Book Review: David Weber & Eric Flint’s Torch of Freedom

Posted February 8, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: David Weber & Eric Flint’s Torch of Freedom

Torch of Freedom


David Weber, Eric Flint

It is part of the Honorverse #16, series and is a military science fiction that was published by Baen Books on November 17, 2009 and has 602 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include Worlds of Honor, Fire Season, Worlds of Weber: Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington and Other Stories, Beginnings, Treecat Wars

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mission of Honor, Insurrection, Worlds of Honor, Empire from the Ashes, Changer of Worlds, Hell’s Gate, Hell Hath No Fury, In Fire Forged, 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, Burdens of the Dead

Second in the Wages of Sin (a.k.a., Torch) military science fiction subseries, part of the Honorverse, and revolving around the new planet of Torch. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Honorverse books on my website.

Storm From the Shadows, 2 (15), overlaps with Torch of Freedom.

My Take

Fascinating reading as ever with Torch of Freedom filling in all the background on what’s been happening in At All Costs, 11, during a whole lotta battles.

Part of that background is viewing the attempted assassination of Queen Berry through Torch eyes. The threat — to Manpower — of the new “unexplored” wormhole.

More “views” include the Battle of Monica followed by the Battle of Manticore and then the Battle of Torch. And the truth outs about the deaths of Zilwicki and Cachat while a whole lot of truths the Mesans would prefer no one ever know is about to explode all over the universe — oh man…when is the next installment going to appear!!!

I love the entire series. Fascinating, strongly-written characters with believable dialogue who are plotting, planning, and betraying. The tension is incredible! In this story, I have particularly enjoyed the “old” references Drake and Flint have thrown intermittently into the story. I’ve especially enjoyed where the “kids” have misinterpreted references to Napoleon, yardsticks, Churchill, etc. and it’s good to know Sun Tzu is still a classic…

Another minor bit of tension that’s driving me nuts is…are Victor’s spying days over??

The Story

Cathy and Anton Zilwicki are at the tail end of their visit to attend Queen Berry’s coronation on Torch — although, they did make a quick trip back to Manticore to kick Georgia Young out and burn the North Hollow files — YAY!!!

Haven has implemented Operation Thunderbolt and there is a mention of the proposed summit on Torch between Queen Elizabeth and Pritchart.

Very Partial List of Characters

Anton Zilwicki is a spy for Manticore with a reputation for getting the job done, no matter what. He has forgotten more about electronics than any hundred others and is a trained naval officer. Cathy Montaigne, the Countess of the Tor, is his common-law wife and a leading figure of the Liberal Party on Manticore.

Victor Cachat is a spy for Haven (with the same rep as Zilwicki), Manticore’s enemy with whom they’re at war. Cachat has a more restricted set of core competencies: lock picking, murder, extortion, counterespionage, regime destabilization, explosives, arson, and just your all-around general mayhem.

The planet Torch is…
…a former Mesan Alignment hold. The Audubon Ballroom and their allies liberated it and now Berry, one of Zilwicki’s adopted daughters, is queen. Hugh Arai is an ex-Manpower labor slave. The People’s Navy in Exile and, surprisingly, an honorable ally who defends Torch with hellacious losses. The prisoners from that are going to be very useful… Jeremy X is the former head of the Ballroom, and he played a crucial part in the gunfight in Old Town on Terra.

The Audubon Ballroom is…
…a terrorist group of ex- and escaped slaves who are, for some reason, anti-slavery.

The Star Kingdom of Manticore is…
…the good guys. Duchess Honor Harrington-Alexander is in charge of Eighth Fleet and is accompanied everywhere by her treecat, Nimitz.

The Republic of Haven is…
…a star system with whom Manitcore is at war.

The Solarians are…
…primarily represented by the idiot Solarian Navy. Think Earth.

The Mesan Alignment is…
…a shadowy organization that has been hidden for hundreds of years plotting to take over humanity with its genetic superiority. Think Hitler with his master race plans.

The Eridani Edict is applied in acts of war, and I think it forbids wholesale slaughter of a planet.