This was a difficult book to read in some ways as it has themes of religious intolerance. I know the worst of it comes from the "bad guys," but it was difficult to read some of the male characters' hatred of a woman who doesn't conform to what they expect: staying secluded and serving the husband. The aftermath of rape was also hard to read.
That written, there is much to admire in the book. Honor Harrington is more than competent, the good guys can learn, and it is a cracking good military SF story. I think the parts that got to me got to me because it is so well-written. I cared about the characters and I wanted the good guys to win.
This needs to be read in series order, after On Basilisk Station. If you liked that book, go ahead and get this one. Military science fiction fans, if you don't have this series, you should!
Somehow Flag in Exile has become linked to The Honor of the Queen. Above is a review of that book. This is for Flag in Exile.
This book spoke to me, somewhere deep. I fell in love with the Graysons, at least the ones on the side of good. I think the theme for the Graysons is this quotation: Nor do we always remember how limited our perceptions are compared to His, and that He, unlike us, sees to the hearts of all people and knows His own, however strange and different they may appear to us.
I also felt that Honor was far more human in this book. I got to see her emotions and her drive make her be the best Steadholder she could be. Her caring for all the people under her command, be it civilian or military shines through.
I will issue a tissue warning. To say more would be a spoiler. I did have a gut-felt moment of exultation when Honor dealt justice in the Protector's name.
If you like military science fiction or just well-written, page-turning science fiction with a dose of political machinations, then this book is for you. I would strongly suggest starting at the beginning of the series.