When last we saw Rudi (Artos) MacKenzie he’d just arrived back in Montival (Pacific Northeast) with an army at his back, been named High King and was preparing to face the host of darkness.
Enter Lord of the Mountains by S.M. Stirling.
It’s the latest chapter in the Emberverse series that started with the Island in the Sea of Time trilogy and continued with Dies the Fire.
In Dies the Fire and subsequent novels we enter a strange new world in which all the sources of power which make modern technological work have simply stopped. Stirling does a great job of world building, as usual, and brings us into frightening post-apocalyptic world in which magic is returning.
This latest installment takes place roughly 25 years post Change (when technology suddenly stopped working) and Rudi is outnumbered and out gunned and things look dire.
But between the magic sword (think Excalibur on steroids, this is a modern retelling of the Arthurian legends) and some shrewd diplomacy Artos … ahh but that would be telling.
Look, the characterizations are as sharp as ever with Stirling, (meaning a bit two dimensional but that’s OK) but it’s his world building and story telling which shines as always.
Stirling’s historical research is always impeccable, and his ability to use that knowledge and understanding of everything from ancient weapons to regional accents to a foodie’s obsession with good eats creates a world you can see, feel and touch. A wonderous universe in which the magic seems to be returning and Powers and Dominions are contesting for the soul of mankind — and just one man and his Companions stand in the way — vintage Stirling.
If he wrapped things up perhaps a bit too neatly and easily, well, he left plenty of threads hanging for the next book, “The Given Sacrifice.”
Overall, if you’re a fan of the series (and if you’re not, why not?) or Stirling (ditto) it’s well worth the $15 I spent for the Kindle version.
Pick it up already! Available from Amazon.com, we get a nickle or two, help us out will ya?
Filed under: Reviews