This is the fourth book in the Safehold series by David Weber. Weber is mainly famous for the Honor Harrington books and the original three Starfire books. Personally I can’t think of any books of his that I have read that I did not like. He has the gift of creating believable universes with characters that come to life. I find myself easily losing track of time when I read Weber’s books. As with any series, I recommend starting from the beginning, otherwise it is easy to get lost because there is so much back story that you just don’t know. The Safehold books can be read and enjoyed by themselves but the story is much richer when you don’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out the references to events from other books that continually pop up.
This book continues the story of the newly founded Empire of Charis and their struggle against the corrupt Church of God Awaiting. The church is busy trying to build a fleet to finally crush the Charisians and their allies for heresy, which really means resistance to the corrupt “Group of Four” that really controls the church. There is a purge of the church reminiscent of Stalin and murthering great naval battles as well as an excellent plotline that keeps yu wondering. An excellent book overall.
A Mighty Fortress is a great book that continues the story of Safehold. The next book, How Firm a Foundation is already out but I have not read it yet. It is on my list to buy for my Kindle and I will post a review as soon as I read it.
Unfortunately, for the new reader, the Safehold books are published by Tor and not Baen. But if you have an E-reader, Baen has a free library of e-books by Weber and most of their other Authors. This will let you read the first book in a series and then get hooked and buy the rest so Baen can stay in business publishing the best SF available. I think all of my favorite SF authors are currently published by Baen. Go check out the Baen site and join the Bar if you are a hard SF fan. Weber is there along with Kratman, Ringo, Flint and many others.