How Firm a Foundation (Safehold 5) Hardcover – 13 Sep 2011
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Praise for David Weber Combines superb action SF elements and (surprise!) homage to the great novels of the Age of Fighting Sail (by C. S. Forester, Patrick O'Brian, and their ilk). Weber has an enormous audience that welcomes each enormous book.--Booklist, starred review on A Mighty Fortress Highly recommended.--Library Journal, starred review on By Schism Rent Asunder Gripping... Shifting effortlessly between battles among warp-speed starships and among oar-powered galleys, Weber brings the political maneuvering, past and future technologies, and vigorous protagonists together for a cohesive, engrossing whole.Publishers Weekly, starred review on Of Armageddon Reef --Various --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
DAVID WEBER is the author of the New York Times bestselling Honor Harrington series, the most recent of which was At All Costs. His many other novels include Mutineers' Moon, The Armageddon Inheritance, Heirs of Empire, Path of the Fury, and Wind Rider's Oath. He lives in South Carolina. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Again, like most of the previous novels in this series it's another massive doorstop of a book, with five pages of maps and 550 pages of story followed by another 50 pages or so of appendices (character index, glossary etc.) But I found the editing quite a bit tighter than the last installment, and you have more of a sense that the author knows where he is going with the story, despite the fact that the war between the good guys and the evil "Temple" seemed to be facing a complete stalemate at the end of book four.
If you're going to read this series, don't begin with this book: start at the beginning and work through in order. The five "Nimue Alban"/Safehold books published to date are:
1) Off Armageddon Reef
2) By Schism Rent Asunder
3) By Heresies Distressed
4) A Mighty Fortress (Safehold 4)
5) This book, How Firm a Foundation, and
6) "...Read more ›
The book is, however, still marred by excessive long-windedness, and by a light/teasing/sarcastic dialogue that is so often misplaced; I positively cringe at some of the dialogue, especially with Sharleyan. In fact I find myself skimming over whole pages of verbiage. Such a pity when the Safehold concept is so good, and when there are many really well-written and well-structured scenes (including fine set-piece battles). The problem is that one gets hooked by the early volumes, and now it's necessary to wade through an awful lot of pages of drivel. W. badly needs a good editor who can put a blue pencil through a lot of this, making for a much tighter work. In this way, the author could probably complete the project in 3-5 volumes.
So if you've been worrying that the series would end up dragging to a halt, fear not; it looks like that fate has been averted for now at least.
Some readers might even prefer to skip book 4 entirely and pick up the series again here - it should be easy enough to pick up the important events of the previous book from context alone.
The only reason I'm not giving the book 5 stars is because the series as a whole still carries two great flaws; the $!%@!ng names, and the fact that the plot is still somewhat on the predictable side (which is probably unavoidable given the series concept and how it started off).
I do have some slight concerns about the fact that while a deadline has now been revealed, at the current rate of progress it will take something like sixteen more books to reach. I really hope that Weber is planning either a large time-skip or two, or to significantly pick up the rate of passage of in-universe time; while Weber is obviously no stranger to long-running series, I really doubt that this setting has enough scope to sustain that many books without once again getting bogged down. But that is not a concern that affects the enjoyment of this book at all.
As usual with this series, Weber weaves different threads into the tale: issues of faith in the light of Merlin's revelations; abuse of power by the Church and fear of the same by Charis; war on the high seas between the fleets of Charis and the Church; and swashbuckling action as the war takes to the streets and mountains of the mainland. To this is now added the fear induced by terroism and the ravages of civil war as a realm comes down firmly on the fence between Charis and the Church, and comes apart.
The book is a definite page turner and hard to put down, events unrolling slowly on the strategic scale but exploding into action on the immediate scale.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great instalment! The complexity of war across continents is excellently presented with real life examples of how prejudice is faced down.Published 19 months ago by Andrew
I love the Safehold series. While this book was not as gripping as those that went before and some good characters were lost the overall drive and momentum of the series has been... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Dee
Pity it had a very good idea in the begining but it drags on and on too much. I'm reading any furtherPublished on 19 Jun. 2014 by Georgios
I've really enjoyed this series so far, and this instalment didn't disappoint! Well written, with a good pace and good characters.Published on 26 Mar. 2014 by M. Pyne
I agree with most of the reviews here, Weber writes some good stuff set in interesting scenarios, but why, oh why cannot some editor cut out some at least of the completely... Read morePublished on 26 Dec. 2013 by Amazon Customer