David Weber: Flag In Exile

Posted on November 19, 2002

Flag in Exile is the 5th book in the Honor Harrington series and it’s one of the best. Given the esteem with which I hold this series, that’s saying something. It’s part of a truly sprawling epic (10 books and host of short stories) with well written characters, excellent pacing and a wonderful attention to detail. Readers of military fiction will be please with the attention to tactics and fan’s of political intrigue will find hidden treasure in this series. The is also an odd combination of British ceremony and feudal customs combined with starships and six legged cats.However, my enjoyment has always been measured by the steady growth and maturing of the main character, Honor Harrington as she moves through the ranks amassing respect, enemies and scar tissue (emotional and physical).

This books finds her pretty much doinked by her own government for shooting a man in a duel. The unfortunate opponent was the son of a man who wields great political influence and so she has been exiled to the one government which is still friendly to her. Unfortunately, the planet run by this government is a bit behind the times in it’s views on feminism and the role of women. The current ruler is in Honor’s debt and strongly in favor of a broader role for women, but he is faced with a long standing religion that likes ’em barefoot and pregnant.

Honor turns the place on its ear simply by being herself and in the process, she eventually earns their respect.

While not as heavy on the Epic Space Battles as the other books, this one is not short on action. The final sword fight is awesome and includes one of the best bits of “Make my day” dialog, which I can remember reading.

Start from the beginning of the series and read them all, but this one really stands out to me. A true hall of fame pick.

Baen Books