Now the battle for the soul of the planet Safehold has begun.The Kingdom of Charis and the Kingdom of Chisholm have joined together, pledged to stand against the tyranny of a corrupt Church. The youthful Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm has wed King Cayleb of Charis, forging a single dynasty, a single empire, dedicated to the defense of human freedom. Crowned Empress of that empire, Sharleyan has found in Cayleb's arms the love she never dared hope for in a "marriage of state."
In Cayleb's cause, his defiance of the ruthless Group of Four who govern mother Church, she has found the task to which she can commit her mind and her courage. It is a cause for which she was born. Yet there are things Sharleyan still does not know. Secrets Cayleb has not been permitted to share, even with her. Secrets like the true story of humanity on Safehold. Like the intricate web of lies, deception, and fabricated "religion" which have chained humanity for almost a thousand years. Like the existence of the genocidal alien Gbaba, waiting to complete mankind's destruction should humans ever attract their attention once more. Like the existence of a young woman, Nimue Alban, nine hundred years dead, whose heart, mind, and memories live on within the android body of the warrior-monk she knows as Merlin. And so Empress Sharleyan faces the the great challenge of her life unaware of all that task truly entails...or of how the secrets the man who loves her cannot share may threaten all they have achieved between them... and her own life.
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©2009 David Weber; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
"The personalities and motivations of the numerous characters are particularly well drawn and credible, and Weber makes grand strategies and political machinations easily accessible to casual readers." (Publishers Weekly)
I really really hate it when they switch narrators part way through a series. It breaks the immersion for me and makes it hard to get into the story while you are trying to adjust to the completely different flow of dialogue. :(
This is a solid continuation of the story.
It is slow moving, but that was to be expected based off the previous books in the series. Slow stories are a trade-off; in exchange for the time spent, a good writer will leave you immersed in the world described- and give you an attachment to the characters not easily paralleled in more fast paced novels.
Mr Weber achieves all that and more; leaving you surprisingly invested in the story and characters.
If you have the time to invest, I do not think you will be disappointed.
On to narration.
Jason Culp is disappointing as the storyteller. Taken singly, his performance in this book isn't terrible, but it is clear he did no preparation. Changing narrators mid-series is nearly always a bad idea, but his absolute refusal to pay attention to the accents ascribed to the characters by the previous narrator turned a bad situation far worse; leaving me often mistaking characters for each other.
Author tends to go into minute details and will often repeat the same details.
Narrator changed accents from previous books. In one instance he changed the gender of a character from how it was narrated in the previous two.
Boomer-type who loves science, especially physics and cosmology.
I really enjoyed Armageddon Reef and I think the characters, the world and its dilemmas that Weber has invented are compelling. The writing of novels 2 and 3 is not up to that of the first book, however. If the author mentions a character giving a "crooked smile" one more time, I'm going to scream. He must have used that phrase at least 100 times in this book alone. The new narrator's choice of voices is not up to the standards of the voices used by the narrator of the first two books. He obviously didn't listen to the first narrator at all. The story is still compelling, but the overall feel of this book is that Weber is sloppily cranking the rest of the series out.
Great Book, seamlessly continues the story . The story continues with the same quality, continuity, and cant put it down quality of the books before it in the series.
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