How Firm a Foundation is the fifth in Webers Safehold series of novels, and they really dont seem to be getting tired at all. I loved this one. From the moment I picked it up, I felt like I was back in a world I thoroughly enjoy, ever eager to get to the next page.
The pace is somehow both fast and slow simultaneously. While Im hard pressed to say things in the world have advanced much from the beginning to the end, at the same time the prose never dragged, and I never felt I was slogging through the material at all.
Theres something about the Safehold saga that really grips me. The evil is truly evil, but in a human way (rather than mysterious demons or inscrutable aliens), and the good is good in a pragmatic and honorable way. And the science fiction part of the book (the introduction of further and further refined elements of gunpowder technology), allows Weber to spend a bit of time really seeing how it can change the world hes created. And as if that wasnt enough, we also get Webers classic sea battle prose (which he perfected doing space battle prose with his Honor Harrington series). Webers battles have got the mix of big and little moments done in a way that make it possible to stay interested in the strategic situation, the tactical situations, and the moments of person heroism that come in any time of conflict.
The one caveat Ive got: Dont start this series in the middle. Its not that it makes the story especially confusing, but it certainly would make me far less invested in the way the story unfolds. And caring about how things happen (and who they happen to) is a great boon to this storyline.
To summarize: I loved it. And am eagerly looking forward to book 6! 5 of 5 stars.