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The Protector's War (Emberverse #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  5,343 ratings  ·  242 reviews
Rising from the ashes of the computer and industrial ages is a brave new world. Survivors have banded together in tribal communities, committed to rebuilding society. In Oregon's Willamette Valley, former pilot Michael Havel's Bearkillers are warriors of renown. Their closest ally, the mystical Clan MacKenzie, is led by Wiccan folksinger Juniper MacKenzie. Their leadership ...more
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Published June 30th 2008 by Tantor Media (first published 2005)
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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
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
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
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
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
Leah Lumsden
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.

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
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
Liz B
First read: December 2007

Second read: June 2014

Okey doke. The first time I read this book, I had kind of a hard time getting through it. I attributed my difficulties to the fact that it was the book that I was halfway through when I was sent to the hospital after an ultrasound for an urgent C-section. There was a lot of time to read after the surgery (the baby was in the NICU), but I just couldn't concentrate on it. I figured that was because I was on a lot of drugs and was, you know, distracted
Apparently, you have to wait until the next book in the series for the whole war to happen, but honestly, that's fine. Stirling doesn't write action very well. What he does write well is detailed accounts of what life is like after (most) technology stops working. I find that infinitely more interesting than his generic and rushed sword-fights.
He tries to explain the science behind the "Change" in this book, and all I can say is, "why bother?" I've already bought his loose and silly premise, and
Nine years ago all gasoline ceased working, as well as steam power, gun powder, and explosives. No one knows why except that the world was suddenly plunged into a new Dark Ages where robber barons, cannibals, and bandits are abundant.

Mike Havel was one of the few who kept his head during the Change and as a result is now Lord of the Bearkillers, a group that resides in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. They’re building up their community, just doing their best to survive; but unfortunately the L
I think it's largely a case of middle book syndrome because while I enjoyed the book I didn't really care about it. It was mostly just setting the stage for A Meeting at Corvallis. As a medievalist who is getting more and more into the re-enactment side of things I think I enjoy these books so much because of their premise. Several times I thought that it would be great if such an event did occur. I think I enjoy the premise more than I like the actual book considering there are several things t ...more
There's much to like about this book, but unfortunately much to annoy too. On one hand, Stirling creates some good characters, with fascinating quirks, but on the other, these characters are too absolutely good or bad to be terribly interesting. There are blessed few conflicts built into the plots within the households of the Mackenzies and the Bearkillers, other than the conflict between Signe and Lord Bear over the paternity of Rudi Mackenzie. This shortage of relationship drama makes the char ...more
The author starts up the story in England, nine years after the change. It was lovely to have more characters, but the author's technique of flipping between storylines -- done well in the first book -- was really difficult in this book. Not only did he go between the storylines, but he kept moving the timeline -- it was hard to follow at times. I don't see that this technique furthered the plot or improved the book at all.

I think the book was overall good, but perhaps the author waxed a bit too
Ryan G
There isn't a lot I can tell you about this book without giving a lot of the plot twists away, so this review will be short of details. The book starts eight years after the Change and life in the Willamette Valley is teetering on the edge of war. The militarized Bearkillers led by Mike Havel and the mystical Clan Mackenzie headed by Juniper Mackenzie have managed to make a place in the valley for their respective societies.

The two groups have strong ties binding them together to oppose the Prot
It took me quite a while to read the second book in the series, reading it quite periodically. The first excitement I got when reading the "Dies the Fire" has partially died down and this book does not have such an amazing air to it as the first one had. Nevertheless it is a good follow-up and created the universe even further by explaining some technical details of how the Change has changed everything (though we still have no idea why it happened) and paints an interesting picture of how man h ...more
The second novel in this trilogy begins 8 years after the time of the Change where all forms of power and combustion stopped working across the world and in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Portland is controlled by a psychotic ex-history professor who has modeled his leadership like an overlord. He calls himself The Protector and maintains an expansionist policy against all the other communities in the valley.

As in the last book, the protagonists are the communities led by June Mackenzie and Mi
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Plagiarism 18 58 Jul 01, 2012 01:13PM  
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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.

More about S.M. Stirling...
Dies the Fire (Emberverse, #1) Island in the Sea of Time (Nantucket, #1) A Meeting at Corvallis (Emberverse, #3) The Sunrise Lands (Emberverse, #4) The Scourge of God (Emberverse, #5)

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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.” 5 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.” 3 likes
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