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The Sunrise Lands (Emberverse #4)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  4,952 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
Rudi MacKenzie has grown up knowing that he will one day assume leadership over the survivors of the technological disaster known as the Change. But a prophecy made at his birth spoke of an even greater destiny-a destiny that is about to be fulfilled. A mysterious traveler from Nantucket, long rumored to be the source of the Change, arrives on a mission to bring Rudi back ...more
ebook, 528 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Roc (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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I loved the idea of a follow up to the Dies the Fire books that centers around the younger generation. Most of the characters were either born after the Change or were very young when it happened, so to them, the post-Change traditions and factions seem normal. But at the same time they have a direct connection to the earlier world in the stories of their parents, even if they don't always understand some of the concepts or references.

The book is about the start of a quest. A stranger has a myst
The Sunrise Lands is the first book in Stirling's 3rd set of 3 interconnected series. I love the idea behind the sets of series, so I thought I'd jump in. In the "Island in the Sea of Time" trilogy, the island of Nantucket is flung backwards in time to 1250 BC. In the "Dies the Fire" trilogy, Stirling tells what happened to the world left behind: The Change has caused electricity, high gas pressures, and fast combustion (including explosives and gunpowder) to stop working in the rest of the worl ...more
May 06, 2012 Graham rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed. It doesn't end - to find out what happens one, presumably needs to read the subsequent 3,4,5,6, however many sequels and I just can't be bothered.
Its just a complete mish-mash. The evil prophet and his equally wicked followers (the Cutters) - the clean cut invincible all American hero (who just happens to wear a kilt and has a mother who is a witch and has been sent on a crazy quest) - cowboys wearing armour - add some crackpots who think they are elves from the Lord of the Rings a
Kathy Davie
Feb 20, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopian
Fourth in the Emberverse dystopian science fiction series. This is the first in the second trilogy in the Emberverse, and it revolves around Rudi, a.k.a., Artos. It's the fall of 2020 and twenty-two years since the EMP and twelve years since the War of the Eye in which Mike died.

My Take
It starts with a bang-up fight and death and an introduction to the pivotal character who will send Rudi and friends on their trek. It also introduces us to a grown-up Rudi, Mathilda, and Mary and Ritva among othe
I wanted to give this book 4 stars until I got to the end and was disappointed that it left so many story threads open. I understand it is the first of a three book trilogy, which is itself the third trilogy in this this series; but I expected more closure at the end. I would really be upset if I didn't already have the next book in hand.

The story is about the quest of Rudi McKenzie who is one of the first generation born after the change and is in line to someday take over the clan which lives
Apr 23, 2010 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the beginning of a new story arc set in the same world as the first three books of the Emberverse but the main characters are the children of the ones in the first story arc. It starts out 12 years later and we quickly find out that Rudi Mackenzie, Mathilda, Mary, and Ritva are all going to take center stage with a couple of new characters and a scary new group as villans. This story is going to let Stirling explore more of the country and is set up as a quest early on. The action i ...more
Erica Anderson
Jun 27, 2013 Erica Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopic, 2013-reads
First of all, you can definitely read this book without having read the first three in the series. Stirling provides plenty of context, so I never felt lost.

Sunrise follows the basic quest trope, with a group of well-drawn characters setting out in a dystopic America where swords and longbows are the norm. There's a good bit of politics, since the country has been divided up into petty kingdoms that are always either at war or nearly so.

This is a character-driven adventure, and Stirling spends
Fantastic. Anytime that a writer decides to end a trilogy or a series, skip a decade or two and then pick up with the previous character's children you have to wonder if something is going to be lost in the transition. In this case I was really worried because I really liked the older characters and it didn't help that one of my favorites (Mike Havel) died at the end of the last book.

All that aside, this was a great book and I'll definitely continue the series from here as I can happen to find t
Linda I
Oct 06, 2010 Linda I rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to start on this next chapter of the Emberverse series and it doesn't disappoint! Rudy MacKenzie is finally all grown up and having his own adventures in pursuit of peace. Now that the Protectorate is essentially neutered, a new menace sets in to fill the vaccuum. Enter The Prophet, a faceless entity who rules the downtrodden and helpless by making them his slaves and imposing a bizarre religion with himself as the word of God. As the Prophets army spreads itself like a plag ...more
We're now 20+ years after "the change" (as the characters name the event in 1999 when the laws of physics changed out of nowhere and prevented electricity and internal combustion) and the first generation of "changlings" has grown up. Rudi, son of Juniper McKenzie finds himself on an unanticipated and not quite desired quest which takes him to parts east, thus letting us see how other parts of the former US have fared. The various societies that have formed and shaken out are fairly believable, ...more
Aug 05, 2008 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers
I like SF/Disaster-type novels. Rebuilding civilization even. Heck, I liked the tv series Jericho.

I don't care for fantasy. This series is rapidly becoming fantasy. I feel kind of cheated. I thought in this part of the series we were going to find out why the Change happened. While it's interesting to see what went on east of Oregon, it's getting more and more like fantasy. While no one seems to have developed magical powers yet and little fairies and elves have not cropped up, I had to just ski
Stephen Edge
I love the Change Novels, the setting is very interesting to me and Dies the Fire was a great, startling, thought provoking book; and its sequels all lived up to its example while takeing the story in slightly different directions.

However I can't help but feel that Mr. Stirling was reaching for a second series for some reason, and he just didnt pull it off with this book. He steps away from the harsh realities shown in Dies the Fire, and into a more mystical realm here, and it didnt sit well.

Dec 26, 2008 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
See my review of "The Protector's War."

The Sunrise lands is moderately more interesting than the previous books in the series in that the characters begin to get hints about the nature of "The Change" and start to explore it.

I won't talk about the plot except to say that Stirling appears to be repeating / drawing heavily on the quest for the holy grail.
Charla aka Chuckie
I'm kind of over the series... however, there is one more and I feel like I need to know how it's going to end. Stirling has gotten away from the main characters in the first series, and didn't do as much character development but with a few key characters. Furthermore, it has become more SciFi in a prophecy spiritual nonsensical way.
Vickey Foggin
I am still engaged in this story of a post-apocolyptic America, even as the series shifts from a well thought-out dystopian speculative future to a standard fantasy series wherein a group of 9 set out on a quest to retrieve a magical object required to defeat evil. This is not as good as the first three books but good enough for me to read the next one. One thing I really liked about the first three books was the focus on personality and individual thoughts and reactions, and this series seems m ...more
Leo (velleochor)
DNF-ing this. I'm only 17% done with this one and it was kind of boring. Not so boring since I thought the world was interesting, but it didn't really absorb me. The plot was slow and there was too much information dumped that I tend to forget them and had to reread some paragraphs.

Well, maybe I'll get back to reading it, but I'm sure it will take a long time for that to happen.
David Richardson
Too complex plus I realized it was the middle of a series.
An Odd1
Jun 23, 2011 An Odd1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
** "The Sunrise Lands" (Emberverse #4, but my first) by S.M. Stirling explains enough alternate western/ medieval technology-less future U.S. background to incorporatet earlier "Change" books. But I have divided the star rating for demanding I read a sequel. After major bloody fights, the ending leaves the questers heading east to Nantucket for answers in a big pickle. Ingol gets to Oregon and finds the Clan Mackenzie Chief's successor to be called "The Sword of the Lady" from old prophecy. The ...more
May 26, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

S.M. Stirling is an expert at creating worlds. In this book, we are given a glimpse at what the future might be like after “The Change” – a time when all technology has been taken from us, supposedly by aliens. Society has devolved into clans, sects, small democracies, or whatever form of government the locals deem worthy. In this book, we are focused mainly on the Mackenzie clan from Oregon and Rudi, the son of the High Priestess.

The basic plot is a quest. A stranger, Ingolf, from the east arr
Aug 27, 2014 jammastere rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't stop reading this series!

This is book #4 and you really do need to start with book #1 to really appreciate fully the depth of the story. I would even go so far as to stay you need to start with the Nantucket trilogy.

This story takes place 12 years after The Protector's War. The children born since the Change are growing up and starting to take over leadership in some areas. They have a very different world view as compared to the few older adults who still remember what the world was li
Jun 06, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
In this book, Stirling fast forwards from Rudi at age 10 to Rudi in his early 20's. A new character from the East, Ingolf shows up--the classic mysterious stranger and Rudi finds out that he must go on a quest. He is supposed to go and find the sword of the lady (King Arthur, anyone?). A major antagonist is introduced, The Church Universal and Triumphant aka CUT (their war cry as well).

The plot distilled is great, and I like the characters especially the supporting characters like Tiphaine (woul
Brian Little
Nov 13, 2009 Brian Little rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book one of Stirling's Emberverse Series II. The conceit of the novel is that high-energy technology on Earth no longer functions. Nobody knows why, it just doesn't. So long as you accept that, you're basically okay.

The prose is good. Stirling has a knack for politics and world-building. He's clearly quite enamored of the Pacific Northwest, and of all things medieval. Which is fine as far as it goes, but he does have a bit of a tendency to go full-metal Clancy when describing arms and ar
Aug 29, 2012 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this addition to the series, which is the start of yet another trilogy in the Emberverse. Not only is it kind of awesome seeing all the characters grown up, we start seeing a bit more insight into how the Change happened, and it's all crazy mystical and shit. I really enjoyed reading that clothes like jeans and t-shirts were considered "old-fashioned" and how vague the younger generation is about things like electricity and motors. I also really liked traveling through a wide va ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Donald rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the setting
This book follows the adventures of the children from the first trilogy set after The Change. That's also the reason it took me so long to read this, and why I checked it out from the library, rather than buying it.

The pace of this book feels slower than the previous three, and not in a good way. At times, it felt ponderous and difficult to continue through, especially coming at it straight after the fast-reading books by John Scalzi I was reading previously.

In this book, a man from the eastern
Ryan G
Feb 08, 2010 Ryan G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been 22 year since The Change that set civilization back hundreds of years and life has fallen into a steady rhythm the Willamette Valley in what was once Oregon That is about to change when a stranger from the East arrives and tells them of what's been going on in the rest of the former United States.

There are strange events taking place on Nantucket Island, long though to be the source of everything that's happened. Added to the mix is a brewing war between The United States of Boise and
Nov 01, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good entry in this post-apocalyptic series, but it's failure to be a complete story by itself prevented me from giving it five stars. Unlike the earlier novels, I felt like this book just ended on a cliffhanger with no resolution of any narrative arc. Rather than a novel in a series of books, it felt more like the last episode of a season taunting the viewer until the arrival of the new season in the fall. Luckily, I'm reading the book at a time when the next novel is already published b ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fic
Not sure how I ended up starting this series in the middle, but I did, so there.

In a way it's better that I did, because I was able to accept at face value the premise of the story, which (no big spoiler here) is about the survivors of a supernatural event that somehow rendered all means of electricity generation ineffective, and alter the laws of chemistry to render gunpowder and explosives nearly inert.

I guess I enjoyed the ride (enough to finish the book), but I was unimpressed with the quant
Luis Odicio
Mar 17, 2008 Luis Odicio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is my first book by S.M. Stirling and I liked it very much. I thought this was a stand-alone book so when I got to the ending I realized that another book must follow. I did some research and find out that the next book (The Scourge of God) is not coming out until the end of the year!

Oh why did I pick up this book? why! I'm the kind of reader who likes to read a series from beginning to end without waiting for a book release. That is why I look for completed series.

And even then,
Oct 16, 2009 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My biggest complaint about this book is the same one I've had about every book in this series after Dies the Fire: it's not as good as the 1st book. However, Dies the Fire is in my list of top 10 favorite books, so not living up to it isn't quite a surprise.

S.M. Stirling develops a cast of well-developed and interesting characters who are going on a (long, drawn-out and possibly pointlessly sci-fi) adventure across the continental U.S. on foot after the fall of civilization as we know it. The S
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
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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 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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“Likes to fight, does he?" Sandra said thoughtfully.

"Oh, yeah. He says there are only two reasons to fight."

"Which are?"

"Joy and death."

Her mother's brows went up. "Joy in death?"

"No, no... For joy, to stretch yourself with a friend; or death, to kill as quickly as you can. Nothing in between.”
“But then they were males, and therefore idiots about some things.” 3 likes
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