cover image The Sea Peoples: Emberverse, Book 14

The Sea Peoples: Emberverse, Book 14

S.M. Stirling. Ace, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-58317-9

In this richly detailed fourth installment (after Prince of Outcasts) of the Rudi’s Children subseries set in Stirling’s long-running Emberverse world, it has been 46 years since the Change, when technology failed and gods and their magic returned to the Earth. Crown Princess Órlaith Arminger Mackenzie of the High Kingdom of Montival and her armada arrive in the Kingdom of Hawai’i along with Reiko, Empress of Dai-Nippon, in hopes of forging an alliance against Korea and the terrible powers that control it. Órlaith’s brother, Prince John, has fallen in the assault on Carcosa. His comrades have found his body, but sorcery has trapped his spirit far away, and they must travel the otherworld to alternate histories to reunite his soul and flesh. With the series very much underway, this probably isn’t the place for new readers to dive in, but Stirling does include a good deal of backstory, including relevant history, customs, and religion where appropriate. He is equally able in his descriptions of beauty and horror, giving this work a broad emotional palette. (Oct.)