By Heresies Distressed

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By Heresies Distressed audiobook

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Review #1

By Heresies Distressed audiobook free

_By Heresies Distressed_ (BHD) is the third of the Safehold books, but it reads more like Part Two of the second book, _By Schism Set Asunder_ (BSSA). In particular there are several sections of BHD which will make little or no sense to those who haven’t read BSSA, and at least some other parts which will be confusing to those who haven’t read the first, Off Armageddon Reef (OAR). BSSA contained supporting text which _did_ explain the references to events in OAR, so those who’ve read BSSA will not only get the parts of BHD which refer to it, but will get the parts which refer to OAR, too. What it looks to me is that BSSA and BHD were really one book which was split into two parts. Worse, I suspect that the next book is going to be really Part Three of BSSA, because most of BHD was spent setting things up for what is about to happen… which is what BSSA spent most of its time doing, too. Something had better happen in the next book or I’ll be putting off reading any further Safehold books until something _does_ happen.

BHD tells how Charis deals with Corisande… and how the Church reacts to the beginnings of the Reformation. It sets the stage for the _real_ action, when Charis goes head-to-head with Zion and company. I had been expecting that real action to start in BHD, but it appears to have been pushed back at least one book. BHD also sets up a real, new, enemy for Charis, one which is not driven by religious feeling and who will be both patient and persistent. And BHD sees the expansion of the old enemies, mostly driven by religious feeling… only now some of them are also driven by desperation. And while some complications have been removed from Merlin/Nimue’s life, others have been added. In particular the main cover story is wearing thin. Sooner or later it will be blown, and Merlin will be Revealed to be what the Church would consider a demon, and things will become _very_ complicated indeed.

While BHD itself doesn’t advance the plot that much (it was a given that Charis would crush Coriande from the end of OAR, so this is not a surprise) it is a necessary part of the overall plot. It’s a link to bridge the start of things, in OAR, to where things must go. The Church has realized some of its errors and has begun to fix them; Charis has not yet realized some of its errors, so those errors are still there to bite it. In particular their greatest strength, the support of Merlin, is also their greatest weakness, once word of what s/he really is leaks out. And leak out it will; s/he’s done too many impossible things in too short a time. The midnight dash to the rescue of [spoiler removed] is just one of the events which, while absolutely necessary and justified as single events, when taken in total point a glaring Here Be Demons sign right at Merlin. The next book is going to be interesting, and in order to make sense of it I’d recommend reading BHD first.

Review #2

By Heresies Distressed audiobook in series Safehold

Strengths of this book (and of the series) include great scenes of the windpowered navy at sea, in battle against other navies and against savage weather. The language is vivid and the descriptions of the ships are authentic and detailed.. (Reminds me a little of Patrick O’Brien). The rapidly evolving technologies of war are also fascinating to track. The writing makes for a compulsion to keep reading, and reading. Also Weber goes a long way toward helping the people in enemy nations come to life.
Weaknesses of Weber’s style in these books include an excess of exposition – those long speeches of explanation and exhortation would be more powerful if they were edited down. And, like many other authors, the “good guy” characters all seem to think and talk alike. Most tiresome – they all have similar dry senses of humor, for example. Less of this would have gone a longer way.

Review #3

Audiobook By Heresies Distressed by David Weber

To me this novel reads like a bridge piece. The bad guys escalate their acts of evil, the good guys respond in kind so the bad guys escalate again. Some good guys die heroically, some bad guys get their comeuppance but when the novel finished very little of importance changed and I was rather wishing they would just get on with the holy war to settle accounts already. Still I do want to see where this ends up so I am proceeding o book four. Book four however is significantly longer and has about exhausted my monthly book budget on the tenth of the month so after book four I will be reading other stuff in my back log before moving on.

Review #4

Audio By Heresies Distressed narrated by Oliver Wyman

David Weber writes my favorite books. Actually, it is a tie with Brandon Sanderson, but I have to say Weber has written more of them.

Despite the facts that these are fiction books and that the author can do whatever he wants in them, the events are very logical and realistic, despite the science-fiction elements. The author like to use “Whoa. That is really cool / nearly impossible” moments liberally, to great effect.
I really do suggest reading them.

PLOT (Spoiler alert):

The Safehold books are military science fiction about a religious war between a corrupt church with absolute power and a reformist church. A complicating factor that the reformist Church of Charis can’t yet share, however, is the fact that both churches are actually completely made up. After man has nearly been destroyed by aliens some thousand (safeholdian) years ago, a colony was hidden away to rebuild and take man’s fight back to the aliens. However, the leaders of the colony secretly reprogrammed everyone’s memories with two facts: The leaders are actually God’s chosen, and that technology is really, really bad (That’s how the aliens found us in the first place).

Before the traitorous leaders were wiped out in a nuclear blast, a PICA (personality integrated cybernetic avatar) was hidden in a cave, with an advanced industrial base. Once Nimue woke up, she masqueraded as a man, named Merlin (I do believe that’s a literary reference!) and began a massive, clandestine string of innovations in the most forward-thinking kingdom, called Charis, with the intention of restoring mankind’s technological heritage. However, the corrupt Church of God Awaiting was already upset with Charis, and tried to unleash a surprise attack on the kingdom once it became aware of the heretical innovations. Thanks to Merlin, Charis fought off the attack, at the cost of its king’s life. Since then, its new ruler, Cayleb, has joined his kingdom into a new empire with Chisholm and married Sharleyan, the queen of Chisholm, though she is not yet aware of Merlin’s true form or the real objectives of Charis.

I will mention that this book seems to share some plot elements with the Mutineer’s Moon series by the same author. I do suggest reading both, though.

Review #5

Free audio By Heresies Distressed – in the audio player below

The author obviously loves sailing and the world of galleons and there’s a lot of affection in the writing – and, I suspect, a great deal of accuracy. He also communicates a clear Christian commitment – which makes it all the more strange that he has chosen as his combatants the leaders of a corrupt “church”. (I guess he would argue that one theme of the books is the difference between faith and religion.)

The series is somewhat protracted and could have done with some heavy editing (hence the loss of stars). There were also one or two places where I found it difficult to accept the basic premises behind the books. Some of the dialogue was also a bit twee and I found myself wincing at attempts to express affection or humour.

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