The Honor of the Queen

The Honor of the Queen

infobox Book |
name = The Honor of the Queen
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = David Weber
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Honor Harrington series
genre = Military science fiction
publisher = Baen Books
release_date = 1993
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = ISBN 0-671-57864-2
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Honor of the Queen" is David Weber's second Honor Harrington novel. In the story, Honor goes on a mission to bring the religiously conservative, sexist world Grayson onto the Manticorans' side in preparation for the inevitable war with Haven.

Plot summary

Three years after the events in "On Basilisk Station", Captain Honor Harrington returns to the Star Kingdom after a long anti-piracy campaign in the Silesian Confederacy. While her ship, the heavy cruiser HMS "Fearless", has her first refit, new orders arrive. "Fearless" is to lead a small Manticoran squadron supporting a diplomatic mission to the planet Grayson. The diplomatic mission is to be led by Admiral Raoul Courvosier, Honor's mentor and personal friend. With the long-awaited war with Haven looming close, Manticore is working to form an Alliance with many small nations. Grayson is critical to this effort, as it would close a flank of advance for a possible Havenite invasion fleet. Adding to the pressure, Haven is negotiating its own alliance with Masada, Grayson's historical rival.

The Manticoran ships arrive at Yeltsin's Star, the system where Grayson is located, and are greeted by the small Grayson Navy. However, the welcome is soured by sexism in the Graysons, for whom the notion of a woman in uniform is intolerable. After the Graysons and the Manticorans rub each other the wrong way despite the best of intentions, Honor leaves the system to escort a convoy of freighters, even though Courvosier tries to convince her not to do so.

After Honor leaves with three of the four Manticoran warships sent to Grayson, Admiral Courvosier meets with Admiral Bernard Yanakov (the commander of the Grayson Navy), and the officers begin to work their way through their cultural differences. We get an explanation for the Grayson rivalry with Masada: Long ago, an extremist faction called "the Faithful" left Grayson (founded by religious Luddites) after a civil war and settled on Masada. For centuries, the worlds threatened each other with nuclear weapons, with Masada vowing to reclaim Grayson from the hands of the "Apostate". If Grayson is considered to be religiously conservative, Masada is nothing short of a fundamentalist theocracy.

Infobox fictional battle
combatant1= SKM allied with Grayson
combatant2= ROH via Masadean Proxies
conflict= First Battle of Yeltsin

PAGENAME= pagename
partof= Prelude to the first Havenite war.
place= Yeltsin System
result= Joint Grayson-Manticoran task force destroyed
casus = Havenite attack on Yeltsin with Masadan Proxies.
territory= No change to holdings
commander1= Raoul Courvosier and Bernard Yanakov
commander2= Alfredo Yu and Thomas Theisman
strength1= Mixed Manticoran Grayson task force headed by "RMN Madrigal"
strength2= Battle Cruiser class "Thunder of God" with screen
casualties1= All Ships Lost with all hands
notes= Many RMN personnel thought lost were actually captured and taken to Black Bird Base for torture and murder.
Everything is cut short when a Masadan fleet approaches Grayson and begins attacking space stations throughout the system. Admiral Courvosier accepts Yanakov's offer to join his fleet in chasing the Masadans. However, Masada's fleet (already numerically superior) has two powerful warships "bought" from Haven, and they make quick work of Grayson's outdated fleet and the Manticoran destroyer "Madrigal". Both Courvosier and Yanakov die during the battle.

Honor's ships return to Grayson and are attacked by Masadan light attack craft, which merely damage one of her ships. After entering Grayson's orbit, they are appraised of the critical situation following the battle and the death of Admiral Courvosier. Honor strong-arms the Grayson government to allow her to take a leading role in the defense of Grayson. The attitude against women in uniform is shattered in most Graysons when Honor saves Protector Benjamin Mayhew IX, the Grayson leader, and his family from an attempted assassination by traitors loyal to Masada.

Coercing and perhaps torturing information from the surviving traitors, the Graysons and Manticorans find that Masada has built an advanced base "within" Grayson's star system. Leading her ships and the remnants of the Grayson fleet, Honor battles a group of Masadan warships (including a Havenite destroyer masquerading as a Masadan ship) and devastates the Masadan fleet. A captured Havenite officer tells Honor that there are survivors from "Madrigal" at the base, and that the Masadans are torturing and raping them. An assault by "Fearless"' Marines follows, and the Masadan base is captured. The Manticoran survivors are found, and Honor nearly shoots the Masadan commander after finding out the brutal treatment inflicted upon the Manticorans.

On Masada, the Havenite "advisors" see that Masada's bid to conquer Grayson is doomed and try to pull out. However, the Masadans find out and seize control of "Thunder of God", the Havenite battlecruiser they "bought". Armed with this ship, far more powerful than any of Honor's, the Masadan fanatics launch their final attack on Grayson.

With little choice, Honor dispatches the light cruiser "Apollo" to Manticore for reinforcements and prepares her last two ships, "Fearless" and "Troubadour" to fight the Masadans. The Manticorans' superior tactical skills allow them to inflict damage on "Thunder of God", but their enemies' firepower seriously damages "Fearless" and destroys "Troubadour". Manticoran reinforcements enter the system, confusing the Masadan captain and allowing Honor to terminate the enemy ship.

With Grayson secured, a joint Manticore-Grayson fleet attacks Masada and occupies the planet, finding the Havenite survivors, (most of which defect to the Star Kingdom). Honor recovers from the wounds sustained during the many battles and the attack on the Mayhew family. Protector Benjamin decorates her with the Star of Grayson and appoints her as Steadholder (governor) of a new district of Grayson. The idea is to speed up Benjamin's planned social reforms on Grayson. The novel ends with the Manticoran government creating Honor Harrington a Countess.

The Players

The Star Kingdom of Manticore is making frantic diplomatic efforts to form an alliance to counter Havenite expansionism. Investment, military and technological aid are used as enticement to convince the smaller, less developed nations of the quadrant to join the Alliance. Even though sending Honor Harrington to a sexist world such as Grayson seems to be a mistake, the purpose is to show the Graysons exactly what the status of women is in their society, rather than hiding it. Grayson is strategic because it represents a possible flank of advance towards Manticore for an attacking Havenite fleet.

The People's Republic of Haven is trying to counter the Manticoran Alliance by aiding the Masadans and throwing a potential alliance between Manticore and Grayson off-balance. The Havenites know that Masada is not a reliable ally, but they accept it for the moment. Unlike Manticore, they keep very well hidden to the Masadans that they treat their women as equals.

The Protectorate of Grayson is desperate for foreign aid to sustain its growing industrial base and technological development, as well as to end their conflict with Masada, a conflict on which diplomacy is impossible. Manticore is more reliable for the Grayson leaders (who also want to modernize their society) than that the voracious People's Republic.

Masada has just one goal: to conquer Grayson and restore the "true Faith" to their original world. In the eyes of the Masadan leadership, an alliance with Haven is nothing more than a provisional deal with a bunch of "infidels", a deal from which both sides may get benefits, but nothing more than that.

The Characters


HMS "Fearless"
*Honor Harrington - Captain of the List, Royal Manticoran NavyThe commanding officer of "Fearless" and virtual commander of the small Manticoran squadron sent to Grayson. She takes over and organizes the defense of Grayson following the first devastating engagement between Grayson and Masada.
*NimitzHonor Harrington's treecat. During the novel, Nimitz and Honor develop an empathic link between the two of them, allowing Honor to sense the emotions of others.
*Andreas Venizelos - Commander, Royal Manticoran Navy"Fearless"' executive officer.
*Rafael Cardones - Lieutenant Commander, Royal Manticoran NavyTactical officer on board "Fearless".
*Carolyn Wolcott - Ensign, Royal Manticoran NavyJunior officer serving under Lt. Commander Cardones at Tactical.
*Tomas Ramirez - Major, Royal Manticoran Marine CorpsCommander of the Marine detachment on board "Fearless".
*Iris Babcock - Sergeant Major, Royal Manticoran Marine CorpsOne of "Fearless"' senior Marine non-commissioned officers.

HMS "Apollo"
*Alice Truman - Commander, Royal Manticoran NavyCommanding officer of the light cruiser HMS "Apollo". During the novel, she sets a speed record during her transit between Yeltsin's Star and Manticore to warn the Manticoran Admiralty of the situation in Grayson.

HMS "Troubadour"
*Alistair McKeon - Commander, Royal Manticoran NavyHonor's former XO on the old "Fearless", now in command of his own destroyer.

HMS "Madrigal"
*Jason Alvarez - Commander, Royal Manticoran NavyCommanding officer of the destroyer "Madrigal". Survived the destruction of "Madrigal" after the first battle with the Masadans, but was later tortured and killed by his captors at Blackbird Base.
*Mercedes Brigham - Lieutenant Commander, Royal Manticoran NavyExecutive Officer of HMS "Madrigal". Also survived after the destruction of her ship. Suffered torture and rape at the hands of her Masadan captors before being rescued by "Fearless"' Marines.
*Mai-Ling Jackson - Ensign, Royal Manticoran NavyAnother survivor of "Madrigal". Together with Mercedes Brigham, she is one of only two female survivors captured by the Masadans. The other women captured were systematically raped and murdered, inflicting a violent trauma upon Ensign Jackson.

Diplomatic mission to Grayson
*Raoul Courvosier - Admiral of the Green, Royal Manticoran NavyOne of the most recognized tacticians of his time, former instructor at Saganami Naval Academy and mentor to Honor Harrington. Dies on board "Madrigal" while fighting the Masadans.
*Reginald HousemanAdmiral Courvosier's second-in-command within the diplomatic mission. A leading theorist of the Liberal Party who is convinced that the military is little more than a bunch of ignorant warmongers. Advocated leaving Grayson to its own fortune and was physically struck by Captain Harrington after illegally ordering her to leave the system.
*Sir Anthony LangtryManticore's ambassador to Grayson.


: Benjamin Mayhew IX:: Planetary Protector (head of state) of Grayson. Educated at Harvard University's Bogotá Campus on Earth and a reformist who wishes to integrate Grayson with the rest of the Galaxy.: Bernard Yanakov - High Admiral, Grayson Space Navy:: The commanding officer of the Grayson Navy. Died on board the light cruiser "Austin Grayson" during the first battle with the Masadans.: Howard Clinkscales:: Grayson's Minister of Security and one of the planet's staunchest conservatives, although he comes to respect Honor Harrington after saving the lives of Protector Benjamin and his family.: Wesley Matthews - Captain (later Admiral) - Grayson Space Navy:: Commander of the light cruiser "Covington", which survives the first battle with the Masadans. Later goes on to command whatever remains of the Grayson Navy.: Mark Brentworth - Commander, Grayson Space Navy:: A Grayson officer assigned as liaison between Captain Harrington and the Grayson Space Navy.: Michael Mayhew:: Protector Benjamin's brother and heir to the Protectorship.: Jared Mayhew (a.k.a. "Maccabeus"):: Grayson's Minister of Industry and secretly a leader of the Maccabeans, a secret society aimed at reunifying Grayson and Masada and cleanse Grayson of its "apostasy".


*Alfredo Yu - Captain, People's NavyCommanding officer of the battlecruiser PNS "Saladin", renamed MNS "Thunder of God" after its "acquisition" by Masada. Captain Yu was given a commission within the Masadan Navy as Captain until the Masadans were ready to crew the ship. Defects to Manticore after being betrayed by the Masadans.
*Thomas Theisman - Commander, People's NavyCommanding officer of the destroyer PNS "Breslau", renamed MNS "Principality" after its "acquisition" by Masada. Captured by Honor Harrington following the surrender of his ship; he then reveals that the Masadans were torturing the survivors of "Madrigal".


*Matthew Simonds - Sword of the Faithful, Masadan NavyThe commander of the entire Masadan military and leader of the assaults on Grayson. Brother of Chief Elder Simonds
*Thomas SimondsChief Elder of the Church of Humanity Unchained and the head of state of Masada.
*(first name unknown) Williams - Captain, Masadan NavyCommander of Blackbird Base. Hanged by the Graysons for war crimes.
*Ronald SandsDeacon of the Church of Humanity Unchained and head of Masadan Intelligence.
*Ernst Franks - Admiral, Masadan NavySenior commander of the Masadan fleet.

preceded="On Basilisk Station"

Preceding Short-stories:
in 'Changer of Worlds'
(sub-series: 'Worlds of Honor #3')

"Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington". | office=
Honor Harrington books
Central figure: Honor Harrington
In Chronological Order:

Second Novel in book series
Publication order: "Second work published
(©1993 MMPB ,©2000 HC)"
succeeded="The Short Victorious War"
(©1994 MMPB, ©2000 HC)
HC: ISBN 0-671-87596-5

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