Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review::The Short Victorious War (#3 Honor Harrington) by David Weber

The Short Victorious War (Honor Harrington, #3)The Short Victorious War by David Weber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Short Victorious War (#3 Honor Harrington) by David Weber

While I do love my kindle and I sometimes seem to read much more smoothly with it, when it's a book I already have on my shelf its difficult to justify paying more for the kindle version than I did for the paperback on my shelf. And who can deny the thrill of coming away from the book with ink smudge thumbs.

Back around 98 I bought these four at once and I'm no longer certain if I ever read these in the correct order the first time because the Flag in Exile is missing from the receipts.

A Short Victorious War
Field of Dishonor
Honor Among Enemies
In Enemy Hands

In my effort to recapture the experience I'm trying to go through them in order.

I've also tried to pay attention to something purely out of the fact that I purchased these solely on the strength of the character herself-Honor Harrington. So just as an observation I found that out of 360 page there are roughly 180 pages that actually center upon the part of the story that I came into this for. That's pretty good because 180 pages is okay for a novel. So what's in the rest?

That's actually a good question because I've come to see Honor's novels as being multi-plot and multi-story novels. Of the first three I felt this was the most diverse in the number of plots or plot threads that were running through it. I'm not even certain if I could easily qualify what the main plot and story is. Instead I'll begin by highlighting the main part that was of interest to me.

One major Storyline and plot/theme that runs through these novels is the notion that Honor Harrington is constantly trying to prove herself. This is mostly her trying to prove herself to herself because as the reader progresses through the stories its easy to see there are three kinds of people around Honor. There are those who see her as already proven and those who have mostly preconceived or prejudicial views who have to be won over. And there are those who outright hate her and don't care that she has proven herself. In honesty there might be some shades in there but its mostly that. What's prevalent is that though she needs to prove herself to some she never goes out of the way to do so in fact sometimes she goes counter to that and it becomes more evident that she mostly needs to prove herself to herself. I'm not sure if she ever realizes this although people keep dropping hints.

Another plot/theme story is that there are a number of people who would like to see her fail and the plot involves how they move to help that along intentionally or accidentally. These range from severe hatred such as Paval Young to people working out of ignorance such as Admiral Park. And of course her enemies among the Havenites who just would rather win than lose to her.

In the previous two novels her brilliant decisions have made many friends and enemies alike and have helped her come through the battle nearly unscathed. But many around her have fallen and this novel does touch some on the impact that has upon her personally. When all is said and done Honor works like a well oiled machine despite all the odds that stack against her when it comes to her duty and command. In this particular novel she gets to see a bit of romance which was nice to see and it in no way interferes with the performance of her duties. So in a way this is the story of Honor's healing process both physically and emotionally with the plot that helps show how this occurs.

What David Weber does in these novels is keep a thread of plot about the various political and military factions of both sides of the conflict. In this particular novel it seemed that we got a large portion of this. I'm not sure how necessary they are to this story but they do seem to track toward being necessary to the series as a whole. There's a story about Hamish Alexander and those around him figure prominently within this story I'm not yet sure there is a plot to that story. This book contains two heavy stories about the Haven side. One is the attempt for a short victorious war hopes and the other is the shift in the political power brought on by coup. Those both seem well plotted.

So there are a handful of stories with just as many plots that all converge into one story, which perhaps could perhaps be the story of the horror's of war that inevitably culminates in the major loss of life and limb for honor and duty. It would be easier to say that this has one story with about six major plots, but it's hard in many cases to see those plots until you put all the books together so they become more like threads stories that are told through several other stories which are the novels.

Once again this is great SFF for those who don't mind some hand-waving and love to trace the internal logic of strategy and battle that are woven into the story. There's even a section in back for those who haven't gotten enough techno-speak from the internal parts of the story.

After reading this three times now I still rate it high for it's entertainment value although it still contains sections that almost beg to be scanned by some readers.(Including myself sometimes.)

J.L. Dobias

View all my reviews

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