In Oregon's Willamette Valley, former pilot Michael Havel's Bearkillers are warriors of renown. Their closest ally, the mystical Clan MacKenzie, is led by Wiccan folksinger Juniper MacKenzie. Their leadership has saved countless lives.
But not every leader has altruistic aspirations. Norman Arminger, medieval scholar, rules the Protectorate. He has enslaved civilians, built an army, and spread his forces from Portland through most of western Washington State. Now he wants the Willamette Valley farmland, and he's willing to wage war to conquer it.
Unknown to both factions, however, is the imminent arrival of a ship from Tasmania bearing British soldiers.
©2005 S. M. Sterling; (P)2008 Tantor
"Stirling's blending of fiction and history produces a strange, hybrid civilization, in which the confrontation between warlord and mystic is viscerally satisfying." (Booklist)
"Readers who relish a battle between the forces of light and darkness...are in for a rousing good time." (Science Fiction Weekly)
If you liked the first book in the series then you will most likely enjoy this second book. If you felt it was so-so then perhaps you might want to skip this series and move to something else; I found it took some determination to get through parts of this book.
One of my pet peeves in any story is repetion of descriptive words, especially when there is a large supply of other words or phrases that could be used. In the first book it seemed every arrow fired and swipe of a sword resulted in "cloven air" or "this cum that" (bookstore cum coffee shop etc.) to explain dual purpose places or things. Thankfully he used a few different ways to describe things here and there.
A great deal of story time has passed between the first book and this one and I wondered if I had picked the third book and not the second, but this is indeed the second. The gap made me wonder what had happened in the story years between. It is as if this book is just a highlight worth noting in the lives of the characters. It isn't a bad thing because listening to day to day and uneventful routines would be quite dull.
At a few points in the story it was hard to determine where or when events were taking place; there was a lengthy flashback (yes flashbacks can be tricky I know) that left me wondering what I had missed is just one example.
The narrator is apparently quite accomplished and that fact leaves me wondering why he tends to repeatedly mispronounce words or if the author has spelled the words this way in the text (teeth bared in great effort pronounced as barred). Either way it the same as fingernails on a chalkbaord. Nobody is perfect of course, that aside, he does a good job with character accents and sound effects (woosh, screech, and so on).
The story is interesting enough to keep me listening, at least through the next book.
Say something about yourself!
Dies the Fire was interesting and the clichés were newish then but by the time I've heard them this many times and there've been this many coincidences, this much incredible luck, and so many implausibilies beyond the fundamental Alien Space Bat implausibility of the disappearance of explosives/guns, internal combustion and electricity, I'm just plum tired of it. BTW, I'm surprised there isn't more use of hydraulic technology.
I like Todd McLaren's voice and his acting is good but some accents are off -don't try if you can't do them- and every ~20 pages or so there is a jarring mispronunciation. The persistent corzman/corzmen for corpsman for example is particularly grating. Okay, Obama said it this way once but multiple times in multiple books?
I think if I had known how marginal this was, I would not have gone beyond Dies the Fire but now I'm committed and my Virgo nature prohibits simply Googling the plot to find out what happens.
The story is good and the reader does a decent job. He can do enough accents and the like to make you feel the different characters. However, some of his accents are off enough for a main character or two that it throw things off.
The war between the Protectorate and the rest of the other factions finally comes to a head and Mike Havel and Norman Arminger finally settle their scores.
Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.
If you've read my review for Stirling's first novel in the series, "Dies The Fire," you know I enjoyed it immensely, and rated it highly. Actually, I've read much of the series, and am continuing to enjoy the experience.
That being said...
This is the biggest challenge to get to those great reads - Get through this second book in the series. It's slower, a bit less action, and a LOT of explaining and establishing "future history," as well as religious changes and beliefs. Whew, a bit challenging, to say the very least. Still, a good (and necessary) read, if you want to get to the better work in the series.
Now, you may read the other reviews regarding this audiobook, and they're not exactly loaded with high praise for its slower speed and detailed lore. That being said, realize that the author is setting up quite a universe for what's coming. Look at the Dune series of books, and the extreme amount of establishment that occurred. MUCH more than this work, but it paid off.
It will do so here, as well.
So, if you like a good audiobook series as much as I do, and know that there will be a book or two that sacrifice "edge of your seat" listening/reading so that subsequent works in the series can soar, dive in and get lost in the lore of what's coming.
You'll need it for the excellent listening that's on the way!
I really enjoyed "Dies the Fire" so listening to the second book was a must. Once again SM Sterling captured my attention and I was glad to follow more of the story. I love a book that once you are finished, you find you miss the characters and wonder what they are up to! I am officially hooked! I have already ordered "Meeting at Corvallas".
I tried. I really did to listen to this one but it just drug on and on with the god of this and the god of that being prayed to. Basically the character Juniper McKenzie ruined this one for me. I really wish SM Stirling had not put so much emphasis on this character and her role in this new world. If I could just edit her out I would give this one four stars. So no, I couldn't finish this one. As much as I tried and wanted to I just couldn't do it.
Protectors war is the second in the series by S. M. Stirling and it continues the great story that Dies the Fire began. 5 stars to Performance, and 4 to story, simply because it is a little different then what I usually read and I found a few parts to be a little strange. But 5 overall stars because it is a great book that I would highly recommend.
This is the second of the change novels I have read and I must say I am hooked. I'm really taken by the way the author weaves in all aspects of life in this rebuilding world from sociology and religion to politics and technology (or lack thereof). All of these things bring pressures that have an effect on the progression of the plot. I like how characters that were adults before the change have different perspectives and attitudes than those that were very young or not born until after and how people adjusted and value different things based on the priorities of the times and of the setting. I gave it a four overall mostly because I was a bigger fan of "Dies by fire", and I think this work falls short of that one, but that could be because this book is further along in the timeline and lacks the raw struggle for survival that seemed to be everywhere in the last installment.
The narration is excellent as well and I'll be looking for more work done by Mr. McLaren.
I think if you remeber that this is a fantasy or sci-fi book and not a real world fiction then you'll be okay with the odd bits of the book/series.
for instance, now 3 random brits make it to the states on a Tazmania ship looking for MWD. man thats a bit of stretch (but not for a work of fiction... hey its fiction). What ever, they got there. Get over it.
there is the standard writer repetition but maybe less than normal.
i actually like this narrator a lot too. sure no one pronounces things the way we want them to all the time, but so what. Also, later in the book some acents are explained. But what ever... he has to pull off an obseen number of voices.
I'm liking the series a lot
Report Inappropriate Content