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Like A Mighty Army Review

Publishers Weekly

Weber’s seventh far-future Safehold novel (after Midst Toil and Tribulation) is a complex and fascinating epic about change, identity, and the nature of faith. The empire of Charis and its allies are valiantly attempting to end the corrupt Church of God Awaiting’s centuries-long planetary stranglehold on all innovation. Unfortunately, even Merlin Athrawes, their swashbuckling robot ally from a more scientifically advanced past, hasn’t been able to save the Charisian side from heavy losses over a brutal winter campaign. Weber is refreshingly interested in the civilian and social consequences of revolution: the Charisian leaders struggle to feed their population and smuggle much-needed relief supplies to their allies. Merlin, formerly the human space officer Nimue Alban, remains the highlight of the series, a clever old female soul playing a combined Gandalf and James Bond in a male android body. Weber’s sensitive portrayal of his transgender robot hero’s identity issues (“I’ve... ah, encountered a few problems in becoming permanently male”) takes new and fascinating turns, and a colorful assortment of saints and schemers fill out the cast. (Feb.)