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Ashes of Victory by David Weber
Published by Baen Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
Honor Harrington has just done the impossible again. Not only has she escaped from the Peeps' supposedly impregnable prison planet known as Hades, but she has also brought over 400,000 fellow prisoners along with her. There is much rejoicing as thousands given up for dead return to their relatives.
However, some of these unexpected "resurrections" create as much trouble as joy, particularly for Honor herself. Although many of the other escapees were listed as Missing in Action, she was thought to be definitely dead, thanks to a faked video of her being hanged as a criminal. Thus, her will was executed and her possessions have been distributed to her heirs. Furthermore, her titles have passed to others, which creates even more difficulties -- should they now be taken away from the heirs and returned to her, or should those confirmed as her heirs retain their new titles, leaving her with no standing?
Honor is also healing her wounds, having her ruined eye and missing arm replaced by sophisticated electronics. But she is not the only one to have been dealt lasting injuries -- her companion Nimitz the treecat has also been deprived of a vital sense. The blow to his mid-pelvis (treecats, like all Sphinxian vertebrates, have three pairs of limbs rather than two) didn't just leave him lame. It also damaged a vital nerve ganglion, leaving him unable to make telepathic contact with his fellow treecats. Because of the paucity of knowledge about treecat physiology, there is a limit to the action physicians can ethically take in direct intervention. However, there is a possibility that an alternate technique can restore his ability to communicate with his own kind, and at the same time prove once and for all that treecats are fully sapient.
As if that weren't enough, the Peeps are up to their old tricks. Now that the war is going against them, they have decided that their only hope is to put their enemies into disarray by a sneak decapitation strike. Can Honor Harrington stop this treacherous assassination scheme before it's too late?
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Review posted December 28, 2000
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