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The High King Of Montival

The High King Of Montival, September 2010
The Sunrise Lands #4
by S.M. Stirling

Roc Hardcover
Featuring: Rudi Mackenzie
496 pages
ISBN: 0451463528
EAN: 9780451463524
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"The Best of Fantasy and Post-Apocalyptic Novels Combine In Book Four of the Change Series"

Fresh Fiction Review

The High King Of Montival
S.M. Stirling

Reviewed by Diana Troldahl
Posted January 30, 2011

Science Fiction Alternate History

THE HIGH KING OF MONTIVAL is set 25 years after The Change chronicled in the Dies the Fire series. The children born on the cusp of change are reaching adulthood and forging a new life one step removed from the ashes of the past. Rudi has succeeded in retrieving the Lady's sword and is on his way back across a battle-torn continent to the newly minted kingdom of Montival, re-encountering characters from the previous books as he travels back home.

New alliances form to fight the Iowans, led by rabid religious evangelists who have become possessed by an evil force. The highly disciplined troops are a huge threat both to Montival and the other established governments in the west, creating the need for cooperation lest they be crushed individually as the army advances.

Meanwhile, in the East the same force is pushing outward to the coast using the wild tribesmen in the area. The priest mages who lead them need not worry about loss of men, they merely forcibly convert more. The Lady's sword is a powerful talisman and more, giving Rudi, now Artur, a gods-eye view of the situations his band encounters.

As always, Stirling manages to focus on the microcosm while guiding the large-scale events in the series. His characters travel a land made unfamiliar to the reader through the cataclysmic loss of the infrastructure of industrial society. His imagination has populated his world with societies based on the best and worst of humanity. Those who gained power were in part those who had studied the past. Members of the Society of Creative Anachronism hold many of the skills needed to survive in the new paradigm. He also has a lot of fun, as in the group based on the Histories as 'translated' by J. R. R. Tolkein. I also enjoy the way the detritus of pre-change industrialization are scavenged and used in for survival.

Stirling's series combines the best of fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres but rises above them both with his long vision and skill in creating compelling characters, no matter how large or small their role. THE HIGH KING OF MONTIVAL is Book four of seven in the Change series (Emberverse series II).

Learn more about The High King Of Montival


The New York Timesbestselling author continues his post- apocalyptic series chronicling a modern world without technology. With The Sword of the Lady, Rudi Mackenzie's destiny was determined. Now he returns to Montival in the Pacific Northwest, where he will face the legions of the Prophet.

To achieve victory, Rudi must assemble a coalition of those who had been his enemies a few months before and forge them into an army that will rescue his homeland. Only then will Rudi be able to come to terms with how the Sword has changed him, as well as the world, and assume his place as Artos, High King of Montival...

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