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The Shadows of Saganami by David Weber

01/01/2009. Contributed by Paul Hanley

Buy The Shadows of Saganami in the USA - or Buy The Shadows of Saganami in the UK

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pub: Baen Publishing Enterprises. 745 page hardback. Price: $25.50 (US). ISBN 0-7434-8852-0.

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I have read a number of David Weber's books over the year and when I saw this one in my local library, I borrowed it. It is apparently the second book in a new series entitled the 'Saganami Island Series'. Time has moved on and Honor Harrington is now a senior admiral fighting the old enemy, the Republic of Haven. The first book in this series, I gather, details the treacherous re-starting of war by Haven and whilst it is always perhaps best to start a series of stories from the beginning, I found this book perfectly readable without having done so.

In this book, a number of cadets from the space academy, the Saganami Island which is the title of the series, set out on a new heavy cruiser on a shakedown cruise for all of them to an area of space far from the battlefronts but containing planetary systems Manticore is annexing.

It is soon apparent that a number of local groups are unhappy at being absorbed and various other parties who have vested interests in the area stir up trouble for their own ends.

I have heard this described as a Hornblower style of story with Manticore's Royal Navy facing Haven's Revolutionary or 'Napoleonic' French and Mr. Weber's heroes or heroines dealing with them and various other problems in much the same way that eighteenth and early nineteenth century admirals like Nelson or Cochrane did. This may be fanciful but the books are always good stories with plenty of action and are an excellent read. I will not give the story away save to say that the Royal Manticore Navy triumphs in the end although not without loss. This is no exception to the previous books by David Weber I have read and thoroughly recommended.

Paul Hanley

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