A Call to Vengeance

A Call to Vengeance

After the disastrous attack on the Manticoran home system by forces unknown, the Royal Manticoran Navy stands on the brink of collapse. A shadowy enemy with the resources to hurl warships across hundreds of light years seeks to conquer the Star Kingdom for reasons unknown, while forces from within Manticore’s own government seek to discredit and weaken the Navy for reasons...

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Title:A Call to Vengeance
Author:David Weber
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Edition Language:English

A Call to Vengeance Reviews

  • Dan

    Very good read, in a very good series

  • Kathy Martin

    The events in this third entry into the Manticore Ascendant series follow closely on the events of book 2. The Royal Manticoran Navy is trying to pick up the pieces remaining after the battle with pirates was won and the politicians, especially Lord Breakwater, are trying to further reduce the power and influence of the Navy. When a second wave of attack comes just weeks after the first, it is up to the RMN to defend Manticore with a very damaged Navy. Luckily, a bluff suggested by Travis Long m

    The events in this third entry into the Manticore Ascendant series follow closely on the events of book 2. The Royal Manticoran Navy is trying to pick up the pieces remaining after the battle with pirates was won and the politicians, especially Lord Breakwater, are trying to further reduce the power and influence of the Navy. When a second wave of attack comes just weeks after the first, it is up to the RMN to defend Manticore with a very damaged Navy. Luckily, a bluff suggested by Travis Long manages to send them running for safety.

    We, the readers, know why this unknown force wants Manticore, but no one on Manticore does. Since one of the viewpoint characters is Mr. Llyn who is the puppetmaster pulling all these strings to get Manticore for his employers.

    Travis is recruited into a new intelligence force that is led by a former cabinet member and is working without the oversight of the Office of Naval Intelligence. His mission is to track down the pirates who attempted to invade Manticore. To do this he is assigned as an officer on the most up-to-date ship in the RMN which has the mission of doing a tour to try to drum up business for a new Manticore shipbuilding operation. One of the first stop connects them with an Andermani "freighter" where they learn that they aren't the only ones on the trail of the pirate. Apparently the Andermani Emperor wants his found and destroyed.

    Meanwhile, Travis's girlfriend and fellow RMN officer Lisa Donnelly is part of another mission to Haven to try to track down some parts found in the wreckage after the battle also in hopes of locating the pirate. There Lisa reconnects with a woman who was RMN bur moved to Haven and is now a shining light in their military. Together they are also trying to destroy piracy that affects Haven.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Llyn has decided that his hired pirates have outlived their usefulness and know to much about his secret employer and need to be taken off the board. I started to almost feel sorry for Admiral Cutler Gensonne and his mercenary band given that Manticore, Haven, the Andermani and his own employer Llyn were all, individually, working to defeat him.

    Back on Manticore, the monarchy changes hands when King Edward and Crown Princess Sophie die in a boating accident and Edward's widowed sister Elizabeth becomes the new queen. Lord Breakwater looks on this as an opportunity to increase his power and prestige as he tries to find a way to influence or control her. The death of the long-standing Prime Minister also helps destabilize things. But Elizabeth isn't a pushover. She is very able to deal with the political maneuvering fomented by Breakwater.

    This was another intriguing science fiction space opera about the early days of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. I hope that there are more books planned for this prequel series to the Honor Harrington books.

  • Nokomis.FL

    Been waiting quite a while for the third book in the

    prequel series to David Weber's

    and was happy to see it up on the Baen Publishing eARC page. Because this is a co-authored series with Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope is doesn't suffer from the usual Weber bloat. The story picks up a few weeks after the ending of the last book, without the usual lengthy recap, gets going quickly and stays on point until the end. This book wraps up the immediate story of the trilogy,

    Been waiting quite a while for the third book in the

    prequel series to David Weber's

    and was happy to see it up on the Baen Publishing eARC page. Because this is a co-authored series with Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope is doesn't suffer from the usual Weber bloat. The story picks up a few weeks after the ending of the last book, without the usual lengthy recap, gets going quickly and stays on point until the end. This book wraps up the immediate story of the trilogy, but there is still room for the story to continue as the overall endpoint still has to be reached. Main protagonist Travis Long is still dealing with his personal quirks and family issues that annoy his superiors, but he is well on his way in the fledgling Manticor navy.

    I know that this was an advanced reading copy, but I was a bit annoyed to see a 2015 copyright date. Obviously these books have been done for a while and Baen is stretching out their releases due to Messrs Weber & Zahn's busy schedules.

  • Kathy Davie

    Third and last in the Manticore Ascendant science fiction military soap opera series, a prequel in the Honorverse, revolving around the kingdom of Manticore, as we follow the career of Lieutenant Travis Uriah Long, and introducing us to the start of Elizabeth II’s reign in 1544 PD.

    Underhanded greed is what it’s all about. On both sides. What can I say, politics are involved. It does help that Weber/Zahn use third person omniscient point-of-view, and we know the thoughts and feelings of a

    Third and last in the Manticore Ascendant science fiction military soap opera series, a prequel in the Honorverse, revolving around the kingdom of Manticore, as we follow the career of Lieutenant Travis Uriah Long, and introducing us to the start of Elizabeth II’s reign in 1544 PD.

    Underhanded greed is what it’s all about. On both sides. What can I say, politics are involved. It does help that Weber/Zahn use third person omniscient point-of-view, and we know the thoughts and feelings of a number of characters from the self-righteous to the greedy to the patriotic.

    It's full of politicos with their pet projects and egos that need stroking — all the brouhaha over separate training facilities!? Why not have one facility that trains everybody? They’ll all be operating on ships. And at least half of them don’t really care about the nation they’re supposed to be representing. Then there are the bad guys with their lack of morals and greedy desires.

    Sigh, it’s hard not to reflect on the original Honor Harrington stories and the fab equipment they have and compare it to the junk this under-equipped navy has in these early days. I do look forward to reading about Elizabeth’s changes.

    There is a lot of bluffing going on with plenty of tension. Weber/Zahn make good use of the better ships of the navies surrounding them to point up how bad off the Royal Manticoran Navy is as well as demonstrating the changes Manticore is likely to make in future.

    There’s definitely too much

    ing going on, and I wish Weber/Zahn had made Travis’ social ineptness more obvious along with his need for structure and discipline. His interaction with Lisa could have used more tension, although I guess Weber/Zahn figured they had enough tension going on. There could have been so much more, though, if Weber/Zahn had

    us how bad Mantie equipment was instead of merely

    ing us.

    Weber/Zahn have made a try at giving us some backstory on the more obvious characters such as Clegg’s father and the pressure he was putting on her; Travis’ cold mother; and, how the Manticoran constitution evolved and why (that bit about oligarchies and marrying a commoner was quite inspired).

    I hate Llyn. Well, okay, I’m supposed to hate him. And I really want the cocky bugger to get his comeuppance!

    There were some tie-ups and revelations at the end — Weber/Zahn had been quite secretive about those seven names and purposely confusing. It's that space-high cliffhanger that really makes me nuts.

    After the disastrous attack on the Manticoran home system by forces unknown, the Royal Manticoran Navy stands on the brink of collapse. A shadowy enemy with the resources to hurl warships across hundreds of light years seeks to conquer the Star Kingdom for reasons unknown, while forces from within Manticore’s own government seek to discredit and weaken the Navy for reasons very much known: their own political gain.

    It’s up to officers like Travis Long and Lisa Donnelly to defend the Star Kingdom and the Royal Manticoran Navy from these threats, but the challenge is greater than any they have faced before. Weakened but not defeated, the mercenary forces and their mysterious employer could return at any time, and the anti-Navy faction within Parliament is growing. The situation becomes even more dire when fresh tragedy strikes the Star Kingdom.

    While the House of Winton faces their enemies at home, Travis, Lisa, and the other officers of the Royal Manticoran Navy must reunite with old friends and join new allies to hunt down and eliminate the forces arrayed against them in a galaxy-spanning conspiracy.

    Manticore has learned that the universe is not a safe place, but the Star Kingdom’s enemies are about to learn a lesson of their own!

    It's truncated with the

    on my blog.

    The socially awkward

    is a stickler for the regs AND a brilliant tactician aboard the HMS

    .

    is Travis and Gavin’s mother who is more concerned about her dogs than Travis.

    is one of her dogs.

    Travis is friendly with

    who will become tactical officer aboard

    .

    has a grudge against Travis and is in MPRS at the start of this story.

    …a tiny kingdom far from the Solarian League (what we think of as Earth).

    is the capital.

    is the son of the former

    who abdicated four years ago.

    is Edward’s wife. They had two children:

    and the wild

    .

    is Edward’s half-sister and a widow. Her beloved husband,

    , was killed in a hunting accident four years ago.

    is Elizabeth’s mother and Michael’s second wife.

    ...to be restructured.

    had been destroyed.

    Casey

    …captained by

    ; he’s replaced by Clegg for the Silesian Confederacy mission.

    is tactical officer and promoted to XO.

    , the original XO, will be stuck at the Academy.

    is in engineering.

    and

    are on the com.

    is the astrogator.

    is the ATO.

    , assistant manager to

    who owns a shipbuilding company, joins the ship's company.

    Damocles

    …sent to Haven and captained by

    ;

    is the executive officer;

    ;

    is the engineer;

    and

    share the com.

    is part of the crew.

    had been caught in a blast.

    is the new Tactical Officer. Lisa will be its new XO for the trip to Haven.

    Vanguard

    …a battlecruiser, which is captained at the start by

    (she’s terrible with people), and serving as

    ’s flagship. The not particularly ept

    , the ship’s XO, had hoped to become captain.

    .

    is on the com.

    , a heavy cruiser, is commanded by

    ;

    , a destroyer captained by

    ;

    , a cruiser; and,

    , a cruiser, which is under

    .

    …charged with protecting the planet Gryphon.

    is the flagship for

    .

    is Flannery’s flag captain.

    is registered to a

    and chartered as a Navy transport with

    in command.

    is one of her officers.

    ’s flagship is

    ; he’s also on

    . First Lord of the Admiralty Admiral (ret) Thomas P.

    is an advisor to King Edward.

    is in charge of BuPers, the place careers go to die.

    is a space station at which the navy’s ships dock.

    is in charge of the MPARS Academy. Two corvettes will be left behind as the System Reserve Force:

    and

    on which

    (Estelle’s son) is tactical officer.

    is but one fatality.

    is the master chief.

    and

    are mentioned.

    had been Travis’ XO on

    during the Secour Incident. The incompetent Karina Alexander,

    , has the

    as her flagship with

    in command.

    …the obsessive

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    (B.A. is one of her cousins) and

    are two of the divers,

    , and

    who is their leader.

    and

    are Elizabeth’s bodyguards.

    is the archbishop of Landing;

    ,

    , and

    are the other acknowledged spiritual leaders of Manticore. The new monarch will be crowned in the Catholic Landing Cathedral, a.k.a.,

    , that was built sixteen years ago.

    will be the baby.

    seems to be Elizabeth’s secretary.

    commands the

    ; it and

    are patrolling the waters. The Sphinxian

    is a big crewmember of the

    . The

    is a party boat owned by

    which is ordered off the water.

    Prime Minister Davis Harper, Duke of

    , is on the monarch’s side.

    is his personal secretary. Minister of Defense James Mantegna, Earl

    , has Secretary of Bioscience Lisa Tufele, Baroness

    , and Shipyard Supervisor John Garner,

    , as allies.

    Chancellor of the Exchequer Anderson L’Estrange, Earl

    , schemes and manipulates to gather any and all glory to his pet project, the

    (MPRS). Gavin Vellacott, Baron

    , is Breakwater’s aide (and Travis’ estranged half-brother). Breakwater’s secretary is

    and his allies include

    ; Director of Belt Mining

    ; Maria Stahlberg, Baroness

    ; Ross Macinroy, Earl

    ; and, Yvonne Rowlandson, Baroness

    .

    Secretary of Industry Julian Mulholland, Baron

    , and Foreign Secretary Susan

    are generally neutral.

    , Duchess of Cromarty, and

    Speaker of the House of Commons, play a part in the coronation.

    , a farmer from Friedman’s Valley, sits in the House of Commons as does the domineering

    ,

    , and

    of White Sand.

    …a newly formed spy agency intended to supplement the hidebound

    . Clara Sumner, Countess

    , is its head and a former Minister of Defense who wants to rename it

    .

    is the Gatekeeper.

    The

    is the royal ship.

    is the eldest son of Hardian Young,

    .

    …a neighboring star system with whom Manticore is on friendly terms. Their navy is cracking down on pirates.

    (

    is her husband) leads the 303rd Special Commando Assault Force, Expeditionary (

    ) with a team that includes

    ,

    , and

    .

    , the Team One commander, leads a 40-man platoon;

    and

    and

    are also leaders.

    is their best-trained ship tech. The ship they’re using is

    .

    is an observer.

    had been XO of

    under Commodore Jason Flanders some years ago. Now Charnay will lead them into battle.

    and

    are modern destroyers;

    and

    are heavy cruisers.

    and

    will help with search-and-rescue operations.

    ’s ships being repaired include

    ,

    , and

    .

    is a representative of the

    , a major development group, building shipyards in Bergen.

    is the consortium’s manager for Bergen 2.

    has warehouses with corrupt employees.

    is a second assistant manager.

    …close to the Republic of Haven, but a trading partner and not an ally.

    is the Jerriais operations manager. Charnay pretends to be the Secretary of Industry.

    is the president of Danak.

    …founded by

    , a very successful mercenary commander in the Solarian League. Now he’s emperor. The

    is an Andermani freighter and part of the empire’s Merchant Marine.

    is its commander.

    is the director of Silesian Operations for Abteilung III (the Andermani Department of Intelligence). And Basaltberg’s son-in-law.

    is Admiral Gotthold Riefenstahl’s, Graf von

    's, flagship; its captain is

    . The admiral commands the fleet tracking Gensonne.

    is the operations officer.

    …a Transstellar corporation who wants the hidden wealth of Manticore. The “ringleader” of the entire operation is Jeremiah

    , an Axelrod black ops agent. Haus knows him as

    ; he uses a CGI overlay identity as

    ; and, he’s the hostage,

    .

    , a good astrogator, commands

    .

    is one of the crew and a mathematical genius with computers.

    is supposedly a rich Solarian merchant.

    is under

    and

    is under

    .

    …based on

    (

    has title to this minor system within the Silesian System) and led by

    , a.k.a.,

    ,

    ,

    of the Imperial Andermani Navy, and

    who tried to conquer Manticore. At the mercenaries' public base,

    is their public liaison. The

    is a battlecruiser based at Walther.

    is the ATO;

    is tactical officer.

    is down for maintenance.

    and

    are the ready-duty ships. Walther’s

    is an orbiting space station commanded by

    .

    needs to keep Hauser in line.

    is in engineering.

    , a.k.a.,

    , is commanded by

    . The cruisers

    ,

    , and

    are the Volsung aliases for

    ,

    captained by

    , and

    , all

    class ships.

    is the alias for

    commanded by

    .

    ,

    , and

    are more of the mercenaries’ ships.

    The cover is a collage of events within the story in a palette of blues and golds, a thin red outline framing overlapping events. A huge ship hovers over a body of water. A distant view with small boats and explosions in the lower right. In the upper left is

    with the explosive fire of missiles. At the top are the authors' names in white against a black background. Below that is a blue riband scroll with notched ends and a lighter blue outline with the overall series name in white. Below that is an embossed title, old gold outlined in black, shadowed in a pale bluish purple. A star frames the start and end of the first two words in the same colors and style. Centered at the bottom is the information for this series in a complementary light blue.

    The title is Manticore’s response to the attack on their system,

    , to find the truth — and the attackers.

  • Per Gunnar

    This is what David Weber does best, military space opera. His Honor Harrington series was probably the first real space opera that I read. I liked it greatly and Weber has stayed as one of my favorite authors of military science fiction ever since.

    His latest works have frequently suffered from a bit of verbosity overkill and have been dragged down by talk, talk and more talk. This book is not entirely free from this but it is, luckily, not too bad.

    As usual with this author the book is very well

    This is what David Weber does best, military space opera. His Honor Harrington series was probably the first real space opera that I read. I liked it greatly and Weber has stayed as one of my favorite authors of military science fiction ever since.

    His latest works have frequently suffered from a bit of verbosity overkill and have been dragged down by talk, talk and more talk. This book is not entirely free from this but it is, luckily, not too bad.

    As usual with this author the book is very well written with a fairly complex and well thought out plot and plenty of details in both the overall universe and the characters. There is, as always with David Weber, a fair amount of politics, scheming and backstabbing. Despicable characters as well as heroic ones are plentiful and, unfortunately, the despicable ones can be found on Manticore’s home turf as well.

    Some times I am tempted to compare David Weber with George R.R. Martin, a science fiction version of Martin so to speak, although Martin is showing even less constraint when it comes to the diabolical plotting and scheming than Weber. Also, David Weber do not kill off one of the favorite characters in every second chapter or so.

    On the whole the book is a very enjoyable action/thriller/space opera. Sometimes the lengthy dialogue as well as the politics becomes a bit tedious for this particular reader but it is compensated by Weber’s top notch handling of military tactics and space combat.

    I hope that we have more books coming in this series. I would quite like to see one where Manticore finally discovers why they were being attacked in the first place and what a literal gold mine they are sitting on. Of course some beefing up of the Manticore’s military capability and a bit of payback time would be nice to have on the menu as well.

  • Bjoern

    A solid continuation of the "prequel" Series set early in the Kingdom of Manticore's History.

    although I must say that Travis Uriah Long has become pretty boring, compared to his first appearances where he was constantly grating against expectations and social mores, meaning I much preferred the Wintons that made it into this novel and a few of the Extra Characters than our "protagonist" that had turned into a pretty Sue-ish character who cannot ever fail or do wrong, except being TOO eager and "

    A solid continuation of the "prequel" Series set early in the Kingdom of Manticore's History.

    although I must say that Travis Uriah Long has become pretty boring, compared to his first appearances where he was constantly grating against expectations and social mores, meaning I much preferred the Wintons that made it into this novel and a few of the Extra Characters than our "protagonist" that had turned into a pretty Sue-ish character who cannot ever fail or do wrong, except being TOO eager and "honest" for his own good.

    also there were at least two chapters where the writing pissed me off, one talking about the legal background of the succession, all but spelling out a pretty extreme view of the similar arguments in connection to the US gun debate and another one about the psychological consequences of the devastating attack on the Manticoran system (PTSD?), also bringing in a bit of musing about how great Catholicism is... PLEASE, we are talking about a future 1000 years from now where mankind has set foot on thousands of planets in other star systems. While i don't doubt that religion WILL find a niche to survive in SOME form... it was too much how it was described here. Basically all of the Weberverse lives deep in the past, from Planetary names ALWAYS referring to Old Earth landmarks and historical events, over the Shipnames more likely to refer to Old earth trivia than to have anything to do with a 1444 year long history POST diaspora! to the names still being used unchanged from an Earth of 2018's perspective. It may be a Pet Peeve, but the more often i see Authors being that lazy or fanserving (HH is after all "military-SF" that means a lot of fans of CURRENT military stories and technology will read it and tickling their fancies with namedropping WILL be something lots of them will love), the more it disturbs me and endangers my ability to suppress my doubts...

    But that may also be a sign, that the Editing process has to become a lot more professional and careful in Baen's case, which is supported by a consistent weird formatting of words ending in 's (that get underlined consitently, e.g.

    ). Letting your authors put the characters directly on a Real World Soapbox is at best unfortunate, at worst harming your products and their future sequels.

    bringing me to my last critique... originally Manticore Ascendant was announced as a TRILOGY. This WAS book three. Yet no end is in sight, the whole process basically is in the middle of a struggle between Manticore and Axelrod of Terra's ... not even the Wormhole is yet found by the "owners" of it... Which sounds like we should expect at least two further novels of similar lentgth about the "missing" bits... yet i'm not aware of any such announcement and no notice at the end of the book gives hope it's already scheduled for 19/20 to come out... Which might hint that yet another deadend series like "Star Kingdom" lies before us. Something i loathe. Once such a series has started i can hardly wait to get to know how everything will play out.

    That said, the writing is entertaining, the story decently thrilling and quick paced, with two or three nice surprise switches (the list! Nuff said!) and mostly a good mixture between the technical detail heavy structure and a more character based approach, presumably going back to the collaborative nature of the work, so that no part gets TOO overexaggerated and constricting.

  • Daniel

    Second half is much much much better than the first half. In fact, the second half is so much better it almost makes the awful first half palatable. Almost.

  • MAB  LongBeach

    Third in the prequel series to the Honor Harrington saga. Manticore is a young kingdom, still forming traditions in government and navy. It has been targeted by a corporation that wants control of the newly discovered wormhole to Manticorean space--which Manticore doesn't know about yet. New threats, new explorations, and new alliances follow two waves of invasion, in an exciting adventure.

    I was hoping that this would be the final book in a trilogy, but it's still very open-ended. While I will b

    Third in the prequel series to the Honor Harrington saga. Manticore is a young kingdom, still forming traditions in government and navy. It has been targeted by a corporation that wants control of the newly discovered wormhole to Manticorean space--which Manticore doesn't know about yet. New threats, new explorations, and new alliances follow two waves of invasion, in an exciting adventure.

    I was hoping that this would be the final book in a trilogy, but it's still very open-ended. While I will be happy to read more about Travis Long and the others, I wish that Weber could resolve a series for once.

  • Leons1701

    Not bad. This series is a lot more approachable than the most recent entries in the main Harrington series. And I'd guess either Weber agrees or his co-authors on this series are pushing the pace, because these books have been popping out the way Honor books did back in the day.

    Anyhow, this is the third, but presumably not final, book in the Manticore Ascendant series, so by now you should know what you're getting. A bit of military action, some political skullduggery, a hint of romance, the us

    Not bad. This series is a lot more approachable than the most recent entries in the main Harrington series. And I'd guess either Weber agrees or his co-authors on this series are pushing the pace, because these books have been popping out the way Honor books did back in the day.

    Anyhow, this is the third, but presumably not final, book in the Manticore Ascendant series, so by now you should know what you're getting. A bit of military action, some political skullduggery, a hint of romance, the usual. A bit new to the mix is some espionage action, though it was set up subtly in the previous books.

    The Volsung Mercenaries have been driven off, not without cost and now the Manticorans have two major priorities, building up their defenses so things don't get so dire again, and figuring out just why they were under attack in the first place. Long time readers will know the answer already of course, not that it isn't spelled out in some of the villain viewpoint chapters anyhow for those who might have, for some odd reason, picked this up first. Still, it's fun to see the heroes go through the paces of trying to figure it out. Also interesting is watching the early evolution of both military tactics and Manticoran politics. Some things definitely don't work the way they did at the beginning of the main series (or the way they do towards the end for that matter) and that is all to the good. When a really powerful ship maybe fires six missiles at once, that's a huge change from the missile storm tactics of the Havenite war. Speaking of Haven, they have a role in this book, and it's nice to see them before their decline. There's a real sense of history to this series that is lacking in some other popular prequel series (cough, Valdemar).

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