Book Review: David Weber’s At the Sign of Triumph

Posted December 16, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: David Weber’s At the Sign of TriumphAt the Sign of Triumph by David Weber
This military science fiction is a hardcover edition was published by Tor Books on November 8, 2016 and has 764 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

four-stars

Other books by this author include Mission of Honor, Insurrection, Worlds of Honor, Empire from the Ashes, Changer of Worlds, Torch of Freedom, Hell’s Gate, Hell Hath No Fury, In Fire Forged, In Fury Born, Off Armageddon Reef, By Schism Rent Asunder, Mission of Honor, By Heresies Distressed, A Rising Thunder, A Mighty Fortress, How Firm a Foundation, Fire Season, Midst Toil and Tribulation, Shadow of Freedom, House of Steel, Worlds of Weber: Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington and Other Stories, Beginnings, Like a Mighty Army, Cauldron of Ghosts, Treecat Wars, A Call to Duty, Hell's Foundations Quiver

Ninth in the Safehold military-religious science fiction series revolving around the once-tiny country of Charis embattled against the entrenched Church of God Awaiting.

My Take

You’ll be pleased to know the war comes to an end in this…and it’s about time! However, Weber promises that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Merlin Athrawes. And now I’m curious as to where Weber plans to take Merlin. North Harchong or into space?? Wait for the return of the archangels?

The Allies are quite organized these days, and the story is mostly a waiting game while the enemy is adapting, learning from the heretics. There are bits and pieces that perked me right up, including the message and aid they get to Lady Karyl. Felt quite chuffed about what they did to the rebels, *snicker*

As for those broadsheets…*guffaw*… They were a long-term strategy and will pay off big time in this. I had hoped that Nahrmahn’s porcelain idea would have come about, lol.

“It was almost worth having died to be able to play the Great Game at this level, he decided.”

Repression is never a good idea. And it’s bad in Zion these days. All you have to do is know someone, and you must be guilty.

I do enjoy how mixed the population is with their combination of Hispanic, French, German, etc., first and last names, but it would have been so much more effective if Weber had simply left the names alone!! And I really hate how hard it is to tell which side I’m reading about. I keep having to hunt for clues and finally started marking an “E” for enemy and a “C” for Charis so I could keep track.

There are some interesting parallels between Safehold and the U.S. in how losing men to war is affecting how women function in society. Also in why politicians should not be in charge of directing battles, as those churchmen are too much like politicians who have no clue on how to fight a war.

“…that means fighting to the last drop of everyone else’s blood.”

It is fun to watch the Dohlarans back in Gorath begin to see the light and how they challenge the Church.

“‘I think we should by all means begin that discussion about how to defend this city.’

‘And against whom.'”

Weber makes this huge tome and the battles more personal with short paragraphs in which we get to know members of platoons…before they get killed off. Makes me think of John Scalzi’s Redshirts.

The Charisians have incorporated so many innovations in both technology and how the military thinks. Soldiers will fantasize about how sweet it could be.

Truth will out, eventually. And the Temple soldiers are beginning to wonder, calling this “Clyntahn’s War”.

The Story

The mission for which Nimue Alban died, and for which Merlin Arthwaes was revived, is to overturn the Proscriptions and Eric Langhorne’s shackles, proclaim the truth about the Archangels, and prepare the Safeholdians to defend against the Gbaba.

That means the Church of God Awaiting must be destroyed. Before the “Archangels” return.

The Characters

I have the hardest time keeping track of who’s who and on which side sometimes, so this character list helps. And it is very, very, very long, and I don’t guarantee the accuracy as to who belongs to which platoons, companies, brigades, etc. as it was simply too confusing. I tried… I also tried to figure out what their names were without all the silly extra letters Weber stuck in. I got to wondering afterwards if Weber used these awkward spellings to cover up that so many of them were the same.

Merlin Arthwaes is a PICA, an avatar of the thousand-year-dead Nimue Alban. He uses several alter egos including Dialydd Mab (I suspect the influence of Dune here) and Zhozuah Murphai [Joshua Murphy]. The people of the planet Safehold believe him to be a seijin. Other seijins (there are some new ones, although a few might be more alter egos) include Cleddyf Cyfiawnder, Gwyliwr (Gulliver?), Merch O Obaith, Cennady Frenhines [Kennedy], Aibram [Abram], and Captain Nimue Chwaeriau.

The dead but electronic Prince Nahrmahn Baytz [Norman Bates] is the empire’s ultimate spymaster and is in partnership with Owl, a computer program with which Merlin and those he let in on the secret can interface. The SNARCs are small spy devices scattered throughout Safehold. Princess Ohlyvya Baytz is/was his wife.

THE ALLIES

Tellesberg, Charis, is…

…the capital of the empire now ruled by the Emperor Cayleb [Caleb] and his Empress Sharleyan [Shirley Ann] Ahrmahk of Chisholm who is pregnant again. Their daughter, the Crown Princess Alahnah [Alanna], is five years old now. They are at war against the Church of God Awaiting. Sairaih Hahlmyn [Sarah Holman] is part of the empress’ staff. Sergeant Edwyrd Seahamper [Edward] is still alive in Sharleyan’s security detail.

Princess Irys of Corisande [Iris] is married to Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk. Lady Sahmantha Gahrvai [Samantha Garvey] (she’s married to Rysel, the Earl of Anvil Rock) and Lady Mairah Breygart [Myra] are at Irys’ lying-in. Sister Kahrmyncetah [Carmencita] is a Pasqualte midwife (and Seijin Numue) vouched for by Archbishop Klairmant Gairlyng [Clermont]. Lieutenant Hairahm Bahnystyr [Hiram Bannister] is the head of Irys’ security detail. Father Zhefry [Jeffrey] is Irys’ attending physician and a Pasqualte under-priest. The twins are Princess Raichynda Sharleyan Nimue Aplyn-Ahrmahk and Prince Hektor Merlin Haarahld Aplyn-Ahrmahk.

Zhan and Mahrya are getting married??

Archbishop Maikel Staynair [Michael] is a Charisian and leads the new Church of Charis. Father Paityr Wylsynn [Peter Wilson] is the Charisian intendant. Bynzhamyn Rice [Benjamin Rice], Baron Wave Thunder, is the senior breathing spymaster. Trahvys Ohlsyn [Travis Olson], the Earl of Pine Hollow, and the kingdom’s first councilor.

High Admiral Domynyk Staynair is in charge of the navy. Launching from Tellesberg is the largest ship ever built on Safehold: the King Haarahld-class, the HMS Gwylym Manthyr. Captain Halcom Bahrns has command. Zherald Cahnyrs [Gerald Connors] is his second officer. Lieutenant Commander Zhames Skaht [James Scott] is chief engineer and had been one of Howsmyn’s master artificers. CPO Ahbukyra Matthysahn [Matthieson]. Master Ernysto Ohraily [Ernesto O’Reilly] is the midshipman of the watch. Master Chief Ahndru Mykgylykudi [Andrew McGillicuddy] is the bosun. The Mhargryt, the ship’s balloon, has a crew consisting of Zoshua Makadoo [Joshua], the ship’s fifth and youngest lieutenant, and Petty Officer Bryntyn Hahlys [Hollis]. (Captain Mahlrunee [Mulrooney] was to have commanded, but his wife, Ahnalee [Anna Lee], was killed.)

Edwyrd Howsmyn [Edward Houseman], the new Duke of Delthak, owns the Delthak Works that is churning out so many of the innovations. They established the Urvyn Mahndrayn School of Gunnery, the first formal school to teach the art of gunnery. Sahndrah Lywys [Sandra Lewis], a scientist at the Delthak Works, is reinventing blasting powders. Ahldahs Rahzwail [Aldus Roswell] is another scientist. Admiral Sir Ahlfryd Hyndryk [Alfred Hendrick], the Baron of Seamount. Sir Dustyn [Dustin] is designing ships. Doctor Zhain Frymyn [Zane Freeman] is the College’s optics specialist who helped create the rangefinder.

The Princedom of Corisande is…

…ruled by Prince Daivan Daykyn [Devon], Irys’ brother. Phylyp Ahzgood [Philip Osgood], the Earl of Coris, and Earl Anvil Rock are Daivan’s regents. Princess Raichynda had been Irys and Daivan’s mother.

Cherayth, Chisholm is…

…the capital of Sharleyan Tayt’s home country. Braisyn Byrns, the Earl of White Crag is the First Councilor of the Kingdom of Chisholm. Sylvyst Mhardyr, the Baron Stonehart, serves as the kingdom’s Chief Justice. Sir Ahlber Zhustyn [a French “Albert” Justin] is the domestic spymaster. Sir Fraizher Kahlyns [Frasier Collins] is not the brightest man and dispatched the Chisholmian reinforcements. Sir Dynzayl Hyntyn [Denzil Hinton] is the Chancellor of the Treasury and the Duchess of Lantern Walk’s cousin.

Rydymak Keep
Karyl Rydmakyr [Carol] is the Dowager Countess of Cheshyr [Cheshire], of a cadet branch to the House of Tayt (her father had been Sir Ahdam Tayt [Tate]), and regent to her grandson, Styvyn [Steven], named for Karyl’s beloved husband, a loyal man to King Irwain’s son, Prince Sailys, Sharleyan’s father. Pahtrysha Seafarmer [Patricia], married Karyl and Styvyn’s son, Kahlvyn, who is now paralyzed. Father Kahrltyn [Carlton] is Lady Karyl’s intendant. Retired and disabled armsmen whom Lady Karyl has been making welcome include Sergeant Major Ahzbyrn Ohdwiar [Osborne] (Mahrglys had been his wife) had served with Styvyn Rydmakyr and is an excellent sniper, Clairync Ohsulyvyn [Clarence O’Sullivan], Dynnys Mykgylykudi [Dennis McGillicuddy] (a former senior instructor on the M97), and Zhaksyn Ohraily [Jackson O’Reilly].

Dagyr Cudd is a fisherman who’ll need help unloading his catch.

The twenty-seven rebels fear…
…losing their power and lifestyle. Zhasyn Seafarer [Jason], the Duke of Rock Coast, is young Styvyn’s rich cousin. Rhobair Lahndysyl [a French “Robert”] is a sea captain and ardent Temple Loyalist who works for Rock Coast. Fraizhyr Mahkynyn [Frasier McKinnon] is the senior of Rock Coast’s armsmen; Daivyn Mahkrum [Devon] is his second-in-command. Father Sedryk Martynsyn [Cedric Martinsson] is a Scheulerite and Inquisitor as well as Rock Coast’s intendant.

Rebkah Rahskail [Rebecca] is the Dowager Countess of Swayle and hates Sharleyan with a passion for executing Colonel Barkyr Rahskail [Barker], the Earl of Swayle, for treason. Wahlys [Wallace] is her son, Earl Swayle. Father Zhordyn Rydach [Jordan] is her intendant.

Zhonathyn Clyntahn [Jonathan Clinton] is currently the supervisor at the Maikelberg Rifle Works. Styvyn Nezbyt [Steven Nesbitt] is the Charisian manager. Colonel Brekyn Ainsail is selling the countess the Trapdoor Mahndrayns.

Pait Stywyrt [Pete Stewart] is the Duke of Black Horse. Maryksberg is its principal seat. Dahnel Kyrbysh [Daniel] is one of his armsmen. The men who go with Kyrbysh include Rahnyld Myketchnee [Ronald]. Kynton Strohganahv [Kenton Stroganoff] is Black Horse’s chamberlain.

Sir Bahnyvyl Kyvlokyn [Bonival] is the Duke of Lantern Walk; Mhargryt [Margaret] is his duchess from the House of Hyntyn and a distant cousin of the Earl of Saint Howan and despises her sociopathic husband. Karyline [Caroline] is their daughter. Dygry Dyangyloh [Diggory D’Angelo] is chamberlain.

Sir Vyrnyn Atwatr [Vernon Atwater], the Duke of Black Bottom, is a fierce Temple Loyalist with nothing to lose. Elahnah Waistyn, the Dowager Duchess of Halbrook Hollow, is Sharleyan’s maternal aunt by marriage, the Duke of Eastshare’s sister, and the woman whose husband had been convicted of treason. Her son, Sailys, the young Duke of Halbrook Hollow, is thought to be a Temple Loyalist.

Other plotters include Earl Mandigora, Dragon Hill, Sir Bryndyn Crawfyrd [Brandon Crawford] is the Duke of Holy Tree (and Rebkah’s potential son-in-law), Greentree, and Mountain Heart.

Ahdem Zhefry [Adam Jeffrey], the Earl of Cross Creek; Saint Howan (another of the Duchess of Lantern Walk’s cousins); and, Sir Awstyn Tayt [Austen Tate], Duke Tayt and Sharleyan’s third cousin, are still loyal to Sharleyan.

Zebediah

Hauwyl Chermyn [Howell Sherman] has been a Marine general and is now Grand Duke Zebediah. Captain Wyndayl Zohannsyn [Wendell Johanson] commands aboard HMS Maikelberg, a City-class ironclad (Ezmelda is his mother). First Lieutenant Ohldyrtyn [Olderton].

The Republic of Siddarmark suffered…

…greatly from the Church’s swath of destruction. Lord Protector Greyghor Stohnar [Gregor Stoner] is its ruler. Daryus Parkair [Darius Parker] is the kingdom’s seneschal. Samyl Gohdard [Samuel Goddard] is the keeper of the seal. Archbishop Dahnyld Fardhym [Donald Fordham]. Henrai Maidyn [Henry Madden] is the chancellor of the exchequer and spymaster.

The reviewing stand includes, besides the main rulers, religious figures, and nobles, Prince Nahrmahn Garyet, King Gorjah of Tarot, and the dead.

Aivah Pahrsahn [Ava Parson] seems to be running a hotel, The Protector’s Arms, along with her particular spy network. She’s also Nynian Rychter. Sairaih Kwynlyn [Sarah Quinlan] and Charlz Ohbyrlyn [Charles Oberlin] work the check-in desk; Gyairmoh Hahdgkyn [Guillermo Hodgkin] is a maître d’ in its restaurant; and, Ahndrai [Andre] is a waiter. Colonel Rahool Fhetukhav [Raul] is a logistics specialist who visits with Mahrlys Farhno (one of the ladies in Madame Ahnzhelyk Phonda‘s [Angelique Fonda] employ)…and they’re heading to the altar. Airah Sahbahtyno [Ira Sabatino] is a Church spy who murdered Zhorj Trumyn [George Truman].

Major Ahntahn Sykahrelli [Anton Sicarelli] is an artificer in Midhold who has caught the Charisian innovation bug.

A commission consisting of Archbishops Arthyn Zagyrsk, Zhasyn Cahnyr, and Dahnyld Fardhym will address refugee issues.

The Allied Army is…

…commanded by High General Ruhsyl Thairis [Russell], the Duke of Eastshare. I think Major Lywys Braynair [Lewis] is the duke’s aide. Corporal Slym Chalkyr [Slim Chalker] is his batman.

The Army of Thesmar is…
…holding the Sheryl-Seridahn Canal and is commanded by Sir Hauwerd Breygart [Howard], the Earl Hanth. Major Dyntyn Karmaikel [Denton Carmichael] is his personal aide. AdmiralLywys Sympsyn [Lewis Simpson] reorganized the army into grand rocket batteries with Captain Rynshaw‘s [Renshaw] 2nd Support Company. Ahrthyr Parkyr [Arthur Parker] heads up the engineers. Brigadier Arysynio Snaips [Arsenio Snapes] leads the 4th Brigade. Colonel Fhranklyn Brystahl [Franklin Bristol] leads the 7th Regiment which is leading point for the 4th. Captain Maizak.

19th Combat Engineer Battalion
Colonel Sylvystyr [Sylvester] is the CO.

2nd Platoon, 115th Combat Engineer Company, is…
…part of 19th Combat Engineer Battalion and commanded by Lieutenant Klymynt Harhlys [Clement Harliss], and they’re wading through knee-deep…cold…mud. Gyffry Tyllytsyn [Tillotson] is his platoon sergeant. Edwyrds [Edwards]. Corporal Frankhlyn “Clumsy” Sygzbee [Franklin Sigsbee] is their runner. Corporal Ahlvyn Ahdahmski [Alvin Adamsky] and Private Zhon Vyrnyn [John Vernon] are to clear the northern flank.

The Army of the Midhold is…
…scheduled to be renamed the Army of Tarikah and is commanded by Kynt Clareyk [Kent Clark], Baron Green Valley. Captain Bryahn Slokym [Brian Slocum] is Green Valley’s aide. The army will winter at Camp Martyn Taisyn [Martin].

General Ahrtymys Ohanlyn [Artemis O’Hanlon] has been a protégé and junior colleague of Dr. Rahzhyr Mahklyn [Rodger Macklin] at the Royal College in Tellesberg and assisted Ahlfryd Hyndryk [Alfred Hendrick] and Ahldahs Rahzwail [Aldus Roswell].

General Trumyn Stohnar [Truman Stoner].

The Army of the Daivyn
Ahlyn Symkin [Alvin Simpkin] is in command.

The Battle at Seventy-Foot Hill
Captain Tybahld Hwairta‘s [Tybald] 1st Company and Captain Daivy Sebahstean‘s [Davy Sebastian] 3rd Company are to hold the Cahrswyl Farm.

Captain Hovsep Zohannsyn [Johansson] is with Fourth Company’s platoon. Major Edmyndsyn [Edmondson]. Lieutenant Pyaitroh Ahldyrs [Pietro Alders], Corporal Zherald Tohmys [Gerald Thomas] drags 3rd Squad Private Haarahld Kyngsfyrd [Harold Kingsford] up the hill, and Sergeant Zhulyo Sahbahtyno [Julio Sabatino] are 1st Platoon. Lieutenant Dahnahtelo Dragonsbane [Donatello] leads the 2nd Platoon. Lieutenant Phylyp Claityn [Philip Clayton] leads 3rd Platoon. Lieutenant Faidryko Vahalhkys [Frederico] leads 4th Platoon.

97th Combat Engineers
Captain Kwazenyfsky sent Lieutenant Mahrsyhyl [Marshall] to help Captain Bahrtalam and Lieutenant Mahkdahnyld [McDonald] with the 21st Brigade assault formation, the Army of Tarikah. Platoon Sergeant Hauwerd Paitryk [Howard Patrick] and Corporal Waryn Meekyn [Warren Meeken] are part of the Combat Engineers.

2nd Scout Sniper, 1st Battalion are…
…about to ambush the Temple Boys with Major Dynnys Mahklymorh [Dennys McClaymore], Sergeant Ahrnahld Taisyn [Arnold] and Lieutenant Abernathy. In the back are Captain Zackery Wylsynn [Zachary Wilson], Sergeant Major Bohzmhyn [Bozeman], Colonel Maiyrs [Meyers], and Corporal Clyffyrd [Clifford]. I’m not sure how Private Hynryk Ahzwald [Heinrich Oswald], Tahdays Gahsett [Gossett], and Sergeant Ohflynn [O’Flynn] fit in.

3rd Alyksberg Volunteers, I think
Clyftyn Sumyrs (Clifton Summers) leads the Alyksberg Division [Alexburg].

Colonel Sedryk Maiyrs [Cedric Meyers] is in command of something. Major Ahtwatyr [Atwater].

1st Platoon
Privates Zhames Dohlar [James Dollar] and Dynnys Bailahchyo [Dennis Balachio] are signalmen. Lieutenant Grygory Zhaksyn [Gregory Jackson], a former schoolteacher, is the CO. Tymythy Hustyngs [Timothy Hustings] is the senior noncom. Corporal Aizak Ohkailee [Isaac O’Kaley] and Sergeant Ahlvyn Yorak [Alvin York; Sergeant York, ya reckon?]

Captain Wyllys Rynshaw [Willis Renshaw] is with the artillery.

Captain Haarahld Hytchkahk [Harold Hitchcock] had worked with Lieutenant Ehlys Abernethy [Ellis Abernathy] before. Sergeant Adym Pynhyrst [Adam Pinhurst] is 3rd Section’s senior noncom. Major Stefyns [Stephens].

Balloon Corps
Captain Poohlan chose the launch sites. Major Fhrankyl [Frankel] is in charge of the 23rd Medium Artillery Battalion. Lieutenant Lawsyn [Lawson] minds the ground crew. Sergeant Kevyn Hahskyn [Kevin Hoskin] and his observer, Corporal Zhaimsyn Ahlgood [Samson Algood], are assigned the Sahmantha.

The Glacierheart Brigade is…
…commanded by the twenty-three-year-old, music-loving Brigadier Byrk Raimahn [Burk Raymon] who had been a Temple Loyalist in Siddarmark until Clyntahn’s sermon praising the Sword of Schueler’s barbarity. Sahmantha and Claitahn Raimahn are his grandparents who aid in the war efforts. Colonel Sailys Trahskhat is his aide. The brigade is perfect for the mission assigned as the core and test bed for the Army of Westmarch’s new assault brigades.

Colonel Wahlys Mahkhom [Wallis Macom], whose entire family was slaughtered by the Temple Loyalists, now commands the 1st Glacierheart Volunteers. Lieutenant Greghor Ohygyns [Gregor O’Higgins] is CO of 2nd Platoon, 1st Company. Klymynt Ohtuhl [Clement O’Toole] is Ohygyns’ platoon sergeant. Sergeant Braisyn Mahktavysh [MacTavish] has Corporal Zackery Tymyns [Zachary Timmons] as his assistant 1st Squad leader.

Ahbnair Mahkneel [Abner McNeil] commands 4th Platoon; Zheppsyn Mahkwaiyr [McGuire] commands 5th Platoon. Major Sygfryd Makwyrt [Siegried] is in charge of the platoons laying smoke. Lieutenant Lainyl Zhaikahbsyn [Lionel Jacobson] will lead 6th Platoon, which will bring up the rear.

Navy Battles in the Gulf of Dohlar: The Charisians
Sir Lewk Cohlmyn [Luke Coleman], the Earl of Sharpfield, is in command in the Gulf and is based in Hardship Bay. Lieutenant Tympyltyn (Templeton] seems to be Sharpfield’s aide.

HMS Fleet Wing is commanded by Hektor “the Duke” Aplyn-Ahrmahk, the Duke of Darcos (and married to the pregnant Irys) and the adopted son of Cayleb and Sharleyan. His arm is still crippled. Lieutenant Zosh Hahlbyrstaht [Josh Halberstat] is Hektor’s executive officer; he’s planning to marry Marzh [Marge]. Master Bynyt Zhowaltyr [Bennett Showalter] is the gunner; Wyllym Ruhsyl [William Russell] is a petty officer, the senior gun captain, and Zhowaltyr’s assistant gunner. The midshipmen include Ahlbyrt Stefyns [Albert Stephens], the junior on the ship, and Lawrync Dkatyr [Lawrence Decatur]. Stywyrt Mahlyk [Stewart Malik] is now Hektor’s personal coxswain and steward (he had been Sarmouth’s). Senior Petty Officer Frahnk Seegairs [Frank Seegers]. Henrai [Henry] is the helmsman.

2nd Ironclad Squadron
Admiral Sarmouth, Sir Dunkyn Yairley [Duncan], the Baron Sarmouth, is heading to the Gulf of Dohlar aboard HMS Destiny. Sylvst Raigly is Sarmouth’s valet and steward. Trumyn Lywshai [Truman] is his flag secretary and clerk. Passed Midshipman Ahrlee Zhones [Arlee Jones] is Sarmouth’s acting flag lieutenant. Captain Lathyk.

HMS Urvyn Mahndrayn is the first steam-powered repair ship. Zhastro transferred to HMS Tanjyr while waiting for Eraystor to be repaired.

Captain Tymythy Sympsyn [Timothy Simpson] commands HMS Lightning, Admiral Tymythy Darys‘ [Timothy] flagship (Fraid Stedmyn [Fred Stedman] is his flag lieutenant), and is heading for Hardship Bay at Claw Island. In convoy with Lightning is Floodtide (Sir Bruhstair Ahbaht [Brewster Abbot] is welcomed aboard by Captain Kynt Tohmys [Kent Thomas] along with Lieutenant Commander Kylmahn [Kilman], the captain’s chief of staff), Seamount, Zhenyfyr Ahrmahk and Iceberg. First Lieutenant Doniphan Cumyngs [Donovan Cummings]. Midshipman Braiahn [Bryan] screwed up; Master Sellyrs [Sellers] is his assistant.

Floodtide will head into battle with Dynzayl Tryvythyn, Turbulent, Vindicator, Vindicator, Sand Point, and Bruxtyn.

HMS Eraystor is…
…captained by Alyk Cahnyrs [Alec Connors]. First, second and third lieutenants are Zhaikyb Gregori [Jacob Gregori], Vyktyr Audhairmyr [Victor Audemar], and Dahnel Bahnyface [Daniel Boniface] who is the Gunnery Officer as well. Anthynee Tahlyvyr [Anthony Tolliver] is the chief engineer. Telegraphsman Zhak Symmyns [Jack Simmons] gets seasick. Admiral Sir Hainz Zhaztro [Hans] is aboard. Midshipman Paitryk Shawnysy [Patrick Shaughnessy]. Commander Lywys Pharsaygyn [Lewis Parson] is Zhaztro’s chief of staff. Petty Officer Wahldair Hahlynd [Walter Holland] is the senior signalman.

The Eraystor is in convoy with Bayport (Captain Gahnzahlyz [Gonzalez]), Gairmyn (captained by Gahryth Shumayt [Gareth]), Riverbend (captained by Tobys Whytmyn [Tobias Whitman] with 2nd Lieutenant Gyffry Kyplyngyr, Lieutenant Tairohn Metzlyr [Tyrone Metzler] who is the gunnery officer, and the helm is manned by Petty Officer Riely Dahvynport [Riley Davenport]), and Cherayth, all City-class ships. The Tanjyr joins them. Lieutenant Audhaimyr commands Trident?? Bombsweeper One is manned by Lieutenant Wahltayr Rahbyns [Walter Robbins] and Petty Officer Styv Khantrayl [Steve Cantrell]. Bombsweeper Five is manned by Lieutenant Mahkzwail Charlz [Maxwell Charles].

The treatment meted out to the late Admiral Gwylyn Manthyr and his men is a silent battle cry for the Imperial Charisian Navy (ICN).

THE ENEMY

The Kingdom of Dohlar

Gorath is its capital city and is ruled by King Rahnyld IV (Ronald). Samyl Cahkrayn (Samuel Cochrane), the Duke of Fern, is Rahnyld’s chief councillor. Lawrync Servahntyz [Lawrence Cervantes] is Fern’s personal secretary. Aibram Zaivyair [Abram Xavier] is that idiot, the Duke of Thorast, the kingdom’s Navy Minister, the senior RDN officer, who is still in Clyntah’s hip pocket. Shain Hauwyl [Shane Howell], the Duke of Salthar, is a kinsman of Thorast and a firm supporter of the jihad. Sir Zhorj Laikhyrst [George Lakehurst], Baron of Yellowstone, is the kingdom’s foreign minister. Hairahm Kortez [Hiram Cortez], Baron Windborne, is the minister of the treasury.

Bishop Executor Wylsynn Lainyr [Wilson] is the day-to-day administrator for Dohlar and executive officer for Archbishop Trumahn Rowzvel [Truman Roswell]. Father Ahbsahlahn Kharmych [Absalon Carmik?] is Trumahn’s intendant and has been an agent-inquisitor for years. Father Rahndail Evryt [Randall Everett] is one of Archbishop Trumahn’s personal assistants. Captain Ahlvyno Gariybahldy [Alvino Garibaldi] is the head of Evryt’s escort.

Admiral Lywys Gardynyr, the Earl of Thirsk, is a Navy man with a conscience who believes his family was killed after the Saint Frydhelm blew up. He’s also the single most effective naval commander on the Church’s side. Karmyncetah [Carmencita] is/was his wife. Stefyny, Lady Mahkzwail [Stephanie Maxwell], is/was his daughter and Ahlyxzandry [Alexander] and Gyffry [Geoffrey] are her sons while Zhosifyn [Josephine] (the traumatized one) and Zhudyth [Judith] are her daughters. Captain Stywyrt Baiket [Stewart Becket] is his executive officer onshore.

Bishop Staiphan Maik [Stephen Make] is both Gardynr’s special intendant and the intendant for the navy. And Clyntahn’s personal choice. Paiair Sahbrahan [Pierre] is Thirsk’s valet. Sir Ahbail Bahrdailahn [Abel] is Thirsk’s flag lieutenant. Commander Ahlvyn Khapahr [Alvin Copper] committed suicide to throw the Church off Thirsk’s track.

Sir Rainos Ahlverez [Alvarez] was relieved of command after the Shiloh campaign. Brother Mahrtyn [Martin] is an old Schuelerite monk. Shulmyn Rohdgyrz [Rodgers] had been Ahlverez’ quartermaster during the Shiloh campaign. Duke Malikai is Ahlverez’ cousin and the husband of Duke Thorast’s sister. Captain Lynkyn Lattymyr [Lincoln Latimer] is Sir Rainos’ senior aide.

The Army of the Seridahn is…

…Dohlaran, and Sir Fahstyr Rychtyr (Foster Richter) is in command. Pairaik Metzlyr [Metzler], Colonel Ahskar Mohrtynsyn [Oscar Mortenson] is his chief of staff, and Lieutenant Gohzail seem to be his inner camp.

General Clyftyn “the Slash Lizard” Rohdgyrz (Clifton Rogers) is a personal, very devout, friend of Rychtyr’s, extremely competent, and Rychtyr’s ranking subordinate. Colonel Mahkzwail Mahkgrudyr [Maxwell MacGruder] is his senior aide. Father Ahntahn Rahdryghyz [Anton Rodriguez] is Clyftyn’s intendant.

General Iglaisys [Iglesias] is in Bryxtyn and is Rychtyr’s latest senior commander; Colonel Hylz [Hills] is Iglaisys’ second-in-command. General Symyngtyn is in Waymeet.

Hyndyrsyn’s Regiment is…
…commanded by Captain Zhames Trynyr [James Traynor]. Company Sergeant Wylsynn Stahdmaiyr [Wilson Stadmeyer]. It includes Sheldyn’s Brigade which combined with Colonel Zhaksyn Hyndyrsyn [Jackson Henderson] as second-in-command and Colonel Gylchryst Sheldyn [Gilchrist Sheldon] commanding. Private Dynnys Ahdmohr [Dennis Admore]. Zhaif Truskyt, and Sergeant Klymynty [Clementy] are with the Regiment’s 4th Company. Private Daivyn Mahkneel [Devon McNeil] is a whiner, and Sergeant Ohmahr Swarez [Omar Suarez] is tired of it.

Captain Ahbaht Mahrtynez‘s [Abbot Martinez] company of Colonel Efrahm Acairverah‘s [Ephraim] infantry regiment. Private Yaisu Rahdryghyz [Jesu Rodriguez] is part of a three-man picket. Corporal Ahndru Nohceeda [Andrew Niceda]. Private Ahbsahlahn Raidahndo [Absalon Reydondo], Lieutenant Yahkeem Ulysses [Joachim]. Adult Wyznynt is the bugler. Corporal Zhaikyb Sairaynoh [Jacob Serano] is one of his runners. Platoon Sergeant Gyairmoh Sahlazhar [Guillermo Salazar].

Lieutenant Kartyr Clymyns [Carter Clemens] commands 2nd Platoon (he’s with a different Combat Engineer Company??).

Captains Yairdyn and Zholsyn [Zolson] command other platoons.

Fourth Platoon
Corporal Ahskar Mahkgyl [Oscar McGill] is section leader of 4th Platoon’s first section. Rohsyndo Mylyndyz [Roshondo Melendez]. Sergeant Brahdryk Clahrksyn [Broderick Clarkson] is the senior noncom. Lieutenant Tuhtyl [Tuttle] is the quartermaster who wants his kettles back. Colonel Mahryahno Hytatho [Marino] who commands 2nd Company must hold the hill. Lieutenant Ahmbrohs Tyrnyr [Ambrose Turner]. Sergeant Ahntohnyo Bahndairo [Antonio Bandero]. Corporal Hainz Dyrwynt [Hans Derwent]. Brigadier Byrgair.

Brynygair‘s brigade will receive support from Gairwyl and Klunee [Clooney].

Navy Battles in the Gulf of Dohlar: The Royal Dohlaran Navy (RDN)
HMS Dreadnought was the premiere ironclad captured from the Charisians. Kahrltyn Haigyl [Carlton Hegel] had been its captain.

The Western Squadron is…
…Dohlaran and based in Saram Bay. Admiral Caitahno Raisahndo is the commander aboard the HMS Hurricane while Trahvys [Travis] is its captain. Commander Gahryth Kahmelka [Gareth] is his chief of staff. Father Symyn [Simon] is their priest. Ahrnahld Mahkmyn [Arnold Macom] is a flag lieutenant. Captain Kherayarmahdy [Carmody] commands the shore establishment. Captain Bryntyn Mykylhny [Brunton McIlhenny] commands HMS Cycline, the Hurricane‘s sister ship.

Admiral Pawal Hahlynd [Pavel Holland] commands the screw galleys and is one of Thirsk’s allies. His flagship is HMS Sword captained by Ahlfryd Mahgyrs [Alfred Majors]. Captain Clymyns [Clemens] commands HMS Mace.

Lieutenant Commander Truskyt Mahkluskee [McCloskey] commands HMS Serpent. Lieutenant Karmaikel Achlee [Carmichael Ashley]. Oskahr Fytsymyns [Oscar Fitzsimmons] is the boatswain. Third Lieutenant Tohmys Prytchyrt [Thomas Pritchert] and Jyrdyn Klynmywlyr [Jordan Kleinmiller] are more of the crew.

St. Haarahld’s, White Rock Island
Sir Hahndyl Jyrohm [Handel Jerome] is the island’s governor; Lainyl [Lionel] is his son. Ahndru Ashtyn [Andrew Ashton] and his son, Zhilbert [a French “Gilbert”] are fishermen as is Hairahm [Hiram], Zwan, and Hektor who are aboard the Zhaney Su. Major Samyl Truskyt [Samuel] is one of seven who came home from Kyplyngyr Forest; Mahtylda [Matilda] is his wife. Sergeant Zhozaphat Pahrkyns [Josophat Parkins] seems to be his aide. Lainyl Jyrohm [Lionel Jerome] is the Fisherman’s guild master and mayor of the town.

Harleysville garrison, Darth Town, Lizard Island, Hankey Sound
Lieutenant Bryahn Sathyrwayt [Brian Satherwaite] is a senior officer. Sergeant Amhbrohs Maikel [Ambrose Michael]. Governor Styvyn Alysyn [Steven Alison]. Ahlfryd Mahkgentry [Alfred McGentry] is the mayor. Major Anthynee Frughahty [Anthony] is the senior officer of the Coastal Defense Force.

Approaches to Gorath Bay and Cape Toe
The very prudish Lieutenant Dyaygo Bruhstair [Diego Brewster] is in charge of the six-gun section in Battery Number One. Seamen Ahlfraydoh Kwantryl [Alfredo Quantrell] and Ahlverez [Alvarez] are assigned to it. Lieutenant Tohryz [Torres] is Bruhstair’s superior. Lieutenant Rychardo Mahkmyn [Ricardo MacMann] is the CO. Captain Ezeekyl Mahntayl [Ezekiel Mantell] is in charge and an expert gunner; Lieutenant Commander Zhordyn Kortez [Jordan Cortez] is his executive officer. Cayleb Dynnyson [Caleb Dennison] is an old friend of Mahntayl’s and CO of Cape Toe. Lieutenant Fhrancysko Dyahz [Francisco Diaz] commands the men on the barges where Dynnys Zhwaigair‘s [Dennis] rockets are placed.

The Church of God Awaiting is…

…based in the City of Zion in the Temple Lands.

The Group of Four are…
…the four vicars who rule the Church and who began this jihad. Zhaspyr Clyntahn [Jasper Clinton] is the Grand Inquisitor and an indulgent sociopath who sees only from his own greed; Zahsyn Trynair [Jason Trainer??], the Chancellor, is a mere cipher; Rhobair Duchairn [a French “Robert”] is the Treasurer General; and, Allayn Magwair [Allan] is the Captain General of the Church army. Archbishop Wyllym Rayno [William] is the Inquisition’s Adjutant who tightened the Decrees of Schueler and issued the Ascher Decree. Brother Hahl Myndaiz [Hal Mendez] is the Schuelerite monk who has been Clyntahn’s valet. Major Kahanstahnzo Phandys [Constanzo] is the commander of Duchairn’s personal bodyguard.

Bishop Militant Tobys Mykylhny [Tobias McIlhenny] is a trusted subordinate of Magwair’s and functions as the captain general’s senior intelligence officer. The Archbishop of Chiang-wu brings the news of Thirsk’s status. Father Allayn Wynchystair [Allan Winchester] is one of Rayno’s most senior deputies and is attending the same meeting as Fathers Gahdarhd [Goddard], Zhaksy, Paiair, and Kwynlyn [Quinlan]. Father Elaiys Mkrakton [Elias] is an under-priest; Brother Riely Stahrns [Riley Starns] is his assistant. Father Zhordyn Rahlstyn [Jordan Ralston] and Brother Anthynee Ohrohrk [Anthony O’Roarke] are hiding inside a shop. They’re “rescued” by Bishop Militant Dynnys Kradahck [Dennis Craddock] who commands the Holy Martyrs Training Camp outside the city. Major Hainryk Sahndyrsyn [Heinrich Sanderson] is his aide. Father Zytan Kwill [Quill] turns the crowds to the true enemy.

St. Kylmahn’s Foundry is…
…where Brother Lynkyn Fultyn [Lincoln Fulton], a Chihirite monk, and Tahlbaht Bryairs [Talbot Breyers] are pioneering the Church production techniques. Brother Zhoel [Joel] handles the mess. Brother Sylvestrai.

St. Thyrmyn Prison is…
…the Inquisition’s hidey hole in Zion where they torture anyone they want. Bahltahzyr Vekko [Balthazar] is the senior prelate in charge (and was Clyntahn’s mentor!) Father Bahzwail Hahpyr [Boswell Hopper] is a master interrogator. Brother Zherom [Jerome] is simply another of the sociopathic perverts there.

Sondheimsborough is in Zion and…
Zakryah Ohytgyns [Zachariah O’Higgins] is the Bishop Inquisitor. Father Erek [Eric] is his secretary? Father Charlz Saygohvya [Charles Segovia] is the agent inquisitor. Father Mairydyth Tymyns [Meredith Timmons] is a parish agent inquisitor. Brother Zherohm Slokym [Jerome Slocum] is Tymyns’ bodyguard/valet and senior security. Sister Tyldah and Brother Hahnz [Hans] will also join their fellow churchmen.

Captain Ahksynov Laihu and Sergeant Phylyp Preskyt [Philip Prescott] used to be comrades-in-arms with Ahrloh.

The Fist of Kau-Yung is a “terrorist” group against the Group of Four. And I’m wondering if it’s another name for Helm Cleaver??

Helm Cleaver is the spy network Aivah set up before she escaped. “Axman” is Sandaria Ghatfryd [Gottfried]. The murder of Chief Sergeant Ahrloh Mahkbyth‘s [Arlo McBeth] son Dahnyld [Donald] was covered up. Zhulyet [Juliet] was Ahrloh’s wife. Now Ahrloh runs a liquor store and is undercover for Helm Cleaver as “Barcor“. Zhak Myllyr [Zack Miller] is his clerk and an Inquisition spy. Krystahl [Crystal] and Alahnah Bahrns [Alannah Barnes] are cousins concerned about the disappearances of citizens, like Sharyn Lywkys [Sharon Lucas], in Zion. Gahstahn [Gaston] is Krys’ dad and Alahnah’s uncle. (Alahnah had been engaged to Zhilbert Ahtkyn [Gilbert Atkin].) Sebahstean Graingyr [Sebastian Granger] is a journeyman printer. Gahlnyn Pahrkyns [Galen Parkins] is part of their seditious group. Alahnah works at Mistress Marzho’s Fine Milliners (Marzho Alysyn [Margo Alison] is the owner) and is designing a hat for Vicar Tahdayus‘ wife [Taddeus]. Zhorzhet Styvynsyn [Georgette Stevenson] is another of the workers and is undercover for Helm Cleaver.

The Army of God (AOG) is…

…the Church’s militant branch.

The Army of the Center will…
…be commanded by Archbishop Militant Gustyv Walkyr. Bishop Militant Ahlfryd Bairahn [Alfred Barren] is his chief of staff. Major Ahntahn Mastyrsyn [Antoine Masterson] grew up with Walkyr and is now his aide, I think.

Bishop Militant Henrai Shellai [Henry Shelley] is charged with collating the intelligence flowing in — Archbishop Ahlbair Saintahvo [Albert Santiago], the Grand Inquisitor’s personal representative, isn’t happy that Shellai isn’t an Inquisitor.

Bands are…
…what we think of as Corps, and their commanders include Bishop Militants Styvyn [Steven], Parkair Gahrlynton [Parker Garlinton], Ahntohnyo Mahkgyl [Antonio McGill] who is in Blufftyn, and Tayrens [Tarens] who is in charge of the heretic camps. Other Bands include St. Tyshu, St. Ahgnista, and St. Jyrohm [Jerome]. Ahubrai Zheppsyn‘s [Aubrey Jeppeson] band moved forward to join Klemynt Gahsbahr [Clement] at Glydahr. Lainyl Brygham‘s [Lionel Brigham] band is trapped.

The Army of Tanshar is…
…commanded by Bishop Militant Tahrens Teagmahn [Terrence Teagueman], who will be replacing Silken Hills’ position.

The Holy Langhorne Band is…
…commanded by Bishop Militant Ahrnahld Brydmyn [Arnold Broadman].

Its 2nd Company is commanded by Captain Tymythy Lynkyn [Timothy Lincoln]. Lieutenant Sedryk. Lieutenant Hyrbyrt Ahdymsyn [Herbert Adamson] is 1st Platoon’s CO and is next in command. Sergeant Owyn Lynyrd [Owen Leonard]. Private Shandahsky [Sandusky] is a runner.

The Holy Martyrs Division, Army of the Center, is…
…commanded by Bishop Militant Styvyn Bryar and includes 3rd Regiment, which is commanded by Colonel Brahdryk Flymyng [Broderick Fleming]. Sergeant Owyn Lynyrd [Owen Leonard] is annoyed with Private Zhaik Tymahnsky [Zack Timansky] who reports every little thing. Captain Rychardo [Ricardo], Lieutenant Traivyr, and Lieutenant Charlz [Charles] were caught in a bunker. Lieutenant Zhaksyn [Jackson] is wounded with Lieutenant Pahtyrfyld [Potterfield] now the company commander.

St. Byrtrym Division is…
…commanded by Phylyp Sherytyn [Philip Sheraton] who is tracking down the balloon support staff.

Harchong is…

…a country divided into North and South where serfdom is the official law of the land. Their army is the Mighty Host of God and the Archangels commanded by Lord of Horse Taychau Daiyang, the Earl of Rainbow Waters. Captain of Horse Medyng Hwojahn, Baron Wind Song, is his nephew. Bishop Merkyl Sahndhaim [Sondheim] is the Mighty Host’s Intendant. Other band commanders include Mahzwang Lynku, Earl Crystal Lake, who is brilliant, and Zhwozhyou Puyang is Earl Golden Tree. Captain of Foot Hiyang has atrocious writing. Lord of Foot Shygan Zhyngbau is a distant relation of Lord Admiral of Navies Mountain Shadow and is senior artillerist for the army. Captain of Horse Syang Rungwyn is the extremely competent senior engineer.

St. Bahzlyr Band is…
…commanded by Lord of Horse Yellow Sky. Captain of Spears Zhwyailyn is the company executive officer. Sergeant Huzhyn is the senior noncom in 3rd Platoon, 4th Company. Corporal Jwaohyn Baozhi and Privates Gangzhi and Yangkau while Fynghai Dyzhyng is lost.

I’m not sure where Lord of Foot Shyaing Pauzhyn and Lord of Horse Mynzho Hyntai fit in.

Queiroz Province in South Harchong is closing its eyes as refugees leave the country.

The Southern Host is…
…part of the Mighty Host of God and the Archangels and is commanded by Zhowku Seidyng, the Earl of Silken Hills. Captain of Horse Kaishau Hywanlohng is his chief of staff.

The 3rd Band of the Southern Host is defending Tymkyn Gap…
…and commanded by Lord of Horse Fengli Zhywan, the Earl of Red Sun and consists of four brigades including 5th Provisional Brigade commanded by Lord of Foot Snow Mount.

321st Infantry Regiment, 5th Provisional Brigade, is…
…commanded by Captain of Horse Yahngpyng Gwynhai. Gwynhai’s 1st Company is commanded by AOG Major and Captain of Swords Bryntyn Mahklyroh [Brinton MacElroy] who loves his hot dogs.

Lake City, Tarikah
Fathers Avry [Avery] and Ignaz [Ignace] work for Archbishop Arthyn Zagyrsk who did what he could to mitigate the atrocities.

The Harchongese Side of the Naval Battles

Battery St. Thermyn, Basset Island is where…
…Rhaigair naval base is located. Lord of Horse Golden Grass had been in command. General Cahstnyr [Costner] is the commander of the base. Captain of Spears Thaidin Chinzhou, Sergeant Yinkow Gaihin, Captain of Swords Raikow Kaidahn reports to Raisahndo, General Cahstnyr, and Captain Kharmahdy [Carmody] who all agreed with the action reports.

Battery St. Charlz
Lord of Foot Kwaichee Bauzhyng is the CO. Major Ahdem Kylpaitryc [Adam Kilpatrick] is the liaison officer.

St. Kahrmyncetah’s Abbey is in…
…the Sea of Harchong on Green Tree Island where the Sisters of Saint Kohdy abide and include Sister Mahryssa [Marissa], a Pasqualte; Sister Lytychya [Leticia]; and, Mother Superior Ahlyssa [Alyssa] who is in charge. Ahbnair Truskyt [Abner] is the chief gardener, handyman, and security head whose activities in Helm Cleaver brought too much attention. His assistant, Zhustyn Kyndyrmyn [Justin Kinderman], had been a sergeant in the Temple Guard. Kyndyrmyn’s Battalion CO had been Hauwerd Wylsynn who convinced him to write the truth about Ahrloh’s son and wife.

Shan-wei is both imprecation, Mother of Lies, and demon to the people of Safehold. She was also Dr. Pei Shan-wei who was demonized by fellow crewmen — Langhorne, Bédard, and Chihiro — who betrayed the mission’s original purpose. King Sailys’ Edict limits the number of armsmen any noble in Chisholm is allowed. Think of an intendant as a father confessor. A seijin is a Safehold legend of magical, powerful warriors. A footstool is a land mine.

The Cover and Title

The cover is metallic from the black band at the top with the silver embossed author’s name to the narrow gold bands framing the graphic in the middle band, and the copper at the bottom with its silver embossed title. The picture in the middle is a collage of events within the story with Merlin and Merch O Obaith standing on a ship’s ramp watching a pitched battle.

The title could refer to several things — Clyntahn’s revelation, the rioting, the messengers sent to the Allied armies, or… — for each event is occurring At the Sign of Triumph.

four-stars

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