Listen free for 30 days

The Protector's War

A Novel of the Change
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
Series: Novels of The Change, Book 2
Length: 21 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Rising from the ashes of the computer and industrial ages is a brave new world. Survivors have banded together in tribal communities, committed to rebuilding society.

In Oregon's Willamette Valley, former pilot Michael Havel's Bearkillers are warriors of renown. Their closest ally, the mystical Clan MacKenzie, is led by Wiccan folksinger Juniper MacKenzie. Their leadership has saved countless lives.

But not every leader has altruistic aspirations. Norman Arminger, medieval scholar, rules the Protectorate. He has enslaved civilians, built an army, and spread his forces from Portland through most of western Washington State. Now he wants the Willamette Valley farmland, and he's willing to wage war to conquer it.

Unknown to both factions, however, is the imminent arrival of a ship from Tasmania bearing British soldiers.

©2005 S. M. Sterling (P)2008 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Stirling's blending of fiction and history produces a strange, hybrid civilization, in which the confrontation between warlord and mystic is viscerally satisfying." ( Booklist)
"Readers who relish a battle between the forces of light and darkness...are in for a rousing good time." ( Science Fiction Weekly)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JasonK
  • JasonK
  • 11-10-09

Not bad, but not great

If you liked the first book in the series then you will most likely enjoy this second book. If you felt it was so-so then perhaps you might want to skip this series and move to something else; I found it took some determination to get through parts of this book.

One of my pet peeves in any story is repetion of descriptive words, especially when there is a large supply of other words or phrases that could be used. In the first book it seemed every arrow fired and swipe of a sword resulted in "cloven air" or "this cum that" (bookstore cum coffee shop etc.) to explain dual purpose places or things. Thankfully he used a few different ways to describe things here and there.

A great deal of story time has passed between the first book and this one and I wondered if I had picked the third book and not the second, but this is indeed the second. The gap made me wonder what had happened in the story years between. It is as if this book is just a highlight worth noting in the lives of the characters. It isn't a bad thing because listening to day to day and uneventful routines would be quite dull.

At a few points in the story it was hard to determine where or when events were taking place; there was a lengthy flashback (yes flashbacks can be tricky I know) that left me wondering what I had missed is just one example.

The narrator is apparently quite accomplished and that fact leaves me wondering why he tends to repeatedly mispronounce words or if the author has spelled the words this way in the text (teeth bared in great effort pronounced as barred). Either way it the same as fingernails on a chalkbaord. Nobody is perfect of course, that aside, he does a good job with character accents and sound effects (woosh, screech, and so on).

The story is interesting enough to keep me listening, at least through the next book.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jo
  • Jo
  • 06-05-15

Poor; but I still listened

Very mixed feelings about this very mixed series of books.

I think they (particularly from this book onwards) are more likely to appeal to fantasy fans or medievalists than sci-fi or post-apocalypse fans.

Pros:

-Characters you care about (even though some are over stereotyped and others are inconsistent)
-I kinda like the evolution from our world into a fantasy type world, but it won't be everyone's cup of tea
-Strong female characters
-mystery of what caused The Change

Cons
- Repetitive in many parts
- long winded, over written and not very well written
- Gratuitous, badly written violence
- Signe turned from a good guy into a bad guy for sake of plot without showing development, harder to buy than even some of the fantasy stuff
- Filler novel, not much plot development in this one
- NARRATOR! He might be fine for reading a normal book or male middle American accents, but why on earth was he chosen for this series?!! He can't do female voices and cannot read different accents, especially those from the British isles to save his life ( trust me I'm British), he mispronounces every British and French place name and his Irish Gaelic sounds massacred.

In conclusion; I wouldn't really recommend someone pick up this series. But having started it I want to find out what happens ( like a bad but mildly addictive TV show) so I will probably get the next book, although a paper copy this time.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael
  • Michael
  • 25-09-12

Not As Good As The First, But A Good Read

If you've read my review for Stirling's first novel in the series, "Dies The Fire," you know I enjoyed it immensely, and rated it highly. Actually, I've read much of the series, and am continuing to enjoy the experience.

That being said...

This is the biggest challenge to get to those great reads - Get through this second book in the series. It's slower, a bit less action, and a LOT of explaining and establishing "future history," as well as religious changes and beliefs. Whew, a bit challenging, to say the very least. Still, a good (and necessary) read, if you want to get to the better work in the series.

Now, you may read the other reviews regarding this audiobook, and they're not exactly loaded with high praise for its slower speed and detailed lore. That being said, realize that the author is setting up quite a universe for what's coming. Look at the Dune series of books, and the extreme amount of establishment that occurred. MUCH more than this work, but it paid off.

It will do so here, as well.

So, if you like a good audiobook series as much as I do, and know that there will be a book or two that sacrifice "edge of your seat" listening/reading so that subsequent works in the series can soar, dive in and get lost in the lore of what's coming.

You'll need it for the excellent listening that's on the way!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K Cornwinkle
  • K Cornwinkle
  • 02-05-13

The Emberverse trilogy gets progressivley worse.

Dies the Fire was interesting and the clichés were newish then but by the time I've heard them this many times and there've been this many coincidences, this much incredible luck, and so many implausibilies beyond the fundamental Alien Space Bat implausibility of the disappearance of explosives/guns, internal combustion and electricity, I'm just plum tired of it. BTW, I'm surprised there isn't more use of hydraulic technology.
I like Todd McLaren's voice and his acting is good but some accents are off -don't try if you can't do them- and every ~20 pages or so there is a jarring mispronunciation. The persistent corzman/corzmen for corpsman for example is particularly grating. Okay, Obama said it this way once but multiple times in multiple books?
I think if I had known how marginal this was, I would not have gone beyond Dies the Fire but now I'm committed and my Virgo nature prohibits simply Googling the plot to find out what happens.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JimG
  • JimG
  • 28-07-14

Keep growing stronger

This series is slow for me. I prefer more action and suspense to keep me interested in the story. However, there is something that tugs at me to keep listening. To see what the group will encounter next in their life trials and how it will make them grow stronger as a clan. I look forward to the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Angela
  • Angela
  • 20-06-13

Ugh..

One of the very few books I could not finish. The very unrealistic characters ( yes I know this is fiction) and very annoying characters ruined this book. The Narrator does a very nice job and makes you want to keep going on this unpleasant ride. The overall story is entertaining and had me thinking about the book even when not active listening to it. What ruined this book was the Characters like The lady Juniper. So very irritating and nauseating was this character that I took my headphone off and started a new Book. A Wiccan folk singer who speaks in a fake Irish accent is bad enough, but just her constant merry met and goddess this ugh. Any other character with that much religious enthusiasm would be looked at as a Zealot wacko and not some Heroine goddess. I would have liked to see how it all ended up but I doubt anybody who needed to die would die. It seems S.M. Stirling uses the Star Trek Red shirt method of killing characters. This is not Lovecraft but be warned read at the risk of your own Sanity.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jesse
  • Jesse
  • 02-11-19

The witch queen, just take it down a notch

I like the premise , interesting story, but dial it back for juniper , half her dialogue is just repeating “ merry met, merry part, oh great god and goddess truly we are blessed beyond measure thank all the aspects for this old crone( she is barely 40 if that) blessed be and so mote it something or other”

Not exaggerating, that crap is a huge and annoying portion of all her dialog. I really don’t mind the Wiccan context , but damn, feels like whenever juniper is the focal point of the story she runs around with a big club that says “Wiccan jargon” and beats everyone over the head with it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarge
  • Sarge
  • 08-04-19

truly enjoying

Although the series started out a bit slow for me. I have found it very much to my liking. The characters are put together extremely well. In some points I found the back story to some of the character as entertaining as the main story line....thanks

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Racheal
  • Racheal
  • 09-03-19

Giving up on this series

I struggled to finish the first book in this series and should have known better than to even start the 2nd, but start I did. Now, with 7 hours remaining, I just can't go on.

The story alternates timelines - jumping back and forth between past and present - and the narrator's voice doesn't adequately draw attention to this. I have had to rewind and relisten to portions a countless number of times because I missed the switch.

In fact, the narrator is half the reason I can't continue. Why did the narrator think it was a good idea to give an Oregon resident an Irish accent?!?!?! (And...a man performing a woman's poorly executed accent makes for a nerve grating listen!)

Also, the author does not show the reader any kindness with the lack of organization. In addition to the switchback timeline, the character's thoughts ramble and drift. The progression of the story is slowed too many times by the characters' appreciation (or lack thereof) of the world around them. I have grown tired of all the descriptive writing that occurs mid-conversation and that which grinds action sequences to a halt.

Additionally, the author writes in such a way so as to show-off his/her intelligence or research skills. There are a number of times the author uses unfamiliar (or outright unknown) words or phrases, but then gives no context clues. Frustrating!

I would not recommend this listen to my friends.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Optimistic skeptic
  • Optimistic skeptic
  • 04-09-18

Great story, but someone needs to edit the narrato

I love the entire Emberverse series, but the the narrator, good as he is, is distracting. His mispronunciations, e.g., "barred" for "bared," are painful and interruptive.