October 07, 2011
The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling
This book takes us eight and nine years into the future. Mostly everything has settled down and people are surviving better, but are always on the hunt for more power. This can't be more true of the Protector who wants the Bearkiller's and McKenzie's land for his own. Between going about their lives and fighting little battles here and there, Juniper and Mike must keep everyone together and well. At least Mike has help, Signe his warrior wife and Juniper has her daughter Eilir and precious son Rudi although she longs for her own lover.
Across the seas are Nigel Loring, his son, and a friend who have to escape England and its crazy king or be killed. Through fate they end up in the Willamette and view the Protector as just as big a foe as the other's do. They will have to join up if they have any hope of living a peaceful life. Not to mention, Alleyne Loring has caught the eye of both Eilir and Astrid (Havel's sister-in-law).
The characters in this novel are a joy to read about. They might be a little unbelievable but I think it makes them interesting. And I can suspend reality for awhile when it comes to Juniper and Mike. I also like Eilir who comes into her own in this book. Astrid on the other hand I don't really care for, she's just annoying to me. Stirling's a good descriptive writer. But that gets him into trouble with this novel. Its titled about a war but there is no war, only small battles and a very long, somewhat boring lead up to the war that is supposedly in the next book. There is also the element of the religion in this book. While I personally don't have a problem with it, it could be disconcerting for some readers. A good way to think of this novel is that instead of Christian fiction, this book could probably be placed square in a genre of Wiccan fiction. I enjoyed reading about the different rites but it may not be to everyone's taste.
This is probably an important book for information, but for excitement of reading it is merely average. I look forward to reading more of the series to see if they improve and bring back what I liked in Dies the Fire.
The Protector's War