After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting - egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis's declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time, King Cayleb of Charis, his queen Sharleyan, and Merlin Arthawes will have their hands full trying to stave off wholesale starvation in Siddermark while at the same time shipping in enough land combat units to fend off the "volunteers" from the Church's Temple Lands. And while Vicar Clyntahn is hailed in the Church for his boldness and audacity, there are those who remember how dependent Church power is on money from Siddermark...and who wonder what will happen if Siddermark starves.
Bursting with vivid invention and the sweep of lived history, Midst Toil and Tribulation will build its series' audience to a new level.
©2012 David Weber (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
Well if you're a fan of the series, You should get it, but if you compare to previous 5 books, you may notice considerable drop in quality.
And the new narrator doesn't help the situation.
Narrator mispronounces many of the names and places. He gets all worked up in parts of the story that do not require it. I love this series and will buy the Ebook to finish it. the previous narrator was quite good, no reason to change. Good luck to you if you can stand him.
I’ve been waiting for this installment of the Safehold series. I’ve been holding on to 2 credits for a month! As soon as it popped up I down loaded. The narrator is energetic, BUT I truly wish that the producers had stayed with the same narrator as the previous installment. If nothing else, the new narrator should listen to the previous story so that the pronunciations of names, places and objects are the same as the previous 5 books. Kevin Collins did not take the time to listen to the previous books in the series. It is obvious from the first 5 minutes that he is not a fan of the series but a guy doing a job. If I had not heard the other 5 books, it would have been an acceptable or better performance. But as I have heard the other books, the performance was avoidable horrible.
One other thought, If the producers of this book let this narration out in this condition, what respect do they have to the author or to the consumers of the product?
I see that nearly every reviewer has complained about the narrator. I too have complaints about him. It’s bad enough that he didn’t familiarize himself with the pronunciations of names and places in the previous books. But he also mispronounced English words. The most jarring one for me was “demesne”, which is used several times. He pronounced it dih-mez-nay. The correct pronunciation, which anyone can hear for free from Dictionary dot com, is dih-meyn.
However, I don’t care to put all the blame on poor Kevin Collins. He should have had a team to help him. I put more blame on David Weber and Macmillan Audio. I recently read a blog post by Lois McMaster Bujold in which she mentioned that she had just gotten off the phone with Grover Gardner who narrates her Vorkosigan series books. They talk before each new book so that he knows how she wants things pronounced. Why didn’t Weber/Macmillan do that? It seems like it would be so simple and easy. The fact that they don’t bother to do it, and don’t bother to create some continuity in narrators, seems to indicate that they don’t care about us, the listeners.
I have another gripe that seems to stem from the same disregard for those of us who purchase our books in either the Kindle or the Audible form: MAPS. In the front of each hard cover copy of the book, there are maps. If you can’t follow the action of the story on a map, much is lost in these books. Events are occurring in many places that are far apart from one another. That is why the maps are there for hard copy readers. But WE are left out in the cold. I have seen, on the main page for some Audible books, a notice telling the listener a web address they can access in order to see tables or photos that are in the print book. It seems like it would be so simple for Macmillan or Weber to post the maps for this book online, but they didn’t bother.
It makes me angry and sad.
Now to the story itself: I don’t know. I felt sort of depressed, angry, repulsed throughout the book. Some of it was because of the map thing and the narrator thing. But some of it was from all the torture and hatred. At least Weber didn’t go into the details of the torture in this book like he did in the last one, but it gets mentioned on practically every third page. All that hate just didn’t make for a fun read.
And some of it was a sense of hopelessness that this story will ever go anywhere and accomplish anything. As I finished the first book, I naively expected the second book in the series to take place some hundreds of years in the future after the changes Merlin had set into motion had time to mature and change the society. But no, each book seems to give us the events of a single year, and still it seems that it will take hundreds of years for the necessary changes to take place. I won’t be around for hundreds of books in this series, and neither will Mr. Weber. Will his descendants hire ghost writers to finish the series for him? If so, I won’t be reading them.
Well, I’ve got to stop. If you have read and liked the previous books in this series, you probably want to read this one too. Just don’t get your hopes up too much.
I agree with other reviewers that the quality of narration is way below that of previous volumes in the series. I generally like the story but Weber is way too wordy and his lengthy descriptions impair story flow. You have to be a dedicated Weber fan to wade through these massive books. After six volumes, we seem to have progressed only through 5-6 years of story. As Safehold is still only in the early stages of industrialization, it's going to take a long time for the planet to progress to interstellar capability at the present rate of progress. I know I'm not alone in urging the author to tighten up the stories and move towards a conclusion. I'm older than Weber and would like to see the story concluded sometime during my lifetime and his.
The storyline is well done, but I cant help but wonder if we will ever get to the Gbaba at this rate. Also the narration was terrible I know many people found the last book less than satisfactory but compared to this fellow the last books was great. It seems he hasn’t gone back over the previous novels and heard how previous narrators have pronounced the various name and place's.
I am going to get the ebook as I like the series very much. But I cannot honestly judge this book until I do Read it. Bad Bad Bad narration.
NO! I could not listen for more then 20 minutes. I have deleted the audio files from my computer it was so bad. It was very over emotional, over acted and over the top. Excellent way to ruin a story. As to calling it a performance? Well I guess you have to call it something. The guy is no storyteller!
I am one hour into it and and not enjoying anything about the monotone reading with words and names pronounced completely opposite previous narrations...
Can we PLEASE bring back Oliver Wyman now?!
Not unless he is the only reader in a series. He obviously didn't bother to listen to previous books to pick up consistent pronunciation and accents.
A horrible narrator for a good book. I thought the narrator for How Firm A Foundation (Charles Keeting) was a poor choice but by comparison to Mr. Collins, Mr. Keeting turned in a virtuiso performance. How I wish I had listened to the preview before waisting a credit on this HORRIBLE revording.
I have listened to and enjoyed all the other Safehold books but this will be the last. I will stick strictly to print fot the remainder of the books Mr. Weber writes in this series.
The performance is so poor that I am sorry to say that I can only give this 1 star overall. The performance simply runis a wonderful book.
My enjoyment of this book was marred by the narration, Mr. Collins obviously did not bother to listen to any of the previous books in the series and as a result pronounced both place names and proper names differently than the previous narrators. This introduced a repeated jarring note into the narration. An example is the name Nimue. I have always heard it pronounced Ni-mue, Mr. Collins read it as Nim-u-e, I don't know which is correct, but in the previous 5 books of the series and in the books on Arthur that I have listened to it has always been pronounced Ni-mue. This is just one of the many pronunciations that was changed.
The book itself was the best of at least the last three books in the series
No, unless it was unavoidable. If Mr. Collins is picking up a series that has already started I strongly suggest that he listen to the previous books in that series or at least ask the author for the preferred pronunciation.
No- Way to long for that
The narration is dreadful, mispronounced words like PICA i can accept, Michael i can't, combined with the narrator's natural sibilant hiss, makes a great story a terrible experience!
"Great Book, awful narration"
As the previous reviewer states, if you've got this far with the series, you'll know what to expect, but sadly, the narration is dreadful. Overly dramatic, at least in the beginning, though he does settle down a bit eventually. Characterisation is poor, it is sometimes very difficult to differentiate between which character is speaking. And as for his pronounciation! Words such as desmesne or adjutant or even Charis are pronounced very oddly and it grates on the ear, causing this listener at least, to lose track of the story line while I mentally correct him. Such a pity.
"4 for the story, 2 for the narrator"
If you've made it this far into the Safehold series then you'll already be familiar with the author's strengths and weaknesses. My comment is reserved for the narrator who I found to be overly dramatic. The narrator would have been fine for a dramatisation but I found his over dramatic style to constantly drag me out of the story.
As ever a great story by an excellent author, my only criticism of the book itself is that it has a tendency to drift off into philosophical musings that can be a tad boring at times. However that really is not a major issue and doesn't detract from an excellent book with lots of excitement and twists and turns. My major issue with the book is the narrator. Unless, like me, you have listened to all the books so far one after another without a break in between you many not notice some of the very poor continuity. Cayleb for instance has spoken with a sort of Australian accent, then an strange mixture of Irish/Scottish accent, a sort of English accent then generic American. But the biggest issue is with the narrator Kevin T Collins. There are two major issues. The first issue was the frenetic pace and overly dramatic tone which almost made me stop listening. It constantly sounded like he was building to an adventurous climax even with dry narrative. The other very irritating thing was the sudden change of the pronunciation of names. Michael became Mikael, Chisholm became Cheesehome amongst others. Please please please do not let this guy narrate the up and coming book 7 and who does, do us all a favour and listen to at least some of the other volumes so we have some continuity of pronunciation and accent.
"No Toil or Tribulation in this listen"
I have really enjoyed this series. A pleasant easy going SciFi Fantasy epic going no where in particular, but still very enjoyable and so easy to listen to. I saw one comment from someone else about the poor narration - but I thought it was pretty easy on the ears myself. This is just such good quality escapism and I always look forward to the next one in the series coming along. I am amazed how prolific DW is, but I am not complaining. I am watching for the next one from DW.
"a genuine toil"
I have loved this series until the last book, the change of narrator then spoilt the experience for me the change in the way names were pronounced etc was annoying but the sorry still held me. Now a new book yet another narrator and this time, dam is the writing annoying, Mr Weber has aways made his good guys too good and bad guys far too bad. At least until just before they change sides then they become the new better than good guys. i can live with that, but do we really need the tedious droning on about how good and just the emperor and empress are, it seems every time they are bought back into the story some one has to pontificate for half of the chapter about how good they are how fair they are and just how much in love they are, its taking up so much of the book i find myself shouting at my iPod ( or i suppose Mr Weber ) YES I KNOW THEY ARE THIS IS BOOK 6 YOU HAVE TOLD ME ALREADY PLEASE GET ON WITH IT
In my opinion the few months in the stories history this book covers could have been covered in the 1st 2 chapters of a much tighter more exiting book, one that actually moved the plot along, what worries me the most is that if this is the new rate in which the story is moving along I along with the rest of Mr Webers readership will be long dead before the final book is finished.
As for the narrator Mr Collins, I have to agree with a lot of the other comments his style is to over dramatise every sentence hasn't made this book any more bearable.
A Tip: if your taking over the narration of a book listen to the past narrators you don't need to copy his accents or style after all we are all used to a new actor taking over a roll in a film, but please get the way names are pronounced consistent. when you read a book yourself it doesn't matter to much if the way i say a name isn't the same as everyone else does, but when being read to its important that this part is consistent
Kevin T Collins sounds as if he is about to burst into tears every moment. In the beginning I thought it might be just him describing the horrible details of religious fighting but his tone never changes after that . Really disappointed.
"The title sums up the readers' experience!"
As already said - if you've read this far then you know what you are in for and presumably you are willing to forgive the style of the writing (and narration) because the actual premise and story is intriguing.
This is turning into something of a trial for the fan - and believe me when I say you HAVE to be a fan to come this far. But what you get from this saga is a smashing 'what if?' senario with a lot of historical drama and invention thrown in. It is something of a history of military technological development through the 16th century onwards and how - given the ability - 'you' might influence that development if you had the power...
Of course the power is in the hands of the writer, but none the less it's fascinating to speculate on which military innovation will be introduced next as the Charisian Empire attempts to overcome the powerful Church of God Awaiting.
The writing is full of idiosyncrasies - dialogue that is completely out of place given the periods concerned, annoying characters that just get away of the narrative and a unreasonable obsession with sailing ship terminology. Luckily these books are long enough to soak up the amount of skipping forward you will be doing...
In the end you feel you are doing some of the copy editing that someone at the publishers should have done in the first place!
...And yet, in the end once you are hooked you are really hooked and willing to overlook the obvious flaws in these books.
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