Not as strong as the first book in character development and ends with an ending that jumped the shark. All you have to do to get Manticore's highest honor is be brave and get lucky? REALLY? It just strained my credulity to have so many honors given to her at this point. Leave somewhere for her to go. I will say that the battle scenes and political scenes feel quite authentic and were obviously carefully orchestrated by Weber. I'd like to have seen character development a bit more for some of Honor's fellow officers and even the Masadans, who were cardboard charicatures in most cases, who stubbornly stuck to their beliefs despite endless slaps in the face and continually showed utter stupidity. That strained believability, too, for me. Thirdly, the Manticorans even sending a women to negotiate a treaty with a culture so anti-feminist is unbelievably stupid. It's just a device to add tension to the story. It could have been more cleverly set up at least. Instead, it's just a slap in the face to any serious intentions for diplomacy. Still, solid space opera, a good read, and I will read on.