The Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington, #2) - David Weber *4.7 Stars*

Scorecard: (Out of 10)
* Quality of Writing - 10
* Pace - 8
* Plot development - 10
* Characters - 10
* Enjoyability - 9
* Insightfulness - 10
* Ease of Reading - 9
* Photos/Illustrations - NA
Final Score: 66/70 = 94%

*WARNING: In addition to the series' usual battle sequences and somewhat graphic death scenes, there are some terrible events that take place in this book. While the author handles them with care, they are not for young teens and older readers should be aware of what they are getting into.

*The Gush*

My husband's and my reading interests are usually completely different; not even in the same ballpark. So when he suggested Weber's Honor Harrington series, I at first said no. I like Scifi stories generally but with our track record I figured there were too many other books that I would rather read. Finally, however, I gave in...and I've never been so happy to be so wrong. I now like the series better then my husband and have read farther then him.

I'd read this book at least three times before, but read it again when I realized I neglected to write a review of it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this right after Basilisk station, but this really surprised me. And concerned me. The first time I read it, I still didn't have a handle on what kind of author Weber was. So when I saw he was going to tackle the loaded issue of religious differences and fanaticism, I nearly stopped reading the book. I didn't want one of the freshest and exciting new (to me) series I'd read in ages to be ruined in only the second book. In my experience, even 'fair-minded' authors do little more then make you feel sorry for 'stupid' religious people.

Instead, Weber worked extremely hard to give everyone, even the fanatics, a chance to show they are also human. You can disagree with them, you can even hate what their actions, but he reminds you they are people. As for the Graysons, he gives each of them a chance to be human as well. He shows the spectrum of issues and that even people with similar levels of belief can hold different thoughts on the suitability of actions. Clinkscales is the best example of this and bare none my favorite person from Grayson. He makes no apologies for what he believes but also is willing to reevaluate and admit when he's been wrong. Weber's characters are some of the best I've read in fiction in a long time because they are human, warts and all.

My other favorite character is Admiral Raoul Courvosier, Honor's mentor and ranks up there with Admiral Hamish Alexander in my favorite Manticoran higher navel officers. He is a great diplomat as well as a great tactician and means a great deal to Honor. I know Weber has every character be fair game in his works, but killing Courvosier was one of the saddest moments in my reading of the Harrington series. Even worse then later in the book when Honor's left side of her face is ravaged while protecting Protector Benjamin's life and family.

The plot is interesting and already showing the change in trend from less battles and more politics. Not completely, and there are always plenty of battles, but Honor is climbing in the ranks and with rank comes more then just better ships; there comes politics and the need to be both a person of action and a person of wise words. What she does both good and ill in this book set the course of the rest of her life both good and bad. You see her grow and develop but you also see her make serious mistakes. One of the main reasons I dislike saying she is a Mary Sue, though others label her as such. If you've read the Horatio Hornblower series (which this is sort of based off of), you understand why thing work they way they do in this series. But Honor makes mistakes, often times costly ones, but she learns from them.

The writing is engaging, though a bit technical and military for my knowledge base at times. It speaks of how well Weber writes that I have never skipped any of these parts and even have come to enjoy them. I may not completely understand them, but they are part of the story and are very interesting.

*The Rant*

As I stated in the warning, there are some parts of this book in particular that are disturbing to read. One of the reasons I could not give it a higher ease of reading. While one of the reason I like Weber is he is realistic without being gruesome, it does not matter how delicately you handle something like rape, it is still difficult to read about. The action sequences, particularly when arms are used are realistically portrayed without dwelling on the blood, guts, and gore. This series is one of the few with such descriptions I've ever been able to read. These are not bad things about the book, but rather then to be mindful of.

*Conclusion*

If you enjoyed the first book in the series, I strong recommend continuing with this book. While difficult at times to read because of the subject matter, the author handles these issues with great care and thoughtful writing. The story is engaging and one sure to interest nearly all readers.