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The Sword of the Lady: A Novel of the Change (Emberverse Book 6) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Length: 672 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"This new novel of the Change is quite probably the finest by an author who has been growing in skill and imagination for more than 25 years." ---Booklist Starred Review

About the Author

S. M. Stirling is the author of many science fiction and fantasy novels. He is a former lawyer and an amateur historian.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1812 KB
  • Print Length: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (August 7, 2009)
  • Publication Date: August 25, 2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002DW937O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Stirling writes his usual multiplicity of cultures, warfare, religions and so forth so it was interesting and even fun in that regard. The really frustrating part of this was the book blurb leading you to expect you're going to get a LOT further in this story than you will. There is a slight spoiler alert here, although I won't tell you what happened other than this: You don't get to Nantucket until about the last 5 pages of the book and then nothing is really resolved. I get annoyed when I get the feeling the author is intentionally dragging out a series to sell more books. I wondered a bit after "Scourge of God" and this one left me even more frustrated. I've abandoned series mid-stream in the past because of this and I'm approaching that point again. Get on with it, already.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Dies the Fire" was a brilliant new direction after Stirling finished the Island series, but the story arc hit some real absurdities in "Sword of the Lady". A lot of book space gets allocated to trivial side stories that do nothing to enhance the reader's mental imagery or understanding of the world. But that is the style of many writers today who have confused quantity with quality; Stirling shares the trait with other writers such as David Weber.

I was even on-board with the gradual introduction of fantasy elements into what started as a straight science-fiction book. But the ending of the book was wholly implausible, and seemed like a desperate attempt to mash together a supernatural and super-scientific solution to both the Change series and the Island series. Stirling would have been a lot better off if he'd never attempted such an explanation, because it's so full of holes that it renders the series meaningless. Now I'm in no hurry to finish the series at this point, I'll wait until the paperbacks are down to the $1 level.

I wonder if Stirling is feeling his own mortality and projecting into his writing? Many sci-fi and fantasy authors succumb to this trait, creating their own religious or technological "afterlifes" and dwelling endlessly upon them. Sometimes they still manage to create entertaining or challenging stories within that context, but often it just ends in the equivalent of sappy wishful thinking that is far from engaging or enlightening.

Sorry, it could have been so much better ...
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Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of S.M. Stirling's work and thought the premise for the Change + Nantucket stories very interesting. But the series has really started to fall apart for me with all the mumbo jumbo religious crap. I read a lot of fantasy and can deal with some mysticism. What is irritating and off putting about all the religion in this series is the implausibility of it. The idea that after only 24 years a large segment of the remaining population would be speaking in pseudo gaelic and ELVISH (come on), with constant invocations to mostly forgotten deities is utterly ridiculous. And the pageantry and reversion of the PPA back to feudalism is equally preposterous- no woman in their right mind is going to willing go back to the cote-hardie. How Rudi and Co. sweep across the country effortlessly changing societies and converting people to their ways is completely unbelievable. Finally, and this is the thing that made me put down the book 1/2 way through- the war cries that everyone shouts out before they start kicking ass and taking names. I mean really, they are embarrassing. Just like anyone else, while I am reading I am playing the movie in my head and I just cannot see the characters realistically shouting "Flame LIght! Flee Night" or"Face Gervais, Face Death". It just makes the whole read seem like a Monty Python skit. I haven't given up on SM Stirling but I do hope he gets back to his exceptional craft, and soon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the first Change series (DTF) books. I was held fast from beginning to end. But in the second series (Sunrise Lands, etc) things have only gone down hill. The content is mind-numbingly hard to swallow- from Wicca to all of the "girl power" it was hard to keep reading these books. I could understand the MacKenzies being some sort of post-Wicca nature cult, but why are there Wiccans literally EVERYWHERE? Give me a break! Secret covens all over the midwest? Has the author ever been to the midwest? I found the Norrheimers paganism a little bit less irritating, as it reflects actual paganism (the violence, drinking, coarseness, etc), but people who could be killed by bandits or a farming accident any second without warning putting their spiritual stock in some decadent reflection or bourgeois America's homage to their pre-Christian ancestors with no modicum of historicity whatsoever makes my eyes roll till I get a headache. If you want to write about pagans, don't forget the animal and human sacrifices, the sexual rituals, the beastiality (which Stirling describes in Island in the Sea of Time), and all those other little non-PC bits that make it all plausible.

The girl power doesn't bother me in principle- I married a woman with a career- but in this time and place it seems absurd. We know that female equality cannot exist without the birth control pill. That is what spawned the sexual revolution, women's liberation, etc. If sex meant babies the female characters would put a little more thought into who they slept with than they do in these books. Also, the notion that women could be soldiers equal to men (pre-gun powder) is insane.
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Sword of The Lady Reviews
The last third of this book was a slog. And can anyone explain the ending to me? Did we win? Are the good guys all saved? Who died there at the end and who lived? Why did SMS waste my time with all that mysticism?
I do not think that the reader is well served here.
Sep 4, 2009 by nogentlereader |  See all 14 posts
Sword of the Lady
The correct link for SMStirling's pre-posted chapters is where you will find the early chapters of most of his books.
I'm not sure why jiltanith has her own link there.
Aug 23, 2009 by K. Salmon |  See all 5 posts
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