Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold Series #6)

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Overview

The hotly anticpaited sixth volume in David Weber's New York Times bestselling Safehold series.

After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting—egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis's declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time. King ...

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Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold Series #6)

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Overview

The hotly anticpaited sixth volume in David Weber's New York Times bestselling Safehold series.

After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting—egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis's declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time. King Cayleb of Charis, his queen Sharleyan, and Merlin Arthawes will have their hands full trying to stave off wholesale starvation in Siddermark while at the same time shipping in enough land combat units to fend off the "volunteers" from the Church's Temple Lands. And while Vicar Clyntahn is hailed in the Church for his boldness and audacity, there are those who remember how dependent Church power is on money from Siddermark...and who wonder what will happen if Siddermark starves. 

Bursting with vivid invention and the sweep of lived history, Midst Toil and Tribulation will build its series' audience to a new level. 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The sixth volume of David Weber's action-packed Safehold series escalates as starvation threatens the battle-torn Republic of Siddermark. Enthusiasts of military sci-fi have found a reliable source in the works of this prolific, tech-savvy author. Bristles with invention and flux. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher
Praise for David Weber's Safehold Series

"Superb!"

Booklist, starred review, on By Schism Rent Asunder

"A brillant new saga... Its focus remains on the people who embody the strengths and weaknesses of a flawed but ever hopeful humanity. Highly recommended"

Library Journal, starred review, on By Schism Rent Asunder

"Like its predecessors in the Safehold series, the novel paints a vast, stunningly complex political and military tapestry, with wonderful battle scenes."

Kirkus Reviews on By Heresies Distressed

"Gripping...Shifting effortlessly between battles among warp-speed starships and among oar-powered galleys, Weber brings the political maneuvering, past and future technologies, and vigorous protagonists together for a cohesive, engrossing whole."

Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Off Armageddon Reef

"Vast, complex, intricate, subtle, and unlaydownable. This looks like the start of the biggest thing in science fiction since Isaac Asimov's  Foundation series."

—Dave Duncan on Off Armageddon Reef

"Effortlessly exceeds the magnificence of its predecessor...I cannot emphasize how much I want to read the next chapter in the Safehold saga."

—Fantasy Book Critic on By Schism Rent Asunder

"Fantastic in every sense of the word-the kind of book that makes you sit back and think about this reality that we call life. Who can ask for more than that?"

—R. A. Salvatore on Off Armageddon Reef

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781427226334
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Series: Safehold Series , #6
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 22
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 2.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Weber

DAVID WEBER is the author of the New York Times bestselling Honor Harrington series, the most recent of which was Mission of Honor.  He lives in South Carolina.

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Read an Excerpt

.I.

Gray Wall Mountains, Glacierheart Province, Republic of Siddarmark

 

Snow veils hung in the clear, icy air, dancing on the knife-edged wind that swirled across the snowpack, and the highest peaks, towering as much as a mile higher than his present position, cast blue shadows across the snow.

It looked firm and inviting to the unwary eye, that snowpack, but Wahlys Mahkhom had been born and raised in the Gray Walls. He knew better, and his eyes were hard and full of hate behind his smoked-glass snow goggles as his belly snarled resentfully. Accustomed as he was to winter weather even here in the Gray Walls, and despite his fur-trimmed parka and heavy mittens, he felt the ice settling into his bones and muscles. It needed only a momentary carelessness for a man to freeze to death in these mountains in winter, even at the best of times, and these were far from the best of times. The Glacierheart winter burned energy like one of Shan-wei’s own demons, and food was scarcer than Mahkhom could ever remember. Glacierheart’s high, stony mountainsides and rocky fields had never yielded bountiful crops, yet there’d always been at least something in the storehouses to be eked out by hunters like Mahkhom. But not this year. This year the storehouses had been burned—first by one side, then by the other in retaliation—and the fields, such as they were, were buried beneath the deepest, bitterest snow anyone could remember. It was as if God Himself was determined to punish innocent and guilty alike, and there were times—more times than he liked to admit—when Wahlys Mahkhom wondered if there would be anyone left alive to plant the next year’s crops.

His teeth wanted to chatter like some lowland dancer’s castanets, and he dragged the thick scarf his mother had knitted years ago higher. He laid the extra layer of insulation across the snow mask covering his face, and the hatred in his eyes turned harder and far, far colder than the winter about him as he touched that scarf and with it the memory of why his mother would never knit another.

He raised his head cautiously, looking critically about himself once more. But his companions were as mountain-wise as he was. They were just as well hidden under the white canopies of the sheets they’d brought with them, and he bared those edge-of-chattering teeth in hard, vengeful satisfaction. The snowshoe trek to their positions had been exhausting, especially for men who’d cut themselves dangerously short on rations for the trip. They knew better than that, of course, but how did a man take the food he really needed with him when he looked into the eyes of the starving child who would have to go without if he did? That was a question Wahlys Mahkhom couldn’t answer—not yet, at any rate—and he never wanted to be able to.

He settled back down, nestling into his hole in the snow, using the snow itself for insulation, watching the trail that crept through the mountains below him like a broken-backed serpent. They’d waited patiently for an entire day and a half, but if the target they anticipated failed to arrive soon, they’d be forced to abandon the mission. The thought woke a slow, savage furnace of fury within him to counterpoint the mountains’ icy cold, yet he made himself face it. He’d seen hate-fired determination and obstinacy kill too many men this bitter winter, and he refused to die stupidly. Not when he had so many men still to kill.

He didn’t know exactly what the temperature was, although Safehold had remarkably accurate thermometers, a gift of the archangels who’d created Mahkhom’s world. He didn’t have to know exactly. Nor did he have to know he was nine thousand feet above sea level on a planet with an axial inclination eleven degrees greater and an average temperature seven degrees lower than a world called Earth, of which he had never heard. All he had to know was that a few moments’ carelessness would be enough to—

His thoughts froze as a flicker of movement caught his eye. He watched, scarcely daring to breathe, as the flicker repeated itself. It was far away, hard to make out in the dimness of the steep-walled pass, but all the fury and anger within him had distilled itself suddenly into a still, calm watchfulness, focused and far colder than the mountains about him.

The movement drew closer, resolving itself into a long line of white-clad men, slogging along the trail on snowshoes like the ones buried beside Mahkhom’s hole in the snow. Half of them were bowed under heavy packs, and no less than six sleds drawn by snow lizards accompanied them. Mahkhom’s eyes glittered with satisfaction as he saw those sleds and realized their information had been accurate after all.

He didn’t bother to look around for the other men buried in the snow about him, or for the other men hidden in the dense stands of evergreens half a mile farther down that icy trail from his icy perch. He knew where they were, knew they were as ready and watchful as he himself. The careless ones, the rash ones, were already dead; those who remained had added hard-learned lessons to the hunter’s and trapper’s skills they’d already possessed. And like Mahkhom himself, his companions had too much killing to do to let themselves die foolishly.

No Glacierheart miner or trapper could afford one of the expensive Lowlander firearms. Even if they could have afforded the weapons themselves, powder and ball came dear. For that matter, even a steel-bowed arbalest was hideously expensive, over two full months’ income for a master coal miner, but a properly maintained arbalest lasted for generations. Mahkhom had inherited his from his father, and his father from his father, and a man could always make the ammunition he needed. Now he rolled over onto his back under his concealing sheet. He removed his over-mittens and braced the steel bow stave against his feet while his gloved hands cranked the windlass. He took his time, for there was no rush. It would take those men and those snow lizards the better part of a quarter hour to reach the designated point, and the mountain air was crystal clear. Better to take the time to span the weapon this way, however awkward it might be, then to risk skylining himself and warning his enemies of their peril.

He finished cranking, made sure the string was securely latched over the pawl, and detached the windlass. Then he rolled back over, setting a square-headed quarrel on the string. He brought the arbalest into position, gazing through the ring sight, watching and waiting, his heart as cold as the wind, while those marching figures crept closer and closer.

For a moment, far below the surface of his thoughts, a bit of the man he’d been only three or four months earlier stared aghast at what was about to happen here on this high, icy mountain trail. That tiny fragment of the Wahlys Mahkhom who still had a family knew that many of those men had families, as well. It knew those families were as desperate for the food on those lizard-drawn sleds as the families he’d left huddling around fires in the crudely built cabins and huts where they’d taken shelter when their villages were burned about their ears. It knew about the starvation, and the sickness, and the death that would stalk other women and other children when this day’s work was done. But none of the rest of him listened to that tiny, lost fragment, for it had work to do.

The center of that marching column of men reached the base of the single pine, standing alone and isolated as a perfect landmark, and under the ice- and frost-clotted snow mask protecting his face, Mahkhom’s smile was the snarl of a hunting slash lizard. He waited a single heartbeat longer, and then his hands squeezed the trigger and his arbalest spat a sunlight-gilded sliver of death through that crystal mountain air.

 

Copyright © 2012 by David Weber

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2012

    A downhill slide

    The first book of this series was intriguing enough to continue, but as the series progresses the plot-lines begin to stale and more and more it seems that the author is just filling pages. And this book in the series ends so abruptly, that it might well have been with an incomplete sentence. Authors need to realize that extending a series just to sell more books will, in the long run, hurt everyone.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    An awesome book as with the entire series. Its an in depth look

    An awesome book as with the entire series. Its an in depth look at the effects of corruption in places of power whether it be religous or secular power, mixed with a briefing on how gunpowder increasingly changed the rules of warfare and of society.
    well worth picking up

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Best series I have ever read, but long winded

    I love this series, but the last two books have been a little heavy on individual details and only brief spurts of action. I am real happy with the character development in light of the major losses of some beloved charaters in #4, Hecktor and Irys for two big examples. This book also only encompasses about 8 months or so, there was no real progress at getting to the Temple. As David has indicated in interviews there are 5, 6 or more books planned, I will buy them at pre-order release, no doubt and I will be sad to see the saga end, I do hope he gets on with a bit more progress at 'taking care' of Zhaspahr Clyntahn That will be the day I will stand up where ever I am at and yell "YESSSS!". Buy it and enjoy!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    This entire series is excellent

    I could hardly wait until the next installment was read and gone!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    Recommended

    Of course, that's only if you've read the first 5. If you have, you know what you're in for, a good story, even if the characters act in fairly predictable ways.

    Weber has a good grasp of history, and part of the fun is figuring out which parts he's borrowing from.

    If you haven't read #1, Off Armageddon Reef, do so.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Action and surprise

    I was very satisfied with this. Lots of surprises action and a character development and intrigue. A bit wordy in some places for sure.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Unless you've read the earlier books in this series, you won't be interested.

    I like this series by David Weber, I have all his Honor Harrington series books too, but this is #6 and, I'm guessing, there are several more to go since there's no resolution in this book. If you're interested, start with the beginning and, if you're like me, be prepared to be annoyed about Weber's naming practice: Clyntahn for Clinton and there's worse.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Best of the Continuing Series

    While I find the themes in the Safehold series to be repetitive of things Mr. Weber has done previously in other novels/series, he has perhaps perfected those themes here. I do not generally like to read a series that spans an innumerable number of books (this is #6!), but I can appreciate an author running with a commercial success. That said, this is perhaps the best so far of the series in content, execution, and flow. It is certainly enjoyable with remarkably good characterizations, dialog, and plotting. Mr. Weber cleverly displays his depth and breadth of historical knowledge while weaving such into an entertaining story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Great Book in a Great Series

    One caveat - you should read the other books starting with "Off Armageddon Reef" - this is truly a series and should be read as such. David Weber is a historian, and writes in detail about warfare and religious conflict.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Each book in the series gets better. I do like the way backgroun

    Each book in the series gets better. I do like the way background materiel is added during the course of the book to help a new reader understand what has gone before. His writing just seems to improve. This story line is very original and very detailed. However, it does have similarities with the Honor Harrington series in that the science is closely related to the well developed plots. Each book stands by itself but read in sequence a person has a very enjoyable read which requires you to sit on the edge of your seat. Waiting for the next issue in the series is a challenge but well worth the wait. The character development is very well done with multidimensional aspects for each character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

    I am a great fan of science fiction and David Weber in general.

    I am a great fan of science fiction and David Weber in general. I particularly like his Honor Harrington series and hope he continues it. I recommend you read the Safehold series starting with book #1 and read them in order. I own over 40 of his books and read many others. He can go into great detail and sometimes is a bit wordy as some reviewers have mentioned but by the time he is done you feel as if you are living it yourself. Steven King the horror writer is very similar with detail - but that's what makes their books so good to me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    Power of the Insane

    Another great moving book of the continuing Safehold story. Learn new reasons to hate the Inquisition.

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  • Posted September 13, 2013

    Another fine installment in the series

    This one felt more cohesive, and more satisfying than its predecessor, I did enjoy reading it and look forward to the next one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Not the best of the series, but still great development of chara

    Not the best of the series, but still great development of characters.  His plot is plodding, but the intrigue makes up for it.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Good book for a long weekend

    I find the nautical aspects of this book a bit tedious (I don't see how the planet can be both earth-like and as big as it is), but the rest of it is a great read. Everytime I think I have the end-game figured out, there is a new twist to get my attention. I still don't see how Charis wins in the end without special interference.
    David Weber continues to show himself as the pre-eminent science fiction/fantasy writer today.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Very good author-need to have it put into book form with others in the series

    This author tells a good story. Good mix of description and discussion. This "book" should be bundled as part of a six or more "Act" whole to make a volume that I couls spend some time with. Unless the reader keeps track of which in the series comes "next", the thread is lost. Hint to the publisher and editors -- put it into book form next time for release, both hardcopy and electronic copy.
    Ninety-nine cent "short stories" don't do it for me, folks.

    Best Regards,

    Charles I. Motes, Jr., M.S., M.P.H., R.S.
    Director of Health Emeritus
    Plainville, CT 06062

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Toil and tribulation is what reading this book is skip it and ge

    Toil and tribulation is what reading this book is skip it and get the next one. Very little action all bs

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Another page turner

    I guess I'm hooked on the saga of Caleb, Sherlayn and Merlin. I started with the second book in the series and have been hooked ever since. Although I'm only 150 pages in of a 1100+ page Nook version it promises to be even better than the previous volumes. Perhaps it's because I've become familiar with the all too real seeming characters. No matter. If you liked the previous books in the series or are new to Safehold I think you'll like this book. I know I do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Another very good book from David Weber. This book is part of a

    Another very good book from David Weber. This book is part of a series, and if you haven't read the previous books, you won't know what's going on. Weber always seems to glory in detail and does a good job with character development - but there are just so many characters with the typical Safehold unusual names. I am beginning to have trouble keeping them all straight. I thought the book had an awfully abrupt ending. I do enjoy the books though.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Highly Recommend the Entire Safehold Series!

    Of the 50 books I own that were either written, coauthored, or edited by David Weber I have yet to find a bad one. I highly recommend any book written by David Weber.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews

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