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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 1 January 2010
I didn't discover David Weber's books until last year, but now, having read the first four Honor Harington books and the first two Safehold books, he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

By Schism Rent Asunder is a slower-paced novel than Off Armageddon Reef, as this book looks at the aftermath of Charis' overwhelming victory over the combined fleets of several other nations, and the problems this victory causes for both the Church AND Charis. It looks at the political machinations of the world of Safehold, and the precipice that the entire world finds itself on the edge of, with a huge war looming. Both sides are looking to establish their positions ahead of what they know is a showdown that will not only lead to victory in military terms but in terms of society and influence- in many senses, this book is about the build-up toward the Battle for Safehold's soul.

The central (and perhaps most important) character of this book is King Cayleb, who is bullish, determined and prepared to take risks, so long as the gains are worthwhile. Merlin takes a back-seat for the most part, with many of the ideas and daring tactics being developed by the Charisians themselves.

In terms of a good read, I really liked this book, as we have now moved away from the business of establishing character traits and the characters can now develop and move forward. We see more of Cayleb's youthful enthusiasm. We see more of Clythan's ruthlessness and hyprocrisy. We see a world that is boiling over with tension and fear as the inevitable clash approaches. It is very much a build-up story, one which up's the stakes ahead of what must be a confrontration in book 3, which I cannot wait to read!

My only slight niggle is that sometimes Weber goes into a lot of detail about the technology- a lot more detail than is necessary. It's fine if you have a love of classic naval warfare, but if you don't, you might find yourself glossing over those scenes a bit. Still, it's a good book and one I would recommend!
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on 14 November 2008
Having never read any books by David Weber I wasn't sure what to expect with Off Armageddon Reef, I found myself drawn into the book and found that I coundn't put it down. The characters have been wonderfully created with a great deal of depth and even minor characters in the book have been well done.

With this I was looking forward to sequel and I have found the sequel to be even better. The books emphasis has shifted away from the action sequences in the first book to a more political feel. But the intense drama is still there and makes you feel that you are interacting with the characters.

Greatly looking forward to the next in line and I am hoping that Mr Weber keeps to the high standard he set in these books.
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VINE VOICEon 10 August 2009
I enjoyed this "nd one in the series and as in so many cases it suffers from being the 2nd one - not the action packed intro and the finale
The tone of this one is a very political with huge sections discussing planned political economies and the implications of a religous order having great secular power - and not being afraid to use it
The action set pieces are more limited in this story (he is very good at these ) and its just a bit of adjustment on the readers part
Its clear that this is the setup for the big finish of global holy war that I think is coming in the concluding part
The characters are well drawn and the alliance of two kingdoms (not to spoil the book) is well done
What is also well done is the tempatation from the kings 'guardian angel' to release new technology before the people understand what they have
I'm reaqlly looking forward to the last one - be interesting to see how they deal with the church - and the weapon systems in orbit ..
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on 27 July 2008
Now if you're new to Weber's books and you're reading Schism after finishing the first one, you'll find this second book to be an excellent piece of work. Well written, amazing depth and enough intrigue to chew on for at least a week.

For a long-term Weber fan, however, this book MIGHT leave you a tad underwhelmed.

Do not get me wrong, this book is an excellent read, no question.

But Weber's book have always had an nigh perfect balance between large scale action and human interaction on a personal/political/religious level that has always been exquisite, in my eyes at least.

In Schism, he has 'unbalanced' this equation to a rather large extent and whilst there are any number of action sequences, they are not the sort of battles i have come to expect.

Especially as, in all his works, these battles are never just for the sake of having a fight but to push the conflicts in certain directions, hinging the course of the war on the outcome of these battles.

In this book, Weber appears to utilise political manuevering on a grand scale to set the course of the Safehold War instead.

Whilst a fairly big proponent of the 'if it ain't broke...' modus operandii, i'm all for experimentation and growth and this was a bravua effort from Weber.

My problem was, all his past works have 'educated' me to expect a large battle and reaching the end of the book with only a few skirmishes to whet my appetite only left me hungry for more. So whilst this book was an excellent read, for me, it never really rose to the levels of some of his other works.

If you're a Weber 'fleet warfare' junkie like myself, it's not one to avoid exactly, just start reading with your eyes open about the fact that you're not likely to get your fix with this particular book.

Roll on Spring 2009 and 'Heresies Distressed'!!!!!
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on 16 January 2010
This is David Webers follow up to Off Armageddon Reef, which was the first book in the Safehold Series. I would recommend that you read Off Armageddon Reef first.
Devid Weber is well known in the USA but not that well known here. He wouln't win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but he does have a well written imaginative style that makes easy and involving reading.
This series is of a new earth colony after the annihilation of nearly all humans by an aggressive alien people. He puts forward an interesting idea and intertwines religion,politics,intrigue,and war.
David Weber is best known for his Honor Harrington Series starting with On Basilisk Station. There are certain similarities and anyone who enjoyed this series will enjoy the Safehold Saga.
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on 7 August 2009
This sequel to Off Armageddon Reef is followed by By Heresies Distressed. And, I hope, by at least one and preferably more. The series contains a fascinating mix of political intrigue, exiting battle action, and personal interaction, with some love interest. If he's not careful, Weber will match his Honor Harrington series with this one.
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on 27 July 2008
If you've read David Weber before you know how good he is. This is a slightly different take on the usual science fiction, more reminicent of the Pern type series, where the story is based in a almost medieval setting. In this series religion plays an important part of the story, although with out it being over the top. The characters are engaging if maybe at times a little too much like previous characters. But even saying that, it's a great read which I've really enjoyed, infact I now have to catch up on all the work (and sleep) that has been allowed to slide because I haven't been able to put it down. If you've enjoyed any of David Weber's other books, you'll enjoy this one and it's slightly different take on the usual space saga. So Mr Weber, where's the next one????????
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on 25 July 2009
The second installment in Weber's "Safehold" series is just as enjoyable as the first. As I expected, he has rather condensed real-world history, combining the Henrician reformation and the beginning of the industrial revolution into one movement. The story moves along at a surprisingly swift pace, given that there is little of the action that permeated the first volume.

There are also very obvious parallels with some of the author's "Honorverse" series. But this does not detract from the story - the concepts are re-worked to fit in with the different background, and the very well done world-building means that those parts still feel fresh.

The only real criticisms I had are that it finishes on a very annoying cliff-hanger, unlike the previous book, and so can't be read in isolation. And another barrier to reading it in isolation in that there is precious little background information on "Merlin" and the society's technological proscriptions, until quite a way in.

Definitely worth reading, but you should read the previous volume first.
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on 3 March 2013
The author obviously loves sailing and the world of galleons and there's a lot of affection in the writing - and, I suspect, a great deal of accuracy. He also communicates a clear Christian commitment - which makes it all the more strange that he has chosen as his combatants the leaders of a corrupt "church". (I guess he would argue that one theme of the books is the difference between faith and religion.)

The series is somewhat protracted and could have done with some heavy editing (hence the loss of stars). There were also one or two places where I found it difficult to accept the basic premises behind the books. Some of the dialogue was also a bit twee and I found myself wincing at attempts to express affection or humour.

Nevertheless, if you want a good swash-buckling read without too much effort, then these fit the bill.
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on 11 May 2009
This is a typical Weber novel.It's very well paced and the characters are beginning to take on some real weight.As usual,the author gets a little bogged down in his own cleverness from time to time,but always adds valuable back-story in the process.Again,as usual,it's a very entertaining read.A common theme of Webers',the disfunction of religion when power falls to those who only love power,is visited with authority.
Very good.Can't wait for the next in the series.
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