The last couple books in the Safehold series have been gradually building up to the events found in At the Sign of Triumph by David Weber. The Empire of Charis has been slowly, but steadily, pushing back the armies of the Church of God Awaiting on land and on sea. Finally, they are able to bring the war to those who started it: the Group of Four who control everything in the Church. Merlin and Nimue will finally be able to speed up the process of bringing the tech level of Safehold up to the level necessary to take the battle back to the Gbaba and defeat them once and for all.
This book gets right into the thick of things and moves the story along at a good pace. Unlike Hell’s Foundations Quiver, this one doesn’t dawdle around. It covers about a year-and-a-half in about 100 fewer pages than the previous book, and that’s a good thing. Weber sometimes gets bogged down in too many details (as happened in Shadow of Victory, in his Honorverse series).
I enjoyed learning more about Harchong in At the Sign of Triumph. In previous books, it had mostly been mentioned in passing. Here, we get to know a little better Earl Rainbow Waters and some of his men. I find it interesting to see all the little bits and pieces from various Earth cultures that Weber intertwines into the unique cultures on Safehold.
By this time, the main characters are pretty well established, so there wasn’t anything really new. Weber showed them going on with their everyday lives in addition to the exciting activities that furthered the story. I found this added additional depth to the characters in At the Sign of Triumph to be very entertaining, especially if something happened to them after the reader became invested in them through that backstory.
With large casts of characters it can sometimes become confusing where they are. Weber helps out the reader with convenient setting notes at the beginning of each chapter. The cast list that has been in the previous books has grown so large that Weber is placing it instead on his website. There is also a nice set of maps that can be downloaded from his site.
After being disappointed last month by the latest Honorverse book, I was glad to be very pleasantly surprised by the pacing and story in At the Sign of Triumph. There were no repetitive scenes or redundant information dumps. I look forward to progress being made on the storyline leading up to the reintroduction of the Gbaba in the next book.
Release Date: November 8, 2016 (USA)
ISBNs: 0765325586 (9780765325587)
Publisher: Tor Books
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (occasional smoking and social drinking)
Language: 2 (frequent mild, occasional stronger)
Violence: 2 (many battle scenes, assassinations, mildly graphic, many deaths)