Rudi Mackenize, now Artos the First, High King of Montival, and his allies have won several key battles against the Church Universal and Triumphant. But still the war rages on, taking countless lives, ravaging the land once known as the United States of America. Artos and his Queen, Mathilda, must unite the realms into a single kingdom to ensure a lasting peace.
If the leaders of the Changed world are to accept Artos as their ruler, he will need to undertake a quest to the Lake at the Heart of the Mountains and take part in a crowning ceremony - a ceremony binding him to his people, his ancestors, and his land. Then, once he has secured his place and allegiances, Artos can go forward and lead his forces to the heart of the enemy's territory.
©2012 S. M. Stirling (P)2012 Tantor
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"Same Great Story, One too Many Books..."
I actually loved the story, but the '4 out of 5' rating and the title of this review stem from the fact that I feel, like others who have written reviews here, that this book and the last should have been a single work - the majority of "Lord of Mountains" was simply a continuation of "Tears of the Sun." It is clearly necessary for there to be continuity between books in a series, but this one felt more like a "Part II" of "Tears" rather than a sequel that could stand alone. Each of Stirling's other novels in the series constantly built on each other, but could easily have been grabbed at random and, while the reader might scratch his/her head for a moment pondering details, would still have been able to convey the essentials of the story - not true here.
However, even if "Lord of Mountains" should have been packed into the last book,it was another fantastic installment in a unique and fulfilling series. I have been with the story since "Dies the Fire," and I read the Nantucket series, from which the Emberverse series sprang, before that. Never before has a series captivated me as much. I "plug in" on my commute to and from work, at my lunch break, and any time I have a spare moment or two - it is definitely worth the read (or listen)!
Still, as much as I love the series, I hope "The Given Sacrifice" draws the story to a close before there are "diminishing returns;" i.e., before the story stagnates. I have heard rumors that another series will follow this one, beginning yet another Changeling generation's tale, but - and it pains me to say it with as much as I have loved all of these - I sincerely hope not. I'm sure, as with other writers, that S.M. Stirling still has volumes of story and wonderful things to add to the world of The Change locked in his creative mind, but, as the saying goes: sometimes more isn't better, it's just more...all good things not only do, but should, come to an end, or they don't stay good things.
One thing that impresses me about all the audiobooks in the series (Nantucket and Emberverse) is that Todd McLaren has a) been used for every book and, b) he, as a narrator, is so consistent in his tones, his portrayal of each character, and his ability to draw emotion from the "reader" based on his performance. There are a good many audiobook series wherein a different narrator steps in each time, or there is a disconnect when a specific narrator goes on "hiatus" for a book or two, then returns (often only to forget their characters and the overall feel they themselves set up). McLaren is a master!
In short, thumbs, way, way up for the entire 12-book (so far) story and for Todd McLaren's performance of it, but Mr. Stirling: as awesome as it is, please wrap it up before the wonder and magic start to fade!
"Lazy, repetitive, and preachy"
If you enjoyed the previous books with no complaint, then this is for you.
The books that followed 'The Protector's War' turned me off from S. M. Sterling books. I only finished the series out of my foolish need to finish what I start. His descriptive writing style gripped me in the first three books of this series because it was used to describe the world as it changed. Once that change was complete I got tired of hearing the same descriptions. By the fifth book it was clear that Matilda wasn't attractive, that Rudy was, that 'changlings' got tired of hearing about the pre-change world, what each and every battle cry is durring a fight, what the smell of battle was like, what the callouses are like on the hands of a fighter, and how deft everyone who was raised by a ruler is at making strategic decisions.
I was also frustrated by how much time Sterling used to set up the next few books in the series. I didn't care about the children that would be the adventurers in the next series. It felt like he was just writing to sell more books.
Todd McLaren was an effective narrator for the series. I don't want to detract from his reading at all. I put all of the blame on this series to S. M. Sterling
Other books in the series perhaps, but this book was a frustrating read with little closure.
If you have gotten to this book then you've dedicated some serious time to these characters. Like me, you'll probably read it anyway. Just don't be disappointed if it doesn't provide any of the closure you were hoping for. I really enjoyed the first three books in this series, but the magic of the founding leaders was lost by this time. Even the final battle was disappointing. I'd say more, but details would be too filled with spoilers.
"How could anyone not like this book or this series"
Just a wonderful story, and best of all its almost time for the next one !
"Good ending, but last 3 books could have been one"
I'm sure I will since I listen to the whole series in order every six months or so.
The rest of the series, or any of the better S.M. Stirling works.
The last few chapters were my favorite and they summed up the whole series in a way.
No extreme reactions, but most of it was good and kept my attention.
The last three books really should have been condensed down into one or two at most, but other than that it was good.
"What a disappointment"
No. I would recommend the entire series up to this book. I would recommend the companion series. I would recommend the vampire series the author wrote.
This was little more than an hour or so introducing the characters and reminding us who they were and what their background was. That was followed by a battle whose outcome was never in doubt. Then a little Star Wars-esque scene where the ghosts of characters past approve of Rudy. It ends with everyone sitting around the home fires eating and drinking. Yawn.
He could have not written it. A listener who has gone through the entire series and the companion books has nearly 200 hours invested in these worlds and the characters. We want to hear how their lives are going and the challenges they overcome.
This book was about 13 hours whereas the others were 20 or so. This book needed a good 7 hours of crisis.
Let's have Rudy go head to head against the CUT. Sail the Pacific. Explore south. Overcome dissension within the kingdom. Do something.
If nothing else, we have a good foundation for the next book that I am looking forward to.
I will download books just because Todd McLaren is the reader. He could make a recitation of a phone book fascinating.
"One Big battle and a lot of talk"
1 Get rid of the annoying irish accents, in 20 years we all sound like an Irish spring commercial. PALEASE! a little goes a long way.
2. Have a story.. all this book is, is a single big battle and characters getting ready for the next book.
3. The evolution of magic in this world adds nothing
Todd is good, Someone finally told him about the way to pronounce the most of the local names in Oregon.
Anyone who talks about the past books. These is so much looking back in this book at previous books that not a single story gets moving.
The first three books of this series are awesome. The next whatever books all blow ass
"One book too many."
Most of this book could have been in the last book.
I have followed this series for years. It needed to be wrapped up in the last book. The story is over.
All of it.
"A NEVER ENDING SERIES, SO IT SEEMS!!!!"
I'VE LISTENED TO ALL OF THE "DIES THE FIRE SERIES" ALL WERE WORTH THE TIME, BUT THE STORY "MUST" END SOMETIMES, BUT AS OF YET JUST KEEPS GOING ON.
YES, IF THEY HAD LISTENED TO THE OTHER BOOKS FIRST
YES, BUT ONLY IF THE REST OF THE BOOKS WERE FILMED FIRST
WHEN WILL THE SERIES END??? I'M NOW LISTENING TO THE "ISLANDS IN SEA AND TIME", S. M. STIRLINGS FIRST BOOKS BEFORE DIES THE FIRE SERIES
"What a story!"
The whole Emberverse concept is fascinating. If "the Change" was possible I can imagine this story to be an accurate depiction of the world's response.
"he has done so many better"
the story felt incomplete. it started in a weird way and ended oddly. even knowing there are more books it should in some way stand alone
"A story of the Change in concentrate"
First important point, if you're new to Emberverse don't start here. However for existing fans this is a short story which can be split into two parts, the 2nd part for me although shorter is much better with some real universe building and set-up for future books.
"Nothing new in the west"
Got it as soon as it was available. As story draws to the conclusion and one more instalment was announced I was not expecting too much.
Evan then " disappointment" is understatement.3/4 of the book are the references to the previous events and rest is all about nothing.
I will get the last one though but I do not mind to wait for it for another 10-20 years; by then I will need all the story "recapitulation" and ...: why he hates Poles (S. M. Stirling I mean)???
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