracy that has manipulated the galaxy for so long?note Runs from the middle of Mission of Honor (just after the Oyster Bay) to the end of Shadow of Freedom.
The Talbott Quadrant sub-series, following events in and around the Talbott Quadrant close to the Lynx terminus of the Junction, and the assorted adventures of Michelle Henke, Aivars Terekhov, Augustus Khumalo, Estelle Matsuko, Abigail Hearns, and company.
The Shadow of Saganami: What should have been a boring mission for four midshipmen on their snotty cruise turns out to be rather more than they — or their captain — bargained for. Meanwhile, Provisional Governor Estelle Matsuko is pushed to her limit, and Mesa is, as always, up to no good.note This novel runs concurrently with At All Costs.
Storm from the Shadows: Michelle Henke heads to the Talbott Quadrant in order to protect Manticore's interests from the Solarian League, but has she bitten off more than she can chew? Not if she has anything to say about it...note This novel runs concurrently with At All Costs and the early chapters of Mission of Honor.
Shadow of Freedom: While Manticore and the Grand Alliance try to get a footing in their conflict with the League, Mesa continues to stir up unrest in the Talbott quadrant and its vicinity, trying to involve the Solarians this time.note While this novel started as the second half of A Rising Thunder and is technically published under the main storyline, thematically (and in the name) it belongs to the Saganami Island subseries.
The Young Adult sub-series, focused on Honor Harrington's ancestor Stephanie, the first human to be bonded to a treecat, and her life on Sphinx — set about four hundred years before the main series.
Fire Season: Climbs Quickly needs the help of Stephanie and her fellow humans in helping a Treecat clan endangered by Sphinx's wildfires. Unfortunately, the telepathic treecats have no way of communicating directly with the mind-blind humans. Also, a scientific expedition has gone missing in the forests of Sphinx, including a young man that Stephanie has found herself infatuated with.
Treecat Wars: Stephanie and Karl travel to Manticore for an intensive three month long Forestry Service training program. Meanwhile, a treecat clan displaced by the fires in Fire Season finds itself running afoul of other clans as it tries to find the means to feed and protect their members.
Set during the same era as the Stephanie Harrington books, before the discovery of the Manticore Wormhole Junction. A prequel series written by Timothy Zahn, which chronicles the early days of the Royal Manticoran Navy as it begins to explore the galaxy outside the Manticore System.
A Call to Duty (due October 2014): Travis Long joins the sleepy Royal Manticoran Navy four hundred years before Honor's time — but the galaxy is a dangerous place, and the RMN may begin to encounter more than it can handle.
"What Price Dreams?" by David Weber: Tells the story of the first time a member of the House of Winton — Crown Princess Adrienne, later Queen Adrienne I of Manticore, monarch of Edward Saganami — bonded to a treecat.
"Queen's Gambit" by Jane Lindskold: As King Roger III dies, his daughter Elizabeth has to rise to the throne and learn what it means to be Queen.
"The Hard Way Home" by David Weber: Lieutenant Commander Honor Harrington, while evaluating a new type of pinnace, comes across a catastrophic avalanche on a Gryphon Sky Resort.
"Deck Load Strike" by Roland J Green: On the planet of Silvestria, the two native nations are at war, with one supported by Manticore and the other by Haven.
Changer of Worlds:
"Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington" by David Weber: Honor Harrington's snotty cruise into Silesia. What could go wrong?
"Nightfall" by David Weber: Originally part of Ashes of Victory and got cut because it would have made the book too long. Describes Oscar Saint-Just's rise to power and Esther McQueen's attempted coup.
"From the Highlands" by Eric Flint: Mesa has kidnapped Anton Zilwicki's daughter on Earth, and Havenite spies get involved along the way. Prologue/Backstory for the Crown of Slaves books.
"Changer of Worlds" by David Weber: Nimitz and Samantha return to Sphinx to visit and present an idea.
The Service of the Sword:
"Promised Land" by Jane Lindskold: Crown Prince Michael Winton makes his snotty cruise on a diplomatic mission to Masada — where his future wife is planning her escape.
"With One Stone" by Timothy Zahn: Someone is attacking ships in Silesia, and Admiral Sonja Hemphill fears that they are using a weapon more powerful than her Grav Lance to do it. Lieutenant Rafael Cardones of HMS Fearless gets sent to find out more.
"Let's Go To Prague" by John Ringo: Two Manticoran spies take a vacation. On a Havenite world. What could possibly go wrong?
"Fanatic" by Eric Flint: A People's Commissioner is found dead and Oscar Saint-Just sends his best man to figure out who did it: Victor Cachat. Another Prequel for Crown of Slaves.
"The Service of the Sword" by David Weber: Ms Midshipwoman Abigail Hearns, the first native female officer of the Grayson Space Navy, makes her snotty cruise on board the HMS Gauntlet — under the command of Captain Michael Oversteegen.
In Fire Forged:
"Ruthless" by Jane Lindskold: Sequel to "Promised Land", detailing Michael Winton and Judith Templeton on Manticore.
"An Act of War" by Timothy Zahn: Haven attempts a False Flag Operation to draw in the Andermani into the war against Manticore. Mysterious arms dealer Charles from "With One Stone" gets volunteered by a still resentful Oscar Saint-Just to make it happen.
"Let's Dance" by David Weber: Commander Honor Harrington, CO of HMS Hawkwing, is on a anti-piracy mission in Silesia as the Audobon Ballroom asks her for a dance.
"An Introduction to Modern Starship Armor Design" by Hegel DiLutorio: A Tech Bible, describing Starship Armor and Weaponry.
"By The Book" by Charles E Gannon: Tells the story of Earth during the early diaspora, as Luddites and extreme Greens are the Government.
"A Call To Arms" by Timothy Zahn: Lieutenant Travis Uriah Long is an Officer in the still young Royal Manticoran Navy as a Solarian Transstellar decides to acquire the Star Kingdom. The prequel to the upcoming Manticore Ascendant sub-series, also to be written by Zahn.
"Beauty and the Beast" by David Weber: Lieutenant Alfred Harrington arrives on Beowulf for his medical education... and meets a young woman named Allison Chou.
"The Best Laid Plans" by David Weber: Young Honor Harrington just wants to make a quick trip into the Sphinxian woods — just as a treecat named Laughs Brightly makes his rounds on his clan's range.
"Obligated Service" by Joelle Presby: Extending the Grayson Navy Letters Home, it follows Ensign Claire Bedlam Lecroix, one of the first female officers in the GSN.
Additionally, three Companion books are being published:
House of Steel gives detailed information both the Star Kingdom/Empire of Manticore and the Protectorate of Grayson and contains a novella.
I Will Build My House of Steel: Follows Roger Winton, Roger III of Manticore, as he prepared his Kingdom for the inevitable war with the People's Republic of Haven.
House of Lies (due TBA, working title) will contain similar information about Haven, the Andermani and (possibly) Silesia. Also included will be a novella describing the creation of the People's Republic.
House of Shadows (due TBA, working title) will center upon Mesa, the Solarian League and (if it doesn't fit into the second companion) Silesia. The Novella will tell about the beginnings of the Mesan Alignment.
Grayson Navy Letters Home by Joelle Presby: The correspondence between Ensign Cecelie Rustin and her Family as she is on deployment in the GSN. Covers the same territory as "Obligated Service", from another perspective.
All the novels up to A Beautiful Friendship are legally available for free, along with many other Baen Books titles, via the Baen Free CD site. The best collection of Honorverse titles is on the Mission of Honor promotional CD.David Weber announced on 27-Sept-2011 that a movie deal has been closed. This will be an adaptation of The Honor of the Queen, with flashbacks to the first novel. In addition, a tie-in graphic novel series is planned.Warning: Spoilers ahead. As a Long Runner, Late Arrival Spoilers of the early books are unavoidable. Caution advised.