This is another book in the excellent Safehold series. Safehold is a planet intentionally hidden at a low tech level from an alien intelligence that has wiped out mankind except for Safehold. Safehold’s founders founded a new religion to deter industrialization in hopes of not attracting the attention of mankind’s nemesis. Much of the review here is the same for the whole series.
The aforementioned theocracy has become dominated by the gang of four. The gang of four, are four corrupt churchmen who will do anything, no matter how despicable, to remain in power. Mass murder, terriorism, torture and even instigating civil war and denying all progress, it still manages to trumpet it’s godliness.
As all of Weber’s works he has deplorable villains and laudable heroes. Weber works many of current society’s ills into his work. Fanaticism, jihad, corruption, facile politicians, evil empires; he manages to include or refer to through proxy.
Weber is one of those rare authors who can infiltrate your emotions with his characters and feel you full of empathy for their actions. This book shows the Charisian Empire again but focuses more on a next generation of characters. Merlin introduces a surprise character that is thought provoking. Religious warfare is shown in it's brutal reality. Something that has sadly been illustrated by current events.
Some reviews complain that Weber is wordy but each brush stroke can increase the depth and beauty of a work although in this book I did feel he got a bit effusive.
I recommend the book.
Web Site: http://www.davidweber.net/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.