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The Sword of the Lady (Emberverse #6)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,483 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews
Rudi Mackenzie 's quest to find and reverse the source of the calamitous changes that have affected the whole world brings him to Nantucket, his final destination. Totally transformed, this island is now covered by forest and inhabited by a few hundred stragglers, all of whom claim to have been transported there from out of time. In an isolated stone house, Rudi discovers ...more
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Published September 29th 2009 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published 2009)
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Duffy Pratt
The third in a six book series about the quest of Rudi McKenzie and company to retrieve the Sword of the Lady from Nantucket Island, and then somehow use it to defeat the Cutters (Church Universal and Triumphant). I liked it better than the first two installments, but not anywhere near as much as i liked the original Change trilogy, or the Nantucket series.

Things are moving along fairly nicely. We get some very cool glimpses of struggling new societies in a wrecked United States. But I find mys
Aug 22, 2010 Starfire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know whether this was objectively a better-written story than Scourge of God, or whether I was just more in the mood for it, but I found myself enjoying this instalment far more than I did Book 6... and I'm itching to get on with the next one and see how Stirling resolves what he's set up in the last chapter or so of this book.

There were so many things I enjoyed about this instalment - the character development, the descriptions, the sense of *rightness* about the way some of the events
Anita Marcoff
Dec 18, 2014 Anita Marcoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous!The intertwinings of relationships and politics was riveting!
Kathy Davie
May 17, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Sixth in the overall Emberverse apocalyptic science fiction series and revolving around Rudi Mackenzie. It's also the third novel of Emberverse II: The Change. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Emberverse books on my website.

It's August of Change Year 24 (2022 AD), and the expedition has reached Des Moines while Rudi and Edain are heading into the Wild Lands, formerly known as Illinois.

My Take
The story revolves between the "states" that have allied as the Meeting of C
Love this series! In this installment, Rudy and the gang fight their way across the Eastern half of the continent for their preordained appointment at Nantucket. As in the last two books, the "CUT" (Church Universal and Triumphant, an organization my husband tells me actually exists - although it is not, to his knowledge, in direct league with the devil) is hot on the group's heels the whole way, with their posessed "seekers" getting creepier and creepier.
David (who read this just before me) al
Nov 07, 2009 Crystal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
The continuing sage of Rudi MacKenzie as he makes his way to the Isle of Nantucket to claim the Sword of the Lady. It's a good story in this series by S.M. Stirling, but he is perilously close to falling into that category of author who can write book after book that just continues the plot, never really getting anywhere with it.

Still, there are enough interesting tidbits to keep me reading. Seeing the northeast United States in the post-Change years is fascinating, especially that Asatru seems
Jul 27, 2011 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emberverse #6 is more of what I like about this series. The action is consistent and moves the plot along, there some surprises with what happens to the characters, and some of the questions about where the story is going is answered. This is a great set up for the last book where the final action brings all the plot elements to a close. The fantasy elements step up a bit with the sword making an appearance and the evil doer's powers as well. Good stuff!

Edit: did some googling and found out that
Dec 11, 2009 Jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was exactly like the last one. I feel like the author found something that worked with the first change trilogy, and then, added on, yet, never really progressed. It is predictable, and often times, boring. All of the battle scenes are the same. I kind of felt like, I'd make it two chapters, and there hadn't been a battle, so, a battle there would be, nameless people get hurt, and the good guys always win. I'll probly read the next book, just because I've invested some time in this ser ...more
Dec 07, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I have to write this review on the series as I have read it to date. This is partially because I read them back to back over a 6 week period and it would be hard for me to separate them out, but also because this series is one that I think has a greater total than the sum of its parts. So... When I first read Dies the Fire I was skeptical because I had a hard time suspending disbelief. This was mostly due to my science background I think. After I finished the book I found myself thinking about i ...more
Nov 27, 2014 jammastere rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really LOVE this series!

I am not a big reader of fantasy and especially fantasy written by men. I tend to stick to the urban fantasy genre. This series started out very much urban fantasy with the first 3 books set at the time of the Change and the first few years afterwards. The last book hinted that the series was taking a turn into fantasy and this book truly sealed that.

I was prepared to be done with the series and say goodbye at the turn to fantasy. I found that I totally love this book! I
Jun 22, 2015 Bunbury rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth book in the change series, and the last one I am going to read. It started out pretty great, with an interesting premise (advanced technology doesn't work anymore, there is even some technobabble explaining the details of what kinda works). The survivors, which are not many, have to make do in the new world.

Starting in book 4, the series deals less with the communities and more with a quest reminiscent of the search for the grail. An evil organization in league with the devil
Solid continuation of the now six book series. 2500+ pages I'd strongly recommend this series, but start with Dies the Fire or you'll be confused by the missing history.

This series is unique in SF as it is based on a 'new idea'.

No author beast Stirling in his ability to generate Kiplingesque narrative.

Maddy Barone
Mar 15, 2012 Maddy Barone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first book of this series, and the second and third were really good too. This particular one was good, but I don't really like the Cutters and the High Seeker and the religious aspect of it. I'll continue on though becasuse I want to see what happens to Rudi and the others.
Jan 05, 2015 LeeAnn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book fast became one of my favorites in the series, for several reasons. I love the quest; it moves the characters and the plot in a logical progression ( and reminds me of some of my favorite fantasy novels like Modesitt's Corean Chronicles and the Sword of Truth novels). I enjoy trying to figure out what odd group of people our hero will meet next. I also love the addition of every religion the author could think of... and why not? I love this quote from the novel: "There is one God, make ...more
Mike Rogers
Closing out the second trilogy of the Emberverse, this book failed to maintain the quality of the previous volume. I like the world, i like a lot of the characters, but Stirling seems to be getting lost in his own fictional world, as he once again digresses into too much description, and too few events. The previous book had me on the edge of my seat in multiple places, didn't pull any punches, and really cranked up the peril for our intrepid Fellowship (yes, he went there). Maybe it's because i ...more
Nathan Miller
Jun 19, 2014 Nathan Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love how the story continues to unfold. SMS spotlights how adventures are always exciting to those who read about them, but suck most of the time for those who experience them. This is true of the real world, too...long periods of boredom interspersed with short periods of terror! My other favorite thing is how SMS fleshes out for us what's been happening in other parts of the country while our attention has been on the Willamette Valley folks during the first decade after the Change.
Jan 04, 2013 Donald rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BIG fans of the setting
This is the third book in the second set of the novels of the Change. It is also not the last book in this set, which I thought it was.

As the book drew on further and further, I became increasingly irritated with it. Perhaps I wasn't paying enough attention to pacing and page count, but at the point it became clear we were not going to be getting an ending anytime soon, I really did have to fight not to put this book down.

It does, thankfully, pick up near the end, which kept me going through the
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Jul 14, 2011 Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
As Stirling's Emberverse series progresses it becomes difficult to keep calling it Science Fiction - it becomes more of a Boy's Own adventure story or even a parody of "Lord of the Rings". To be fair, Stirling admits his debt to Conan Doyle's Sir Nigel and the White Company stories on a number of occasions - credit where it's due! - and, it IS a good, exciting adventure story. I have my worries about the mysticism and mumbo-jumbo element (I hope he's got a good SF explanation coming up) and I re ...more
Another addition to the Novels of the Change series that is every bit as fabulous as the earlier volumes. The Change series combines urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic fantasy, and true sci-fi all while delving into deep questions about the human condition and spirituality but not getting so bogged down that it can't have a lot of fun and action-packed scenes along the way.

Sword of The Lady delves further into the nature of deity and spirituality while supplying plenty of action, romance, and fres
Ryan G
May 05, 2012 Ryan G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This won't be a long review, so those of you who are tired of this series can relax. It's not that there isn't a lot going on here, obviously there is, I just have to admit I'm really, really bad about reviewing epic fantasy books. Actually, scrap that. It's not the reviewing part I suck at, it's the summing up part that kills me every time.

I'm always a loss to know what to include and what doesn't seem very important. Of course that is a silly predicament to be in, anyone who is a fan of the ge
Stacey Chancellor
Jun 09, 2010 Stacey Chancellor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-do-not-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2014 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I found this book lying around, and thought I'd try something new. S.M. Sterling's The Sword of the Lady is in some ways, something very new. And rare.

Usually when you pick up an epic fantasy six books into the series, you really have no idea what's going on. I didn't feel lost here, which was nice.

Sterling's fantasy is set in a post-apocalyptic world where swaths of the US are uninhabitable, and what's left of the population has carved up into small parts in many different ways. There are two
This is turning into "Lost." It's like the author wrote the story for the first three books in the series (which were great), but then was asked to take all the loose ends and turn them into more books. The strange has turned into the supernatural. At this rate, I expect the next book to have "Others," statues with extra toes, and time travel. Man, if this series ends like "Lost" did I'm going to lose it. I invested way to many hours to get stuck with that crappy conclusion again.
The book was go
Jun 03, 2013 Sage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Stirling's novels, I have trouble putting this one down for any length of time. It's taken me awhile to finish, only because I've been busy with work. I've enjoyed it immensely, parts of it tug at the heart strings, other parts tug at half-remembered dreams or remind of the wonder I once had as a child. Stirling has a talent for bringing magick back in to the world through story-telling. His writing allows me to loose myself in the story, which puts him up there with Margaret Weis ...more
Mary McQueeney
Dec 30, 2012 Mary McQueeney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
The first book in this series is a favorite of mine. While I enjoyed books 2-5, the series was sort of sliding from its alternative history meets end of the world as we know it beginnings slowly toward fantasy ... good but sort of muddled in style for me (though it is consistent with the Change and shift it brings to the world, it didn't read as well for me). Book 6 lands us squarely into canonical questing fantasy and, in its way, was as satisfying for me as the 1st book. One element that I par ...more
Jeffrey Jelmeland
Stirling has a knack for writing books like this, and his stories seem to really stick with you over time. It had been some time since I read the books leading up to this one so I was a bit nervous about tackling this book, but I quickly found that the characters were as familiar to me after just a few pages as any of my old time favorites like Pug and Tomas from Feist's realm. The book drew me right in and did a good job of keeping me engaged and invested in the characters. Once the story got r ...more
I finally finished reading this today. I must say that Stirling now has me for at least one more book in this series and more than likely has me for the two that I know exist. Although I was hoping that the scenario of the last three books would be resolved here, I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens beyond this.

Anyway, this book continues to follow the epic of Rudi McKenzie as he treks through post-apocalyptic America in search of a mythical sword and new allies to aid him and
Mar 08, 2011 Ludo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the sixth book in the 'Emberverse' series. What is there to say? Once I have read three or four books in a series, some mechanism kicks in, propelling me towards a (hopefully satisfactory) closing. Rudi has finally succeeded in reaching the island of Nantucket and has obtained the sword of the lady. What will help him in the coming battle between the forces of good and evil of course. Characters have become puppets of the gods. Sometimes I get fed up with 'the Powers that be' : the reaso ...more
With this novel it is clear that this series is just that, a serial. Each book in the series now is just a continuation of the story in episodic (very long episodes) that satisfies a part of the story but leaves many issues to be picked up in the next novel. I don't have a problem with that now that I have figured that out but I suspect some people will start to lose interest in this saga.

In this installment Rudi finally makes it to Nantucket and finds the Sword of the Lady but that whole ending
Oct 17, 2009 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: neofeudal warlord wannabes.
Shelves: teotwawki
This is one of my favorite series of all time. Armegeddon followed by live-action Dungeons and Dragons! Woot!

This book gets somewhat more metaphysical than previously, with magic and diety intervention becomming more and more common (and powerful). It's like Stirling got bored describing how people would cope with the sudden loss of technology and really just wanted to write a fantasy novel. But it's a well-written action-packed character-driven fantasy novel, so I'm ok with that :P

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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 12 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 High King of Montival (Emberverse, #7)
  • The Tears of the Sun (Emberverse, #8)
  • Lord of Mountains (Emberverse, #9)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)
  • The Golden Princess (Emberverse, #11)

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