In the previous book, Ashes of Victory Manticores new technologal advances leave The Peoples Republic of Haven at a critical disadvantage. The Star Kingdom is on the brink of a military victory when Oscar Saint-Just sues for peace at the same time he unleash an attempt to kill their head of state. Honor saves Queen Elizabeth and Protector Benjamin, but the Prime Minister, Duke of Cromarty is killed. This allows the Manticore Opposition under Baron High Ridge to to form a new government. At the same time a military coup under Admiral Theisman dispose of Saint-Just dictatorship and reinstate democracy and proclaime The Republic of Haven once again.
This story gives a good example of short sided politicians. Though the Manticorians that demilitarize at the same time they drag out the peace negotiations with Haven have to be one of the most stupid ones ever. I can’t really belive the Manticore people would allow this to go on.
Manticore used to have a technological advantage to offset Havens advantage in numbers. But after years of fruitless peace negotiations and one sided disarmament by Manticore it might no longer be true. Especially when Haven’s secret Research and Development program code named Bolthole starts to deliver. This is not the best time for Manticore to ignore and insult Haven’s tries to reach a peace agreement.
Honor and White Haven are on half pay as soon as the opposition takes over. They both get in the face of the government concerning the Navy cutbacks. As popular heroes they are quite successful at it. So when the Andermani start pushing in the Silesian Confederacy the High Ridge government sees an opportunity to rid them of Honor at least for a while and send a message to the Adermani Emperor. They offer her command over the fleet force they will send there, and she accepts for the good of the nation.
Meanwhile Haven have their own internal political struggles. Their Secretary of State is falsifying the diplomatic messages between Haven and Manticore for selfish political reason. No one want a war, but the false messages combined with High Ridge’s government’s ludicrous attempts to keep a state of war just to finance their pet reforms will bring it about.
They also discover a new worm hole to the Talbot cluster in this book, that story line is unfolded in Shadow of Saganami and Storm from the Shadows.