From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In the latest installment in the Safehold series (whose popularity seems to grow with every new novel), the fate of the newly liberated Republic of Siddermark see the previous book, How Firm a Foundation (2011) takes center stage. The republic is dying, its people starving, its social structure collapsing. This is bad news for the Charisian Empire, whose quest for independence from the Church of God Awaiting continues unabated (Charis is a naval power but not so strong on dry land), and for the Church itself, for whom the loss of Siddermark would mean the loss of a vital source of cash. If none of this makes a grain of sense to you, then this is probably not the place to begin reading the Safehold series (of which this is the sixth book). If, on the other hand, you're a Weber fan and there are a great many of them you'll already be lining up for this one. Weber's grand-scale storytelling is a big draw, as are his many parallels (some more subtle than others) to the terrestrial history of warfare and his ever-so-slightly-larger-than-life characters. Weber's rather more distracting habits continue, too: his tendency to use ordinary names with unorthodox spellings (Wahlys, Domynyk, Irys, Tympyltyn), and his assumption that readers are almost encyclopedically versed in the previous books in the series (a little more backstory and bringing-up-to-speed might help). But why mess with success? Weber's found a winning formula in the Safehold books, and it's difficult to imagine that his legion of fans will be anything less than thrilled.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist