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The Tears of the Sun

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Rudi McKenzie-now Artos, the High King of Montival-must fulfill his destiny. He wields the sword crafted for him before he was born. He has made friends of his enemies. He has won the heart of the woman he loves.And now he must defeat the forces of the Church Universal and Triumphant, knowing he may lose his life in the final battle...


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Rudi McKenzie-now Artos, the High King of Montival-must fulfill his destiny. He wields the sword crafted for him before he was born. He has made friends of his enemies. He has won the heart of the woman he loves.And now he must defeat the forces of the Church Universal and Triumphant, knowing he may lose his life in the final battle...

30 review for The Tears of the Sun

  1. 4 out of 5

    James Mackay

    Though it was engaging enough to get me through it's 500-odd pages, I'll confess to being somewhat disappointed. The further we get from the Change itself, the less I enjoy the series. Rather than being a story about how people adapt to the loss of modern technology, it becomes more and more a traditional fantasy series, which simply doesn't interest me that much. As others have noted, the fact that this volume is largely covering ground that's already been covered, albeit from a different pers Though it was engaging enough to get me through it's 500-odd pages, I'll confess to being somewhat disappointed. The further we get from the Change itself, the less I enjoy the series. Rather than being a story about how people adapt to the loss of modern technology, it becomes more and more a traditional fantasy series, which simply doesn't interest me that much. As others have noted, the fact that this volume is largely covering ground that's already been covered, albeit from a different perspective, you get a feeling that the series is treading water. The characterizations seem to have gotten a bit lazy, from the Lucky Charms Leprechaun speech patterns of the MacKenzies, to the John Hordle's constant use of "Roit!" The ruthless and terrifying lady with a sword is another Stirling staple that needs to be retired - Lady D'Ath has never been very compelling, and is less so here. To me, it seems this series is running out of steam. It certainly isn't up to the standard of the first few books, The Peshawar Lancers, or the Nantucket series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marin

    Ugh, in for a penny, in for a pound I s'pose. But damn, the quality of these books is declining faster than Astrid's grip on sanity. I'm three quarters in and finally got to an actual battle instead of a bunch of people sitting and describing things or having flashbacks. Eesh, I'll finish the series more out of obligation than enjoyment. Update... Does Sterling no longer have an editor? "...thick with blooming thickets of purple lilac and wild roses gone feral into impenetrable tangles..." Thick w Ugh, in for a penny, in for a pound I s'pose. But damn, the quality of these books is declining faster than Astrid's grip on sanity. I'm three quarters in and finally got to an actual battle instead of a bunch of people sitting and describing things or having flashbacks. Eesh, I'll finish the series more out of obligation than enjoyment. Update... Does Sterling no longer have an editor? "...thick with blooming thickets of purple lilac and wild roses gone feral into impenetrable tangles..." Thick with thickets? Wild roses gone feral? Come on! Ok, done, ends with a cliffhanger, of course. The best scene, and writing are towards the end where Tiphaine has to battle some supernatural evil. It was very cinematic and visually written, and moved well. Hopefully the last book is more like that. I'm going to read it, but I'll probably be just as cranky about it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anna Erishkigal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Nothing a good editor couldn't fix! I've enjoyed all of Stirlings' novels, albeit they are difficult to follow sometimes because he weaves multiple, complex storylines and multiple character points of view through all his stories and (if you've ever tried to do so) it's no easy task. It's helpful to appreciate the highly detailed historical/sociological facts he weaves throughout all his storytelling (he is, after all, a historian). Mr. Stirling seeks to educate us about a subject he loves, not Nothing a good editor couldn't fix! I've enjoyed all of Stirlings' novels, albeit they are difficult to follow sometimes because he weaves multiple, complex storylines and multiple character points of view through all his stories and (if you've ever tried to do so) it's no easy task. It's helpful to appreciate the highly detailed historical/sociological facts he weaves throughout all his storytelling (he is, after all, a historian). Mr. Stirling seeks to educate us about a subject he loves, not merely provide banal entertainment. Or, to put it in plain English, his writing isn't geared for the young adult crowd many other such series are written for. That being said, I found this book unusually difficult to get through. I got the impression he was trying to backfill what had been going on back home during Rudi and Mattie's quest to Nantucket because he needs it to explain what happens when the Prophet Sethaz comes for them. Perhaps these were even scenes written at the same time as the Sword of the Lady and High King of Montival and edited out because it bogged down the story too much? Its' hard as a writer when you start a whole new cycle based on newer characters in your existing 'universe' to cross paths with characters you love, but not bog down the story too much with the -old- story. I'm betting the young Liu characters are going to feature heavily in the next two books and I just love Tiphaine D'Ath and Ritva. However, I twould have liked this story better if it had either been tightly edited as far as accurate historical detail and the thought-processes of other minor characters in the story, or had been published as two separate, smaller books highlighting each sub-story (the Mary Liu/children/D'Ath plotline and the raid on Boise), taking the time to relish the 'universe' each sub-story was set in. The entire present-tense, past-tense thing just totally killed the flow. Also, Mr. Stirling killed off a long-running, major character at the end of a chapter in a way that, when the book finally returned to that sub-story pages and pages later, I had to go back and re-read the earlier chapter to even figure out that character had died. Worse ... they skipped ahead to the funeral and the characters death was written as a past-tense scene. I felt ... cheated. The character died a heroic death and it was barely a footnote ... an inconvenient former-major character killed off for no apparant reason with no emotion or real chance to mourn. And then the selfish woman the character had died for ... ridden with guilt ... and the buddhist monk's advice to that woman and the group? Lost opportunities! You could have had your readers in tears! And then there were all the overly-detailed descriptions of how people dressed and what they ate for every single scene. And all the interruptions of dialogue where the character veered off on self-indulgent trains-of-thought. It broke the flow of dialogue and, honestly, if I never read the word 'cote-hardie' or 'parti-colored' ever ever ever again it will be too soon. Last but not least ... all of a sudden in the final chapter we're cut back to Rudi and Mattie and the battle we've been gearing up for the entire book and it's like, what? Six-pages long and totally skipped all the bloody, gory, historically accurate fight scenes and military tactics we love to read and is OVER? It felt as though some publisher said ... 'we need this story now' so it was just churned out to end the book quick and hand it in. On the other hand, the descriptions of why one particular minor landholding was chosen for its future defendability was fascinating. I could picture the people taking to the hills and harassing the CUT like the ancient Highland Scots harassing the British. Now THAT was a little side-trip that was interesting enough to include and I suspect the entire reason for a minor characters prominance. The reason educated readers ENJOY fiction such as Mr. Stirlings. But how we got there to learn that piece of information was choppy. Either fully develop Ingolf and Mary and their relationship in its own right. Or send a major character to that kingdom. As my caption says ... there's nothing wrong with this story a good editor couldn't have fixed. But the editor -didn't- fix it. Shame on Roc publishing for focusing on the dollar signs and pushing out what I would consider to be a fairly rough draft and not taking the time to hammer the rough steel into a fine sword! I hope the next book is more polished.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    Where was Stirling's editor? Ay-yi-yi. Eight books into the series, you needn't tell me about all the players in detail. Especially the dead ones, for pages and pages. Yep, Norman was a bad guy, got it, now let's move on already. The Liu backstory was entirely too detailed, and the way it threaded through the entire book was fairly annoying. As others have said, there are about 200 pages of actual new book here, and nearly 400 of filler, backstory, rehash & description of the freaking gloaming a Where was Stirling's editor? Ay-yi-yi. Eight books into the series, you needn't tell me about all the players in detail. Especially the dead ones, for pages and pages. Yep, Norman was a bad guy, got it, now let's move on already. The Liu backstory was entirely too detailed, and the way it threaded through the entire book was fairly annoying. As others have said, there are about 200 pages of actual new book here, and nearly 400 of filler, backstory, rehash & description of the freaking gloaming and the succulent roast pork with a slight crackly sweet glaze. I'm getting impatient with the religion in these books, as the series grinds on- I'm not sure I'm buying the wholesale adoption of oh, say the ancient rites of Odin, with all the assorted panoply, or the way, in 25 years, all the children are named from the ancient lays and nobody is named Jill or Jason any more. I get that Stirling is bringing the Powers back in a big way as the series goes on, but I'm not sure I can suspend my disbelief appropriately. Every book that comes out has each religion more of a caricature of itself than the last- in this one, the Catholics can't move without kissing their rosaries or praying to St. Somebody and the Wiccans are begging pardon of the trees as they climb them, while even Lady D'Ath is having a little moment with (who else) Athena. Worth reading if you have read the first 7 and plan to read the next (2? 4? 39?). But don't rush off to the bookstore thinking you are going to be any closer to the big war, because you won't be.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Patrick

    This was actually somewhat disappointing compared to the previous books in the series. The plot had no real focus and jumped around the timeline trying to hit on plot points that were happening currently in the timeline and filling back story with flashbacks. I very much liked all the previous books in this series but "Tears of the Sun" spends the whole book building up to a payoff that you won't get untill the next book. When I finished the last page it almost felt like it was a chore to have r This was actually somewhat disappointing compared to the previous books in the series. The plot had no real focus and jumped around the timeline trying to hit on plot points that were happening currently in the timeline and filling back story with flashbacks. I very much liked all the previous books in this series but "Tears of the Sun" spends the whole book building up to a payoff that you won't get untill the next book. When I finished the last page it almost felt like it was a chore to have read it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    H Gilbert

    It was just OK. I really enjoyed Dies the Fire and the Protectors War. I liked Meeting at Corvallis. However, when we jumped ahead - what - 15 years to grown up Rudi and his friends who grew up post-Change and seeing a world in which magic is reappearing...well my suspension of disbelief started to fray, and it's been getting more so with each installment. There have been a few books that haven't advanced the plot much at all, and this one seemed to be little snippets about things that happened at It was just OK. I really enjoyed Dies the Fire and the Protectors War. I liked Meeting at Corvallis. However, when we jumped ahead - what - 15 years to grown up Rudi and his friends who grew up post-Change and seeing a world in which magic is reappearing...well my suspension of disbelief started to fray, and it's been getting more so with each installment. There have been a few books that haven't advanced the plot much at all, and this one seemed to be little snippets about things that happened at home while the quest was on its way back from the East Coast. Seemed some brand new characters have sprung up - didn't know who they were and still don't much care - but I guess they're there to provide some plot thread for one of the many still up coming book. Feel like Stirling went into this second round of Emberverse novels with an outline that he scrapped, as I was under the impression that there'd be the first trilogy - Nantucket (which strangely had technology exported to the far past) the second trilogy (in which technology has someone failed us) and the third open ended series of books where suddenly there be gods who have decided we are irresponsible children who just can't have nice things. Strangely they had no problem sending Nantucket to the past where they introduced gunpowder and what not to the folks back there...so go figure. I've read the existing 11 books in this series. I write this and can't believe it, but I guess I'm in it for the long haul (which seems to be getting longer every time another book in the series comes out). I will finish this series, just hoping that things get a bit better - pacing, characterization, less food porn and description of the heraldry. And please, keep the Mackenzieisms to a dull roar. Most ridiculous dialogue ever. Blargh.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk

    "Tears of the Sun" surprised me. I was expecting something much worse. Recently, Stirling's Emberverse series has developed into some sort of pastiche, a mixture of Tolkien, Hollywood and some guide to foods eaten at great feats in post-apocalyptic America. The story has dragged as it has been drawn out. No-one, reading this series, would believe that this is the same author who wrote "Island in the Sea of Time" or "The Peshawar Lancers". Stirling has obviously decided that this is going to be t "Tears of the Sun" surprised me. I was expecting something much worse. Recently, Stirling's Emberverse series has developed into some sort of pastiche, a mixture of Tolkien, Hollywood and some guide to foods eaten at great feats in post-apocalyptic America. The story has dragged as it has been drawn out. No-one, reading this series, would believe that this is the same author who wrote "Island in the Sea of Time" or "The Peshawar Lancers". Stirling has obviously decided that this is going to be the masterpiece for which he will always be remembered and tried to make it momentous... and at times he's looked like failing. I loyally started to read this tome expecting more of the same. Others have criticised the flashbacks and slow build-up, so I was dreading the read.... This is not a slow book, it is not a food guide to the alternative universe that is the Emberverse. The Hollywood Irish and some of the language is irritating but, thankfully, there is not much of that. The story develops quite well and the flashbacks do have a continuity that maintains the storyline and pace (if I have a criticism then it is that the flashbacks should have been written as reminiscences with the storyteller at the centre of the action). Stirling remains a good writer; his power of description, especially of the landscape, is excellent. He knows how to build the story (but this time at a better pace) and to leave us wanting more. I had considered abandoning the series at this point but Stirling has managed to hold me in his grip.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liz B

    I'm filing this as taking a break. Maybe I'll check it out again eventually--but I've been reading it (or avoiding reading it) for three weeks. It's just that I'm about halfway through and nothing--nothing!--is happening. Meetings meetings meetings. I go to meetings in my own life. I would prefer not to also read about them. I very much want to know how everything works out in this series, but it's pretty clear that I won't be finding that out in this installment...so I think I'll wait till the ne I'm filing this as taking a break. Maybe I'll check it out again eventually--but I've been reading it (or avoiding reading it) for three weeks. It's just that I'm about halfway through and nothing--nothing!--is happening. Meetings meetings meetings. I go to meetings in my own life. I would prefer not to also read about them. I very much want to know how everything works out in this series, but it's pretty clear that I won't be finding that out in this installment...so I think I'll wait till the next one comes out and maybe try again with this one then.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I'm ready for this series to end. I was hoping this book WAS the end; but nope. I got sucked into the whole post-apocalyptic/alternate world and have enjoyed it to this point; but how much more build-up to the climax are we going to have to read, Mr. Stirling? Comon', Rudy, let's finish this! I'm ready for this series to end. I was hoping this book WAS the end; but nope. I got sucked into the whole post-apocalyptic/alternate world and have enjoyed it to this point; but how much more build-up to the climax are we going to have to read, Mr. Stirling? Comon', Rudy, let's finish this!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Three word synopsis: "Meanwhile, back home..." Three word synopsis: "Meanwhile, back home..."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Billy Roper

    I like the series better as it progresses, the characters become more complex, and the paganism is featured less. Unfortunately I contacted a local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism and they have no plans in place to institute an actual neo-feudal system in a SHTF scenario. Otherwise I was going to sign up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Duffy Pratt

    I think I might be done with this series. In this book and the last, a character compares something someone else did to something out of the "Historiies." The Histories is The Lord of the Rings. It's dangerous for a writer to have a character comment on the quality of his own work. There are ways that these books are now derivative of Tolkien, but they are not good ways. In general, the plotting, pacing, structure, characterization, dialogue, and interior monologue have all slipped drastically ov I think I might be done with this series. In this book and the last, a character compares something someone else did to something out of the "Historiies." The Histories is The Lord of the Rings. It's dangerous for a writer to have a character comment on the quality of his own work. There are ways that these books are now derivative of Tolkien, but they are not good ways. In general, the plotting, pacing, structure, characterization, dialogue, and interior monologue have all slipped drastically over the last few books. And it's getting repetitive. This malaise seems to threaten many writers of epic, serial fantasy. For the second book in a row, Stirling has noted that there was a soldier noted for long distance travel on horseback named Major Assburns. The first time I rolled my eyes. The second, I almost quit reading entirely. Last book, I complained that Stirling killed off an important character off screen. Here, he does even worse. One of the major characters of first trilogy gets killed here. We see the scene where she gets killed, but Stirling writes it in a way that makes it impossible to know what happened. But the biggest problem I have is that Stirling ends the book with the pronouncement that the prophet of doom, Sethaz, "is coming." And I don't care. I don't care if he wins. I don't care what happens to Rudi MacKenzie or his Lucky Charms speaking clan. I had some friends in film school who said that there some movies that could be drastically improved if, at the end, space aliens came down and flew everyone away into space. That's sort of the way I feel about this series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    After four books of travel and Rudi Mackenzie's triumphant return from his quest, I was excited to read, at long last, about the war he'd have to wage to secure his newly-formed kingdom. Too bad this was not that book. The Tears of the Sun has a massive problem with structure and focus. Half of it bogs down the arc of the series with a full account of Odard Liu's family. There's zero suspense about their fate, because we learn what's happened to them before their story is told. The flashback tran After four books of travel and Rudi Mackenzie's triumphant return from his quest, I was excited to read, at long last, about the war he'd have to wage to secure his newly-formed kingdom. Too bad this was not that book. The Tears of the Sun has a massive problem with structure and focus. Half of it bogs down the arc of the series with a full account of Odard Liu's family. There's zero suspense about their fate, because we learn what's happened to them before their story is told. The flashback transitions are awkward, their introductions feel like the frame stories of a sitcom clip show. The rest of the novel involves a lot of sitting around and talking about war prep. There was one interesting mission into enemy territory, but that ended on a vague note of frustration once I learned, many chapters later, how it had ended. In addition to those issues, the prose constantly stalled out thanks to tedious descriptions of every meal, outfit, and significant building. This is the eighth book in the series, and it's set in one of the areas that readers are most familiar with. Do we really need multiple lectures about castle construction and layout at this point? The story stretched for excuses to tell us how to get armor off and formal court dress on, and hearing every meal described down to the style of bread they ate made me wonder if the characters hadn't stumbled into Redwall. Thanks to the book's inability to stick with details and storylines that moved the overall plot forward, the ending was deeply unsatisfying.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    The eighth book in the Emberverse series picks right up where the seventh book ends. This story was a depature from the previous books in the series as the author felt the end to explain events from the past as he also keep the present story line moving forward. This was done as a series of flash backs told by various characters and seemed to be an unecessary digression as it could have been told very quickly at one time. This makes me think that the author is setting up something in the last tw The eighth book in the Emberverse series picks right up where the seventh book ends. This story was a depature from the previous books in the series as the author felt the end to explain events from the past as he also keep the present story line moving forward. This was done as a series of flash backs told by various characters and seemed to be an unecessary digression as it could have been told very quickly at one time. This makes me think that the author is setting up something in the last two books so I will wait and see how unnecessary it might have been when I have finished the series. The current plot moves ahead nicely with some good action and the death of another main character which Stirling is unafraid to do at anytime. He also is moving D'Ath into a more central role along with Rudy so I think she will be an important part of the final confrontation. Almost all of the characters from the orginial trilogy have fallen to the side except for Sandra and or in the case of Juniper or Signe they get some cameo's. This book may be pivotal in the series as it feels like the author is moving some plot points around to set up the end confrontation but it felt less head long in the narrative which I like in the previous versions. I am curious which direction he takes over the last two books of the series and I hope he keeps the fast pace with the spare narrative style to the finish. Over all this was a decent addition to the series but the next two books will determine that more fully. Pithy review: Good but uncertain what it means for the future.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ken Hoffman

    I have been a big fan of the Emberverse series, especially the first three, but it seems that this series is going the way of all long series: it is starting to change and be drawn out, much the way the Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time became, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth books, etc. Sometimes you get the impression the story is being embellished not because it should be, but because the author simply can. After a while, a reader just rolls their eyes, and continues reading them not because I have been a big fan of the Emberverse series, especially the first three, but it seems that this series is going the way of all long series: it is starting to change and be drawn out, much the way the Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time became, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth books, etc. Sometimes you get the impression the story is being embellished not because it should be, but because the author simply can. After a while, a reader just rolls their eyes, and continues reading them not because they are superb and grand like in the beginning, but to just to see it through to the end. "The Tears of the Sun" seems more like a placeholder in the series, as there is little advancement in the plot or the ongoing battle with the CUT. Its mainly reminiscence and back story of things that occurred along with events in other books but were not touched upon at that time. And is it gets more convoluted as we add more more characters and names and titles from a dozen or more completely different post-Change social/governmental systems; fun at first but it gets awkward and bulky. Hopefully the next book will end Rudi's story and that of Montival, and maybe open up a new chapter in the Emberverse with new characters and a new plot.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sdluvingit

    Enough already! I did like the first few Change novels and I like the characters but this story is never-ending. The last two books have done little to advance the story and this one, in particular, spends the vast majority of the time telling you details about an event you already knew happened. The novel also shifts back, forth, and sideways in time; most everything is told in reflection. You better take close note of the date in each chapter title or you will be confused; at least I was at ti Enough already! I did like the first few Change novels and I like the characters but this story is never-ending. The last two books have done little to advance the story and this one, in particular, spends the vast majority of the time telling you details about an event you already knew happened. The novel also shifts back, forth, and sideways in time; most everything is told in reflection. You better take close note of the date in each chapter title or you will be confused; at least I was at times until I learned to check the dates closely. The loss of a significant character isn't even handled as it happened and when you get to it you have a WTF moment as you go flipping back to find where you missed it in the first place. I seriously don't need paragraphs devoted to what someone is wearing, in minute detail, and how they dress themselves (not more than once, at least) or the endless song lyrics; I get it, these people like to sing but this is not a multimedia experience. There is absolutely no sense in this story taking 8 books (and now I have little confidence that even the one remaining major event will be completed in the next novel) other than to milk my time and money.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bauer

    I'm rounding up for the 8th book of the Emberverse series. Just taking a quick glance at the 60+ other reviews confirms the way I felt about the book. I've enjoyed tremendously the entire series and have the utmost respect for the author's writing style and research when crafting these works. But Tears of the Sun was a "placeholder" "series of short stories" and just about every other observation made in reviews. I guess my biggest gripe with the book is the interesting but overly long extended I'm rounding up for the 8th book of the Emberverse series. Just taking a quick glance at the 60+ other reviews confirms the way I felt about the book. I've enjoyed tremendously the entire series and have the utmost respect for the author's writing style and research when crafting these works. But Tears of the Sun was a "placeholder" "series of short stories" and just about every other observation made in reviews. I guess my biggest gripe with the book is the interesting but overly long extended flashback sequences detailing the fate of Mary Liu and her offspring. The narrative is woven throughout the entire book like a dragonfly skimming along the surface of a pond, touching down briefly on its path. Couple of other points; 1. The shock value and creepiness factor of Prophet-inhabited corpses is over. 2. Rudi and Matti are the "heroes" of the past several books; keep them in the limelight. 3. HUGE PROPS for showing no fear of killing off major characters when the narrative demands it. Not quite as good as previous books but enough to keep me waiting for the final(?) one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Junkie for the Written Word

    So disappointing. After coming off the disappointment of A Dance With Dragons and all the filler material presented therein, I was hoping for a good story. Instead I get more filler material. Sigh. I was annoyed with the flashbacks, because I could not have cared less. I'm sick to death of the repetition, because if you pick up the 8th book in a series and you don't know what's going on it's your own damn fault. I do not need, want, or require a recap of everything that has happened thus far in So disappointing. After coming off the disappointment of A Dance With Dragons and all the filler material presented therein, I was hoping for a good story. Instead I get more filler material. Sigh. I was annoyed with the flashbacks, because I could not have cared less. I'm sick to death of the repetition, because if you pick up the 8th book in a series and you don't know what's going on it's your own damn fault. I do not need, want, or require a recap of everything that has happened thus far in the story. And I'm tired of the "people who were adults during the change are weird," and "It all seems like play acting," and "The Dunedain are crazy, but crazy good fighters." WE GOT IT. Seriously, no, we understand these concepts thoroughly, as they've been repeated over and over again in each and every book. Shut up and tell me something new. After this I don't know if I'll continue with the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

    Book 5, Series 2 - the series is definitely showing its age. An awful lot of time is spent visiting in with characters and not moving the plot all that far along. And yet the characters are mostly worth visiting. A bit uneven - some vignettes were rushed enough that they might as well have happened off-screen. Others though were fantastic, worthy of standing on their own as short-stories or novellas. And unlike previous book in series 2, there were no 100 page long battle scenes - which probably Book 5, Series 2 - the series is definitely showing its age. An awful lot of time is spent visiting in with characters and not moving the plot all that far along. And yet the characters are mostly worth visiting. A bit uneven - some vignettes were rushed enough that they might as well have happened off-screen. Others though were fantastic, worthy of standing on their own as short-stories or novellas. And unlike previous book in series 2, there were no 100 page long battle scenes - which probably means the next book will be one long battle scene to pay for it. This series started with some vague pretensions at being sci-fi, but at this point it is mostly fantasy - but still enjoyable and worth reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    While I have not enjoyed the series as much as the original trilogy, I truly feel that there is almost no one writing today who can world build the way Stirling does. The detail and description within are no where near ponderous and you can really feel as if you were there. One of my favourite things about these books is also that we are not stuck with the primary characters the majority of the time. In fact, the majority of the time we are saddled with secondary POV's. The thing is, they don't f While I have not enjoyed the series as much as the original trilogy, I truly feel that there is almost no one writing today who can world build the way Stirling does. The detail and description within are no where near ponderous and you can really feel as if you were there. One of my favourite things about these books is also that we are not stuck with the primary characters the majority of the time. In fact, the majority of the time we are saddled with secondary POV's. The thing is, they don't feel that way. Each and every switch of character view feels as important as the High Kings. This book spends a lot of time with some of my favourite characters in Ingolf Vogeler and Tiphaine D'Ath and develops some younger POV's that could be with us long term.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    The Tears of the Sun has to be the worst book in the Emberverse series if not the worst book S.M. Stirling has written to date. Dies the Fire and the next 2 books were fantastic, but starting with book 4 (The Sunrise Lands) this dystopian story has gone down hill. The Emberverse series has turned into a fantasy book series that spends a great deal of time describing the smell and color of things in the environment instead of producing any story. This over-description of everything along with the The Tears of the Sun has to be the worst book in the Emberverse series if not the worst book S.M. Stirling has written to date. Dies the Fire and the next 2 books were fantastic, but starting with book 4 (The Sunrise Lands) this dystopian story has gone down hill. The Emberverse series has turned into a fantasy book series that spends a great deal of time describing the smell and color of things in the environment instead of producing any story. This over-description of everything along with the flashbacks in The Tears of the Sun I found this book a complete waste of my time. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless you simply feel you need to read the entire series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Onthevirg

    Need to start putting in some ratings that aren't all rainbows and puppy dogs, hence my review. I still have to rate the books in between, but it's starting to reach the point that the Jordan (before Sanderson took up the torch)/Goodkind books did for me as they progressed, though in admittedly different ways. I like rich detail describing the environment and world building as much as the next guy but let's try moving along the plot without getting tied up for two & three paragraphs describing wh Need to start putting in some ratings that aren't all rainbows and puppy dogs, hence my review. I still have to rate the books in between, but it's starting to reach the point that the Jordan (before Sanderson took up the torch)/Goodkind books did for me as they progressed, though in admittedly different ways. I like rich detail describing the environment and world building as much as the next guy but let's try moving along the plot without getting tied up for two & three paragraphs describing what a character is seeing from a wall/tower/back of a horse. I did like a lot of the Tiphaine stuff from her POV again. One of the more interesting characters in the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    This book is such a bore I had to put it down. I feel like the author is stretching things out in an unreasonable fashion. I'm all for more books but Jesus, you spread these too thin and I'm not going to care about the fate of any of the people in this book. I will inevitably slog through this story but honestly? I feel like I'm reading a manual about the story. UPDATE: finally slogged through and finished this book. If the next book is anything like this one I will wait till the series ends and This book is such a bore I had to put it down. I feel like the author is stretching things out in an unreasonable fashion. I'm all for more books but Jesus, you spread these too thin and I'm not going to care about the fate of any of the people in this book. I will inevitably slog through this story but honestly? I feel like I'm reading a manual about the story. UPDATE: finally slogged through and finished this book. If the next book is anything like this one I will wait till the series ends and find out what happened on Wikipedia.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The ratio of infodumps to actual plot is getting alarmingly high, almost to Weberesque levels. Luckily I like food and postapocalyptic military logistics a lot more than I like loving descriptions of space missiles. I continue to wonder who the dude on the covers is.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joe Miller

    Just finish the series already. 4677853274957 pages (approximately) and nothing happened.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Not impressed. Little plot advancement, it seemed like setup for he next book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    This is the most complicated of the series so far. There is a huge cast of characters, two timelines that cut back and forth, and characters who have evolved from sinister to essential. If you are not conversant with Northwest geography or medieval terms and dress, that adds another level of complexity. The characters are still wonderful: loyal, witty, believable, and except for the bad guys, extremely likeable. The story is primarily set with the preparation (both military and alliances) for the This is the most complicated of the series so far. There is a huge cast of characters, two timelines that cut back and forth, and characters who have evolved from sinister to essential. If you are not conversant with Northwest geography or medieval terms and dress, that adds another level of complexity. The characters are still wonderful: loyal, witty, believable, and except for the bad guys, extremely likeable. The story is primarily set with the preparation (both military and alliances) for the ultimate war between the consolidated kingdom of Montival and the forces of CUT (the Church Universal and Triumphant) and the United States of Boise. Rudi (Artos I) and Maddi and their cohorts have returned from the Sunrise Lands (eastern U.S. and Nantucket). They spread out to build alliances and marshal military resources. This volume ends as the final battle is ready to engage. This is definitely not the place to start the series. Maddi and Rudi and the classic primary characters of the series appear, but are not a main part of the story, although they are crucial to the structure. The character we learn most about is the previously villainous and terrifying Tiphaine D’Ath. There is a lot more of her backstory here and where she currently is in her life. There are also appearances of the forces of possession from the CUT – reminds me of Rosemary’s Baby. Crucial to the series, but definitely the hardest to get through so far. Readalikes: S.M. Stirling’s Change series; Juliana Baggott’s The Pure Trilogy; for complex world-building, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series; David Wellington – Monster Island; China Mieville – Perdido Street Station; Cherie Priest – Boneshaker. Pace: Steady-paced Characters: Large cast; complex relationships Story: Intricately plotted; world-building Language: Compelling Tone: Atmospheric; Thought-provoking Frame: Oregon, Northwest U.S., SW Canada; Change years 23, 25; AD 2021, 2023

  28. 5 out of 5

    Spuddie

    I do not know how 22 hours of listening time manages to fly by so quickly, but it does, as the author continues on the with the unfolding story of the various societies and clans that formed after 'the change' 25 years previously, when some sort of EMP disabled all electronic and motorized things in one split-second flash and caused the Earth to go dark. Most of humanity was wiped out, some instantly as planes full of travelers fell from the sky, others in the months and years following, of hung I do not know how 22 hours of listening time manages to fly by so quickly, but it does, as the author continues on the with the unfolding story of the various societies and clans that formed after 'the change' 25 years previously, when some sort of EMP disabled all electronic and motorized things in one split-second flash and caused the Earth to go dark. Most of humanity was wiped out, some instantly as planes full of travelers fell from the sky, others in the months and years following, of hunger, disease and at the hands of other people doing their best to survive and protect their own groups. Now, 25 years on, young Rudi MacKenzie, back from his quest to Nantucket for the Sword of the Lady, is reigning as High King Artos I and the war of the new kingdom of Montival--consisting of several of the smaller groups in the western USA banded together--against the CUT (Church Universal and Triumphant) has begun in earnest. As usual, the story cycles around, continuing the tales of several of the major characters from their own points of view and the well-written, brilliantly narrated stories fly by.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Monical

    A re-read-- trying to decide when I thought this series went astray. This book should be titled "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" because over half of the book is flashback to fill in backstory while Rudy was off to Nantucket. The non-flashback parts are mostly dull and filled with battle descriptions. I think the main motivation for the book was to kill off one major character, and that story line fades into oblivion anyway so who cares? Actually, that is one of the major problems with this part o A re-read-- trying to decide when I thought this series went astray. This book should be titled "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" because over half of the book is flashback to fill in backstory while Rudy was off to Nantucket. The non-flashback parts are mostly dull and filled with battle descriptions. I think the main motivation for the book was to kill off one major character, and that story line fades into oblivion anyway so who cares? Actually, that is one of the major problems with this part of the series-- Stirling drops many of the characters we have come to know and replaces them with cardboard whosis for whom I have no affinity, Rudy and Matti included. So this isn't the worst book in this part, but its edging closer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This installment in this long series just didn't have much to keep the pages turning. As often happens when a series goes beyond three books sometimes there isn't much story to tell. Sure the book advances many of the characters and it does move the over reaching plot along but barely. I found myself skimming through vast sections looking for interesting parts and while I did find a few, they were scarce. I will keep going on the series because this has happened before and then the next book is f This installment in this long series just didn't have much to keep the pages turning. As often happens when a series goes beyond three books sometimes there isn't much story to tell. Sure the book advances many of the characters and it does move the over reaching plot along but barely. I found myself skimming through vast sections looking for interesting parts and while I did find a few, they were scarce. I will keep going on the series because this has happened before and then the next book is full of great reading but this one certainly is a case of read it to keep the story going but be prepared for a lot of dull sections.

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