The Shadow of Saganami is the first book of the Honorverse sub-series Saganami Island, written by David Weber. It was first published in 2004.
Timeframe: 1920 PD – 1921 PD
- The Star Kingdom of Manticore is once again at war with the Republic of Haven after a stunning sneak attack. The graduating class from Saganami Island, the Royal Manticoran Navy's academy, are going straight from the classroom to the blazing reality of all-out war.
- Except for the midshipmen assigned to the heavy cruiser HMS Hexapuma, that is. They're being assigned to the Talbott Cluster, an out of the way backwater, far from the battle front. The most they can look forward to is the capture of the occasional pirate cruiser and the boring duty of supporting the Cluster's peaceful integration with the Star Kingdom at the freely expressed will of eighty percent of the Cluster's citizens. With a captain who may have seen too much of war and a station commander who isn't precisely noted for his brilliant and insightful command style, it isn't exactly what the students of Honor Harrington, the "Salamander," expected.
- But things aren't as simple - or tranquil - as they appear. The "pirates" they encounter aren't what they seem, and the "peaceful integration" they expected turns into something very different. A powerful alliance of corrupt Solarian League bureaucrats and ruthless interstellar corporations is determined to prevent the Cluster's annexation by the Star Kingdom ... by any means necessary. Pirates, terrorists, genetic slavers, smuggled weapons, long-standing personal hatreds, and a vicious alliance of corporate greed, bureaucratic arrogance, and a corrupt local star nation with a powerful fleet, are all coming together, and only Hexapuma, her war-weary captain, and Honor Harrington's students stand in the path.
- They have only one thing to support and guide them: the tradition of Saganami. The tradition that sometimes a Queen's officer's duty is to face impossible odds ... and die fighting.
The Edward Saganami-C-class heavy cruiser HMS Hexapuma, commanded by Captain Aivars Terekhov, a war veteran and former prisoner of war who has only recently been cleared back for naval service, goes on an important mission. Also aboard are Commander Ginger Lewis and Senior Chief Petty Officer Aubrey Wanderman, as well as some midshipmen fresh out of the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy on Saganami Island, who embark onboard Hexapuma for their "snotty cruise".
These midshipmen are Helen Zilwicki, daughter of a decorated war hero mother, Ragnhild Pavletic, scion of a powerful Manticoran shipping company, Aikawa Kagiyama, who still has to learn to overcome his insecurities, and Paulo d'Arezzo, a strikingly good looking young man who causes strange feelings in Helen Zilwicki.
Perhaps surprisingly, given the renewed state of war with Haven, Hexapuma, one of the Royal Manticoran Navy's most modern and powerful cruisers, is assigned for duty in the Talbott Cluster, an impoverished group of star systems that wish to be incorporated into the newly created Star Empire of Manticore. With a brutal war going on, and also embroiled in the annexation of the Silesian Confederacy, Manticore has no choice (and no other available resources) but to assign a small and clearly insufficient naval force to guard the Cluster, while a Constitutional Convention is taking place which will define the terms of the Cluster's formal annexation.
However, powerful interests both within the Solarian League's Office of Frontier Security and corporations (which resent Manticore intervening in their "backyard") and the slaver world of Mesa (wary against the possibility of Manticore being too close to its space) do not want this to go ahead and support indigenous groups violently opposed to annexation. The goal is to launch a terrorist campaign against Manticore, giving the League the excuse to intervene in the Cluster and expel the Star Kingdom.
The annexation is also stalled by the ruling oligarchs of many of the Cluster's systems, who fear that their power, wealth and influence will dilute once their worlds are absorbed within the Star Empire. In addition, the annexation is viewed with some distrust by vocal sectors of the Cluster's population, as it was sponsored by the Rembrandt Trade Union, a powerful local merchant cartel with a history of strong-arming and abuse for its own purposes.
Hexapuma and her crew must patrol the Cluster's many systems to "show the flag" and assist the planetary governments, thus demonstrating Manticore's good will. In the meantime, anti-annexation groups launch terrorist campaigns on two of the Cluster's planets, Kornati and Montana. These terrorists, however, are very different: on one side there is Stephen Westman of Montana, who manages to bomb several government facilities without causing a single casualty, on the other is Agnes Nordbrandt, whose ruthless bomb attacks in the middle of Kornati's capital city slaughter hundreds of civilians. Both groups are supplied by "Firebrand", a covert OFS intelligence officer, who is attempting to destabilize the region so that the OFS can occupy the Cluster to "preserve regional peace." Coupled with the stalling of the Constitutional Convention, the annexation is in danger of derailing as the hard-pressed Manticoran government cannot afford to be entangled in the Cluster while Manticore struggles in the middle of a shooting war.
Hexapuma, initially completely removed from the internal strife to avoid looking like invading oppresors, instead is tasked with anti-piracy patrol. After stumbling across two pirate cruisers and a captured merchantman, Hexapuma, after tricking the cruisers into attacking them, crushes the cruisers and manages to liberate the merchantman and its surviving crew, finding the pirates are former members of the now-defunct People's Republic of Haven. This action cements Terekhov's abilities in the eyes of his crew and earns him copious goodwill from the Talbott Cluster.
Meanwhile, Helen Zilwicki is finally confronted by Paulo d'Arezzo about her attitude towards him. She tells him she dislikes the way his physiology has obviously been enhanced with expensive biosculpt. To her surprise, he explains that he was born this good looking: he is a former genetic sex slave bred by Mesa, whose family was freed by a Manticoran captain whose name he took and who inspired him to join the Navy.
In the course of Hexapuma's cruises, evidence begins to pile up indicating that the local terrorists are actually (unwitting) pawns of foreign interests, and that the terrorist actions are merely the first step of a larger plan for the Cluster. They then stumble across the Mesan freighter Marianne, which is in the process of delivering weapons to Westman. About to be boarded, and realizing that the penalty for piracy is death, one of the privateers panics and destroys the boarding pinnace, killing eighteen of Terekhov's crew, including Midshipwoman Pavletic. The surviving crew of the privateer, after being decimated by the Manticorans' deadly response, throws themselves on their mercy, and gives up the majority of the OFS's plan to occupy the Cluster.
After dealing with the local terrorist groups by either force or reason, Captain Terekhov and Hexapuma assemble an ad hoc "squadron" with other Manticoran ships in a mission to prevent the next step of the conspirators' plan: the service entry of a fleet of powerful ex-Solarian battlecruisers which have been transferred to Monica, a Frontier Security proxy system, to be used against Manticore. After dropping into the system, Terekhov demands the surrender of the local fleet until Manticore can validate the cruisers' authenticity, and that they're sovereign of Monica and not the OFS. Playing for time, the Monican Navy manages to lure the Manticoran squadron into weapons range. In the following Battle of Monica, half of Terekhov's squadron is destroyed or crippled, though the Monican Navy is almost completely wiped out. Terekhov then threatens to nuke the remaining Monican military infrastructure, thus buying enough time for relief forces led by Rear Admiral Augustus Khumalo to arrive.
After being relieved, and with the formal annexation of the Cluster well under way, Terekhov and Hexapuma return to the Manticore System, and are given a heroes welcome by the Home Fleet and Queen Elizabeth III.
The book is dedicated to the late Anne McCaffrey, whom David Weber has called an important influence on his work and the way world-building plays an important part in it.
A toast given by Captain Terekhov establishes that Edward Saganami was in fact a Knight of the Realm. The first scene in the book also gives a detailed account of the Battle of Carson and Saganami's last words before his death.
The events of the novel occur mostly simultaneously with those of the main series novel At All Costs.
George Adolfsson | Joanna Agnelli | Hamish Alexander | William Alexander | Joachim Alquezar | Ito Anders | Franz Anhier | Aldona Anisimovna | George Antrim | Annemarie Atkinson | Mira Badmachin | Guthrie Bagwell | Suzanne Bannister | Trevor Bannister | Isabel Bardasano | Brigita Basaricek | Kenneth Bashanova | Duan Binyan | Bennington (Manticore) | Bennington (Montana) | Duan Binyan | Alvin Bjornstad | Bottoms | Gregoire Bourmont | Aranka Budak | Kathleen Burke | Thomas Caparelli | Ambrose Chandler | Jeanette Clary | Lucien Cortez | Amandine Corvisart | David Crites | Paulo d'Arezzo | Judita Debevic | Annette De Chabrol | Hieronymus Dekker | Drazen Divkovic | Juras Divkovic | Darinka Djerdja | Osborne Diamond | Arnold Dunblane | Andrea Duncan | Zeno Egervary | Queen Elizabeth III | Ulrike Eichbauer | Magnus Einarsson | Ansten FitzGerald | Gainsworthy | Richard Gaunt | Andrija Gazi | Vesna Grabovac | Oliver Gray | Arjan Groenhuijen | Mateo Gutierrez | Damien Harahap | Honor Harrington | Les Haven | Abigail Hearns | William Hedges | Isidor Hegedusic | Frank Hennessy | Josepha Hewlett | George Hibachi | Alfonzo Higgins | Jeff Hollister | Junyan Hongbo | Eleanor Hope | Bruce Jeffers | Barto Jezic | Oscar Johansen | Liam Johnson | Tadislaw Kaczmarczyk | Aikawa Kagiyama | Volkhart Kalokainos | Mavro Kanjer | Emil Karlberg | Naomi Kaplan | Angelique Kelso | Augustus Khumalo | Gunda Kienholtz | Jefferson Kobe | Henri Krietzmann | Cuiejeta Krizanic | Joshua Kubota | Amelia Kulinac | Samiha Lababibi | Anthony Langtry | Ginger Lewis | Izrok Levakonic | Herawati Lignos | Freda MacIntyre | Alberta Maguire | Goran Majoli | Slavko Maksimovac | Bill Mann | Nicola Martinovic | Estelle Matsuko | Benjamin Mavundia | Wendell McCollum | Beatrice McDermott | Stephen McDermott | Hansen McGraw | Janet Melville | Alenka Mestrovic | Eldijana Mrsic | Amal Nagchaudhuri | Maitland Naysmith | Istvan Nemesanyi | Nimitz | Agnes Nordbrandt | Frances Olivetti | Quentin O'Malley | Lajos Orban | Gregor O'Shaughnessy | Valery Ottweiler | Luis Palacios | Ragnhild Pavletic | Vuk Rajkovic | Tamara Ranjina | Bianca Rossi | Mark Sarnow | Victoria Saunders | Lewis Sedgewick | Jensen Sheets | Azadeh Shirafkin | Loretta Shoupe | Simmons | Jasper Stiles | Leopold Stottmeister | Vlacic Suka | Warren Suttles | Aivars Terekhov | Jacomina Tinkhof | Adrian Toboc | Aleksandra Tonkovic | Roberto Tyler | Bernardus Van Dort | Hermelinda Urizar | Ineka Vaandrager | Bernadette Van Der Wildt | Bernardus Van Dort | Mechelina Van Dort | Phillipia Van Dort | Lorcan Verrochio | Aubrey Wanderman | Stephen Westman | Alberto Wexler | Tobias Wright | Francisca Yucel | Andrieaux Yvernau | Berry Zilwicki | Helen Zilwicki | Tomaz Zovan
Royal Manticoran Navy
HMS Defiant (Saganami era) | HMS Defiant | HMS Destiny | HMS Devastation | HMS Domino | HMS Ericsson | HMS Hercules | HMS Hexapuma | HMS Holocaust | HMS Inspired | HMS Ironside | HMS Mars | HMS Nike | HMS Petard | HMS Swiftsure | HMS Triumph | HMS Valiant | HMS Victorious | HMS Volcano | HMS Warlock | HMS White
Republic of Monica Navy
Nuncio Space Force
State Security Naval Forces/People's First Liberation Squadron
Battle of Carson | Battle of Monica | Battle of Nuncio | Battle of Trautman's Star | Kornatian Defense Forces | Nuncio Space Force | Rembrandt System Navy | Royal Manticoran Marine Corps | Royal Manticoran Navy | State Security Naval Forces
Security Forces Edit
Political Groups Edit
Central Liberation Committee | Constitutional Liberal Party | Constitutional Union Party | Freedom Alliance of Kornati | Kornatian Democratic Centralist Party | Kornatian National Redemption Party | Kornatian Reconciliation Party | Kornatian Social Moderate Party | Montana Independence Movement
- The Shadow of Saganami in the Baen Online Library (free to read, donation for eBook download)
|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|