Safehold, Book 7
Synopsis: For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new—no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.
What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud—a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.
Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.
And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. But at a heavy cost in bloodshed and loss—a cost felt by nobody more keenly that Merlyn Athrawes.
The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…
Review: A new foray into science fiction with the Safehold series by David Weber. It’s a complex saga, with as many characters as in “A song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, but with much more technology.
The premise was interesting: humanity has lost Earth and has at last found shelter in the world of Safehold. On this planet, a mighty Church has developed – the Church of God Awaiting.
Fearing new inventions, it has forbidden any development in that regard. What no one knows is that the Church is based on a lie. It’s a fraud. And no one knows the truth, except for one man, Merlyn Athrawes. However, Merlyn is not really a man and has many secrets. Could he therefore save the humanity from the Church’s clutches?
As I said, the premise was great and promised breath-taking action as well as an interesting thought on this ever-present theme, especially in Sci-Fi books : what defines us as humans ?
However, the execution of this novel wasn’t so great. A lot of new characters are introduced since the first pages and, if the reader wasn’t lost enough, the story line is interspersed with blow by blow accounts of many battles.
Far from the action promised, the plot inched forward at a snail’s pace. For many pages, I got the impression of reading a current events update from Safehold. Don’t get me wrong, I was interested enough in this volume to read it until the end. However, my overall impression was disappointment, due mostly to the clear lack of progress throughout the book.
Cindy Van Wilder