Took me a while to get used to Culp's characterizations... but I like them now. They feel natural.
With so many bad reviews complaining that this one is slow and plodding, I was expecting to be disappointed. Instead, I find this one the best book so far. Perhaps all those bad reviewers were looking for more of an action novel, but the depth of intrigue and complex interdependencies make this one *very* engaging.
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
Maybe it was the anticipation and knowing there will be a long wait for the next installment, but this one failed to meet the high standard of the first three books in the Safehold Series. There might be 5 hours of essential interesting content in this 35 hour epic.
I've listened to the other three books twice and started to do the same with this one but I simply can't get through it all again. Aside from Merlin's first unilateral move without consulting his friends Caleb, Charlyan, & the head of the Church of Charis and the escape from the Temple Lands by the families of the circle - there isn't much action that adds to the effort.
I hope Weber lives long enough to complete the series but at this rate it will take many years and I'm not sure I'll be around long enough to enjoy the finale.
On the strength of some of his other work, I purchased this audio book and all I can say is that the narrator Jason Culp is to be commended for reading page after page of drivel non-stop. To say that this book lacks a cohesive story is an understatement. I thought Ben Bova obscure when he would take a half paragraph describe the protagonist's blazer buttons, but this book is just brutal in its inane details. This book must be over 1000 pages and it has little enough actual story to fill a Sci-Fi comic book.
Do not waste your money or worse, your time on this one.
At least half of this book is focused with minute and boring detail on the Temple Lands. I miss Oliver Wyman's performance. Just crank the play speed to 2x through non-Merlin chapters or skip them altogether. You will get the summary when the main characters talk about what happens. I enjoyed how this series started and I like the premise, but right now it is a mind numbing trudge through story lines that hold zero interest to me.
I can't get enough of these books. The naval battles in this one were great.
Well written, but clearly a "middle book" of a large series.
Good guys starting to seem invincible. There isn't any doubt about who is going to win, and it feels a little like we're killing time until that certain victory.
I enjoy the detailed political intrigue and political philosophizing. I am not in a hurry to get to the Gbaba and to the end of the story. Sure there is some repetitive use of terms and phrases that become a bit funny - descriptions like sardonically, serenely and crooked smiles are WAY over used. But that didn't stop me from enjoying a complex story with lots of interesting reflections, along with some of the very best and very worst of human behavior despite the efforts of Langhorn and gang.