A Call to Insurrection – Good space opera in the Honorverse.

A Call to Insurrection.
Honorverse: Manticore Ascendant, #4.
By David WeberTimothy Zahn and Thomas Pope.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of five stars.

Yesterday, the Star Kingdom of Manticore was a small, unimportant interstellar backwater. A quiet little star nation, only recently recovered from the devastating blow of the Plague Years. More affluent than some, perhaps, but with little to attract trade or interstellar commerce, it had little need for a navy . . . and even less interest in paying for one.

But Manticore has now become a target. The Star Kingdom isn’t certain who is attacking it, or why, or what its mysterious foe can possibly want, but Queen Elizabeth I knows she has to find out. And she knows that whatever some of her subjects think, Manticore does need a navy. And it needs allies, friends like the dynamic Republic of Haven and the Andermani Empire. It needs their trade . . . and to learn from their more experienced and powerful navies.

It is the job of officers like Travis Long and his wife, Lisa, to acquire that experience. Of utterly inexperienced diplomats like Travis’s brother Gavin, Earl Winterfall, to build those alliances.

They have been sent to the powerful Andermani Empire to do just that, for the Imperial Navy is one of the most potent and experienced fleets in the galaxy. But the Andermani have problems of their own. Their Emperor’s death is the trigger for insurrection, and now that powerful and experienced navy is locked in civil war.

The Manticoran visitors find themselves squarely in the path of the storm, and before Travis, Lisa, and Gavin can accomplish anything else, they first have to survive.

It has been quite some time since I read something from David Weber so it was with some pleasure that I dug into this, the latest, book in the Manticore Ascendant series.

One thing you can be sure of when you dig into a book by David Weber, whether there are additional authors mentioned on the book or not, is that you are starting to read a book that is well written with a story that has quite some work behind it.

This book is no exception to that.

Another things that, unfortunately, you can suspect when you start one of David Weber’s books is that there are going to be a lot of dialog, lot of story building and between a fair amount and a lot of politics, machinations and plotting going on.

This is generally the part of David Weber’s books that I do not like and is pretty much the only reason this book doesn’t get five stars from me. Actually at 30% of the book I made a note that, so far, it was only bla bla, politics and more bla bla. Well written bla bla but still… bla bla.

Luckily the book took off from there. Still rather slowly but it took off.

This book is a continuation of the previous book in the Manticore Ascendant series. Normally I am not too keen on prequels and this book series is indeed a prequel to the Honor Harrington series. But I have to say that it is quite interesting to read about the humble beginnings of the Manticore Kingdom.

There are really two stories in this book. One a detective story weeding out some scheming, murderous lowlife within Manticore itself and the main story. The one where a unknown entity, that, unlike Manticore, is fully aware about the presence of the very important wormhole junction within the kingdom, is continuing to plot against Manticore and now against the Andermani empire as well.

Of course and to my great enjoyment, said plotting results in some decent fleet action in classical David Weber style.

Overall I very much liked the characters in the book. Many of them, like Travis, Lisa etc. are of course taken over from the previous book. But I really came to like the Andermani Admiral as well as their new Emperor as well.

The Andermani empire is mostly based on German, old Preussian, culture and one thing that I liked about this book is that, while a lot of authors are sprinkling German-sounding “words” around without having a f… clue what they are doing, David Weber and his co-authors are actually getting it right. Also they are not concocting bullshit words and names that may be grammatically more or less correct but also totally ludicrous.

The book did advance the main story arc, that is the ascendance of the Manticore kingdom, although in rather small steps. As I wrote in my review of the previous book, I really hope that the story, at some point, advances to where Manticore discovers their hidden “goldmine” and starts to take advantage of it.

Bottom line, a very good book and if you are more into politics and machinations than me, you will probably find it a five star book.

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