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The High King of Montival (Emberverse #7)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,223 ratings  ·  155 reviews
The New York Times bestselling 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 enem
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Roc Hardcover (first published July 29th 2010)
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I have enjoyed this series so far and was excited to dive into this latest foray into the post-apocalyptic “Change” world. Very, very disappointed.

For the first 350 pages Stirling leaves out the things the series does well and focuses on the things that are just average or worse.

Out: battles, action, plot twists, mad-dashes for safety, feats of daring, political intrigue.
In: lots of dialogue (where characters explain the same things over and over again, giving the reader zero credit for being a
Rudi and his friends travel home while revisiting some of the people he met on his journey to the east coast.

I enjoyed the first Emberverse trilogy despite (or maybe partly because of) its excesses, but this follow up series has become disappointing. The idea of Rudi crossing the continent with a small group of young people who grew up in the changed world is pretty great, but reading about him meeting and usually winning over members of various wacky post-change cultures has gotten repetitive.
Duffy Pratt
The cover shows a close-cropped, grizzled man, wearing tattered camouflage, and holding a gleaming sword in a two hand fighting position. Behind him, there is the broken fuselage of a jet, with the Rockies looming in the distance. The landscape is otherwise desolate. This picture captures a bit of the soul of the Change world, and it's this world that I liked so much in the first three books.

The man in the picture is Artos, High King of Montival, nee Rudi Mackenzie. Or at least it's supposed to
GAHHHH, why does he keep having freaking cliff-hangers?!

I do like this series; there's nothing mind-blowing or You Must Read This Before You Die about it, but it's fun, it's informative, and it's usually pretty engaging. With this new installment (which, I'm told, kicks off ANOTHER trilogy--fie upon you, S. M. Stirling), the troop of adventurers from the previous two trilogies begins the long hike back from Maine to Oregon, meeting several adventures and new people along the way. It's a fun hero
I want more! The threads all started coming together again, and the tapestry is really coming together quite clearly. Yes, the ending of the series is obvious, and the culmination of this book was clear before I even cracked the cover. However, the obviousness of the overarching plot is not why I read this series. Rather, for me, the point of the series is to watch the story unfold to the inevitable ending. The journey is the point, and the story that enfolds that oh so obvious conclusion. We ar ...more
Paul Steele
Doesn't add much to the series...

OK, ok... I get that they have to get back to Montival, but did it have to take 476 pages?? Do we have to read a recap of everything that has gone on before? Do we have to continue to tell the same, tired jokes and "clever" tales as in the previous six novels? I struggle to see where this add anything to the overall saga at all which is starting to really drag on... (becoming nearly as tedious as Robert Jordan) and apparently there are two more installments befo
This has been a long series. I'm glad I've finally read the last book. All the detailed descriptions of war, fighting techniques and weapons got a little tiring for me. The original concept of the novels (what would happen if all technology suddenly ceased to function) was compelling for me, but the execution of this concept was "over the top." There were so many characters that it was difficult to remember them all and how they were related. However, I do have a greater appreciation for how med ...more
I still can't get enough of this series!

This book covers the trek back from the island of Nantucket to what is now called the kingdom of Montival for Rudi and his friends. Along the way they gain even more allies in the upcoming war against the CUT. He also learns more about the sword and what it can do.

This series, that started out very much urban fantasy, has definitely moved into the epic fantasy world. I wasn't sure I would like the move but I am really enjoying the story and the characters
Penny Ramirez
Well, I managed to forget (**again**) that Stirling names his books in this series after what pretty much is the final climax of the book.... but it was still a fun read. Guess this isn't the end, as I'd thought it would be. But now I'm caught up with the series, so I'll have to be patient like everyone else!

The one thing that struck me in this book was the endless descriptions of meals. Made me hungry all the time. Wonder if Stirling is on a diet?
Lianne Burwell
Three books it took to get across the continent. Three books. And getting home again took one.

I've fallen behind in this series, even though I continue to buy the books in hardcover because I love the early books. I've decided that it's time to get caught up, starting with this one.

You can't really say much about the plot without spoiling earlier books. Basically, they made it to Nantucket, where the Change spread out from, find the magic sword, and now they need to head home before the Church o
I really enjoyed the first several books in this series, but it seems as if the storyline has bogged down quite a bit by this point. I'm sure I'll finish out the series, just because I'm emotionally invested in the characters by now, but it's disappointing how the author seems to be needlessly prolonging the story in order to pad the series with more installments.
This is a book in S.M. Stirling's "Emberverse" series. I really enjoyed the first three books in this series - a vision of a future Earth in which an unexplained event has removed all modern technology from the world; electricity, the combustion engine, even steam power no longer work in this alternate reality.
The first books in the series show a world in which people struggle to come to terms with the new reality and find themselves effectively re-inventing the medieval world. It's a clever and
I'm giving this 4 stars because while the pacing in it was better than in several of the previous books, the events themselves are less interesting, mostly because we know starting it pretty much exactly how it's going to end. No surprises here! Still, I don't necesarily mind that- it's a feature in most romance novels... though it does seem more out of place in books which are supposed to be high adventure.

The complaints in some of the less favorable reviews are valid. The Sword is so much of a
Daniel Mala
So I first have to point out the most obvious fact and that is that I finished the seventh book of the Emberverse series. That in and of itself is telling in that on some level I enjoy the books and characters or at least find them entertaining. I’ll even go so far as to admit that I plan on finishing the final 2 books in the saga. And to be fair I might have even considered giving this book a 2.5 star rating. But to be fair I find this book the least interesting out of all the books in the seri ...more
I have loved the heck out of every book in this series so far, and this was no exception. I usually object to books about the second generation of any story, because I can't think of another example where the story isn't painful crapola. But, dangit, this book was one of those where I didn't want to do *anything* but read until I finished it.

(Being somewhat older and theoretically more responsible than the first time this happened when I picked up Ender's Game in college and didn't leave my roo
First some background: Goodreads calls this #7 in the Emberverse series, but the author's website splits the books into two groups. There is the Emberverse I series, which has three books, and the Emberverse II series, of which this is the fourth book.

I was a little disappointed with the ending of this book, but only because I had made the mistaken assumption when I started it: that this book would be the end of this series. After all, the first series was a trilogy, and when the first book of t
Paul Bonamy
Another excellent book in this series. In terms of the overall arc, this book focuses more on setting up major elements for later use than wrapping up the ongoing threads. (Think Two Towers rather than Fellowship or Return.) This is primarily a case of "well, we made it to Nantucket, now to get home" with a fair amount of time spent gathering people to bring back west for the war with the CUT, and a bit of politicking to get everyone set up for face that fight.

This volume also spends a fair, th
William Bentrim
The High King Of Montival by S. M. Stirling
This book is set in a post Apocalyptic world where technology has been truncated by some unknown source. This story focuses on the children of the initial survivors featured in the Dies the Fire, the first three books. This book is the 4th of seven in the second series set in this world. Rudi and Mathilda are the featured characters in this volume.
Rudi and Mathilda, the heirs to the Mackenzie lands and the Association territory are returning from Nantu
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I'm not sure when, but something happened to the Change series.... it changed. It ceased to be Post-apocalyptic and became Fantasy. There was always that slightly worrying fantasy element to the early Change series but it was held in abeyance by having to tell a tale of survival in a nightmare world... now... Well, it's tales of derring-do and noble knights and jolly archers, of Norse warriors and splendid Redskins, all worshipping their gods and getting a response! I think we're entering a univ ...more
Ryan G
I'm trying to get caught up on this series before the next book comes out in September of this year, and I still need to get the book after this one. It's amazing how some series can make you buy every book that comes out, regardless of how many of them there are. I can only think of a few authors that have been able to create a world that I want to keep coming back to over and over again. S.M. Stirling, with his Emberverse world, is one of those special authors.

It's always interesting to see ho
Ripped through this one once we finally got to the head of the library's waiting list. Both my husband and I enjoyed it.
In a lot of ways this is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the series. A necessary link, but without the epic battles and major plot exposition of the other books. Rudi, having obtained the titular sword of the previous volume, is taking his ever-expanding merry band of questers back home to the ever-expanding Montival. Along the way he's learning about his weapon's function while
This is the seventh installment of one of my favorite series. The concept is awesome -- what would happen if most post-medieval technology, from electronics to gunpowder, suddenly stopped working? Stirling has done a great job developing the dramatic and speculative potential. He's taken us through the apocalyptic end of our world and into a new age where the magic returns, but with a science fiction twist.

This was one of the better entries in the series. Stirling's strengths really shone: detai
Lynn Mcguire
As the great Willie Nelson said:
"On the road again -
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again

And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again -
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends.
Insisting that the world keep turning our way

And our way
is on the road again.
Just can't wait to
Two things I have to be honest about: one is that other than the first book in the series, I listened to these on tape; the second is that the only reason I kept listening to the series is that the gentleman who read the books was so talented.

This isn't a *bad* series, mind you; it's just... hrm. The first book in the series hooked me in with the idea - I love me some post-apocalypse of any kind. And the thought that the geeks inherit the Earth? Fabulous! My people! The makers, the reenactors,
This was what I was in the mood for: pure escapism, fantasy elements, not a lot of real suspense, just a trip through a not-ours-anymore- Earth that will not allow combustion beyond a certain temperature, keeping guns from working, combustion engines from combusting, and throwing the world back into a lower level of technology.

This is sort of/kind of what the new TV series Revolution is going for, I think, but this series predates the TV show and has thought out its premise much better anyway.

Suspense Magazine
In another installment of The Novels of the Change, Stirling again ushers readers into an alternate history of post-apocalyptic adventure and epic intrigue.

Rudi Mackenzie has claimed the Sword of the Lady, and with it, the trials and pitfalls of becoming a leader and a symbol of hope. Now, he must journey back to Montival in order to rescue his homeland and defeat the Church Universal and Triumphant. But, in order to do so, he’ll have to make it across three thousand treacherous miles.

As reader
With this book, the transition from a cool post-apocalyptic world building series to a bizarre fantasy world is complete.

Whereas the first few novels in the Emberverse deal with the immediate fallout of The Change, and the development of communities and kingdoms, the series develops much further than that. Religious development, divine inspiration, and fantastical quests finally surge to the forefront- while there's still a background of pre-Change infrastructure/technology, the series sort of m
Rena McGee
In The High King of Montival, Rudi has gained the Sword of the Lady, been declared High King by his companions and now is ready to build an army and make alliances with the groups he has encountered on his quest. His first recruits are an Asatru community that formed itself up in Maine. As he works his way back along the way he traveled, he picks up more people and establishes the eastern-most boundary of his notional kingdom. Meanwhile, people back home are meeting envoys from the various group ...more
Book 4 in the second series of the Dies the Fire universe - and yeah, I confess, I loved it.

The fantasy element is growing stronger and stronger, but that's OK - Stirling has me firmly hooked and long for the ride. We're seeing a LOT of character change in Rudi (now Ard Righ Artos), but I think, given all that's happened to him over the past few books, it would be highly implausible if we didn't.

I still absolutely love the dialogue and banter (this appears to be a running theme in my reviews - I
OK already, Stirling. It's about time to get on with the final battle in this part of your series. I was put off a bit when the first three books did not conclude this part of the epic, but I understood that things had to occur in order to complete the saga. Once these events occurred, I could only assume that this book would finish this part of the series. I figured wrong. There is at least one more book. Please, if you have been reading this series... tell me that the next book finishes this p ...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Emberverse (1 - 10 of 11 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 Tears of the Sun (Emberverse, #8)
  • Lord of Mountains (Emberverse, #9)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)
  • The Golden Princess (Emberverse, #11)
Dies the Fire (Emberverse, #1) The Protector's War (Emberverse, #2) Island in the Sea of Time (Nantucket, #1) A Meeting at Corvallis (Emberverse, #3) The Sunrise Lands (Emberverse, #4)

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“He was of the Old Religion, like nearly all Mackenzies, and wouldn't object to a Catholic ceremony - his faith taught that all paths to the Divine were valid. Christians tended to be a little more exclusive.” 1 likes
“Clan custom and law held that it was the public declaration of intent and then living together that made a handfasting; the ceremonies simply bore witness to it and asked blessings and luck of the Powers on the new family. He knew Christians thought that the ceremony was the marriage, though.” 1 likes
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