Through Fiery Trials: A Novel in the Safehold Series Hardcover – 8 January 2019
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- Publisher : Tor Books (8 January 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 672 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765325594
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765325594
- Dimensions : 16.66 x 5.93 x 23.77 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 165,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
A nice blend of historical combat and survival fiction....Very satisfying.... Safehold is in store for some interesting times in the coming years. --SFRevu on At the Sign of Triumph
"Marvelously entertaining!" -- Vernor Vinge 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 the Safehold series
A superb cast of characters and plenty of action... This fine book gives new luster to Weber's reputation and new pleasure to his fans. --Booklist (starred review) on By Schism Rent Asunder 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 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
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Top reviews from Australia
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1. Some people die peacefully of old age
2. Some younger characters grow up and marry
3. Mainland realms face challenges; some successfully, some not so much, with and without help from Charis as is politically possible
4. The expected denouement of the major plot item for this novel is a couple of pages of cliff hanger at the finish.
I regret spending money on this; the publisher should have rejected it and I have no idea what the author thought he was doing. David Weber, while verbose, generally plots his novels much better than this one. Given spoilers to #3 and #4 a reader of the series should be able to skip this novel and read the next (if published) without missing anything of importance.
Now I know that David Webber has become concerned about properly wrapping up his popular series as well as finishing some of his older works that have to date been left a little unfinished.
When the last Honor Harrington book came out, it felt like it rushed to the finish and I felt a little disappointed.
I feared that this next book in the Safehold series would also follow this pattern.
Have no fear, that is not the case but unfortunately in this case David has swung to far in the opposite direction.
No time has passed on from the last book and I ended up skipping 50% of this book to get to the real point for me as a reader which was.....are the Archangels returning.
I won't spoil it for you but at this rate it is going to take years for the characters to resolve defeating the plan of the archangels, getting rid of the orbital defense system and cranking up the technology distribution to prepare to defeat the Gbaba.
I want to read all about that, not economics and intimate detail of the roll out of the technology they can away with before the orbital system reacts.
David please in your next book of this series try to strike a balance between the very slow pace in this book and the too fast finish of the Honor Harrington series.
By the far the worst of the lot, full of overly complex non relevant story lines and characters with no ending.
Complete filler book, if I could get a refund I would. You’d almost think DW didn’t write this fantasy Marshall plan.
Keeping track of the extraneous characters and names was a chore and found myself skimming over a large chunk of the content to get to the characters we all know and love.
admit to waiting the next book anxiously. Well worth the read
Top reviews from other countries
The only good thing I can say is that after painstakingly going through a multi-year war almost week by week at times, there are FINALLY some substantial time skips between chapters in this book (around 15 years in all). This was long overdue.
The bad news is that despite this somehow the plot itself doesn't really go anywhere in all that time. Almost nothing important happens. Without exaggerating too much, you could read the very first chapter, then skip to the end and read the last two and you would honestly have covered pretty much all that's worth reading with the exception of one or two significant deaths (all due to old age/illness, there's very little action of any kind to make things interesting).
This book is all about Weber indulging himself exploring the aftereffects of the war that he already indulged himself describing in such detail over the last few books! Most of this book concentrates on rebellions in Harchong, economic problems in Siddarmark (read science fiction for lengthy discussions about central banking? you're in luck!), and an array of literally dozens of royal children and marriages and babies that I did not even attempt to keep track of (they're all basically irrelevant anyway).
Even though the process of technological innovation is continuing, it's mostly relegated to the background throughout. There are brief mentions of some more advanced steam-powered warships and vehicles, and rigid airships are introduced too, but that's about it.
The very last chapter/section is the best part of the book, while also acting as a very predictable cliffhanger for what I assume will be the first of several more sequels.
I just hope Weber can pull himself back out of the weeds a bit and focus on moving things along at a faster clip without this compulsion he has to go into masses of needless detail. I'd really like to see this series one day get to the point of describing humanity leaving Safehold and going after the Gbaba, but the way things are going at the moment that is likely to take over a dozen books and they will not be fun to read.
It’s attempt to imply generational change (deaths of some key characters & development of new) could realistically been achieved in 10-20% of the book but actually takes up a good 70%.
Sure there is a smattering if ‘innovation’, a light dusting of actual societal events and the tiniest, slimmest hint of the events the book promises.
A filler. An awful, dull, boring filler. After 30% I was skipping pages rapidly simply to save my sanity.
I have every book in the series but I will wait a good 5 years before considering another Weber after this. Sorry DW but this is too much saccharine-sweet ‘family’ mixed with dull activities.
Like almost all books it has its plus and minus aspects, many of the former but far more of the latter than in earlier books. I’ll omit the long list of pluses and only name a few minuses:
There are far too many newer characters to keep track of, to the extent that I gave up trying.
It is extremely verbose in places, so much so that I could skim pages and the same characters would be saying more of less the same things.
The interim stories, to give us an idea of what is happening, interspersed with big time jumps to get through the entire 15 years didn’t work well for me.
One final minus is largely also a plus; it’s the author’s dry sense of humour, which I enjoy, and is projected onto many of the characters; but what makes it a small minus is how very many of the book’s characters have exactly the same dry sense of humour.
So while not as good as earlier books I’ll be buying the next when it comes out.
However I consider the final chapter not only belongs to the following book but insults the intelligence of readers by blatantly attempting to pursuade them to buy it.
It suffers. People are one dimensional; either good or bad, with no grand flaws. I cannot think of any real world leader with such saintly personalities. Churchill was a villain in the story of India, and monstrous in his advocacy of empire and brutal suppression of rebellious Arabs and Indians. He is also rightly the national hero of western democracy who refused to yield in the face of disastrous defeat. A history buff like Weber should be inspired by that and add depth accordingly.
but their are more problems. first, this fifteen year skip really does suffer for lacking any deep focus on any one area. It could have forgone the POV of several characters, I'm thinking the entire imperial family and Merlin for a start, who don't DO much, and just lived though the lives of those in the more conflict ridden areas where actual plot is happening. A wider view of these events isn't needed; the inner circle don't have any more insight to offer than would a peasant's eye view in Harchong amidst the collapse. More drama, less long descriptions of improving or declining international relations. Consequences are more interesting than events, and people realising what the assassinations and marriages of distant royals mean for them is more interesting to my eye than soppy romance scenes that Weber reeeeeeally struggles with.
This turned into rant, but really, Mr Weber, if you read this, stick to your strengths. in pervious books in this series you wrote some of the best naval action scenes I've ever read, and your love of and expertise in the subject matter shines through. The ground war too was fine work, if not quite as brilliant. This book... really needed a good hard editor. But I look forward to the next one.