The world has changed. The mercantile kingdom of Charis has prevailed over the alliance designed to exterminate it. Armed with a multitude of small technological improvements - better sailing vessels, better guns, better devices of all sorts - Charis faced the combined navies of the rest of the world at Darcos Sound and Armageddon Reef, and broke them. Despite the implacable hostility of the Church of God Awaiting, Charis still stands, still free, still tolerant, still an island of innovation in a world in which the Church has worked for centuries to keep humanity locked at a medieval level of existence.
But the powerful men who run the Church aren't going to take their defeat lying down. Charis may control the world's seas, but it barely has an army worthy of the name. And as King Cayleb knows, far too much of the kingdom's recent good fortune is due to the secret manipulations of the being that calls himself Merlin - a being that, the world must not find out too soon, is more than human. A being whose very existence is the result of a centuries-ago final desperate roll of the dice. A being on whose shoulders rests the last chance for humanity's freedom.
Now, as Charis and its archbishop make the rift with Mother Church explicit, the storm gathers. Schism has come to the world of Safehold. Nothing will ever be the same.
Listen to more in the Safehold series.
©2008 David Weber; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
Let me begin by saying I enjoyed the book. I had read the 1st 3 books of the Safehold series and wanted to go back and go through the entire series in audio format. The story is just as good as I remembered it being, and the narration is good.
Here is my comment to Mr. Weber - chortles, laughs, smiles, snickers, cackles, crows, exults, guffaws, hee-haws, sniggers, titters, sniggles and teehee are also acceptable forms of laughter. One can laugh uproariously, gleefully or mirthfully. There are a tremendous number of different ways that people can respond other than by "chuckling." I did not notice the pattern until partway through Book 1 - Armageddon Reef. When I started reading By Schism Rent Asunder, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that the pattern would be continued. Sure enough, it has. By midway through Book 2 I find myself groaning audibly when someone inevitably "chuckles" - memorably twice in the same paragraph at one place.
My advice to those of you who find yourself becoming fixated on listening for the next instance of "chuckle" in the narration - Instead of being put off by it embrace it. Treat it like a drinking game. It is almost Pavlovian for me now. Chuckle, groan, chuckle, groan.
The orator really had a problem making the story come to life; at times, I felt he was reading me a bedtime story, lulling me to sleep. Additionally, the orator has very specific and jarring pronunciation of the lead character's name I almost didn't finish.
David uses his descriptive talents to make his readers truly understand what society would be like in a true schism. His heros are truly heroic. And his villains are truly vile. I imagine Martin Luthor wished for an angel with Merlin's talents.
The sea battles in the story line were excellent and well set up. Descriptions of the terrible carnage when your enemies broadside is well aimed worthy of Patrick O'Brien or Alexander Kent.
The talent of a narrator like Oliver Wyman makes you feel the emotions of the characters in a way reading just can't do.
When Merlin understood the full impact the schism may have on the safeholdians.
All the safehold books are stand alone stories but do read the entire series.
Great book carries on from were the last book end but not in the direction you always expect. I understand and like a good cliff hanger ending but this is a little much WERE IS THE NEXT BOOK PLEASE!!! What happens next!!!
This book is a tedious continuation of the story in Off Armageddon Reef. I can't tell if it is the story or the reader. The narrator speaks in a singsong more appropriate for a book aimed at young children. His accents are inconsistent and mostly narrow. His pauses are often too long. After enjoying the first book in this series, this one is a deep disappointment.
No introduction to the characters. I'm thinking this must be a part of a series and I got it in the middle. I cannot recommend this book because it is truly terrible!
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