((Initial revelation of potential non-disinterest: I am David Weber's elder brother.))
First, while i think the cover's better than the one on "Worlds of Honor", it's still not right -- those legs belong on a tree-antelope, not a tree-cat.
"But what's *in* it?", right?
This is another anthology, featuring three stories by Dave and one by Eric Flint.
The first story is "Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington". ((For a couple of reasons - ease of speaking being a major one, tradition another -- i think i'd have said "misdhipman", but it's Dave's call -- his world, his ranks.))
The story of Honor's "Snotty" cruise, it fills in the background on remarks she makes during "Among Enemies" about having been on pirate-chasing missions in Silesia.
As usual, with Honor onboard, what ought to have been a relatively routine cruise with a bit of action and not much danger turns into something else. ((I mean, finding out you'll be serving with Honor Harrington is like being a cop in a small town finding out that Jessica Fletcher is visiting...)) And Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington finds that she must rise to the occasion when disaster strikes. This story is a little more open and clear about the political maneuvering between the "working" Navy and the "timeserving" Navy (my terms) in which Honor's career is already inevitably enmeshed, long before she knows it or of it.
Also it has a Villain. I'll be writing a longer review for my new website, wherein i'll go into my thoughts on Villains vs. Bad Guys in Dave's stories. (By my reckoning, Rob Pierre is a Bad Guy -- Pavel Young is a Villain. Wossname who was behind the Dome failure is a Bad Guy [though with villainous tendencies] -- his dupe who Honor kills is a Villain.)
Second story is "Changer of Worlds", which has been available for more than a year on my family website by David's kind permission; it's the story of Laughs Brightly, bondmated to Cloud Dancer, who returns to his clan bringing Golden Voice, his new mate.
We know these people a bit better under other names, suffice to say. (Hint -- one of them is also known as "Nimitz")
(Skipping the Eric Flint story for right now, we get to Dave's third, "Nightfall".)
"Nightfall" is one of those stories that eventually has to be told in some form, if only as footnotes in some other work, i guess, but which i'd as soon not read. Despite the fact that there's a rather nasty little slice of spacewar let loose planetside in a major city, it's pretty much a static story of coup and countercoup and political maneuver.
We aready know the fates, if not descriptions of the actual events, of a number of characters from other books. "Nightfall" is the actual events. I found it uninvolving and unneeded.
Now, back to Eric Flint's "From the Highlands", which is, i think, the best piece of pure storytelling more or less for its own sake in the book. All of the other three stories are there to plug holes in the canon, and read more or less like that.
"Highlands", while it chronicles events that may well be as important in the future history of Manticore and Haven as the other three, just reads like a story Flint wanted to tell; in which we look at the ways Gryphon's Highlanders are like Scotland's.
Involving conflicting and complex loyalties personal, patriotic and political, it revolves around the kidnapping of a fourteen-year-old girl whose father, a Gryphon Highlander, is an Intelligence Analyst attached to Manticore's Embassy in the Solarian League's capital city, Chicago.
Not just any fourteen-year-old girl; we've seen her before, when she was four or so, asking her weeping father if Mama had made them all safe from the bad Peeps. And she is everything her mother's daughter should be -- she's already working on escape from her kidnappers when first we meet her.
Before the story is over, we will be involved with Helen's father, with her martial arts instructor, with Havenite and Manticoran Ambassadors and their respective Security Chiefs, a young Peep SS Intelligence Field Officer who faces a personal crisis of identity (he actually believes in the ideals of the Revolution), a dissipated Peep Marine Colonel who is rather more, various genetically-engineered "super-soldiers" and revolutionary former slaves and an expatriate, far-leftist Manticoran noblewoman, one of only three people kicked out of the House of Lords by vote of their peers.
Stir thoroughly, apply igniter and stand well back till the flames die down.
I give the book three stars overall; just the first three stories would have gotten four, just the Weber stories alone about three stars.
Good solid reading till the next novel, but it goes by awfully dismayingly and disappointingly quickly, which is one of the problems of a fast pace.