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A Mighty Fortress

(Safehold #4)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  6,174 ratings  ·  208 reviews
Young Cayleb Ahrmahk has accomplished things few people could even dream of. Not yet even thirty years old, he's won the most crushing naval victories in human history. He's smashed a hostile alliance of no less than five princedoms and won the hand of the beautiful young Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm. Cayleb and Sharleyan have created the Charisian Empire, the greatest nava ...more
Paperback, 1152 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2010)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  6,174 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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A lot of talky-talk, very little plot. Talk about sound and fury signifying nothing! Geez, Weber get on with the story, already. Too many characters. How come every other word is spelled properly EXCEPT for characters names? Would it have been asking too much for Zhamsyn Clyntahn to be Jamison Clinton or Hauwered Wylsyn to be Howard Wilson? For Pete's sake it is hard enough to break through 800 some odd pages of this book to get to the other side, and to have to pay a bunch of money for it, but ...more
Chris Perrin
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am of two minds on this book. Let's start with the good.

Let me say with no hesitation that had I never read any Honor Harrington books, I would be the Safehold series' biggest fan. It has action, politics, characters to cheer for, villians who are villians not because they are eeeevil, but because they have a different (though understandable) viewpoint.

So, if you haven't read Honor Harrington, stop readig this review right now and go buy the entire Safehold series.

Sadly, I have read pretty muc
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If your into the series only
Shelves: read-in-2010
Boring. Two little plot advancement, too little science, a lot of talking. Feels like the last few Weber books in the Honor Harrington series, and I do not mean that in a good way.

Weber devotes a lot of time to discussing the bad guys and their strategy. He also devotes a lot of time to the Prime Directive. In other words, how much do we tell the natives about the powerful Merlin in their midst. Lost in this 600 pages is the original story of how Merlin advances science.

Now the only seeming scie
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, 2019
Another superb installment in this great series!
Kathy Davie
Fourth in the Safehold military science fiction series that blends high tech with early 19th century weapons. It's a war of David and Goliath proportions pitting the valiant Empire of Charis against the might and power of a corrupt Church.

My Take
It's all so reasonable with Green Valley thrilled to be blending his marines with the Chisholmian army — their soldiers have taken Green Valley's tactical ideas and absorbed and improved them. Cayleb is insisting that Chisholmians are treated exactly the
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I like a lot of what DW does, but the editing on this one is terrible. Corisande and Charis are not the same place, and there were several other places where names did not get cleaned up properly.

Also this series is getting bogged down in moving the fleets and the plot from place to place. The world would be just as enjoyable, or actually more enjoyable to read about if it were about half as large as it seems to be.

Some great ideas, but this story needs to speed up or end.
In this book Weber continues the Safehold series where he is able to go back to the ship battles of old. The problem is that in this book he is dealing more with the description of the politics than in the action. Basically the balance is way off. Part of the problem is the increased number of people that are being tracked. In the past books in the series, he dealt with four of five players as they interacted with secondary ones (even if in some cases those secondaries were more important in the ...more
Lindsay Stares
Jul 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This series seriously needs a “Last Time, On Safehold...” prologue. I'm not going to re-read, or even re-skim, one or more additional 600-plus page doorstops to reorient myself in preparation for reading this one. This is part four, incidentally, of what seems to now be shaping up to be Arthurian motifs plus Protestant Reformation plus Industrial Revolution plus Interminable Boring Warfare, In Space.

After the action pace of By Heresies Distressed, A Mighty Fortress felt like filler. Not much hap
Elizabeth Galewski
Why do I read these Safehold books?!?! Unlike the Honor Harrington series, in which Weber held me rapt with an increasingly complicated and humanized protagonist, these books feature a robot who doesn't evolve or grow. And I often get the sense that nothing much actually happens in a given volume of this series. Yet I still tend to queue the next one up when I'm done with the last. And at times, I even act as though I am addicted to them.

Perhaps I just like the violent battle scenes. These are u
Overlong given the paucity of plot advancement and character development, frankly the book could have used a rigorous edit. By this time in the series we know most of the major characters and the issues they are wrestling with well enough so as not to need additional detailed exposés of what they think and why they do and don't do things and what the implications of minor events are. Weber would be well-advised to concentrate on advancing the plot while providing detailed exposition only of the ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th book in the saga. So much to like about it, but some stuff that gets in the way of rapture. For an Honor Harrington fan, it does not disappoint. Whereas the Honorverse deals in political ideological themes attached to a kind of female Horatio Hornblower in space, the Safeholdian universe deals in another version of grand mariner saga, only this time, the ideological themes rel
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Although the title of this fourth book in the fabulous Armageddon’s Reef series doesn’t mean exactly what Martin Luther meant when he penned that poem/hymn in our world, A Mighty Fortress is an appropriate title for a work that brilliantly weaves science-fiction concepts and background into a world where a parallel Reformation (and in this volume, Counter-Reformation) is occurring. I sometimes read fiction for pure escape value, but this series both deepens my real faith and helps me reflect on ...more
This is the fourth book in what must turn out to be a never ending series of "Safehold" novels from Weber. The size and scope of the Safehold world and the increasing cast of charaters introduced by Weber, and the authors own sometimes cumbersome writing style (why use one word when you can use three) insurers that this book at over 700 pages does not move the overall plot along very much.

This is the problem, I am not sure at this point what the end game is in this series of it the o
Jeremy Dambrose
Aug 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was like watching a TV series where all your favorite characters decided to drop the show. You barely get to see the main characters, and honestly, what I saw of Merlin (my favorite character) seemed infuriatingly uncharacteristic. The rest was barely more than political discussion from secondary characters. The series started so strong! The second and third books kept getting progressively political, but the characters held my attention. Without that, I have little desire to c ...more
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
The series continues. Things happen. There is a conversation in this book between two named female characters and it isn't about a man. There might even be two in this book. ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Should have been the kind of story I enjoy....but after way too many chapters, the character development left no characters one could care about at all.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.

I loved the first and second books of this series, as well, but I found myself growing weary of its world during the third installment. After several months away, I was ready to dive back in, and I'm glad I did.

This is the part of the review where I usually offer a brief description of a given book's story or subject, but I'll skip that here. Suffice it to say that this is the fourth volume in a ten-volume science fiction adventure. If I've piqued your interest with my enthusia
Scott Holstad
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, david-weber
Oh.My.God. I can't believe I finally finished this near-1200 page monster of a book! It was brutal at times. I usually try to write complete or thorough reviews after reading a book, but I'm afraid I won't for this one. Just too damn long, too damn much. So, a short review for a long book.

This is the fourth book in Weber's Safehold series. It's not a standalone book. You need to start with the first one and read them in order to know what's going on and who's who. In this book, the Empire of Cha
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
5 minutes later:
This feels like another leadup book instead of something with substance unto itself.

There was some politics, but its mostly just a few plots getting wrapped up so we can move forward.

There were a few rather satisfying moments. And moments where a few characters really shined. But there were equally frustrating moments, and more of them (especially those related to 'the circle' complaining how spoiled they are)
Basically I expected a lot more from a book over 1000 pages long.

May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are my kind of book, tightly written, fast moving plots with frequent shifts in the action. They are also all around 285,000 words or around 700 to 800 pages! Weber's created world is interesting, and just like in his spectacularly engrossing Honorverse series, he makes the characters real to you. You begin to expect things or find things satisfying because of how they begin to become real people you'd want to know, or truly hate! There is FAR too much going on in each of these books for m ...more
Sabrena Phillips
Less is more!

Don't get me wrong, I love David Weber and would normally give him 5 on anything he writes, however....these books, while the storyline is amazing and holds your attention, the books are at least twice as long as they need to be. I find myself being bored by some of the tedious details he inserts in every sea battle, every explanation of a new/old invention etc. The books would be so much better with a faster pace and truth to tell, I would pay the same price for 1/2 the book if the
James Edwards
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I never thought I’d finish this book. That I did is a testament to its ability to encourage me to keep turning page after page. It was a long journey, not always exciting, not always moving the plot, but it did consistently hold my interest. The details of the world created by Weber here are remarkable. They sometimes get in the way of the storyline & definitely slow the pace of where you’re going, but these details are like little pieces of candy you can’t stop eating. Weber does his job well, ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fourth in the Safehold series moves the action away from Emperor Cayleb and Empress Sharleyan and focuses more on the efforts of the rest of the Imperial Navy's campaign against the Group of Four and the Church of God Awaiting.

The Charisians suffer their most devastating losses and yet continue to take the fight to the Group of Four regardless. The tide swings back and forth as the superior numbers of the Church navy are more than balanced by the technological advancements of the Charisians.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books are well worth the work. If you like epic fantasy/science fiction doorstop novels that combine the best of both, look no further. Oh, did I mention the liberal dose of Patrick O'Brian thrown in? Massive sea battles with all the blood and violence those maritime wars were like is on full display.
One word of caution you have to start at book 1, Off Armageddon Reef, or you will be utterly lost. As I said, these books are work, but well worth it. I will add more to this review shortly.
Robert Aldrich
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good addition to series

This book was a monster in size, but I loved reading it. There is a lot of great things that take place--great as in for the story, because some of them are actually truly horrible.

I have really enjoyed reading this series. My biggest beef remains the names, and I sometimes get lost in who is who because of the strange twisting of the names, but I deal with it.
Lee Belbin
Weber is a tad verbose for me, but many would say meticulous when it comes to character development and social interactions. There were a few places where I skipped the inevitables like what someone was wearing and tedious minor conversations that didn't relate to the main game. That said, it is a good read and buil obviously on the previous in the series. This one moved too slowly for me, but after a break, I'll continue on to see the inevitable win by the goodies. ...more
Jules Bertaut
This one had more fighting and less speeching than the last one in this series, which is good.

One thing I like about this series is the good guys have given up torture because it's Wrong. Some of the bad guys scorn them for that, because it makes them "weak" but those guys are also mostly kinda cartoonishly awful and this is just another way they're awful. I appreciate a strong anti-torture stance.
Aug 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An even longer book this time and even less happens. But somehow David Weber manages to keep my attention. It feels like I've been up and down the rigging so many times I have calluses on my hands and salt up my nose. However I think I'm running out of steam a little, spoiler alert, I think they're just about to discover steam so I imagine there will be an ironclad on the horizon soon. If you like wooden ships being blown to pieces by cannon fire this may be the series for you. ...more
Tm Buffalo
Jun 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh vey this one was not very good at all sad but it seemed like very little plot development lots of talking and thinking this series seems bogged down or stretched out not sure if I will read any farther too many names and folks to keep track of sad really I wanted to like it but had to force myself to skim and plow thru to the end.
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David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name

Other books in the series

Safehold (10 books)
  • Off Armageddon Reef (Safehold, #1)
  • By Schism Rent Asunder (Safehold, #2)
  • By Heresies Distressed (Safehold, #3)
  • How Firm a Foundation (Safehold, #5)
  • Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold, #6)
  • Like a Mighty Army (Safehold, #7)
  • Hell's Foundations Quiver (Safehold, #8)
  • At the Sign of Triumph (Safehold #9)
  • Through Fiery Trials (Safehold, #10)

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