S M Stirling sadly concludes his alternative history trilogy with the Meeting at Corvalis. If you are new to his work you would enjoy this but I strongly recommend that you start at the beginning of this trilogy with Dies the Fire and then the Protectors War.
I have read the first 10 chapters online (on a website that I dont seem to be allowed to mention even though it advertises and is linked to Amazon) and I am hooked, sitting here dying to read the rest!!
The story is as strong as ever and continues with the same characters struggling to survive in a world without the aid of any modern technology or weapons.(For unknown reasons physics changed and electricity wont work at all, gunpowder doesnt burn and even steam power has gone so people are basically back to Medieval Technology but they have a few good ideas along the way to give them an age like the use of balloons, gliders etc.) Its written so well that I sometimes catch myself wishing to be in that world with the clan of the bearkillers, although I think I might miss DVDs and some TV.
I would strongly recommend this book and his other volumes. Stirling has a real gift for characters, both good and bad and for battles and action. I am working my way through his extensive back catalouge and have been impressed with everything so far, in particular The Peshawar Lancers, The Island on the Oceans of Time, Marching through Georgia and The General series. I believe Stirling is the best of his genre of military sci fi and alternative history, others like Turtledove really pale in comparsion. Try him yourself and order his books!!!
This is the final book in the "Dies the Fire" trilogy. The free communities of the Williamette valley have to unite against the psychotic medieval historian turned Warlord, Norman Arminger. But even if they do, they are still badly outnumbered.
The Mackenzies and Bearkillers are old friends from the previous books. However we finally meet the trading city of Corvallis, which sees itself as the last bastion of civilisation and the warrior monks of Mount Angel, who must protect the lives and homes of their flock, as well as their souls. And lastly, we finally see inside Arminger's so called Protectorate, which even at its best is not a nice place. You also meet more characters, most notably the coniving Lady Sandra, Arminger's wife and her hatchetwoman, the ruthless and vengeful but honorable Tiphaine.
As the story moves towards its climax the question remains, what will the free communites have to sacrifice to retain their freedom?
I can't describe the ending, without spoiling things, but it is very well written and very powerful.
It was hard to put down, which is always a good yardstick. There were a few good surprises, and the only negative is the excessive recapping of the two previous volumes of the series. I presume that the publisher/editor asked/compelled him to do this, and it is a shame that there was so much of it. Nevertheless, you get past that, and the story unfolds in a quite a satisfying way.
Highly recommended, but do start from the first book: "Dies the fire".
I've just read this book it arrived on Friday and by Sunday morning it was finished. This a brilliant piece of writting that will really get you involved with charachters and feeling for what happens to them. I'd thoroughly recommend this book and the whole series preferably starting at the beginning with DIES THE FIRE, they are all well worth reading.
This original premise for story will keep you wanting more and i cant wait for S M Stirling's next book to come out soon. I'jm hooked and if you read this so will you
sm stirling has proved that he can end a trilogy with a bang not a whimper and 'A meeting at Corvallis' definetley does'nt leave you feeling let down. Strong and realistic characters, excellent story telling and an ending that leaves you wanting more.