At the Sign of Triumph

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At the Sign of Triumph audiobook

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Review #1

At the Sign of Triumph audiobook free

I’ve been a fan of the Safehold books since they started…but less and less with each passing volume. Not because the basic story has gotten less interesting. But because that story ended up being drowned by excessive scenery. Imagine what would happen if you took a powerful novel, and filled in every conversation, almost every thought, the protagonists had. You would literally lose the forest for the trees…and while the trees provide the detail, the forest is the story.

But I couldn’t >>not<< read the later books. So what I ended up doing was only reading the “good” parts, basically skimming and reading, on average, about one page in three (which is much easier to do on a Kindle, BTW). In essence, I tried to do what editing should have done in the first place: make sure the story doesn’t get lost in all the marvelous detail an imaginative author can conjure.

Did I miss important things? I’m positive of it. Did I manage to hold onto the important characters, their passions and challenges? Most definitely.

Review #2

At the Sign of Triumph audiobook in series Safehold

This is probably a 2.5 stars book for me. It has one major accomplishment, but you have to suffer through some difficult delivery to get there.

As book 9 in the series, maybe there wasn’t much more to cover. I tend to focus on character development and dialog when reading, and this book felt very, very dull in that regard. For the protagonists, it was 765 pages of people agreeing with one another. For the Antagonists, they are painted as incompetent and uninteresting. The battle descriptions feel like filler, whereas those scenes were methods of character and plot development earlier in the series. I could skip entire swaths of battle-rich text (which I did, at times), as I knew none of the developments would contribute to the overall plot direction. I couldn’t bring myself to care about Sergeant “too many Y’s in his name”, because we would never see him again (dead or not).

It also loses about a half-star for failing to address at least some portion of the several outstanding plot devices in the series. As such, I feel about 100 pages of this book could be combined with 50 pages of book 8 to create a novella that accomplished just as much as those two books did.

Review #3

Audiobook At the Sign of Triumph by David Weber

Review #4

Audio At the Sign of Triumph narrated by Oliver Wyman

A “concluding chapter” in the Safehold series, with Charis expanding its advantage, and the “Mother Church” feeling the increasing pressure.

The book’s end was extremely rushed — the last 20% or so felt incomplete, explanations missing and/or necessary conversations dropped.
Beginning with the Empire’s naval attack on Dohlar’s capital, extending to Siddarmark battles (or absence thereof), and to Zion’s turmoil itself, the “rush to finish” was obvious. The main components were presented, but how things actually came about — Thirsk’s rise-to-power, what actually happened to the Temple forces in Siddarmark, and the details of the Temple turmoil — it felt like pieces were missing, and plot devices used to bring the book to a rapid conclusion.

Of course, actually providing all the necessary detail would probably have resulted in a 1000 page book! Personally, I don’t mind the author’s verbosity as long as the conversations, explanations, etc actually have relevance to the story. Within this book there was some unnecessary inclusions along with several instances of things drawn out much too far.

All-in-all, a (somewhat) unexpected ending to a small degree, but ending enough to finally let us get on to the next stage. Let’s hope for at least a “beginning of the middle”, else I doubt I’ll live long enough for Weber to conclude this series…

Review #5

Free audio At the Sign of Triumph – in the audio player below

Do not get me wrong. I think Weber is one of the best authors out there and have thoroughly enjoyed just about all of his books. The Safehold series is one of my favorites along with the Honor Harrington books. I was very disappointed with the abrupt ending of this novel. Not since S.M. Sterling shut down the ” Island In The Sea Of Time ” series have so many loose threads been left dangling at the conclusion of a book. I suspect will hear from Merlin again and perhaps some of the descendants of Safehold’s principal characters, but a couple of hundred more pages would have certainly eased the transition to a future Safehold. Their addition could have been balanced by eliminating a hundred or so pages from this novel prior to the concluding chapters. Some better editing might have done the trick.

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