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Like a Mighty Army: Safehold    by David Weber order for
Like a Mighty Army
by David Weber
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

David Weber's tome-after-tome Safehold series began with Off Armageddon Reef, whose opening salvo left humanity on the brink of extinction by the ruthless alien Gbaba.

Earth destroyed, the survivors fled thousands of light years away to settle on the planet Safehold. Knowing the Gbaba would seek energy emissions, the leaders altered most settlers' memories, turning them into believers in the Church of God Awaiting, which forbad innovation. Leaders used technology to pose as archangels.

The idea was to allow mankind to repopulate, under the radar of their enemy and then to recover technology and take up the fight once more. However, the devil is in the details and leaders violently disagreed on how to proceed, leading to war in the heavens. Sadly, the most conservative approach prevailed.

But their opponents had a contingency plan. Lieutenant Commander Nimue Alban awoke as a Personality-Integrated Cybernetic Avatar (PICA), ordered to act as an immortal guide to the colony. Merlyn Athrawes inserted herself into the affairs of Charis, a seafaring kingdom with a habit of innovation ... and warfare erupted with Church leaders, who had every advantage in resources and power (but who did not have Merlyn on their side).

Like a Mighty Army is the seventh in the series. It's become hard to track the multitude of actors on Weber's immense Safehold stage. There are numerous battles on land and sea; spycraft with an immense technological advantage for the vastly outnumbered good guys; villains in spades; an arms race like no other; and instant communication across continents between the living and the dead.

But my favorite part of Like a Mighty Army is the introduction of a new apprentice/companion for Merlyn that resonates with Arthurian legend in an unusual fashion. I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes their relationship - though I can't keep up with all its players, I really do enjoy this series!

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