- Series: A Novel of the Change (Book 9)
- Hardcover: 624 pages
- Publisher: Ace; 1st Printing edition (September 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451417356
- ISBN-13: 978-0451417350
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 218 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Desert and the Blade (A Novel of the Change) Hardcover – September 1, 2015
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Praise for S.M. Stirling and his Novels of the Change
“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 Joe Steele
“Absorbing.”—San Diego Union-Tribune
“[A] richly realized story of swordplay and intrigue.”—Entertainment Weekly
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.
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And heading into the Mojave to meet and ally with yet more eccentric survivors...abut of Hippie influenced survivors populate Topanga, Lancers have developed north west of the Valley...and Neo Israel nomadic group of tribes have grown out of very fun Fan Fiction idea!
Actually, unlike some authors, Stirling seems to revel in using other authors and fans concepts in his "Changed Universe"...and as it expands beyond the Pacific Northwest, we find out exactly how large a world reduced to Sail powered frigates again can be!
The two heirs to the thrones of a resurgent Nippon and the "Golden Princess" of Montival find themselves involved more and more with the Spiritual Fabric of our world as the basic forces of this Universe seem to be fighting a proxy war of Powers, and still forced into mundane battle after battle. As a story it's more than fine, but it's the complex societies and the variation of complex technical skills that are allowed in a world where our physical laws have discarded and new rules in place!
Stirling is also a master at telling the story of each scene. By the time we left Eryn Muir, I felt like I could almost see it with my "mind's eye." Same with the details for the interesting camp of camel riding Jews whose civilization was based in the most inhospitable deserts of southern California.
The story of the "Participatory Democracy of Topanga" continues in this episode of the saga, and the scene where the Princess Orlaith and Empress Reiko and their assorted Rangers, McClintocks, MacKenzies, and Association Knights and Nobles, meet the Topango folks, is very nicely told and was one of the places that inspired a considerable amount of laughter. "We're not elves, sir, we are Numenoreans!"
The contrast between the politics of the Emberverse, and those of the present United States, came to mind at certain parts of the story. Leaders who care about all of their subjects, not only those who are rich and powerful, and who know WHY it is important that all have a chance to prosper, are almost extinct at this time and place on the planet, and the rulers of Montival are a studied contrast to the clowns of the present political system. If I could insist that all of the candidates for president read one book, it would likely be this one, lol. I wouldn't care to provoke a dieoff, but I would gladly exchange electricity, internal combustion, and gunpowder for Princess Orlaith, her Mother the Queen, Chancellor Ignatius, and others of the governing authority of Montival.
So now the stage is set for the epic battle against the descendents of Kim Jong Il who rule Korea with the assistance of the dark powers that were behind the Church universal and Triumphant of the previous episodes of the saga.
PS. I was very glad to also learn the CORRECT pronunciation of Princess Orlaith's name. But I won't spoil it for readers of this review, you'll have to read the book yourself, and at the end of it, you will be as glad that you read it as can be.
As always I look forward to seeing where Mr Stirling goes next.
Gathering a group of young faithful’s, and a sea captain with a ship in Newport, the two royals and their entourage head off down the coast. The High Queen Mother does not approve and tries to intercept them and turn them around. Others are en route to join the royals and will meet them in former San Fran (which is controlled by eaters). There is an epic battle to blood our new heroes and point out the though their Father and Mother had beaten the Prophet and eliminated that threat, a new one has risen…from Korea (where the rumor of the survival of Kim Jung Il through the change and his transformation to the same, or similar, evil as the Prophet). The Koreans under the spell from Kim have been at war with Dai Nippon since the change and in fact sent ships against the Emperor as he tried to come to Montival in search of the Grass Cutting Sword. The Korean influence in the story is heavy filling in for the Prophet and portends the plot for the follow on novels.
The Band of Questers head south, meet new settlements, expand Montival and have more epic battles…some small, but all significant. This is a good read…even with the Japanese lessons.