Patton in Skirts

“Your Grace,” she said, “I have only one question. Do you wish this man crippled, or dead?”

David Weber’s Flag in Exile, is the fifth of the now twelve-novel Honor Harrington space buckle-and-swash series series, and my favorite.

Exiled in disgrace from Manticore due to her last duel, Honor takes up her post as Steadholder of Grayson, but a Woman In Charge is a very new thing on her adopted planet and not everyone thinks her presence there is a good idea. The battle, covert and overt, between new and old culminates in a face-off between Honor and the bad guy with big-ass swords. And then she has to go out and save Grayson (again) from an invading space navy. Great stuff.

The thing I like most about these novels is that Honor is no cardboard character. She has hopes and fears and doubts, but never has there been a character who better represents the definition of a good commanding officer. The best thing about her is she doesn’t buy into everyone else’s opinion of her–if she were a hero, she thinks, then she should have been able not only to win the battle, but to have saved all of her crewmen who died in that battle as well. But then she’d be Wonder Woman, and she knows that, too.

She’s a killer. Don’t doubt it, one on one or navy on navy. She is, in fact, Patton, only smarter, better looking and with a lot more charm of manner.

She makes the other poor bastard die for his country.

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