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The Given Sacrifice: A Novel of the Change (Change Series) Hardcover – September 3, 2013

Book 10 of 11 in the Island Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Change Series
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451417313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451417312
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for S. M. Stirling and His Novels of the Change

“Stirling has blazed a clear comet trail across his postapocalyptic landscape that illuminates both the best and the worst of which our species is capable.”—Science Fiction Weekly

“Nobody wrecks a world better than S. M. Stirling, and nobody does a better job of showing that people remain people, with all their high points and low, in the wreckage.”—Harry Turtledove, New York Times Bestselling Author of Supervolcano: All Fall Down

“[A] richly realized story of swordplay and intrigue.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Absorbing.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

“[A] vivid portrait of a world gone insane...full of bloody action, exposition that expands character, and telling detail that makes it all seem very real.”—Statesman Journal (Salem, OR)

“As usual, S. M. Stirling delivers a rich world readers want to live in. Fully formed and alive characters you wish you could drink a beer with or follow into battle.”—PNC-Minnesota Bureau

“Stirling’s historical research is always impeccable, and his ability to use that knowledge and understanding of everything from ancient weapons to regional accents to a foodie’s obsession with good eats creates a world you can see, feel, and touch.”—Otherwhere Gazette

About the Author

S. M. Stirling is the New York Times bestselling author of many science fiction and fantasy novels. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan.

Customer Reviews

Very well written and the characters are excellent.
Henry Toman
Yet another compelling and well written entry by S.M. Stirling into the novels of the "Change" series.
Brian Post
This particular series just gets better with each book.
Big Dave

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey A. Snyder on September 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's been a long time coming but the story of Rudi MacKenzie, the quest for Nantucket, the war against the Cutters and the creation of the High Kingdom of Montival is now complete. It was a bumpy ride getting here but this book made for an excellent ending to this section of the Histories of this new world. The first 2/3 of the book is the end of the war against the Cutters and the final third a wrap up of the stories around the original generation of survivors as well as an introduction to the world as seen by the grandchildren of these same survivors.

The book felt like it wandered a bit in the story as Stirling both tried to wrap up one tale and start a new one, but overall, I'm pleased with the result. As a finale, it felt like an end that wasn't overly sentimental and it also wasn't a Happily Ever After but an end with a new opening for a beginning of something new.

Towards there end, there was a mention that they are discovering hidden groups of survivors in the areas previously thought to only hold cannibals. This is good because I always hated that he wiped out all of Europe, the Eastern US, the entire Southwestern US as well as all of California when there were opportunities to create many interesting societies in many of these areas. Maybe we'll see some of them in the new series to come after this one. If more are detailed like the Morrowlanders, then I will be very pleased with the result.

I enjoyed the way Sandra's story was wrapped up - that was pure Stirling and rather amusing. Juniper's story end was exactly as she would want it as was Tiphaine's ... Rudi's end was expected but done well in an understated way I have to admit I wasn't expecting but found very pleasing. Overall, I was very pleased with this book. He could have written a much longer final novel, but that might have felt inflated and indulgent. This one is good exactly as it is.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Schimel on October 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first books of this series were magical--a new universe that seemed plausible, engaging, and quirky. Characters were richly colored. Over time, they've more continued on rather than grown. Even things like the battle for Corwin and the death of the Prophet or even Rudi for that matter almost happen in passing, rather than as climactic events. The books remain fun but have become less driving and more predictable. I feel that Stirling is milking the readership rather than driving new creation.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Al Hence on February 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the tenth book in the Change series (not counting the three Nantucket books) and the most disappointing. Way too much consists of backstory and lengthy descriptions of meals, ceremonies and landscape. It also fills space with some not very good songs that add nothing to the story. Finally, the whole thing would be nigh indecipherable for anyone that has not been following the series. The series has been losing steam for the last two-three books and has gone from well done to half baked. Time to stick a fork in it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bill on December 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have now finished this series. If I had not been reading this on my Kindle, I would have thrown it against the wall. The first few books from "Dies the Sun" and through most of the Quest was fun, interesting and a good read. I kept hoping for more. My hopes are dashed. This book was so disappointing I can't fully describe my feelings. Suffice to say that I will not start another Stirling series. From the ending of this, I surmise that he may have another series in mind, following the next generation through similar trials and tribulations. It will be done without me. I should have learned my lesson with the Nantucket series. Okay, so I'm a slow learner. The only excuse I have is the Stirling has been so good for so long. For future readers, I recommend that he add a dictionary section as an appendix to define all the wonderful fashion descriptions. The Kindle dictionary has no idea what a hooplande is. Nor do I care.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Erik Peterson on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
First, the good stuff:

This book opens with a metaphorical blast from the past, worthy of Josh Whedon at his best - `in which a young military man from Idaho gets himself involved in a desperate death struggle with a bear, in order to save an attractive young woman named Larsson, who has just crashed to earth in an airplane.'

There is also an effectively terrifying incident which plays out at a ladies garden party high up on a balcony at castle Todenangst, which shows you just how bad Cutters can be, whether living or dead.

Finally, towards the end of the book, there is a brief but-oh so marvelously crafted death-bed scene which sends Sandra Arminger appropriately packing off to her great reward.

Now, for rest of the story...

This is the ninth book in the series which begins with Dies The Fire, and the third in a row which has underperformed. Which is a shame, considering how wonderfully entertaining the first six books were, and how much effort the author had previously put into creating an Emberverse full of fascinating characters and exciting adventures, to share with us, his readers.

The Cutters and the powers behind them were built up in earlier volumes to be the most ferocious bad guys ever - but they went out with a whimper half way through The Given Sacrifice. The last half of the book then proceeds to wander aimlessly through about twenty years of minor episodes in Montival, ending almost accidentally with the death of a middle-aged Rudi Mackenzie, and the succession of his daughter Orlaith to the throne.

Also, we were left high-and-dry as to the fate of an important character, Eilir Mackenzie, just as we had previously been abandoned by Ken Larsson and Dennis Martin.

My advice for Mr.
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More About the Author

I'm a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalization, living in New Mexico at present. My hobbies are mostly related to the craft -- I love history, anthropology and archaeology, and am interested in the sciences. The martial arts are my main physical hobby.

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The Given Sacrifice: A Novel of the Change (Change Series)
This item: The Given Sacrifice: A Novel of the Change (Change Series)
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