Honor Harrington's career has its ups and its downs. She's survived ship-to-ship battles, assassins, political vendettas, and duels. She's been shot at, shot down, and just plain shot, had starships blown out from under her, and made personal enemies who will stop at nothing to ruin her, and somehow she's survived it all. But this time she's really in trouble. The People's Republic of Haven has finally found an admiral who can win battles, and Honor's orders take her straight into an ambush. Outnumbered, outgunned, and unable to run, she has just two options: see the people under her command die in a hopeless, futile battle ... or surrender them - and herself - to the Peeps. There can be only one choice, and at least the People's Navy promises to treat their prisoners honorably. But the Navy is overruled by the political authorities, and Honor finds herself bound for a prison planet aptly named "Hell" ... and her scheduled execution. Put into solitary confinement, separated from her officers and her treecat Nimitz, and subjected to systematic humiliation by her gaolers, Honor's future has become both bleak and short. Yet bad as things look, they're about to get worse ... for the Peeps.