A Mighty Fortress
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not yet thirty years old, young Cayleb Ahrmahk has accomplished things few people could even dream of. He’s smashed a hostile alliance of five princedoms and won the hand of the beautiful Queen Sharelyan of Chisolm, together they have created the Charisian Empire, the greatest naval power in the history of Safehold, and they’ve turned Charis into a place of refuge for all who treasure freedom.
But their success may prove short-lived. the clique that controls the Church of God Awaiting, and through the church most of Safehold, the Group of Four, has decreed their destruction. Mother Church’s entire purpose is to prevent the very things to which Charis is committed, and she will not rest until the Charisian abomination has been erased forever.
The first attempt by the Group of Four failed, but they’re determined to learn from their mistakes. Now they have no choice but to adopt some of Charis’s innovations for themselves. Their mighty fleet, equipped with the new weapons will soon be launched.
But there are still matters about which the Church still knows nothing, including the services of the mystic warrior-monk named Merlin provides to the Empire. Merlin knows all about catastrophic battles against impossible odds, because he is in fact the cybernetic avatar of a young woman named Nimue Alban, who died a thousand years ago. As Nimue, Merlin saw the entire Terran Federation go down in fire, and slaughter at the hands of a foe it could not defeat. He knows that Safehold is the last human planet in existence, and that the technological stasis Mother Church was created to enforce will be the death sentence of the human race if it’s allowed to stand. Merlin has turned his immortal soul, mind, and body against that fate and Mother Church is going to discover just how potent the power of freedom truly is.
The 4th book in the Safehold Saga continues building on the previous entries, building a world whose scope, depth, and complexity is enthralling.