At the Sign of Triumph: David Weber's New York Times best-selling Safehold series began with Off Armageddon Reef, By Schism Rent Asunder, By Heresies Distressed, A Mighty Fortress, and How Firm a Foundation.
The Church of God Awaiting's triumph over Charis was inevitable. Despite its prosperity, the Charis was a single, small island realm. It boasted less than two percent of the total population of Safehold. How could it possibly resist total destruction? The Church had every reason to be confident of a swift, crushing victory, an object lesson to other rebels.
But Charis had something far more powerful than simple numbers. It had a king, a crown prince, and a navy prepared to die where they stood in its defense. It had the Brethren of Saint Zherneau, who knew the truth about Safehold's founding. Who knew that the Church of God Awaiting was a monstrous lie. And it had Merlin Athrawes, last survivor of long-vanished Earth. Merlin, the cybernetic avatar of a woman dead over 1,000 years, who was determined to break the Church's grip upon the human mind and soul.
So after eight years of war, it is not Charis but the Church that stands upon the brink of defeat. But the Church still commands immense resources, and - faced with the unthinkable - it's decided that it, too, must embrace the forbidden technology which has carried Charis so far.
In the end, it is simple, for only one can survive. The lines are drawn, the navies and armies have been raised, and all of Safehold is poised for the final battle between those who believe in freedom and those who would crush it forever.
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Wearily limping to a finish
For the grand finale the book seemed tired, drawn out in most places and rushed in others.Characters that appeared in previous books aren't even present now while new characters we won't see after a given chapter get excessive wordage that adds nothing and makes me not care any more about them then before.
The author continues with excessive detail that, for me at least, does not add anything to the story.
A major side plot that was start a book or two ago was hurriedly wrapped up in this book and the excessive use of the Duex Ex Machina of the Sejin helped it along. For all of the value it added to the story the author could simply have kept to his "tell not show" style and told us all about it rather then waste several pages detailing what was telegraphed well beforehand.
I suppose my biggest issue conti8nues to be that this is sold as "science fiction" when really it's historical military fiction or perhaps "alternative fiction". The occasional advanced technological device and "name drift" does not a science fiction book make.
Certainly nothing from the author. After wading through his Honor Harrington Series and then the Safehold series I've decided to give up on Mr. Weber and look for higher quality writers.
I enjoyed Oliver Wyman's performances and he's as good as ever and manages to keep the character's outlandish names straight from book to book. If Oliver Wyman had not been the narrator I would likely not ahve bought this book.
Disappointment and sense of relief that the series I'd wasted time and money on was fianlly at the "end". I know this is supposed to only be the end book of the "first arc" but I won't be continuing it. I started the series thinking it would be "Science Fiction" and it was simply a cover for the author's true passion of historical naval warfare and a way for him to expound upon his own religious views.
Author's should "show" rather then "tell". Sadly Mr. Weber seems incapable of this action, not surprising given the hundreds of characters he insists on filling his books with. Mr. Weber insists on telling us that character X is the best at Y but he never demonstrates how X is the best at Y. Even if character X is good at Y he's most likely to die if he's on the "bad" side even if skill/trait "Y" should have kept him alive.
Another consequence of having so many minor/one-off characters is that they all sound the same at times. The "What's That?"/"What's what?" is one example.
Wow wow wow