Field of Dishonor

infobox Book |
name = Field of Dishonor
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = David Weber
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Honor Harrington series
genre = Science fiction novel
publisher = Baen Books
release_date = 24 November 1994
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 352 pp (first edition, paperback)
isbn = ISBN 155594065X (first edition, paperback)
preceded_by = The Short Victorious War
followed_by = Flag in Exile

"Field of Dishonor" is a science fiction novel, the fourth in David Weber's Honor Harrington series. It is notable for being the only book in the series to not feature space warfare.

Plot summary

The story begins immediately after "The Short Victorious War".

As the war with Haven continues, Honor returns to Manticore as a hero following the victory at Hancock Station, even being congratulated by Queen Elizabeth III herself. Her participation in the war is delayed while her ship HMS "Nike" is repaired from the damage it suffered in the battle.

Captain Pavel Young, Honor's long-time rival, is about to face a court-martial for cowardice in the battlefield (as described in "The Short Victorious War"), and he is likely to be shot. But politics intervene. Young's father, the Earl of North Hollow, is a senior leading member of the Conservative Association, a small party somewhat allied to Prime Minister Cromarty. The Association's leader, Baron High Ridge, tells the Prime Minister that his party would not support the declaration of war against Haven unless Captain Young is proclaimed innocent. A compromise is reached, and Young is demoted and dishonorably discharged from the Navy but the charges that would have permitted his execution are rejected. Despite the reprieve, North Hollow suffers a heart attack when he hears his son will be discharged and Young becomes the new Earl of North Hollow. The Star Kingdom declares war on the People's Republic of Haven.

Seeking revenge on Honor, whom he blames for his misfortune, Pavel Young first tries to discredit her and then hires a professional duelist, former marine Denver Summervale to challenge Honor's lover Paul Tankersley to a duel. Paul is killed by Summervale while Honor is on Grayson overseeing her Steading and formally being appointed Steadholder.

Paul's death is a severe blow to Honor, and she determines to kill Summervale no matter the cost to herself. She begins practicing with the archaic automatic pistols used in formal duels, and her natural kinesthetic sense makes her an excellent shot.

Several of Honor's friends and comrades decide to find Paul's killer. They stage a "navigational error" during a training drop of royal marines and "just happen" to land at the chalet where Summervale is in hiding. They extract a confession from him accusing Pavel Young as his employer for the duel and revealing that Honor is his next target. The recording of the confession is not legal evidence because of how it was obtained, but it turns Honor's fury against Pavel Young and allows her to begin her recovery from Paul's death.

Honor confronts Summervale in the same bar where Paul was challenged. She goads Summervale into challenging her by calling him a paid assassin before witnessess. When they meet on the field of honor, Honor kills him before he can get off a single shot. Honor then proclaims to the assembled media that Summervale was hired to kill Paul Tenkersly and herself by Pavel Young.

Young goes into hiding, to prevent Honor from an opportunity to challenge him. He plans to wait until repairs on the "Nike" are completed and Honor is shipped back to the front. Honor determines that the only place she can be sure of meeting him is at the House of Lords. She uses a technicality of the chamber rules to demand that she be formally seated with them, and uses the opportunity to denounce Young publicly and challenge him to a duel.

On the same field of honor Young loses his nerve and fires on Honor while her back is turned. She is injured but kills him with her return fire. The outraged aristocracy removes Honor from the House of Lords and political pressure forces the navy to remove Honor from command and place her on half-pay, with no active assignment. Honor decides to return to Grayson until the crises subsides.succession
office=Honor Harrington books
preceded="The Short Victorious War"
succeeded="Flag in Exile"

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