Debt of Honor – Book Review

The Embers of War Book 1 by: Christopher G. Nuttall
Published on: May 19, 2020

Debt of Honor is the first book in the Embers of War series by Christopher G. Nuttall featuring Admiral Kat Falcone – the main character from the Angel in the Whirlwind series. This author and his space fleet/galactic empire books are new to me, but the real world is a little overwhelming at the moment so problems in a whole other universe that is completely unrelated to anything here on Earth was the perfect choice when needing to find a new book to relax with.

In the Embers of War universe, the war between the Theocracy and Commonwealth has recently ended, leaving the Commonwealth as the victors and the Theocracy almost completely decimated. Each of the affected planets are now in varying stages of survival, stablization and recovery, leaving important questions that demand answers: How do you protect all the worlds that had been under the harsh Theocracy rule, increase your military power, and ensure that it all can be done without causing an economic collapse? King Hadrian of the Commonwealth and his political opponents all have military, political, and economic policies and beliefs that are important to them and the book’s main narrative covers this struggle. At the same time, the last remnants of the Theocracy has been given a life preserver by an unknown player who wishes for them to do damage to the Commonwealth by attacking unsuspecting planets. As you read you get the sense that it is someone within the Commonwealth, leaving you with questions as to who and why they would do this. So, while the King wishes to expand the military and the Commonwealth empire the Dukes and major political players know they have to deal with the economic fallout of winning a major war. There is simply not enough money to do everything the King wants, but with the Theocracy still attacking everyone is feeling the strain.

For someone like me who is new to the series I did find there was a little adjustment to understanding the world and who the major players are, but overall it wasn’t an overwhelming adjustment. In some cases minor characters were mentioned and although I could work through who they were through the story there was still a knowledge gap on my end. For the major characters, the story provides a decent amount of context, but I ended up reading the book descriptions of the Angel in the Whirlwind series to help give just a general overview of previous events and found that was sufficient enough to being able to enjoy the story.

Photo by Pixabay on

Although Debt of Honor is a space fleet type of science fiction story it mostly focuses on the politics of after-war preparedness, such as developing a space fleet program or ensuring you are always in a combat-ready mode. While there were a few battles or moments of heightened space fleet tension, the story itself does not focus as much on this aspect as it tries to balance space drama against the overall narrative revolving around politics and after-math of war story being told. By the end you get several things resolved and get definitive closure on some fronts, but you also get a whole new can of worms being opened that sets up the next book in the series very nicely.

Thanks to Netgalley and 47North for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

Rating: 4 stars


From the ashes of one galactic war stirs an ever greater threat in an epic new Kat Falcone series from bestselling author Christopher G. Nuttall.

A year ago, the war against the Theocracy ended. But it didn’t bring peace.

Admiral Kat Falcone was lucky—her side won the war. But without an external threat, Kat’s homeworld government, the Commonwealth, begins to burst. The galactic war may be over, but there is a civil war on the horizon.

The king and parliament disagree over the Commonwealth’s future. The Commonwealth’s first recession is plaguing corporations. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs. And the colonies are demanding their share of power. The Commonwealth has become a ticking time bomb, just waiting to explode.

Meanwhile, the Theocracy is making one final, desperate bid for power. As the external threat looms and the internal threat grows ever larger, Kat and William will need to join forces in order to save the Commonwealth. But it may already be too late.

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