Shadow of Freedom (cover).jpg
Name: Shadow of Freedom
Author: David Weber
Publisher: Baen Books
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Chapters: 36
ISBN: 978-1451638691
Series: Saganami Island
Previous: Storm from the Shadows
Next: Shadow of Victory

Shadow of Freedom is the title of a novel in David Weber's Honor Harrington series. It was released on March 5, 2013.

It was originally written as part of A Rising Thunder, which was split up due to its unexpected length. It is currently marketed as a main series novel, with Honor Harrington on the cover, even though she does not appear in the novel and the plot is a continuation of the Saganami Island series. The book is marketed as part of the main series despite the plot being more of a continuation of the Saganami Island sequence. Apparently, these two series will be merged in the context of describing the large-scale conflict and wide-ranging plot.

Timeframe: February – August 1922 PD

Cover Summary[]

Wrong number? There are two sides to any quarrel . . . unless there are more.
Michelle Henke, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore's first cousin, Honor Harrington's best friend, and the commanding officer of Manticore's Tenth Fleet, is just a bit surprised when a messenger arrives from the Mobius System to inform her that the Mobius Liberation Front is prepared to rise in rebellion against the hated regime of President Svein Lombroso. She can understand why anyone would want to rebel against someone like Lombroso, but why tell her about it? After all, she has problems of her own, like the minor matter of a life-or-death war against the Solarian League.
Michelle has just handed the "invincible" Solarian League Navy the most humiliating, one-sided defeat in its entire almost thousand-year history in defense of the people of the Star Empire's Talbott Quadrant. But the League is the most powerful star nation in the history of humanity. Its navy is going to be back – and this time with thousands of superdreadnoughts.
Yet she also knows scores of other star systems — some independent, some controlled by puppet regimes, and some simply conquered outright by the Solarian Office of Frontier Security — lie in the League's grip along its frontier with the Talbott Quadrant. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation, the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest, and Michelle sympathizes with the oppressed populations wanting only to be free of their hated masters.
And that puts her in something of a quandary when the messenger from Mobius arrives, because someone's obviously gotten a wrong number. According to him, the Mobians’ uprising has been carefully planned to coordinate with a powerful outside ally: the Star Empire of Manticore. Only Manticore — and Mike Henke — have never even heard of the Mobius Liberation Front.
It's a set-up . . . and Michelle knows who's behind it. The shadowy Mesan Alignment has launched a bold move to destroy Manticore's reputation as the champion of freedom. And when the RMN doesn't arrive, when the MLF is brutally and bloodily crushed, no independent star system will ever trust Manticore again.
Mike Henke knows she has no orders from her government to assist any rebellions or liberation movements, that she has only so many ships, which can be in only so many places at a time . . . and that she can't possibly justify diverting any of her limited, outnumbered strength to missions of liberation the Star Empire never signed on for.
She knows that . . . and she doesn't care.
No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come.
Not on Mike Henke's watch.


As relations between the Star Empire of Manticore and the Solarian League degenerate, rebellion breaks out in numerous League protectorate and independent Verge systems suffering under the abuses of the Office of Frontier Security, exploitative Solarian interstellar corporations, and the local governments they collaborate with. These liberation movements receive arms and supplies through a group that represents itself as the Star Empire, but that in reality is the Mesan Alignment. The Alignment's goal is to ferment "Manticore"-sponsored uprisings that are later abandoned and crushed, thereby discrediting the Star Empire as an ally in the OFS protectorates and independent systems.

Meanwhile in the Talbott Quadrant, after her victory over the Solarian League Navy at the Battle of Spindle, Tenth Fleet commanding officer Michelle Henke, Admiral Gold Peak, is tasked with maintaining the Quadrant's security against the League threat. The first crisis she deals with is an illegal detention of Manticoran merchantmen by OFS Governor Damián Dueñas in the Saltash System; Henke dispatches Captain Jacob Zavala to recover the merchantmen and their crew. When Dueñas refuses to release the crew, Zavala engages and destroys the defending Solarian battlecruiser squadron. With the discreet assistance of the Saltash Space Service CO, a boarding party under Lieutenant Abigail Hearns is able to rescue the prisoners from the Gendarmes holding them aboard the orbiting Shona Station.

In the Mobius System, the massacre of two thousand civilian protesters by the Presidential Guard and the violent response by the Mobius Liberation Front causes local despot President Svein Lombroso to panic. Lombroso  pressures the local OFS representative to request Frontier Fleet and Gendarmerie intervention from the Meyers System. MLF leader Michael Breitbach, upon learning of this, sends his own message to the Talbott Quadrant to ask Manticore for assistance.

Widespread public anger over the May Day massacre causes a surge in anti-government activity and prompts several MLF cells to begin independent operations against the Lombroso regime, peaking with a suicide attack by cell leader Kazuyoshi Brewster and associates on the Trifecta Corporation building that results in the death of the Trifecta systems operation manager and a regiment of Presidential Guardsmen. Realizing that attempting to restrain the rogue cells will simply result in the entire organization being picked off piecemeal by the Mobian security apparatus, Breitbach launches a full-scale insurrection against Lombroso's government, requesting aid from Manticore a second time.

Henke receives the messages, but has no knowledge of Manticoran sponsorship of rebellions in Verge systems; she and her staff surmise Mesa's involvement and motivations. Realizing what will happen if the MLF is left to be destroyed, she sends Commodore Aivars Terekhov to resolve the situation in Mobius. Terekhov arrives at the system to find that the OFS forces under Brigadier Francisca Yucel have already arrived and inflicted heavy losses on the MLF, with government and/or Gendarmerie forces committing atrocities such as mass executions and the use of kinetic strikes to destroy entire towns. He forces the SLN ships in orbit to scuttle and demands Yucel's surrender. She refuses and threatens to kill several thousand civilian hostages, whereupon Terekhov kills her with a kinetic strike on her headquarters and rescues the civilians.

The Verge rebellions, along with the capture or destruction of over 400 Solarian superdreadnaughts at the Second Battle of Manticore, lead Henke to move decisively against the League by invading the Meyers System and the Madras Sector. She captures the Frontier Fleet detachment under Commodore Francis Thurgood, along with OFS Commissioner Lorcan Verrochio and Vice Comissioner Junyan Hongbo. Examination of captured files and an interrogation of Hongbo strongly substantiate the involvement of the Mesan Alignment in events in the Quadrant, and Henke assembles Tenth Fleet for an invasion of Mesa.


A first snippet of the novel was released online in late May 2011. The official electronic Advanced Reader Copy was offered for sale in early October 2012.



Clinton Abernathy | Alecta | William Alexander | Alfredo | Floyd Allenby | Sandra Allenby | Simon Allenby | Engracia Alonso y Yáñez | Joachim Alquezar | Altabani | Gustav Anderman XI | Aldona Anisimovna | Gervais Archer | Victoria Armstrong | Andrew Artlett | Michael Ankenbrandt | Leonie Ascher | George Auerbach | Isabel Bardasano | Oravil Barregos | Theodore Bennington | Chris Billingsley | Kayleigh Blanchard | Helga Boltitz | Margaux Bordelon | Boudreaux | Tyler Braddock | Michael Breitbach | Kazuyoshi Brewster | Brinkman | Bristow | Elfride Butre | Josef Byng | Victor Cachat | Callum | Jasmine Carver | Ray Chatterjee | Howell Chavez | Sylvia Chu | Massimiliano Cognasso | Alan Coker | Ambrose Chandler | George Chasnikov | Clambake | Antonio Clark | Peter Clavell | Sandra Crandall | Griseldis Degauchy | Albrecht Detweiler | Benjamin Detweiler | Collin Detweiler | Kelvin Diadoro | Dicey | Norman Dreyfus | Oxana Dubroskaya | Damián Dueñas | Bill Edwards | Fergus | Vincenzo Fonzarelli | Christianos Frolov | Vincent Frugoni | Alice Gabrowski | Gareth Garrett | Arnold Giancola | Frank Gillich | Patricia Givens | Rochelle Goulard | Bruce Graham | Indiana Graham | Mackenzie Graham | Yves Grosclaude | Mateo Gutierrez | Georgina Guernicke | Ham Seung Jee | Hiroshi Hammond | Janice Hannover | Damien Harahap | Honor Harrington | Klaus Hauptman | Abigail Hearns | Sonja Hemphill | Michelle Henke | Martina Herschel | Junyan Hongbo | Hiram Ivanov | Maksymilian Johnson | Naomi Kaplan | Felicia Karaxis | Janice Karpov | Theophilia Kasomoulis | Augustus Khumalo | Jamie Kirbishly | Tucker Kiernan | Maxence Kodou | Heinrich Kalokainos | Volkhart Kalokainos | Yeargin Kowalski | Henri Krietzmann | Jørn Kristoffersen | Anthony Langtry | Lawrence IX Thomas | Dunichi Lazlo | Leamington | Cynthia Lecter | Izrok Levakonic | Stillwell Lewis | Olaf Lister | Li-hau Lörscher | Jerome Luther | Samiha Lababibi | Svein Lombroso | Nathan MacArtney | Tyler MacCrimmon | Erin MacFadzean | William MacFarlane | Eardsidh MacGeechan | Jason MacGruder | Lachlan MacHendrie | Innis MacLay | Megan MacLean | Valentine MacNaughtan | Ailsa MacMinn | Keith MacMinn | Tammas MacPhee | Thora Macpherson | Mánas MacRory | Raghnall MacRory | Tavis III MacRory | MacRuer | Senga MacQuarie | Bridie MacWilliams | Thomas Marrone | Estelle Matsuko | June Mattes | Friedemann Mátyás | Jack McBryde | Jacqueline McCready | Borden McGillicuddy | Sadako Merriman | Atalante Montella | Thomas Montview | Frank Morgan | Nathan Mundy | Aploloniá Munming | Franklin Musgrave | Myau Ping-wa | Myers | Jean-Claude Nesbitt | Keeley O'Cleary | Audrey O'Hanrahan | Wanda O'Reilly | Tillman O'Sullivan | Tad Ogilvy | Frinkelo Osborne | Valery Ottweiler | Michael Oversteegen | Mateuz Ødegaard | Saverio Palgani | Marjorie Pareja | Alton Parkman | Partisan | John Pole | Tom Pope | Eloise Pritchart | Meridiana Quinquilleros | Rajampet Rajani | Luis Rozsak | Mickaël Ruddock | Toby Rützel | Helen Sanderson | Segovia | Branston Shang | Loretta Shoupe | Donald Shuman | Rosa Shuman | Leonard Silvowitz | Alex Simak | Herlander Simões | Hosea Simpkins | Warren Suttles | Alvin Tallman | Sharon Tanner | Francis Thurgood | Aivars Terekhov | Cicely Tiilikainen | Yana Tretiakovna | Liam Trondheim | Truchinski | Samuel Turner | Roberto Tyler | Frank Ukhtomskoy | Gervasio Urbanowicz | Bernardus Van Dort | Francine Venelli | Lorcan Verrochio | Armand Wang | Tremont Watson | Hideoshi Wayne | James Webster | Simone Weiss | Clint Westman | Stephen Westman | Abhijat Wilson | Elizabeth III Winton | Nicasio Xamar | Angelika Xydis | Olivia Yardley | Francisca Yucel | Nyatui Zagorski | Jacob Zavala | Anton Zilwicki | Helen Zilwicki


Royal Manticoran Navy

HMS Artemis | HMS Cloud | HMS Gaheris | HMS Gawain | HMS Hercules | HMS Kay | HMS Quentin Saint-James | HMS Talon | HMS Tristram

Solarian League Navy

SLNS Abatis | SLNS Avenger | SLNS Charles Babbage | SLNS Edgehill | SLNS Hoplite | SLNS Inexorable | SLNS Lunette | SLNS Oceanus | SLNS Paladin | SLNS Success | SLNS Vanquisher | SLNS Yenta MacIlvenna

Civilian Vessels

AMS Angelika Thörnich | RMMS Argonaut | RMMS Carolyn | EMS Custis | Hali Sowle | Wanderlust


Meyers One | Parmley Station | Shona Station


Madras Sector | Talbott Sector


Celebrant | Darius | Delvecchio | Eris | Hainuwele | Hirochi | Loomis | Lucastra | Mainwaring | Manticore | McIntosh | Mesa | Meyers | Mobius | Monica | Montana | New Tuscany | Nolan | Olivia | Saltash | Scarlet | Seraphim | Sol | Spindle | Swallow | Tillerman | Visigoth | Zunker


Beowulf | Cinnamon | Damien | Dresden | Halkirk | Haven | Himalaya | Flax | Mesa | Meyers | Mobius Beta | Montana | Saltash Delta | San Miguel | Sphinx | Thimble | Thurso


Beaver Run Heights | Brazelton | Capistrano | Cherubim | Conerock | Elgin City | Granger | Green Pines | Glen mo Chrìdhe | Glenfiddich | Kernuish | Landing (Mobius) | Laurent | Lewiston | Mackessack | Mendel | Nouveau Paris | Old Chicago | Pine Mountain | Rothes | Yawata Crossing



Grantville Government | Meyers Astro Control | Minister of Industry (Talbott Quadrant) | Minister of the Interior (Talbott Quadrant) | Office of Frontier Security


Battle Squadron 16 | battlecruiser | Battlecruiser Squadron 491 | Biological Survey Corps | Bureau of Weapons (RMN) | Case Lacoön | destroyer | Destroyer Squadron 301 | Frontier Fleet | Indefatigable-class | light cruiser | Morrigan-class | Nike-class | Office of Naval Intelligence (RMN) | Quadrant Guard | Rampart-class | Roland-class | Royal Manticoran Marine Corps | Royal Manticoran Navy | Battle of Saltash | Saltash Space Service | Seraphim Army | Solarian League Navy | Battle of Spindle | superdreadnought | Swallow System Army | Talbott Station | Task Force 496 | Tenth Fleet | War Harvest-class

Security Forces[]

10347th Independent Battalion | Loomis System Unified Public Safety Force | Mobius Presidential Guard | Mobius Secret Police | Pine Mountain Police Department | Royal Police | Seraphim System Security Police | Solarian Gendarmerie

Political Groups[]

Audubon Ballroom | Loomis Liberation League | Loomis Prosperity Party | Mobius Liberation Front | Seraphim Independence Movement | System Unity and Progress Party


Brindle Star, Ltd. | Jessyk Combine | Kalokainos Shipping | Krestor Interstellar | Manpower Incorporated | Mendoza of Córdoba | Newman & Sons | Star Enterprise Initiatives Unlimited | Tallulah Corporation | Tallulah Travel Interstellar | Technodyne Industries | Trifecta Corporation | Zumwalt


The Rare Sirloin | The Soup Spoon


Nixon Foundation


System Information and News Service


Casper Belt | Lynx Terminus | Mesa-Visigoth Hyper Bridge | Syou-tang-Olivia Hyper Bridge | Talbott Quadrant | Verge | Yamato's Nebula


Broken Back Mountain | Cripple Mountains | Hoy | Stroma | Stronsay | Westray


Admiralty House | Culver Hill | The Farm | Gamma Center | Lombroso Arms Tower | O'Sullivan Tower | President Lombroso Boulevard | President Lombroso Memorial Soccer Stadium | Presidential Palace | Rust Belt | Summerhill Tower | Terrabore Maximum Security Prison | Trifecta Boulevard | Trifecta Tower


Bravo Charlie | Damocles | Dazzlers | DNI-1 damage control remote | Dragon's Teeth | kinetic energy weapon | pulser | Spatha | streak drive | Trebuchet missile


air car | Scorpion (AFV) | sting ship


crab poplar | hickory | silver oak | sugar pine | white pine


cockroach | hexapuma | prongbuck


Butre Clan | Deneb Accords | Operation Houdini | MacRory Militia | May Riots | Old Tillman | piracy | Solarian-Manticoran War | House of Thomas | Treaty of Beowulf | Yawata Strike | Zunker Incident


External links[]

Main Honor Harrington series
HH1 On Basilisk Station HH8 Echoes of Honor
HH2 The Honor of the Queen HH9 Ashes of Victory
HH3 The Short Victorious War HH10 War of Honor
HH4 Field of Dishonor HH11 At All Costs
HH5 Flag in Exile HH12 Mission of Honor
HH6 Honor Among Enemies HH13 A Rising Thunder
HH7 In Enemy Hands HH14 Uncompromising Honor
Spin off Series
Crown of Slaves Star Kingdom
CS1 Crown of Slaves SK1 A Beautiful Friendship
CS2 Torch of Freedom SK2 Fire Season
CS3 Cauldron of Ghosts SK3 Treecat Wars
CS4 To End In Fire SK4 A New Clan
Saganami Island Manticore Ascendant
SI1 The Shadow of Saganami MA1 A Call to Duty
SI2 Storm from the Shadows MA2 A Call to Arms
SI3 Shadow of Freedom MA3 A Call to Vengeance
SI4 Shadow of Victory MA4 A Call to Insurrection
HHA1 More Than Honor HHA5 In Fire Forged
HHA2 Worlds of Honor HHA6 Beginnings
HHA3 Changer of Worlds HHA7 What Price Victory?
HHA4 The Service of the Sword
Tales of Honor Comic Series
TOH1 Tales of Honor #1 TOH4 Tales of Honor #4
TOH2 Tales of Honor #2 TOH5 Tales of Honor #5
TOH3 Tales of Honor #3 TOHV1 Tales of Honor Vol 1

Honorverse Non-Fiction
Book Companions Ad Astra Companions
HOS House of Steel Companion SOTF Ships of the Fleet Calendars
HOSH House of Shadows Companion SITS Saganami Island Tactical Simulator
HOL House of Lies Companion
Jayne's Intelligence Review Jayne's Fighting Ships of the Galaxy
JIR1 The Royal Manticoran Navy SB1 Ship Book 1: The Havenite Sector
JIR2 The Havenite Republican Navy SB2 Ship Book 2: The Silesian Confederacy
JIR3 The Silesian Confederate Navy SB3 Ship Book 3: The Short Victorious War