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How Firm a Foundation Audiobook
How Firm a Foundation
Written by: 
David Weber
Narrated by: 
Charles Keating
How Firm a Foundation Audiobook

How Firm a Foundation: Safehold Series, Book 5

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Publisher's Summary

The Charisian Empire, born in war, has always known it must fight for its very survival. What most of its subjects don’t know even now, however, is how much more it’s fighting for. Emperor Cayleb, Empress Sharleyan, Merlin Athrawes, and their innermost circle of most trusted advisers do know. And because they do, they know the penalty if they lose will be far worse than their own deaths and the destruction of all they know and love.

For five years, Charis has survived all the Church of God Awaiting and the corrupt men who control it have thrown at the island empire. The price has been high and paid in blood. Despite its chain of hard-fought naval victories, Charis is still on the defensive. It can hold its own at sea, but if it is to survive, it must defeat the Church upon its own ground. Yet how does it invade the mainland and take the war to a foe whose population outnumbers its own 15 to one? How does it prevent that massive opponent from rebuilding its fleets and attacking yet again?

Charis has no answer to those questions, but needs to find one… quickly. The Inquisition’s brutal torture and hideous executions are claiming more and more innocent lives. Its agents are fomenting rebellion against the only mainland realms sympathetic to Charis. Religious terrorists have been dispatched to wreak havoc against the Empire’s subjects. Assassins stalk the Emperor and Empress, their allies and advisers, and an innocent young boy, not yet 11 years old, whose father has already been murdered. And Merlin Athrawes, the cybernetic avatar of a young woman a thousand years dead, has finally learned what sleeps beneath the far-off Temple in the Church of God Awaiting’s city of Zion.

The men and women fighting for human freedom and tolerance have built a foundation for their struggle in the Empire of Charis with their own blood, but will that foundation be firm enough to survive?

Listen to more in the Safehold series.

©2011 David Weber (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1012 )
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  •  
    David Sharon, MA, United States 10-03-11
    David Sharon, MA, United States 10-03-11 Listener Since 2005

    mrhex

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    "Story proceeds well, narrator is VERY poor."

    I have been an avid fan of this series, but I was extremely disappointed with the narration of this episode. I would gladly by another copy if they could get Oliver Wyman back. After almost a hundred hours of previous story, this narrator did not even have the courtesy to listen to the previous volumes and learn the proper pronunciation of the names of the characters or places. It continually brought me up short while listening trying to figure out which of the previous characters/places this mispronunciation referred to. Also, unlike Mr. Wyman, there appeared to be no effort at the type of "vocal acting" I have come to expect from this series. To Mr. Keating credit, he is literate and there were almost no mispronounced words or stumbles as I have heard in other audio book. but the narration was totally uninspired.

    As for the story, it moves well in this epesode. This book did NOT drag nearly as much as "A Mighty Fortress". I tend to find the one to two hour descriptions of a single naval battle to be wearing after a while, and while I do appreciate the sense of the historic sequence of events representing the development of modern weaponry and tactics, some of the "battle sequences" are a little overlong and slow down the pacing and progress of the tale.

    As usual, the character development is superb. I really care about these characters and can't wait to visit them again in the next book.

    I also agree with the reader who was disenchanted with the requirement of two credits for this book. Please go back to the one credit/one book paradigm which I thought I was getting when I enrolled in Audible.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce United States 09-27-11
    Bruce United States 09-27-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Need to get another Reader"

    I have enjoyed the whole series and could not wait to get this book, then i started to listen. Mr. Keating is not the reader for this series. It seems he does not even try to do any different voices at all. Because of his monotone delivery I found myself falling asleep while listening to the book. I went out and bought the book to read instead of listening to the rest of the book what a waist of 2 credits. Please for the next book go back to the original reader.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Atlanta, Georgia 09-16-11
    Kindle Customer Atlanta, Georgia 09-16-11 Member Since 2013

    whiskeyjay

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enough Already"

    I am a devoted Weber-phile and have bought all of his books both in Hardcover and here on Audible. I even bought Out of the Dark which was awful. Here is why I said enough, This series has consumed 5 Books, 3000 pages, 150 hours of Audible, and it feels like we may be 1/2 way to the end. Enough already, it's time to end it. Also the current Narrator, Mr. Keating added nothing to the story, He obviously did not listen to the previous books and it showed in the continuity of the narration.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Columbia, SC, United States 09-24-11
    Kyle Columbia, SC, United States 09-24-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome Story, Horrible Narrator"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    I love all of Mr Weber's book. I love the idea that in the next book there maybe more Seijins. I would really love to see a woman maybe with Nimue Alban's appearance. I do love a strong woman character.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I just love learning, I really love the way the book layes out the evolution of objects. For example the pistol, Mr. Weber does a great job of explaining how the evolution of the pistol happen.

    He does the same with ships. I can really see why one innovation affects and forces innovation on another object. Example why the cannon and exploding shells for the innovation of metal ship.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    I like to think i have a logical mind, and i love love love to learn new things, but even more then that i love to know why things work and the way they do. The author is one of the best people i have every heard in the way of explaining concepts without a visual aid.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    OK this is the only thing i hated about this book, the narrator this Charles Keating is so monotone, in all the other book the narrators have inflection and emotion in there voice. If something exciting is happening the voice reflects that, if the character is mad the narrator sounds mad. This guy Charles Keating did not have any of that, i could not tell one character from another they all sound alike, and i could never get excited or into any part of the book because he was so flat.

    I would say i maybe a bet bias because I like the guy that started off the series so much more, and I am really in my head comparing the two. But I really think i would fell the same way no matter what book this guy reads. I do not normally give bad reviews of book but i could let this go unsaid. I love David Weber's book but if this would have been the first one I ever read I more then likely would never read another one.

    The Narrator reminded me of my College British Literature Professor that use to put me to sleep.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    the only reason i did not give this book 5 stars is because of the narrator. I feel bad for not giving a prefect grade to a author as talented as David Weber.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darrell Lakewood, CA, United States 03-02-12
    Darrell Lakewood, CA, United States 03-02-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "like the story, not the reader"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How Firm a Foundation to be better than the print version?

    I, have been hooked on the Safehold series sense the first book. It sometimes gets overly detailed, but that's what makes the stories so good. I also liked the reader in the first 4 books, but this reader is not very good. He sounds to old for the characters, and he reads too slow. I had to increase the read speed just to tolerate it.


    How could the performance have been better?

    If you had used the first reader or at the every least a younger one.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gerry Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada 05-15-14
    gerry Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada 05-15-14 Member Since 2014

    I read books, fix computers, read books, fix my truck, read books, enjoy time with my wife and kids, and I read books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "David Weber you can do better, have done better"

    David has taken the first two books in the Honor Harrington series and stretched it out to five books, so far, and at the rate things are going, they may never get off Safehold. It's like David Weber is telling the story in real time. I am so glad that I have read the Honor Harrington series first. If I had read these books first I probably would not buy another David Weber book and that would have been bad. I would have returned this book except Audible does not take book reviews from people who no longer have the book in their library.
    If you are the type of person who wants to know what it is like to ride over every rock in the road, then this series may be for you. If you want action then not so much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hans Makati City, Philippines 09-30-12
    Hans Makati City, Philippines 09-30-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Going downhill"

    The first few books of the Safehold series were fantastic -- I would sit in my car just to finish a chapter. How things have changed. Bad narration and slow story progression are killing the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 11-15-11
    Brian 11-15-11

    Brian is an avid reader. He is interested in great stories and human behavior. His job is as a behavioral specialist in public schools.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "David Weber has done it again!"

    This next installment in the Safehold series continues the well thought out universe that Weber has created. If you are thinking about enjoying an epic science fiction, this is a series you should listen to. If you enjoy the Horatio Hornblower series, but would love a sci-fi twist that also has a depth of character development that is superb, this is a series for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penelope JOHNSON CITY, NY, United States 10-31-11
    Penelope JOHNSON CITY, NY, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Not the right choice for narrator"

    Loved the story, hated the reader. I could never tell who was speaking, and the changed pronunciation of the characters' names was seriously annoying! A little consistency in this series would be much appreciated!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Bozeman Knoxville, Tennessee 09-28-11
    B. Bozeman Knoxville, Tennessee 09-28-11 Member Since 2016

    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enough Already Mr Weber"

    It's begging to feel like you are more interested in lining your pocket than moving this story along at any semblance of a reasonable pace and I am beginning to feel ripped off.
    I watched the Audible site in rapt anticipation for this 5th lengthy tome hoping to find it sooner and the anticipation was strung out for far too long. Now I wonder why I was so anxious to get back into this. I've listened to the first three installments twice and was satisfied enough with your lengthy descriptions of the most minute details about weapons and ships in the era pre-technology.
    Now you've killed off a couple of the most interesting characters - particularly Narmin and Manthyr in horrible circumstances while doing very little to shore up the Merlin advantage only to add Iris and Davin to the Charisian allies. What a gyp.
    Yes I will spend another two credits on one more installment and if it doesn't move along any faster than this 29 hour foot dragging chunk of muck I will be gone and disgusted. Get it together man.
    You evidently have too many irons in the fire with Mr Ringo and the Prince Rodger series to pay attention to your Safehold readers. I for one feel mistreated and taken advantage of...... Meh

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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