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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

4.4 (1039 )
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Performance
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  •  
    C. Schreier 03-27-15
    C. Schreier 03-27-15
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    13
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    "review"

    pronunciation is different from earlier books. characters all sound very similar making story difficult to follow without close attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 02-26-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite so far"

    If you haven't read the first books, you need to stop reading this and get to book 1!

    Once again there is a new narrator. The one thing I don't like about him is that he mispronounces Merlin's last name. And HE correctly pronounces valet! Now that I have that out of my system...

    Even though Merlin has been the main "mover and shaker" in the story so far, he begins to take on a different role as more people are taken into the inner circle. Karlis' (the name of Cayleb's home)--I can't remember... innovations are growing by leaps and bounds. And Jaspar grows more crazy and escalates the Jihad.

    Although I am enjoying this story immensely, I do think it could do think it could with a hair cut!That being said, though, I am enjoying this book the best of what I've read so far. : )

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Warwick 02-20-15 Member Since 2012
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    12
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    "Narrator not good, but book ok"
    Would you listen to another book narrated by Charles Keating?

    No. You would think the narrator would at least listen to some of the previous book before narrating. It's annoying when the characters get new pronunciations of their names.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 02-02-15
    Andrew 02-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    23
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    "Good book, poor reader"
    Would you listen to How Firm a Foundation again? Why?

    The (ongoing) story is interesting, albeit more of an alternate history or even fantasy-with-scifi-trappings than scifi.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters are engaging, the world well-defined, and the the antagonists interesting rather than just purely and universally punching bags.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader seems to have only 2 voices: querulous old man, and cranky old man. Every character--including the women--seems to sound pretty much exactly the same.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the various publishers would make an effort to retain the same reader throughout a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Knox 11-07-14
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    "Learn the words"

    If you are going to narrate the fifth book in an ongoing series, find the pronunciation guide used by the previous reader(s). There's nothing more annoying than to suddenly have characters names and place names change how they are pronounced. Also, learn to do character voices. It really improves the quality of the reading. When all characters sound exactly the same, it's harder to tell who is speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA 10-30-14
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA 10-30-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
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    "Almost enough to break the habit"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Story line continues but the narration is woefully inadequate and the author's penchant to go on for hours explaining minutia regarding sails and early war ship terms is annoying and ad nothing to the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Story line is interesting with some rough parallels to the English Reformation, save the author's insistence on the unorthodox doctrine of "Free Will". When the story is not bogged down in displaying the author's (presumed) knowledge of ancient sail plans for galleons, the story line is fascinating. I find myself waiting for the next shoe to drop. Not always happy endings within the story, but hopefully there will be at the end (whenever that comes).


    What didn’t you like about Charles Keating’s performance?

    Listening to this narration was painful. While the British accent is enamored by us Yanks, the late Charles Keating's rendering, failed to differentiate characters adequately, changed pronunciation of names from the earlier versions, and even changed the little differentiation offered between chapters. One character's voice in one chapter was different in the next.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration and overbearing details of sail plans and shipboard workings may almost break my addiction to the series before I get to the next book. That would be a shame since I would like to know where the story line goes, but the painful narrator, if used again, and the hours of describing only what the author may know about is wearing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 08-08-14
    John 08-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Narrative Discontinuity Disappoints"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I like the series, but it seems to be bogging down with plodding detail. The narration is very disappointing.


    What didn’t you like about Charles Keating’s performance?

    There is no attempt by Keating to even come close to the character voices we grew accustomed to in the first 4 performances. There so very little differentiation in voice between characters that listening is tiring. I'd rather be reading, especially for the price!


    Do you think How Firm a Foundation needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Please no follow up book with Keating. Bring back book 4's reader please!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.Dale 06-18-14
    C.Dale 06-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator is fine, stop your crying."
    What does Charles Keating bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I see all these complaints about the Narrator. While the switch in Narrators (again) is highly annoying Keating is not nearly so bad and people keep saying. It's a difference in British vs. American pronunciation. For example he pronounces Sharleyan as Shar-Lee-anne instead of Shar-lee-in etc.. I have no difficulty understanding what he says and in fact I think he would have been a fine Narrator for the entire series. The only thing I don't like about it is everybody typically sounds like they're ready for a nap.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Elmwood, IL, United States 06-08-14
    Kevin Elmwood, IL, United States 06-08-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Love the Narrator - I could listen to him all day."

    I'm on the Grind and have knocked out 5 books in two months. I'm really enjoying the story and not in small part to Mr. Keating's narration. The story is rich and you have to give Mr. Weber credit for doing his homework with regards to Naval terms. I am starting to get concerned that he is going to pull a Jordan on us and just pour out book after book without advancing us towards what should be an inevitable end. Even now he's starting to get a little mired down in the details.

    Still - Good Story, Good Depth, Good Narrator. He has kept my free time interesting.

    Thank you Mr. Weber.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Harrisburg, PA, United States 05-22-14
    Heather Harrisburg, PA, United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2016
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    "This is a good bedtime story..I'm so sleepy..."
    Would you try another book from David Weber and/or Charles Keating?

    I would read other David Weber books, but absolutely nothing by Charles Keating. His voice is so soothing it almost puts me to sleep.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance is just...BORING. The book itself isn't bad, but I want Oliver Wyman back! He made the early books interesting!


    Any additional comments?

    If you are desperately sold on the Safehold books, and MUST continue with the series, go ahead...but I personally am returning this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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