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How Firm a Foundation (Safehold 5) Hardcover – 13 Sep 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (13 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321541
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 5.1 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 576,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the fifth installment in the "Safehold" series in which the major character is Nimue Alban. Not all of the author's fanbase will like it - there is very little here for the people who like high-tech space battles for instance - but I thought it was a big improvement on volume four and as with the previous books in the series I could hardly put it down.

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 ›
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Format: Hardcover
In this book, Weber manages to move the various threads along rather more than in the previous volume.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Having been rather scathing in my review of the previous book in this series (A Mighty Fortress (Safehold 4)) which suffers from serious pacing problems, I am pleased to report that Weber is on much better form this time, with none of the ponderousness, padding, and lack of plot progress of the last book. In fact the pace here is at least as fast as it has ever been in the whole series.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
In the latest installment of the Safehold series, the Empire of Charis has only narrowly defeated the Navy of God, but faces an escalation of methods in their struggle for survival. The Church is learning how to deal with the immense advantages of Charis' knowledge of their activities and the Inquisition has moved to the tactics of terror in their efforts to destroy the only realm on Safehold that does not answer to them. In the face of revelations regarding the legacies of the Archangels, the Charisians must take their war deep on the continent, where revolutions are brewing and a captive prince needs to be rescued.

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.
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