Grayson men are very protective of their wives and daughters and would never allow them to serve in any military capacity, so they are shocked and appalled by Honor's high position in her space navy. The officers in Grayson's navy treat her and other female officers rather shabbily, and she decides to leave the system long enough to escort a convoy of Manticoran freighters to another star system.
While she is gone the remaining Manticoran forces and Grayson's orbital defenses are attacked by Masada's forces and their PRH advisors. Masada is a planet in the same star system where a radical splinter faction lives which is dedicated to totally destroying their "apostate" brethren on Grayson. The ensuing battle kills the head of the diplomatic mission, formal admiral Raoul Courvoisier, who has been one of Honor's mentors for a good many years.
The real "meat" of the story involves Honor's return to Grayson, her reaction to the crisis, and her rather novel problem solving approach. Once again, Weber delivers another fast-paced, fun space operatic adventure.