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By Heresies Distressed by David Weber
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Macmillan Audio Audio CD  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781427206794
Date: 07 July 2009 List Price $69.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Review of the book / Author's Website / Show Official Info /

P> This is the audio version of the latest novel set on the planet Safehold by Macmillan audio press. The Charisian Empire is taking the battle to the forces of Mother Church wherever the Navy can reach. The punitive expeditions will test new weapons and tactics. The Church leaders must decide how to react to the raids and to deal with potential betrayals within their own ranks.

Trying to do too much, Merlin misses a few things that could lead to the death of the queen and the end of the newly formed Charisian Empire. The secrecy that has been invoked related to Merlinís knowledge and origins play their role in creating the situation. Being thousands of miles away limits the interactions and creates problems, some of which could have been overcome with proper planning.

Technology advances are continuing. The gearing up of Safehold is a long slow process, but it should remain interesting. I look forward to manís return to the stars and the war that awaits. I expect the final scenes to be reminiscent of the opening of the first novel.

There are several points of view that are followed to give the readers a view from all of the major factions. The major points of view from the prior novels remain with the addition of a few others. One interesting subplot involves the church. The Church hierarchy is as corrupt as ever, but there may be hope for change from within. The few truly righteous are preparing to challenge the leaders and bring the church back to itsí intended path. Although a minor thread in this novel, it should grow in significance in forthcoming novels in the series.

I heartily recommend this book. Readers should plan to read the earlier two volumes in this series. Weber does the catch up reminders well, but to truly appreciate the characters and their interactions, the earlier books are necessary reads. There are additional sequels in the works. This is not an Honor Harrington book, but some of the same adventurous spirit is present.

This is a well read and exciting novel. The running time was perfect for a long road trip from DC to WI. I listened to the novel in two pieces half there and half on the return. The last CD ended just a mile from home. I couldn't have pick a better running time if I tried. The varying voices were well done and made the transition from one character and location to another seamless. It is the mark of a well read story when you get to the end of a CD and are amazed at the amount of time that has passed.

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