Synopsis From Back Cover:
Rudi Mackenzie traveled to Nantucket, where he found and took up the Sword of the Lady and, with it, his destiny. His return journey to the area knows as Montival, in the Pacific Northwest, is a treacherous one since he and his companions must cross three thousand miles, making both allies and adversaries along the way.
When he reaches his destination, he will face the legions of the Prophet. To achieve victory, Rudi must assemble a coalition of those who were his enemies just months before, then forge them into an army that will rescue his homeland and tear the heart out of the Church Universal Triumphant once and for all.
Only then will Rudi be able to come to terms with how the Sword has changed him - as well as the world - and assume his place as Artos, High King of Monitval...
I'm trying to get caught up on this series before the next book comes out in September of this year, and I still need to get the book after this one. It's amazing how some series can make you buy every book that comes out, regardless of how many of them there are. I can only think of a few authors that have been able to create a world that I want to keep coming back to over and over again. S.M. Stirling, with his Emberverse world, is one of those special authors.
It's always interesting to see how an author can take an idea as far fetched as turning off all the electricity, making gunpowder inert, and turning the world into a patchwork of feudal states, religious territories, and warring parties, and make it all believable. This was my seventh foray into the world that Stirling created, and I'm still loving it at much as I did when I first encountered it.
Rudi, Mathilda, Farther Ignatius, Astrid, and the rest of the characters are one of the funnest group of characters I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time. My only regret is that as the series continues to develop, some of the older characters have turned into more of a supporting cast who don't get the page time they should. I would love to see Signe, Eric, Juniper, and Chuck and Judy Barstow make more appearances as the story progresses. I'm even missing the Huttons who were such a pivotal part of the first three books. And while I'm at it, I would even like to know what happened to Dr. Rothman and Eric and Signe's father, Kenneth Larsson. I guess I had to grouse for a bit, but the current crop of youngsters are enough to keep me coming back for more.
I'm looking forward to the action turning back towards Montival (what used to be Oregon and Washington) and how the allies are going to deal with the fanaticism of CUT and the Powers controlling the Prophet and his followers. It's going to be interesting to read how Rudi is able to maintain and turn a group of former enemies into a cohesive kingdom who needs to defeat an existential threat to their survival.
Other Books In The Series: