This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
In Fire Forged
by David Weber
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Hell’s Gate, Hell Hath No Fury, In Fury Born, Off Armageddon Reef, By Schism Rent Asunder, Mission of Honor, By Heresies Distressed, A Rising Thunder, A Mighty Fortress, How Firm a Foundation, Fire Season, Midst Toil and Tribulation, Shadow of Freedom, House of Steel, Worlds of Weber: Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington and Other Stories, Beginnings, Like a Mighty Army, Cauldron of Ghosts, Treecat Wars, A Call to Duty, Hell's Foundations Quiver, At the Sign of Triumph.
Genres: Military Science Fiction
With four short stories, In Fire Forged is fifth in the anthology series, Worlds of Honor, and a spinoff from the Honor Harrington military science-fiction series. I wanted to make this a 3.5, but that wouldn’t be fair to the other three good stories in this anthology just because I’m unthrilled with Presby’s contribution.
“Ruthless” (follows from Worlds of Honor 4: “Promised Land”)
“An Act of War” (Honor Harrington, 9.5)
“Let’s Dance” (Honor Harrington, 3.5; Nimitz doesn’t have his skinsuit yet)
Jane Lindskold‘s “Ruthless” is a plot to force Manticore out of their alliance with Grayson by kidnapping Judith’s daughter, Ruth. Getting her daughter back will require that Judith get Crown Prince Michael to act like an ass in public and denounce the policies of his sister, Queen Elizabeth.
This is a sweet love story between Michael and Judith. Michael fell for her in In the Service of the Sword: “Promised Land” (Worlds of Honor 4) when Judith and a rebellious pack of Masadan wives plotted to escape their husbands. Learning enough to take over a space ship and blast out of Masada space, Michael and his fellow crewmates rescued the ladies and their children when Masadan forces came after them.
Timothy Zahn‘s “An Act of War” takes place on the Peeps side with a Solarian, Charles Dozewah, scamming a sale of advanced military technology to the Peeps and being forced to “prove” it works. Caught up by StateSec and then the Andermani as Charles’ scheme becomes more and more complex, Charles has left a tell that unravels everything.
I enjoyed getting reacquainted with the Andermani in “An Act of War”. In the Honor Harrington series chronology, Honor has just escaped from the Peeps’ prison in Ashes of Victory, 9.
David Weber‘s “Let’s Dance” finds Commander Honor Harrington partnering up with some strange bedfellows much to the dismay of her crew. The Audubon Ballroom’s primary goal of freeing the slaves genetically designed by Manpower, Inc. is lauded by many Manitcorans and Peeps. The manner in which they go about it is not. The Ballroom treats fire with fire, and the atrocities on both sides are horrendous. In “Let’s Dance”, Honor continually questions her actions, but continues on the moral high ground going against orders.
I enjoyed “Let’s Dance” for its moral courage, although I’m disappointed that nothing happened with Commodore Teschendorff. Honor’s final encounter with him was a bit too subtle for me as well. Lots of action with a bit of the cloak-and-dagger when she initiates her inquiry through the model sailing ship builder, Betsy.
Andy Presby‘s “An Introduction to Modern Starship Armor Design” is a laudable attempt to read like a white paper on the evolution of weapons and armoring capability, but it falls short in a number of ways: Presby inserts too many personal thoughts with half-thought-out references. The language is perfect as it was incredibly difficult to read with “any” ease — my eyes kept glazing over. Unfortunately, I think Presby’s eyes must have glazed over as he needed a copyeditor to point out the ill-fitting articles and word choices. What he “revealed” was also uneven. In-depth in some areas and skimming in others. If you are going to create an account, be thorough about it or make it shorter. Consider inserting [see Appendix 9.5b.7cxj] or something similar to fill those gaps. A much better version exists in “Worlds of Honor 1: Universe of Honor Harrington”. Feels like the publisher threw this in to pad out the book.
A typical Baen publications cover with Honor dashing to the rescue, laser pistol blasting away.