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Publisher's Summary

Young Cayleb Ahrmahk has accomplished things few people could even dream of. Not yet even thirty years old, he’s won the most crushing naval victories in human history. He’s smashed a hostile alliance of no less than five princedoms and won the hand of the beautiful young Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm. Cayleb and Sharleyan have created the Charisian Empire, the greatest naval power in the history of Safehold, and they’ve turned Charis into a place of refuge for all who treasure freedom.
Their success may prove short-lived. The Church of God Awaiting, which controls most of Safehold, has decreed their destruction. Mother Church’s entire purpose is to prevent the very things to which Charis is committed. Since the first attempt to crush the heretics failed, the Church has no choice but to adopt some of the hated Charisian innovations for themselves. Soon a mighty fleet will sail against Cayleb, destroying everything in its path.But there are still matters about which the Church knows nothing, including Cayleb and Sharleyan’s adviser, friend, and guardian— the mystic warrior-monk named Merlin Athrawes. Merlin knows all about battles against impossible odds, because he is in fact the cybernetic avatar of a young woman named Nimue Alban, who died a thousand years before. As Nimue, Merlin saw the entire Terran Federation go down in fire and slaughter at the hands of a foe it could not defeat. He knows that Safehold is the last human planet in existence, and that the stasis the Church was created to enforce will be the human race’s death sentence if it is allowed to stand.The juggernaut is rumbling down on Charis, but Merlin Athrawes and a handful of extraordinary human beings stand in its path. The Church is about to discover just how potent the power of human freedom truly is.
Listen to more in the Safehold series.
©2010 David Weber (P)2010 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Clayton Bunyard on 06-09-10

Not Weber's Best Work

I don't customarily write reviews, but I feel compelled to do so this time. This is far, far below Weber's normally outstanding work.

The characters spend way more time thinking, and far less time doing. The action scenes are pretty much non-existent. I'm not drawn in by the political side of Weber's works, but they are usually well balanced by scenes that move the plot forward or provide for some intense action. I can't remember more than about an hour of action within the entire 35+ hours.

In the end, this book is NOT worth the 2 credits. My recommendation is to hold off on picking this book up until/if the next book in the series arrives and you can see if that one improves. If the next book is better, you might just want to find an abridged version of this one or read a plot summary.

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14 of 16 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By David on 06-05-10

Too much blah blah blah

I really, really wanted to like this book, as I have been enjoying the series so far, and I like David Weber's work.

This book felt cobbled together from bursts of writing to an outline. Very repetitive descriptions, multiple times, of events from previous books (a simple prologue would be cleaner). A tiresome amount of weepy sentimentality over casualties in the warfare segment. Way too many characters with dialogue for exposition rather than action. When the action finally, finally happens... in the last 30 minutes... it is sketched over hastily with the emphasis on how tragic it all is.

Also, irritating amounts of errors in the sea battles where the Charisian ships are referred to as Doloran.

Really, it felt like the editors were in Tahiti on this one. A third of a book stretched out to 3 books length.

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13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Shaun on 07-10-17

Great story, miss the old narrator

A fine addition to the series, and finally getting used to the new narrators style, but miss the old ones range

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4 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 02-16-15

Too much detail not enough story

Would you listen to A Mighty Fortress again? Why?

not sure, Weber loves to lose himself in the detail, but sometimes, that can be too much when he starts hamming up the 'drama' scenes with endless repetitions of why the seijin does this, and why the emperor does that and how it breaks their hearts to do it. WE KNOW ALREADY!!!!!! Please, less of the over and over again and more STORY.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There's a few, but I also get fed up with them sometimes, because Weber went overboard with the repeat of why's and wherefores.

Did Jason Culp do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

He was ok, the female characters were a bit on the whiny side which p'd me off a bit, as most of them are very strong characters, in fact all of Weber's female protagonists are very strong and deserve better treatment out of male readers in general.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wish I'd read this rather than listened to it. When Weber waxes fantastic about design features and progress, I tend to skim, I can't do that with an audio book, and found I struggled to keep track when he harped on about why this gun is better than that gun. So yeah, my emotional reaction is frustration.

Any additional comments?

Weber has written better, and Tor needs to reign him in a bit, the story was getting lost in the detail and it could have been a shorter and more in depth story. That said, I'm invested now, and am looking forward to the conclusion, but in hardcopy so I can skim the irrelevant stuff.

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