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The Tears of the Sun (Emberverse #8)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  2,436 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Rudi McKenzie-now Artos, the High King of Montival-must fulfill his destiny. He wields the sword crafted for him before he was born. He has made friends of his enemies. He has won the heart of the woman he loves.And now he must defeat the forces of the Church Universal and Triumphant, knowing he may lose his life in the final battle...
Hardcover, 530 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Roc (first published September 6th 2010)
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James Mackay
Sep 26, 2011 James Mackay rated it it was ok
Though it was engaging enough to get me through it's 500-odd pages, I'll confess to being somewhat disappointed. The further we get from the Change itself, the less I enjoy the series. Rather than being a story about how people adapt to the loss of modern technology, it becomes more and more a traditional fantasy series, which simply doesn't interest me that much. As others have noted, the fact that this volume is largely covering ground that's already been covered, albeit from a different pers ...more
May 28, 2012 Marin rated it it was ok
Ugh, in for a penny, in for a pound I s'pose. But damn, the quality of these books is declining faster than Astrid's grip on sanity. I'm three quarters in and finally got to an actual battle instead of a bunch of people sitting and describing things or having flashbacks. Eesh,

I'll finish the series more out of obligation than enjoyment.

Update... Does Sterling no longer have an editor? "...thick with blooming thickets of purple lilac and wild roses gone feral into impenetrable tangles..." Thick w
Anna Erishkigal
Feb 19, 2012 Anna Erishkigal rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Patrick
Oct 23, 2011 John Patrick rated it it was ok
This was actually somewhat disappointing compared to the previous books in the series. The plot had no real focus and jumped around the timeline trying to hit on plot points that were happening currently in the timeline and filling back story with flashbacks. I very much liked all the previous books in this series but "Tears of the Sun" spends the whole book building up to a payoff that you won't get untill the next book. When I finished the last page it almost felt like it was a chore to have r ...more
H Gilbert
Sep 10, 2012 H Gilbert rated it it was ok
It was just OK.

I really enjoyed Dies the Fire and the Protectors War. I liked Meeting at Corvallis.

However, when we jumped ahead - what - 15 years to grown up Rudi and his friends who grew up post-Change and seeing a world in which magic is reappearing...well my suspension of disbelief started to fray, and it's been getting more so with each installment.

There have been a few books that haven't advanced the plot much at all, and this one seemed to be little snippets about things that happened at
Jan 07, 2012 Melody rated it liked it
Where was Stirling's editor? Ay-yi-yi. Eight books into the series, you needn't tell me about all the players in detail. Especially the dead ones, for pages and pages. Yep, Norman was a bad guy, got it, now let's move on already.

The Liu backstory was entirely too detailed, and the way it threaded through the entire book was fairly annoying. As others have said, there are about 200 pages of actual new book here, and nearly 400 of filler, backstory, rehash & description of the freaking gloami
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
"Tears of the Sun" surprised me. I was expecting something much worse.
Recently, Stirling's Emberverse series has developed into some sort of pastiche, a mixture of Tolkien, Hollywood and some guide to foods eaten at great feats in post-apocalyptic America. The story has dragged as it has been drawn out. No-one, reading this series, would believe that this is the same author who wrote "Island in the Sea of Time" or "The Peshawar Lancers". Stirling has obviously decided that this is going to be t
Liz B
Oct 23, 2011 Liz B marked it as taking-a-break
I'm filing this as taking a break. Maybe I'll check it out again eventually--but I've been reading it (or avoiding reading it) for three weeks.

It's just that I'm about halfway through and nothing--nothing!--is happening. Meetings meetings meetings.

I go to meetings in my own life. I would prefer not to also read about them.

I very much want to know how everything works out in this series, but it's pretty clear that I won't be finding that out in this I think I'll wait till the ne
Sep 11, 2012 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
After four books of travel and Rudi Mackenzie's triumphant return from his quest, I was excited to read, at long last, about the war he'd have to wage to secure his newly-formed kingdom. Too bad this was not that book.

The Tears of the Sun has a massive problem with structure and focus. Half of it bogs down the arc of the series with a full account of Odard Liu's family. There's zero suspense about their fate, because we learn what's happened to them before their story is told. The flashback tran
Duffy Pratt
Jan 04, 2012 Duffy Pratt rated it it was ok
I think I might be done with this series. In this book and the last, a character compares something someone else did to something out of the "Historiies." The Histories is The Lord of the Rings. It's dangerous for a writer to have a character comment on the quality of his own work. There are ways that these books are now derivative of Tolkien, but they are not good ways.

In general, the plotting, pacing, structure, characterization, dialogue, and interior monologue have all slipped drastically ov
Nov 02, 2011 Kris rated it really liked it
The eighth book in the Emberverse series picks right up where the seventh book ends. This story was a depature from the previous books in the series as the author felt the end to explain events from the past as he also keep the present story line moving forward. This was done as a series of flash backs told by various characters and seemed to be an unecessary digression as it could have been told very quickly at one time. This makes me think that the author is setting up something in the last tw ...more
Sep 07, 2011 Geoffrey rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic
Tears of the Sun feels like a series of short stories fit together to make a novel. Rudi and Matti play very small roles in this book. Instead it focuses on the stories of several secondary and tertiary characters. There are visits to the past explaining the treason by House Lui and its consequences. There is a visit to the Buddhist monastery in Wyoming. There are a couple great battles including a covert op into Boise. Individually they are each good but collectively they just don't have the fe ...more
Ken Hoffman
Jan 14, 2012 Ken Hoffman rated it liked it
I have been a big fan of the Emberverse series, especially the first three, but it seems that this series is going the way of all long series: it is starting to change and be drawn out, much the way the Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time became, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth books, etc. Sometimes you get the impression the story is being embellished not because it should be, but because the author simply can. After a while, a reader just rolls their eyes, and continues reading them not because ...more
Aug 16, 2011 Sdluvingit rated it did not like it
Enough already! I did like the first few Change novels and I like the characters but this story is never-ending. The last two books have done little to advance the story and this one, in particular, spends the vast majority of the time telling you details about an event you already knew happened. The novel also shifts back, forth, and sideways in time; most everything is told in reflection. You better take close note of the date in each chapter title or you will be confused; at least I was at ti ...more
Chris Bauer
Jan 05, 2012 Chris Bauer rated it really liked it
I'm rounding up for the 8th book of the Emberverse series. Just taking a quick glance at the 60+ other reviews confirms the way I felt about the book. I've enjoyed tremendously the entire series and have the utmost respect for the author's writing style and research when crafting these works.
But Tears of the Sun was a "placeholder" "series of short stories" and just about every other observation made in reviews. I guess my biggest gripe with the book is the interesting but overly long extended
Junkie for the Written Word
So disappointing. After coming off the disappointment of A Dance With Dragons and all the filler material presented therein, I was hoping for a good story. Instead I get more filler material. Sigh.

I was annoyed with the flashbacks, because I could not have cared less. I'm sick to death of the repetition, because if you pick up the 8th book in a series and you don't know what's going on it's your own damn fault. I do not need, want, or require a recap of everything that has happened thus far in
Bob Shacklock
Sep 30, 2011 Bob Shacklock rated it did not like it
The Tears of the Sun has to be the worst book in the Emberverse series if not the worst book S.M. Stirling has written to date. Dies the Fire and the next 2 books were fantastic, but starting with book 4 (The Sunrise Lands) this dystopian story has gone down hill. The Emberverse series has turned into a fantasy book series that spends a great deal of time describing the smell and color of things in the environment instead of producing any story. This over-description of everything along with the ...more
Nov 26, 2011 Onthevirg rated it it was ok
Need to start putting in some ratings that aren't all rainbows and puppy dogs, hence my review.

I still have to rate the books in between, but it's starting to reach the point that the Jordan (before Sanderson took up the torch)/Goodkind books did for me as they progressed, though in admittedly different ways. I like rich detail describing the environment and world building as much as the next guy but let's try moving along the plot without getting tied up for two & three paragraphs describin
Sep 25, 2011 Josh rated it it was ok
This book is such a bore I had to put it down. I feel like the author is stretching things out in an unreasonable fashion. I'm all for more books but Jesus, you spread these too thin and I'm not going to care about the fate of any of the people in this book. I will inevitably slog through this story but honestly? I feel like I'm reading a manual about the story.

UPDATE: finally slogged through and finished this book. If the next book is anything like this one I will wait till the series ends and
Nov 08, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: sffantasy
The ratio of infodumps to actual plot is getting alarmingly high, almost to Weberesque levels. Luckily I like food and postapocalyptic military logistics a lot more than I like loving descriptions of space missiles.

I continue to wonder who the dude on the covers is.
Oct 31, 2011 Charlene rated it liked it
I'm ready for this series to end. I was hoping this book WAS the end; but nope. I got sucked into the whole post-apocalyptic/alternate world and have enjoyed it to this point; but how much more build-up to the climax are we going to have to read, Mr. Stirling? Comon', Rudy, let's finish this!
Steven Bass
Jun 19, 2012 Steven Bass rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Not impressed. Little plot advancement, it seemed like setup for he next book.
Joe Miller
Nov 22, 2011 Joe Miller rated it it was ok
Just finish the series already. 4677853274957 pages (approximately) and nothing happened.
Sep 05, 2011 Andy rated it liked it
Three word synopsis: "Meanwhile, back home..."
May 13, 2017 Jan rated it liked it
Shelves: keeper
This is the most complicated of the series so far. There is a huge cast of characters, two timelines that cut back and forth, and characters who have evolved from sinister to essential. If you are not conversant with Northwest geography or medieval terms and dress, that adds another level of complexity.

The characters are still wonderful: loyal, witty, believable, and except for the bad guys, extremely likeable.

The story is primarily set with the preparation (both military and alliances) for the
Matt Mitrovich
Jan 27, 2013 Matt Mitrovich rated it really liked it
In The Tears of the Sun, Rudi Mackenzie, now Artos the first High King of the Kingdom of Montival, must fulfill the prophecy first spoken by his mother Juniper at his wiccaning. He wields the Sword of the Lady crafted for him by the gods whose war in heaven has spilled over onto Earth, which twenty five years ago lost the ability to use high technology due to an event known as the Change (which happened right after the island of Nantucket was sent back to the Bronze Age). He has forged a string ...more
Jun 19, 2015 Jacqie rated it liked it
Like the other Emberverse books? You will be getting more of the same in this one.

What I enjoyed: it's been a while since I read an Emberverse book. This one has all the hallmarks: descriptions of the beauty of nature, feasting,quirky cultures that have some commonalities with the actual culture they are doing homage to (Lakota, Wicca, Rome) but are really more of a popular conception of what those cultures were perceived to be like.

S.M. Stirling seems to have gotten tired of anti-heroes. Excep
Nathan Miller
Feb 23, 2016 Nathan Miller rated it liked it
I'm still enjoying the epic scope of the story arc. I'm kind of a sucker for that sort of thing anyway. I still also find the execution of the premise to be highly fascinating, despite the need to suspend my disbelief about the Suggestions of Physics. S.M.S. still spins a good tale and does an excellent job doing it, particularly painting pictures of various settings, drawing us into that world. I further enjoyed seeing the structure and culture of the PPA fleshed out more, even if I still regar ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
This is one of the very few series I've ever read in "real time," i.e. as they come out rather than years later when most of the books have already been published. I'm not doing all that well with it, because I totally forget who all the characters are and their relationships with each other in between--it took me a third of this book to remember who some people were, which is not that great. So that helped me enjoy this a little less, but so did the nature of it.
We continue the great wars of th
Oct 05, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it
I hadn't realized this book was out until last week, and I bought it and started it immediately when I did, as I am very interested in seeing how the story plays out. Another review described this book as almost a series of short stories set in Montival during the great Quest, and that description is rather accurate although I think the stories are still important. Some of the covert ops in Boise and other locations were amazing, both in the concept, the execution, and description, and one broug ...more
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Anticlimactic ending 3 23 Sep 09, 2012 10:11AM  
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Stephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series.

(personal website: source)

I’m a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalizat
More about S.M. Stirling...

Other Books in the Series

Emberverse (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Dies the Fire (Emberverse, #1)
  • The Protector's War (Emberverse, #2)
  • A Meeting at Corvallis (Emberverse, #3)
  • The Sunrise Lands (Emberverse, #4)
  • The Scourge of God (Emberverse, #5)
  • The Sword of the Lady (Emberverse, #6)
  • The High King of Montival (Emberverse, #7)
  • Lord of Mountains (Emberverse, #9)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)
  • The Golden Princess (Emberverse, #11)

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“Ah, well, old girl, remember the definition of an Anglo-Saxon: A German who's forgotten his grandmother was Welsh.” 3 likes
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