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 love David Weber and this series specially. I can't imagine the amount of research done to present such detail in so many areas and I would really like to see by what magic Weber is able to keep all the characters and relationships so clear. However, going from the second book to the third the narrator, Jason Culp, is completely unable to follow the previous narrator who did a great job. In the last book an important secondary character had a very strong almost Irish accent and in this book the primary character has the accent and a couple of characters sound like vampires. I think Culp should have read the previous books so he could have maintained some even little bit of continuity.
Writer uses the same phrases so often it starts to get annoying. The change of narrator was also irksom as the whole dialect changed and Merlin's voice changes through out the performance being deep and smooth, then higher and less remarkable, it confused me more than once.I like the bed rock of the story, but the writer fell into too many standard writing traps...the editor should be shot
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