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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic boost to the series, 9 Sep 2009
It's Year 24 of the change, when humanity was deprived of the use of engines, electrical equipment, guns and explosives. The early books in the series show us how societies rebuilt after the chaos and mass die-offs that ensued. The Sword of the Lady takes us on a quest across a changed north america to retrieve The Sword of the Lady. Our heroes are all young leaders-to-be from the various small states that have developed over time. From the start of the series we've had hints that there may be other forces at work, be they gods, post-humans, Alien Space Bats, or whatever. This becomes clearer, although we mostly see them reflected through the varied spiritual perspectives of the characters which just adds to the richness of the tales.

So far, so Lord of the Rings, you may be thinking, and there's enough nods to this, and many other works, to keep you grasping at recognition, or sometimes laughing out loud at a subtle reference to something you know well. But this is it's own story, a muscular adventure, with great attention to detail, whether to dialect, the smell on you after many many days on horseback or fighting with bow and sword, or the impact of good food after such a journey. And the fighting, well he can write a hell of a good fight scene, and there's plenty of those, each different enough so it's not repetitive. We've also got characters we can care about, good and evil manifesting in powerful ways, a quest that makes sense, multiple levels of understanding and just very, very good writing. Make sure you've got some days off work to get it read... you won't want interruptions.

Having re-read the whole series many times I'd no problems with putting it all in context, so it's hard for me to know if a new reader would find this book able to stand by itself. I suspect it will, there's some background provided but no great info-dumps to spoil the flow, and as I say it's a damn good story.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another very good book in the series, 16 Sep 2009
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Rudi and companions continue their travels across a changed America, a quarter century after electricity and gunpowder stopped working. They travel from Iowa, the richest and most powerful post-American kingdom, but with a dangerously weak and divided government, towards Nantucket, the Island where the change apparantly started. However, in addition to the loss of technology, other things have changed, and there are things out there that are no friend to humanity and hide behind the eyes of evil men.

While Rudi's friends and companions are well drawn, the real stars of the book are the strange societies that have grown up since the change. From the Byzantine kingdom of Iowa, to the modern Norse of Maine, they are vividly drawn and often alien.

This is a book of heroes and villians, great battles and political skulduggery and high religion. The noble wiccan Rudi and the catholic paladin Ignatius are forced to confront the soul devouring evil of the Church Universal and Triumphant in a battle of swordskill, tactics and sheet faith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Saga that just gets better and better, 13 Mar 2014
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I'll be honest, I didn't really rate the first three books in this series, okay but... However, for me it's the story of the next generation where things have come to life. For me the best part is the religo- mystic element, which I know some people hate, horses for courses I guess! Plus, a strong narrative drive, yes they've spent a long time getting to the east, but it all holds together, makes sense in term of the story
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sWORD OF THE LADY BY SM STIRLING, 25 Oct 2009
This is the third book in SM stirlings Change series set about 20 years after the change. I really enjoyed it, plenty of action and fast paced. I can't wait for the next book to find out the conclusion of the series.
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