Friday, April 11, 2014

Like a Mighty Army by David Weber

All right, I have to admit here that I'm finally getting a little tired of Weber's massive data dumps, especially on the subject of troop movements and supply logistics. I can't "see" where these forces are located on some map in my mind, and their only purpose seems to be to make this whole world more "real" in the minds of Weber and those who war game for fun and profit. Or is it what he does when he runs out of interesting plot twists and schemes?

The cast of characters alone runs over 80 pages, the glossary another twenty, with six pages of maps up front.

Has Weber reached the point of having nothing new to say? That would be truly sad, but we've seen it with authors before. And what is this "we" I'm spouting? Are the multiple POVs seeping into my brain?

Key takeaways from a nearly 700 page tome. The Empire of Charis continues to implement new manufacturing techniques, with one of the key elements being their establishment of a bureau of standard measurements, which assures interchangeability of parts for their weapons, as opposed to the individual craftsmanship that goes into each and every one of the Churchlands' weapons.

Hektor and Irys and Daivyn return to Corisande, Daivyn is acknowledged as crown prince, Irys elected to the Ruling Council, and Hektor and Irys are wed in a ceremony that binds Charis and Corisande tightly together. An attack by the Church's rakurai leaves both of them grievously wounded, and the only way to save Hektor is via Merlyn's "magic", which lets the two young folks in on the big cabal's secret - the true history of Safehold.

Merlyn, Nahrman and Owl decide to create another PICA, and imbue it with Merlyn's original personality and memories, but returning him to his original gender...and seijin Nimue is born.

Charis launches a major campaign in Siddarmark to take back all of the lands the Church conquered. Long story short, they manage to destroy a huge portion of the Army of God, both on land and at sea, with their new artillery pieces, ironclad ships, and breechloading rifles. The Church is trying to catch up to their methods, but it is difficult to overcome the proscriptions on technology.

Some of Weber's slipping in new names is funny, when you can catch them...a servant named Zheevys, a nobleman named Graem Kyr, the everpresent Nahrman Baytz come immediately to mind, though there are many others.

Nowhere near the end of this saga.

No comments: