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The Protector's War (Emberverse, #2)
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The Protector's War (Emberverse #2)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  6,835 Ratings  ·  288 Reviews
Ten years after The Change rendered technology inoperable throughout the world, two brave leaders built two thriving communities in Oregon's Willamette Valley. But now the armies of the totalitarian Protectorate are preparing to wage war over the priceless farmland.
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published September 6th 2005 by Roc (first published 2005)
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Aug 12, 2008 Matthew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The charm of the first book wears off a bit. While the basic story is quite good, I think, this novel suffers the same unfortunate problems of most science fiction. The book is simply flabby: there is a lot of unnecessary stuff, and it would be a tighter, better paced, more exciting story if 1/3 of it were cut out. Stirling has no ear for dialogue whatsoever (and I wish I could find all these writers that feel the need to write accents phonetically and punch them in the face), and his characteri ...more
Kathy Davie
Second in the Emberverse science fiction dystopian series and revolving around three bands of good guys: the Bearkillers, the Mackenzies, and the English contingent. This story's locations encompass England and Oregon.

It's been nine years since the EMP hit the world and took out all technological advances.

My Take
What the Protector's War does is set us up. It describes the various parties' progress and alliances and introduces a new set of characters and starts out most unexpectedly in England. I
Erik Hansen
I love good post-apocalyptic science fiction. What I do not love is a story that is so unbelievable that it would make me stop reading a series after the first two books. I loved the initial premise of the Emberverse series and really enjoyed the first part of the first book, "Dies the Fire". However, when everyone West of Portland ( the McKenzies?) becomes Wiccans, (not a bad thing mind you) wears kilts and speaks with a brogue, I realized that Mr Stirling had lost me. Throwing in the Englishm ...more
Jan 26, 2011 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one. The Protector's War is the second in the series and I highly recommend reading Dies the Fire before moving on to this book. A little background, the world has been through a Change. This Change meant the end of civilization as most know it. Guns, Electricity and other modern implements no longer work and the world has been thrown back in time to where Bow and Arrow, Sword, and Armor have a place in society. Among the survivors, are Juniper McKe ...more
Mar 15, 2010 Thee_ron_clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, other
Blessed be. All the engines stopped working and Wiccans and Ren Faire people have inherited the earth.

OK. Sounds silly and I am poking some fun at it, but I did like it.

First of all, I purchased both the first and second book in this series and read the second one first by accident. Hey. I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed. Not on this site anyway.

The basic concept is that something happened to the planet and now explosions cannot happen. This includes firearms and combustion eng
Apr 16, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
The title is very misleading. It promises a war between the Protector of Portland and Clan MacKenzie and her allies including the Bearkillers, but it is merely a series of skirmishes leading me to a climactic cliffhanger of a skirmish.

Three new characters are introduced on this book Nigel and his Alleyne and their companion John Hordle fugitives from King Charles's England (yep the real life of Prince of Wales is king). These three men are former SAS and friends of Juniper MacKenzie's first arms
Leah Lumsden
Jan 22, 2009 Leah Lumsden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love love love this book. First one I read by this author. Now I have a bunch of his stuff. It takes place several years after the world went to sh*t (see my review of the first book for more details) The people who have survived in the cities are basically warlords who have survived off the hardwork and misery of others. They are expanding as all people with power are prone to do. There are several storylines (characters) that this book follows. Strong real female characters who arent simpering ...more
Linda I
Apr 21, 2010 Linda I rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fabulous chapter to the Emberverse I, or commonly referred to as the "Dies the Fire", Trilogy. Hilarious, at times, sad, clever, thrilling and un-put-downable. I've become so addicted to the character's stories, that I never want the story to end. Additionally, I really like the way Stirling composes the story with flashbacks of incidences interjected into the present.

The MacKenzies and the BearKillers are still trying to deal with the increasing ferocity of the Lord Protectors advances
Nathan Miller
Oct 14, 2012 Nathan Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story picks up roughly ten years after the phenomenon that everyone has come to call "the Change." Things have more or less settled down in western Oregon. Tension continues, however, between the Protectorate and the other groups of the Willamette Valley. While the title suggests a war, the book deals mainly with events and developments leading up to such.

We meet new friends and foes. Some of the old ones die. We see several types of communities rise up out of the ashes of the Digital Age, w
Feb 06, 2011 Gary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear! I had a definite feeling of 'been there, done that' with this book. I don't know anything about the enigmatically named S.M. Stirling but this had promise for me when I started it but it just became dull, dull ,dull. There was too much description of how the post-change people re-kindled a pseudo-mediaeval society, and an English/Scottish one at that, even in the USA and too much dialogue between characters with Tolkienesque overtones.
There was some action but not enough compared to the
Jul 23, 2009 Chad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stirling's characters are a bit clumsy and often interchangeable, and I still don't buy that so many people would suddenly drop everything and become Wiccans so quickly. Romance is particularly oddly written - if any one character ever shows remote attraction to another, you can guarantee the attraction is mutual.

The title is also misleading - the titular war doesn't begin until the last 20 pages, and I assume the rest will play out in the concluding volume of the trilogy.

Stirling's attitude in
This sequel to Dies The Fire picks up the story about eight years later, in 2006. Actually, in-universe the calendar has been reset so it's now Change Year Eight, but the chapter headings show the dates by our system for clarity's sake.

The story gets a little more complicated - in a good way - for two reasons. One, there's now a sizable group of British and Icelandic military men who manage to find their way to the Willamette Valley (don't ask). Two, there's a more defined villainous presence, i
Jon Mogensen
May 21, 2013 Jon Mogensen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a huge let down from the first. The Wiccan bit is over the top. It could be excused in the first novel as a tool to introduce how things have changed, but enough already. I am pretty patient, so its a poor book when I have to skip over pseudo religious drivel that does little to really capture the mood or the moment. The over emphasis on medieval England and lack of emphasis on local societies that would more likely have evolved makes it less believable. And the ending takes a huge ...more
Jul 19, 2008 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I want badly to like this series, but unfortunately I can't. It reminds me a lot of The Years of Rice and Salt in a way - a grand epic idea, that could be absolutely terrific but fails miserably in the actual story telling. It's really too bad.

First, the actual writing is extremely awkward. There's a weird series of flashbacks and forwards, with a nonsensical dream sequence tossed in the middle somewhere. One of my criticisms of the first book in the series was that Stirling did a terrible job o
Jul 19, 2011 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The second book of the Emberverse series picks up 8 years after the first book. The sides in the war have become more firmed up and they are heading toward conflict. The author had one more thread to bring in the story before the big dust up so a detour to England and the last three central characters are intoduced and about two thirds the story is about who they are and how they get to the Willamette valley and meet up with the other central characters and become part of the alliance against th ...more
Christopher Farrell
A good read, and I loved learning more about the world post-Change - but I felt this one flitted back and forth too much, leaving me hungry for more. Lots of appetizing plot pieces but nothing truly satisfying. Still, onward with more! I can't wait to see the world evolve after the Change.
Jul 02, 2014 jammastere rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book #2 in the Emberverse series.

This book takes place 9 years after book #1. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like the big jump in time but it actually worked really well. It was nice to see the communities that had just started to form more developed and the relationships that had just started more mature.

This is still what I would call urban fantasy. There are references and comparisons to how things were done before the Change verses how things are done "now". The title is a bi
Apr 08, 2014 Tomislav rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the second novel of "The Change", set eight years after Dies the Fire. My dislike for the character Juniper Mackenzie continues, but fortunately Stirling is now tracking many more characters, and the effect is diluted.

I was drawn in by the intense plotting, and the pitching of characters along long-term trajectories that I could anticipate the consequences of. The action is far more gruesome than I care for; but after a while I just got numb to the descriptions of arrows being shot throu
Terri Kleinberg
Apr 15, 2016 Terri Kleinberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is fun to read an apocalyptic novel without a zombie in sight. This book picks up the lives of the MacKenzies and the Bearkillers about nine years after the Change. The Mackenzies are a neo-pagan group lead by a Wiccan Priestess, the Bearkillers are their allies, a militia type group lead by a former army ranger. It is interesting to see what the world might become without cars, computers, electricity, or any other toys we have developed in the last two hundred years.

They are still faced wit
Nov 22, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first book was mediocre. Interesting enough to get me to read the 2nd book but this one was not very good. There was so much exposition. Nothing ever really felt immediate or risky. I'm mostly just going to be finishing the series because I'm type A like that.
Jan 29, 2016 Raven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're the type of person who wants their science fiction to make sense, this book is going to drive you nuts... the conceit required for the book to work requires some pretty major changes to physics, and I did my share of handflapping about how none of this works that way remotely. Even so, I got sucked in to the story -- I love alternate history, and a posit of modern postapocalypse where internal combustion ceases to work leaves a lot of room for character exploration and rollicking adven ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Todd rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After a strange physics-related apocalypse, wiccans, ren faires, and Tolkien geeks take over the world. And... meh. I found just enough to enjoy in these books to keep me reading until the end, although I'm not sure whether I'll get around to reading any further into the Emberverse books than this (these first three stand as a self-enclosed trilogy). Other reviewers have detailed their issues with problems like the preponderance of coincidences, the pacing, the skills everyone magically possesse ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 16, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in the "Dies the Fire" series, this book advances the plight of the "good" survivors of the mysterious "Change", from book one, which apocalyptically returned the world to the middle ages, technologically. Stirling mixes thrilling action, with astonishing detail for everyday life, in this fairly quick paced middle of the trilogy, which ends with "A Meeting in Corvallis". I have previously read the next generation trilogy, the "Change" series(which I just learned has had a 4th book, coming ...more
I like this series in many ways, but in some ways I dislike it a little also. I love the setup and the main groups of characters. I do think that for as long as these books are, not all that much actually happens. In this, the second book, we span a long time period. Years have passed since the first, and we're jumping into the story at that point. A lot goes on in the book, but it still felt like I was waiting for and expecting something bigger to occur. The story is entitled the Protector's Wa ...more
Dec 05, 2014 LeeAnn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with most sequels, this book was not as good as the first book. Yes, it did a good job filling in some important details. Yes, I read it because I needed the background information (I read book #4 before I knew this was a series). I really enjoyed the ending! Powerful imagery, great action, and excellent characterization -- too bad the rest of the book was not so strong. I don't think the plot really needed the British contingent; seems like a red herring. Most of all, the strategy of flashba ...more
So, I really like these books but there is only so much I can handle at once. They're so wordy. While I think descriptive books make amazing audiobooks, I think that there's a point where the similes and metaphors are just too much for the book. And while I appreciate Juniper's heritage, there comes a point where I feel that even the most Irish wiccans draw the line at using every cliche imaginable.

So. By the end of it, I was ready for it to be over. And pondered if I would read the next one.

May 03, 2014 Kellee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
This first part of this book was so slow, which was a let down after Dies the Fire being so spectacular. Towards the end the action picked up and was much more exciting. Of course, Stirling put a very interesting twist towards the end to keep me hooked in, but I'm hoping the pace in the next one picks up quite a bit. But is also hopefully more coherent. There are weird, hard to follow at first flashbacks at the end. Overall, I wanted to like this book a lot more but found myself frustrated. If S ...more
Tom Gaetjens
A dense tome to say the least. More Game of Thrones than it is Mad Max. Incorrectly named, this book would be more accurately called the Protector's Cold War as relatively little of the book is concerned with actual conflict between the two nations present. My main gripe with this book is that it manages to not tell a single story in the whole of its nearly 600 pages. Sure there's the overarching story of the trilogy, but nothing is resolved in this book, and, unlike its predecessor, you'll have ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Ethan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teotwawki
First off, lets be honest, this is as much pulp entertainment as anything else, if you need literature, The Road it is not. If you cannot make it through a Jason Bourne paperback you may not fare well here.

That said, I really appreciate that this book, and the series, is not populated by a bunch of prepper types who lack real humanity. There's a lot that's implausible here, especially in the given timeline (8 years after "The Event") but that allows us to stay with most of the characters from th
Aug 24, 2016 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rrp
This book takes place eight years after the events of Dies the Fire. We get more Juney and Mike, with all the supporting cast of characters that you grow to love during the first book. In addition, we get some awesome British characters thrown into the mix, which widens the scope of things.

There’s war brewing between the Mackenzies & Bearkillers and the Portland Protective Association. Which puts our characters in danger, and makes for some fun sweeping battle scenes. You get to know a littl
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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 13 books)
  • Dies the Fire (Emberverse, #1)
  • 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)
  • 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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“You can learn by listening, or by getting whacked between the eyes with a two-by-four. I always found listening easier.” 8 likes
“Grief is the tribute we pay the dead," she said, matter-of-fact sympathy in her voice. "But they don't ask more than we can afford to give. They've never really gone from us, you know, those we love; they're part of our story, and we of theirs.” 4 likes
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