Princess Orlaith, heir to Rudi Mackenzie, Artos the First, High King of Montival, now wields the Sword of the Lady - and faces a new enemy. Fortunately, she also has a new ally in Reiko, Empress of Japan. To combat their mutual foe, Orlaith and Reiko embark on a quest to find the fabled Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Grass-Cutting Sword, one of the three great treasures of the Japanese Imperial House - but they'll face great peril along the way. This Roc title is the first in a new story arc in the New York Times best-selling Change series, following The Given Sacrifice.
©2014 S.M. Stirling (P)2014 Recorded Books
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"Stuck in a rut"
The introduction of the Australian and Japanese characters promises to be interesting in later books.
The continual recapping of what characters did in previous books is annoying.
As I said above, the recapping of previous events every second chapter is really getting on my nerves in this series, is Mr. Stirling being paid by the word?
Not sure, probably the leader of the MacKenzies.
It was an enjoyable if predictable listen while at the gym or driving to work.
I've read and/or listened to the entire series since "Dies the Fire", and will continue to do so (mostly out of habit now, much like I go to every Bond film) The constant recapping is getting annoying, maybe once at the start for someone who hasn't read the earlier books (a rare bird in my opinion), but no more. Also could someone please teach Mr. McLaren how to pronounce Haida and Sporran.
"Excellent start for a continuing saga"
This was so well written that it does not require you to have read any of the others. This is a major problem with most books that are part of a large saga. Reviews are always bias in regards to the view of the critic who pens them. NEVER pass on a book due to a bad review. This is one of those books that I am glad I ignored the review. Go to a library and read it. I did and after the second chapter purchased the audio book. Nariated well and from the same vocie artist. That particular consistency is very much appreciated.
"Great audio version...."
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the audio version of the book - much more than the print version in which the details (nice in the audio book) got in the way of my speed reading to discover the plot developments.
"Thrilling new chapter"
This looks to be the beginning of an exciting new arc in Sterling's epic tale.
I love these stories, but it is much harder to listen to them, as changes in pronunciation routinely bring me out of the story for my brain to make automatic corrections, or to question names of characters. Very frustrating at times. When I am listening to a story, I want to stay lost in it, not correct and verify "voice typos"
"I miss Rudi"
The story continues, with a new cast but still as great to a lot of us as befote.
"Another great book in this series"
this is a great series read by an exceptional reader. I can't wait to begin the next
This book is apparently just "filler". Characters are introduced, but they never actually do anything.
"18 Hours and 20 Min Of Bad Story Telling"
It put the Uck In Suck. How many books are we into this series? Do we really need more writing about the daily lives and how this world works? We get it, They are Proto-super Celts... we understand this. We understand the PPA and Corvallis do we need more about them? I have no curiosity about their developing culture or about the past that we all read. If you remove that from this book there is almost nothing left. Yes everyone is hyper Capable. All women are are 100% equal or superior to all me, especially in fighting. This is why you see men Heavy weights and MMA fighters ducking matches with women because they don't want to get showed up. Sure the Katana is the light Saber of the sword world. The bad guys take no action in the story. We have one major encounter with them but it's just that a meeting encounter we don't see there plan, there action and most of what the main characters are doing is not based on information it's based on Dreams... That's right Dreams. Because THAT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE! Take out the Dreams and the stuff we already know and the Travelog of this story and you have about 20 Pages of real story. The main battle at the start of the story is over and is only told in retrospect. This is not a story, this book is simply a prolog for a story. Todd McLaren is great reading it. S.M. Stirling had one good idea he stretched into the first three books. After that it has all been down hill until this one has impacted at what can only be said to be very bad young adult fantasy. Can one character have a flaw? Can there be a lazy guy or a Woman who is a main character and is not a secret weapons master of some kind. How about someone who is near sighted, or doesn't have a hand, or speaks with a lisp. Expect Low fatality in battles, enemies that only show up to goose the story, and nothing else to happen. Please please please!!! STOP THIS WRITER!!!
Oh and the Bear Killers have turned into almost a joke. They were awesome in the first set of three books, then good after that. Now they are just along for the ride.
S.M. Stirling is not bad at all he really makes this steam pile of brown mound acceptable as far as you can swallow it.
Living in Oregon I can tell you. 0% chance of any sort of Irish or Scottish accent ever developing here no matter how many people you kill.
Everything that has to do with...
1. The history we have already read. We are just in a new world, move on.
2. Anything about how super able the Celtic way is, it's just a clan system of people.
3. Anything about Traveling, Ok horse, boat, rail, horse, boat, bicycle, rail, Yes we got it.
4. Any talk about how deadly someone is. Please!
5. How cute anyone is, talk about writing on the wall.
6. Enough Katana Porn. I got it! in your mind the Katana is the Atom Bomb.
7. No more super sense predicting ambush.
8. No more archers ready at every battle.
9. No more super able, ultra deadly anybody.
10. Anyone who is related to anyone else. Too much of this story is explaining who is related to who, why and how they feel about it.
11. Enough about the Pagan ways, we got that, just a little refresher is needed.
Wait if you cut this out, there is no more book. Just an out line that would read.
When the bead guys are not in the story, when they just show up to be defeated or evaded. When they have no more motivation than "i'm evil and this is what I do" it makes detracts from the Heroes story.
Star War: we know what the bad guys are doing and why, we see what the good guys are doing and why.
Stephen King: The stand. a post apocalypse world. We see Flagg his successes and failures and frustrations. We see heroes taking action and why.
You can get away with not showing the bad guy in motion, but to do you must make up for it with great story telling, not just, Bad guys show up and everyone get's away, or Bad guy shows up and is defeated, or making the action happen off screen and the most important point of the book (The death of Artos) a memory.
I don't care much for the Queen because it's all getting handed to her. She is not really growing she is not facing risk she is not making happen. No bear out of the woods, no dire enemy,
Ok the bad guys in the story. We know they have some sort of spooky powers but how and why it works seems only to be limited to what first the story. There is no scale or rules to it,. Why the bad guys are doing what their doing makes no sense. How they are doing what they are doing is still, after all these book unseen.
Please Please Please stop this series
"Too much detail and not enough action"
Nope, it is just too slow. It worked great when he was detailing the new changed world, but this was too much
Same as above
Distinct voices and character
This book felt like a the author was killing time until the story can begin. The books in this series have seemed to slow down, like the author took a couple books worth of story and is spreading out over 10.
"A beacon of the series, new blood, enhanced world"
It is good to see Stirling taking his world and building new layers and taking time to breath new life, with new characters. A perfect joining in point for people new to the series, an excellent addition for veterans.
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