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22 September 2016

Flag in Exile (Honor Harrington 5)

Flag in Exile by David Weber is the fifth book in his series featuring Honor Harrington. Honor is a member of the Royal Manticore Space Navy and a brilliant strategist in fighting - both with her space ship and her fists.

After upsetting political opponents on Manticore, Honor is on half pay with the Navy. She has decided to go back to the planet Grayson where she has a new steading - the only off-worlder to be granted the title of steadholder.

Protector Benjamin, leader of Grayson, has been trying to bring Grayson laws and customs into the current century - after being isolated for a thousand years - while not offending the conservative steadholders.

When Benjamin appointed Honor a steadholder, he stirred up those who think a woman should be in the home, not ruling. And a small group of them have a plan to get her back - by sabotaging her company and turning the popular opinion.

Weber has created a great character in Honor, and placed her in a variety of settings (space, military, political) with the world-buidling skills few can claim. This is one of my top three favorite science fiction series ever.

Weber, Honor. (1995). Flag in Exile. New York: BAEN.

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12 September 2016

The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon #16)

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva is the 16th book his series featuring Gabriel Allon.

Gabriel Allon was recruited years ago, first being called to hunt down the member of a group who killed 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics. Since then he has done many things for the state of Israel. Gabriel wishes the world were a place where he could be a painter or an art restorer full time.

Now, as he is about to take over the office, Gabriel is sent to Paris in the wake of a terrorist attack that has killed one of his friends. His hand-picked team will follow clues around the work to find the man behind the attack. The trail will lead them to some very dangerous places in the world and end in a place we hope terrorists never reach.

Silva has created an amazing character in Gabriel Allon. This series is fast-paced, intelligent and addictive. If you have not read it, start at the beginning. I will read anything he ever publishes!

Silva, Daniel. (2016). The Black Widow. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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05 September 2016

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is one of the best stories ever told. After being harassed to read it for years, I gave in. And I loved it!

Edmond Dantes is a sailor. He is only nineteen, but when his ship's captain dies, he takes over the running of the ship. Once they get back to port it looks like he will become the captain. Dantes, on top of being a good sailor whom the crew loves, is engaged to a beautiful woman named Mercedes.

But back in port in Marseilles, Dante finds out that not everyone is happy for him. Three men, all of who are jealous of him for some reason, plot together to have him arrested. The prosecutor, who at first seems like a good guy, is influenced by his ambitions.

Soon Dantes finds himself thrown into the notorious prison Chateau d'If - a fortress island.

All of this is just the set up for a story of revenge. I will not give any more plot details even though they are well known. I will say that at 1400 pages, I was not ready to leave this book! Read it. Buy your own copy because you will want to re-read it again and again. The Modern Library 2002 translation is the version I read.

Dumas, Alexandre. (2002). The Count of Monte Cristo. New York: Modern Library.

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