I read this book about 23-Jul-2001. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1996. This note was last modified Saturday, 19-Aug-2006 10:48:29 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
I've enjoyed Weber's Honor Harrington books very much, so I thought it was finally time to try something else. Now that I look closely, I think this may be the third book in a series. Oh well.
Interesting parallel with Vinge's A Fire Upon The Deep: a good chunk in the middle involves a small shipload of people stranded on a low-tech planet (relative to where they came from) getting involved in a local religious war. And there is a race of intelligent dogs in the book. But the dogs aren't the natives of the low-tech planet. Could be coincidence. Could be an intentional reference. Who knows?
This suffers from "telescoped ending" syndrome a bit; we never do learn how the kids on Pardal manage to get control of the computer. The last we see of them they're about to start trying something slow that might work, and hoping the Guard won't overwhelm them in the 15 minutes it takes. Next we hear of them, a message arrives back at the Empire, months later, where people think they are dead.
Anyway, I'm always happy to see a good theocracy brought down in ruins, with the grasping idiots in charge Darwinized.
And I thought he was going to leave the chief villain alive at the end to cause trouble in future books; I'm very glad he didn't.