So here are my guesses as to what's going to happen in the rest of this book and in the next one:
I was really pissed by the ending of the previous book. Everyone getting killed was sad, High Ridge taking over the government and declaring a truce with Haven was appalling however.
Both from the back of the book and the foreshadowing so far it's clear that the truce isn't going to last much longer however. I expect that whether by Andermani design or some kind of mutual foul-up that Honor will end up in a shooting war with them at Sidemore Station. The rather weak forces she got sent out there with will be totally outclassed and in the process of getting their asses handed to them when the "Protector's Own" force which is oh-so-conveniently making its secret way out to meet her will show up just in time to save the day.
Meanwhile they'll finally figure out where the seventh wormhole nexus at Manticore goes, and it will turn out to be of critical importance. Something of either great strategic or economic value (either short term or long term.) I'm not sure where that would be though, they already have a wormhole into Solarian space, and they already have one into Haven space. Perhaps right next to Sol or the Haven homeworld? Perhaps into Silesia space? (But the Andermani wormhole is already pretty close to there...) Perhaps to some very long range wormhole out to some well developed area on the other side of the Solarian league? Perhaps further out into frontier to some area that isn't settled at all but has some huge potential economic value?
Whatever it is, this windfall will be one of the last straws pushing the Havenites over into resuming hostilities, presumably due to stupid senator guy. Whether he'll manage this politically or through another coup i'm not sure, but i'm really hoping for the former. The new Havenite ships will hand the Manticoran's asses to them, with the Grayson's either unable to come to their aid or getting their asses handed to them as well.
That's probably around the point where the first book will end. Now that the Manticore fleet is in shambles the Andermani Empire will back off again, for the same reasons they did before. Honor will (once again) have a huge amount of political clout, having successfully defended Sidemore station while the rest of the fleet was busy getting destroyed. The Graysons will probably be riding pretty high on popular opinion too. I expect the High Ridge government to go down, but i'm not sure if it will be at the end of this book or sometime in the next one, and i'm not sure if it will be through some legal loophole (a vote of no confidence or something like that?) or something more messy.
A quick glance at the back of the next book revealed something about "can they achieve victory at last, and will the price be more than any of them is prepared to pay?" or some such stereotypical back cover drama speak. I don't think Manticore is going to end up losing (though i wouldn't put it _entirely_ past David Weber) but the question _is_ what margin of victory they will achieve and at what cost. I expect by the end they'll be in position to achieve a large permanent federation in the area. That's part of why i'm sure High Ridge and his cronies will be out on their ear, because that wouldn't be politically possible with them still in charge. I am hoping that whatever remnant of Haven is still left at the end at least gets to keep its new improved government.
I'm not sure how Manticore is going to achieve its victory. Presumably through the leadership of Honor and possibly White Haven obviously. Whether they're going to have to take time to build up the fleet again and/or discover some new technology or get some more allies on their side to create a larger fleet i don't know. Or possibly if the seventh wormhole nexus doesn't contribute to starting the war perhaps it will lead to somewhere near the Haven homeworld and allow for a quick decapitation strike or something like that.
Character-wise the obvious way to wrap things up would be to have Honor die. We've already been through that once already though, and i'm not sure if that makes it more or less likely. "We can't do that, that would be a boring repeat," or "Ha! They'll never expect me to kill her _again_!" I suppose the next "best" way would be to kill off White Haven. That would certainly give Honor pleanty of motivation for grinding Haven into the dust. Huh, you know, that's the first time i ever noticed the repeat between "White Haven" and "Republic of Haven." Anyways, if he were really evil he'd kill off Emily and then get rid of White Haven right before or right after he and Honor had the chance to form a relationship. And after him would probably be the queen or the protector of Grayson. Then her parents i guess. Or Nimitz of course. After that there's a whole slew of friends that could be taken out. And of course it could be more than one of the above.
Okay, that's about the best i can guess from this point. Now back to reading :)