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Weber, David
book-date: 1995
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(Tall) Hardcover
Gary Ruddell

Baen Books "First hardcover printing" March 2001 (paperback was 1995.) Cover by Gary Ruddell, 404 pages, $10.00 cover price. Condition is near-Fine: tight and square; spine has no lines and a 1/8" tear at botttom; age-tanning is very mild and uniform (better paper than some of these reprints); trace of rubbing wear - more noticeable on (blank) back cover. No stamps, marks or writing - this is probably unread.

Flag in Exile - fifth in Weber's "Honor Harrington" series. Hounded into retirement and disgrace by political enemies, cut to the heart by the murder of the man she loved, and bereft of confidence in herself and her ablilities, Captain Honor Harrington has retreated to the planet Grayson to take up her role as Steadholder while she tries to heal her bitter wounds. But the People's Republic of Haven is rising from defeat to threaten Grayson anew, and the newborn Grayson's Navy needs her experience desperately. It's a call Honor cannot refuse, yet even as she once more accepts the duty whose challenges she fears she can no longer meet, powerful men who hate and fear the changes she's brought to their world are determined to reverse them. They have a plan... and for it to succeed, Honor Harrington must die. Two irresistible forces are rushing together to crush Grayson between them, and only one woman - uncertain of her capabilities, weary unto death, and marked for murder - stands between her adopted planet and devastation.

I find Weber's books to be compulsively readable, and he has been a consistent exception to the rule that "sequels are bad" - coming up with new directions to go that are worth exploring. Weber is firmly in the military-SF camp, but I like the thinking that he brings to matters of organization - while writing action or "Space Opera." The first 5 books in this series were paperback originals (1993-95.) Starting with #6 in 1996, all subsequent books came out in hardcover first, and apparently there was enough clamor or demand for hardcovers of the first 5 that Baen did hardcover reprints, with #1 and #4 in 1999, #2 in 2000, #5 in 2001, and finally #3 in 2002. While I might have preferred a more lavish production with cloth boards and a dustjacket, these "printed-cover" hardcovers will certainly stand up much better to multiple readings than your average paperbacks - and Weber is definitely worth re-reading. I bought my copies new as soon as they came out, and didn't see copies linger very long on the bookstore shelves - I don't think the print run was big enough for the eventual demand. I consider the titles reprinted in hardcover to be Weber at his finest - and I'll be happy to sell as many nice copies as I can find.