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The Golden Princess

(Emberverse #11)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,436 ratings  ·  139 reviews
First novel of a new “Emberverse”/”The Change” trilogy.

It’s Change Year 46, two generations after high-energy technology died in a catastrophe most of the human race didn’t survive.

The children born after the Change and their children are again battling against powers that are not sympathetic to humans and human concerns.
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Penguin/Roc
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3.87  · 
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 ·  1,436 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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C.J. Peter
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: emberverse
Somewhere in this volume is a pretty good story...that was done much better in "The Sunrise Lands".

Too many words, Herr Stirling. --blatant stealing from the criticism: "too many notes, Herr Mozart"

The author describes everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) constantly, and as he has done more and more frequently over the course of this series he repeats things multiple times that the reader is already (or should be) aware of, to the point of wondering if the author even remembers that he already ma
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'll be honest: I'm going to read Anything set in the Emberverse. The world of the Change is just too imagination-inspiring to let go. And Stirling certainly brings his high quality character sketches, painterly place descriptions, and in-depth research on everything from sword making to sailing ships to bear on "Princess." Sadly, he also appears to have been taking lessons from David Weber in the "how to make a series last forever" school. In other words, the book is about 80% character sketche ...more
Dec 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
S. M. Stirling doesn't know when to quit, and may have forgotten how to write.

"The Golden Princess" was so frakking awful that it successfully did what no book has *ever done before;* it inspired me to give up on a series after being more than two books into it. That's never happened in more than forty years of avid reading. Hell, *addicted behavior* reading.

I'm fourteen books in, for the record-- and I'm DONE. In 420 pages, there were two BRIEF moments of actual CONFLICT, only ONE OF WHICH was
Ok story, but like the latter books in the original series, it gets a bit bogged down in too much description and not enough story progress.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Stirling writes well, but this is another book that moves slowly. No, moves glacially, and reads like backstory plus page after page of:

This is how we now live after the Change. This is what we eat. This is what we wear. Here is how we farm. This is what Mackenzie's are like. Here is how we fight. Our weapons work like this. Magic sword, magic sword. Magic sword. We worship these gods and goddesses. Fight. Food. Clothes. Clan. Protectorate. Slightly wink, wink, nudge nudge banter about hankypank
Bear Field
Sep 17, 2014 rated it liked it
While I enjoy Stirling's novels of the Change, I was slightly disappointed with this latest installment, which was more of a transition than a stand-alone novel. In part, the transitional feel is because the book introduces an entire new generation of characters--the second generation born after the Change--as well as a new set of potential allies--the post-Change Japanese. There are many new (or previously mentioned-in-passing) characters whose personalities and relationships need to be establi ...more
Stephen Woerner
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a new chapter of a truly genius post-apoc/fantasy world created by S.M. Stirling. The "Change" universe is one of my absolute favorites. This is a the first book in a new series with new characters and a new adventure. The epic evil present in the first series has a new face, but the same skin crawling creepiness. If a thoroughly developed post apoc world with strong character development and an epic adventure sounds like your cup of tea, give "The Golden Princess" a try.

As a side note,
Ok, I'd have given this four stars if more had actually happened. Also, there was this random chapter in Australia that was kind of unnecessary. I'm assuming it'll be important later.

But, there were so many good female characters in this book! That alone will make this part of the series more interesting to me. Sadly, as I expected, this book was mostly world-building and preparations for the next books, but I so badly want the next book now! Reiko and Heuradys are my favs.
Fredrick Danysh
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The High King is dead, killed by a prisoner taken while rescuing a Japanese detachment on a quest to North America as is the Japanese leader. Now the daughters of the two men plot revenge and the continuation of the Japanese quest. Though well written, The Golden Princess just sets the characters of a new generation in The Change series with little real action.
James Wilde
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Latest volume of SM Stirling's "The Change" series. Highly recommend these SF/Fantasy books, starting with "Dies the Fire." Stirling creates highly structured, highly believable, anthropologically sound societies after a great worldwide catastrophe altered the laws of physics. One day, the world significantly changed, so that man-made explosive energy was curtailed. Even steam engines failed to provide useful energy, so no chemical-energy-based machines would work. "The Golden Princess" is far i ...more
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm going to start out by saying I've loved this series - the "Novels of the Change." In 1998, something weird and mysterious happens. Electrical power doesn't work. Gunpowder doesn't work. Gasoline doesn't burn. The world is plunged into medieval times, but with modern knowledge. I've been fascinated by how the survivors at first converted products of our technology to their needs (converting automotive and truck leaf springs into swords, for example). And the different personalities of the var ...more
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the start of a series about the next generation; the grandchildren of those who first survived the Change.

This is not a super exciting book with lots going on in it, but it is a really good book. This book introduces and expands on the next generation of heroes. Before starting this book I was thinking about how much I would miss Rudi and his compatriots. I really needed to get to know the new characters: who they are, what they think, what is important to them, how they are different fr
Dan Crowther
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Two problems dog this latest installment in the Emberverse series. First, at least at this point, there's very little new as far as plot goes. This is just a re-write of the "Sword of the Lady Quest" that Rudy went on. Second, Stirling is starting to fall prey to a writing style that is becoming all too common among writers of extended series; he spends FAR too much time including back-story. This book could easily have been 1/3 shorter if he wasn't constantly explaining who's related to who, wh ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you have not been reading Stirling's novels of the Change this is not one to start with. It picks up from Rudi's demise and handing over the reins of the kingdom to his daughter. This book had very little real action between the good guys and the bad guys. The book is a set up for the next quest to find a special (magic or other worldly) weapon to help combat the evil force at work still in the world. I am ready for the quest, but didn't think an entire book was needed for the set up. Only an ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world created by S.M.Stirling remains very interesting. There are, after all, infinite cultural and military variations to explore.
I read the book and enjoyed it, and I will buy any new addition to this series.

The story, however, begins to feel stale. The "change world" can be used as a base for juicy short stories, but no longer related to the same people in generations to come.
I would expect a writer with the,proven, imagination of S.M.Stirling to get out of
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still loving this series:o)
Nathan Miller
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
TGP and the previous novel, The Given Sacrifice, could almost be the same volume, for all that this one picks up immediately after the previous one. But that would make for one THICK book! And speaking of thick, I noticed an awful lot of recap in this volume, much of which I felt was unnecessary and/or redundant, and its omission would have trimmed the page count noticeably.

Two things saved this novel for me: the Japanese; and another quest.

I spent a few years of my boyhood living in Japan and h
Shawn Ritchie
The Change. A great Deus Ex Apocalyptica for a now quite long-running series of books. A long-running series of books that, for the middle run, I struggled with continuing to read.

I liked the first few books very much; going through the actual horrors of The Change and watching tiny bands of devastated survivors struggle to establish new societies and fight off their enemies was very enjoyable.

Then, the Ren Faire nonsense started becoming increasingly prominent and I enjoyed it less and less.
Marshall Clowers
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Spoilers (maybe) if you have not yet read The Given Sacrifice. If you haven't read that yet; why are you here???

I had to push myself to give it 4 stars. I've loved the Emberverse so far and I wanted to love this installment. But it seems to me that this was really filler material to set up the next book. We all know what happened to Artos, and of course there are people that are really annoyed about it.
Add to the mix a Japanese Empress who got her title the same way that Orrey will get hers.

Maureen Caupp
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I skipped several books in this series before reading The Golden Princess. There was little action in this book. I expected more of the quest to take place. I enjoyed the world building and character development with lots of details, but in a few places the descriptions were too long for me. I went to school in Corvallis, so some of the descriptions of places I could picture.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taylor Ellwood
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a good build up of the next saga. The various characters are introduced and everything is gradually brought together...but really this is a book of not much action and a lot more of character set up.

And its okay for being that, but in some ways you can tell the author is fatigued. I gave it a 4 because I like the series and the prose is good. I'm hoping the next book is better.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This whole series just fascinates me. I have recommended it to everybody that asks for a book suggestion. Orlaith and Reiko are just as much fun to follow as Rudi and Matty were, and Juniper, Mike, and Sandra before them. Every character gets layers added, every fate seems natural and satisfying, even as they make me cry or grin.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best

This series is the best, and this book is one of his best. It may be my affinity with Japan, growing up there, but it was an enjoyable read and set the next couple of books up.
Ellen Hobson
Jan 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Tried to read this book but could not get beyond the first chapter. Too convoluted and went nowhere. There are very few books that I will not give a decent chance to. This is one of about 5 in my lifetime of reading that I had to call it quits on before wasting any more time.
Jim Basl
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good start to the next generation of the Change

This was a good start to the next generation of The Change. The characters have become clear, and who they are fighting against.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was back up to a level that was if not on par with the first 8 books at least close to it. The pacing was better and didn't feel rushed like with the two immediately before this one.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I kinda knew what to expect - beginning of a new trilogy with a new quest. I just wish it weren't such a formula! The characters are likeable. I imagine the next book will be better.
Tara Wowra
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had a thoroughly wonderful two months, plus, living in this world. Still have three 'Change' books to go.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
This could have been condensed into a chapter or two of actual plot
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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

Other books in the series

Emberverse (1 - 10 of 15 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 High King of Montival (Emberverse, #7)
  • The Tears of the Sun (Emberverse, #8)
  • Lord of Mountains (Emberverse, #9)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)
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