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By Schism Rent Asunder Review


*Starred Review* In the second volume, after Off Armageddon Reef (2007), of the saga of the planet Safehold, Weber employs a superb cast of characters and plenty of action to escalate the conflict between the Group of Four and the Church of God Awaiting. Among the outstanding players are King Cayleb of Charis and his adviser, the warrior-monk Merlin, and when readers find out that Merlin is really the avatar of the woman Nimue, who, along with Earth itself, is long dead, they may realize that Weber has combined the Matter of Britain and the Protestant Reformation and outfitted them in sf trappings. By the end of this novel, they may suspect, too, that the Thirty Years’ War has been added to the mixture. They will be certain that the by-then emperor Cayleb’s love for his empress is only the first of new difficulties that will assail him in the next volume. They can rest assured of Weber’s usual mastery of anything having to do with ships, whether sailing or hyperdriven. This fine book gives new luster to Weber’s reputation and new pleasure to his fans. --Roland Green n