So let’s be real clear here: David Weber’s Through Fiery Trials is not a good book. And sure, none of this Safehold series is objectively good, but even through the lens of someone who’s in the tank for this series and all its godawful names, this is pretty terrible.

The thing about Weber is, his failure case is well-known, because it’s happened in a whole bunch of books so far: It’s when his characters have a moment to relax, so they spend 1100 pages just sitting around telling each other how awesome they are.

Before I started this book, I suspected strongly this might be one of those volumes, because having just wrapped up a major conflict in the last volume, everyone seemed primed for a fuck-you nothing-happens volume. But as the book began, Weber was careful to actually lay out the stakes that remained, and set up a conflict, and… maybe this will actually be a book that has a reason to exist?

But haha, no. The conflict he sets up gets resolved over maybe, idk, 100 pages or so, the rest of which is taken up with pure fluff. If you’re a super-super-super-super-super-dedicated reader of the Safehold series, you’ll want to read this book, with its meetings between characters you’ve come to know and love, where they sing paeans to each others’ greatness. But no normal human could possibly sit through this interminable, insufferable book.

Not recommended, but then look it’s like book ten, and are you really going to stop now? No, I didn’t think so. Suck it up, buttercup.


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