In King Cayleb of Charis, Chisholm's young Queen Sharleyan has found not only the love of her life but also her monarch she will wed to unite two kingdoms. With that marriage comes a vital new purpose; the challenge to forever rid a repressive church of its domination and corruption. Sharleyan's commitments are real, but at first she pursues them not knowing long-held secrets that will imperil her honest quest for human freedom. In the third volume of David Weber's Safehold series, the battle for the soul of the planet is truly joined.
In this tangled follow-up to 2008's By Schism Rent Asunder, the corrupt Church of God Awaiting has ruthlessly suppressed technology on the planet Safehold for the past 800 years. Merlin Athrawes, a cybernetic avatar bodyguard serving the king of Charis, has introduced a sequence of innovations that allow the united island kingdoms to defeat the Church's agents, but the Church's rulers soon adopt the very technology they proscribe. Their greater resources, combined with a fanatical fifth column not averse to assassination, make the long-term prospects of the "heretical" empire appear bleak, especially as Charis must pause to pacify new territories while responding to recent massacres. The personalities and motivations of the numerous characters are particularly well drawn and credible, and Weber makes grand strategies and political machinations easily accessible to casual readers. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
For political reasons-but also with genuine love and respect-Cayleb of Charis and Sharleyan of Chisholm have united as corulers of their lands. Now the Temple Lands, home to a reactionary Church that suppresses new technologies, must intervene or face a rebellion that could lead to their overthrow. Set in the distant world of Safehold (e.g., Off Armageddon Reef), Weber's new generational saga follows Cayleb, Sharleyan, and the Artificial Personality Merlin Athrawes as they try to convince their subjects that everything they know and believe is wrong. The popular author of the Honor Harrington series writes skillfully about naval battles and political intrigue, serving up another fascinating chapter in an sf epic with medieval trappings. Series fans will demand.
Weber (At All Costs, 2007, etc.) delivers the third installment in his ongoing Safehold saga. In the first two books, the planet Safehold was colonized by the last remnants of humanity, fleeing an Earth destroyed by aliens. They forged a society dominated by religion, to prevent the building of new technology that might attract the alien threat. Dissenters, however, created a cybernetic being, Merlin, who awakened some 800 years later and helped the nonconforming kingdom of Charis develop technology and fight against the powerful Church of God Awaiting. In this volume, Charis and its allies battle Corisande, a Church-assisted princedom. Like its predecessors in the Safehold series, the novel paints a vast, stunningly complex political and military tapestry, with wonderful battle scenes that compensate for occasionally overlong stretches of dialogue. Weber's portrayal of the Church and criticism of organized religion also continue to make these books interesting. That said, readers shouldn't pick up this volume without first reading Off Armageddon Reef (2007) and By Schism Rent Asunder (2008); the glossary and list of characters bringing newbies up to speed spans 15 pages. Initiates will be more than satisfied by this ambitious fantasy variant on the timeworn tale of a monolithic world institution challenged by reformers.
“From the clean, enunciated tones of Merlin, to the faint Scottish accent of Cayleb, to the gruff and terse voice of Grand Inquisitor Clintan, Culp manages to convey a distinct identity through tone, pitch, accent and speech patterns of each character.” KingoftheNerds.com
“The unabridged audiobook version of By Heresies Distressed...is masterfully narrated by Jason Culp. The excitement and tension of dramatic events...come across even more strongly to a listener than to a reader.” BookLoons.com