David Weber – Field Of Dishonor

The fourth novel in the Honor Harrington series by David Weber makes a big change compared to the previous novels which were more of a standalone nature. It is still military science fiction, but this time little time takes place in space and there are no space battles. Field Of Dishonor (1994) is actually a direct continuation of the third book in the series, The Short Victorious War, and combines continuations of the storylines from the first three novels and the effects they have on the new story.

Field Of Dishonor contains exactly what I was missing in the previous novels. The characters take center place as they are now outside the regular spaceship setting and are able to behave and act without the normal constraints within the military. There is much more personal drama and character development and this brings everything much more to the front.I really liked it and consider it a vast improvement.

The story is not all that perfect. There are some minor details that Weber glances over of which I had expected him to spend some time on if he was really trying to go all out. He also pulls out more rabbits out of the hat that seem a bit too convenient for the main character. There are more struggles but he still refrains from going all the way. He remains somewhat protective of his main character, making her a bit too skilled on too many fields. However, a writer is allowed to choose his own approach to how he wants to portray and present his characters and it is also a subjective thing as each reader is different. By and by I should also remind myself that this novel is from the early nineties in which the science fiction genre was still quite different from what we are used to nowadays in science fiction.

All in all I consider Field Of Dishonor the best of the series until now. The plot of the first novel was better, but it loses on some style issues which Weber managed to get rid of mostly afterwards.Field Of Dishonor is more dramatic while still being a pageturner despite the lesser action, and it made me very eager to read the next installment as with this novel Weber breaks the standalone pattern and makes it part of the greater story. This book is still readable as a standalone work although it would spoil much of the events from the first three books. This one’s recommended.


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