The Protector's War - S.M. Stirling - NEW Book
Paperback - the second Book in "The Change"
Eight years after the change, Clan Mackenzie and the Bearkillers, led by Juniper Mackenzie and Mike Havel, respectively, have carved sections out in the Willamette Valley for their groups. They have become bitter rivals with the Portland Protective Association (PPA), led by the Armingers. The Barons of the PPA constantly violate ceasefires between the three warring factions. During one of their raids, Eddie Liu, Baron and Marchwarden of the PPA, is confronted by a small group of Mackenzies, led by Eilir Mackenzie and Astrid Larsson. After a short skirmish, Liu leaves, again swearing revenge against the Clan. In the meantime, a small group of British soldiers, led by Sir Nigel Loring, Alleyne Loring and John Hordle, formerly of the Special Air Service, are on their way to Portland, having left England by sailing ship after being imprisoned by King Charles III. Upon arrival, Lord Arminger isolates them, and has them to help him find and obtain nerve gas. They trick him into taking a test canister of nerve gas and multiple canisters that have been neutralized. The British then defeat their guards and escape to the south.
Mike Havel, the Bear Lord and Signe Larsson Havel, his wife, go on a scouting mission to find and destroy Crusher Bailey, a PPA Associate who has been raiding and taking slaves. Crusher Bailey attempts to ambush the couple, who have been mascarading as travelers with a horse herd and a wagon of valuables. Mike and Signe retreat to a small ruined cinderblock building, what was a porn video store. The two prepare to fight off the bandits while they are waiting for the backup force, lead by Will Hutton to arrive. During the fight, the British refugees, see the fight and attack the bandits. The bandits flee, losing most of their forces, and the British help the Bearkillers find and annihilate the enemy camp. Sir Loring and his son meet the Mackenzies during the fight, and come across their old friend Sam Aylward. Aylward was formerly a sergeant under Sir Loring, and the British troops choose to join the Mackenzies. At this point, the MacKenzies tell the story of their raid into PPA territory where after ambushing a horse-drawn train, they captured Norman Arminger's daughter and heir, Mathilda.
Soon after, Eddie Liu and his massive bodyguard Mack arrive on a diplomatic mission. After negotiating with Lady Juniper, they leave. Astrid Larsson and Eilir Mackenzie with their small band of Rangers discover an enemy camp of PPA knights. Liu then returns as they attempt to warn the Mackenzies. Liu moves forward and shoots nerve gas at the guards, killing all of them, and continues in to free Mathilda. Liu then goes to Rudi Mackenzie's tent to look for a book that Mathilda gave Rudi that contained the key to PPA codes. A fight breaks out, with Liu and his troops fight the Mackenzies and Rangers. Mack seriously wounds Rudi before he is killed Hordle, and Liu is killed by Eilir Mackenzie. The Bearkillers arrive soon after and mop up the remaining PPA knights. Rudi is saved by Signe, who overcomes her distaste for him and saves him with a blood transfusion. The book then ends with Rudi's initiation into Wicca.
About The Emberverse series or "The Change"
Though the Change caused a large loss of life everywhere, Oregon suffered rather less than most places of similar population density. Though losing over 95% of its population, it was spared being turned into a 'death zone' with no survivors at all except the more successful cannibal bands. This is what usually happened in areas around large cities, like Portland. There were several reasons for this. First much of the population of Portland, the largest city, was forced out by the Portland Protective Association (PPA) and either died en masse or joined the tens of thousands congregated in large refugee camps around Salem. Second the Oregon state government prevented the refugees from foraging in the rural areas, except for government approved groups mounted on bicycles, This protected the rural areas from losing their food and supplies, especially since the citizens of small towns and farmers tended to fight the foraging groups successfully. Third, the large amount of people living in refugee camps with limited medical supplies became susceptible to disease. Thanks to strict quarantine methods, the rural communities in Oregon were spared the worst effects of the plague. Post-Change Oregon history is then marked with attempts by the PPA to conquer the entire Willamette Valley, but the southern communities led by the Bearkillers and Clan Mackenzie successfully oppose them. The last attempt is called the War of the Eye or the Protector’s War, and ended with the death of Lord Protector Arminger at the hands of Lord Bear Havel. The end of the war saw the PPA ending their attempts at conquest south and the creation of “The Meeting”, a United Nations like organization dedicated to keeping the peace among the different factions in the valley.
Due to the difficulties in communicating across the world caused by the Change, information on the rest of the world is scant. Some information, however, has been revealed. In Great Britain the royal family and others were evacuated to the Isle of Wight to protect them from the starving rioters of the cities. A couple years later resettlement began from Wight and other islands and farmland was once again reestablished in England and continental Europe. Contact was made with other parts of the world, including Iceland, which removed a substantial portion of its population to Britain in order to survive. Gibraltar (which had started to colonize southern Spain and Morocco), Ulster, and Prince Edward Island all survived and swore loyalty to the British government and along with the new territories being colonized in Europe and North Africa, leading to a rebirth of the British Empire. Tasmania and New Zealand also recognized British sovereignty over them, but due to distance this is only a symbolic gesture. Other parts of Europe also survived the Change and prospered. Parts of Scandinavia that survived formed the nation of "Norrland" and divided Western Europe with Britain along the Rhine river. Parts of Ireland besides Ulster survived including the Republic of the Shannon and, in the north, the Republic of Ireland (Provisional), called "Provoland," a fanatical Republican entity to the immediate west and south of the Principality of Ulster. In Italy two nations arose out of the Change: Sicily and the Umbrian League. Not much has been revealed of Eastern Europe, though it has been reported it had a better survival rate than Western Europe.
The Pope died in the Vatican at the time of the Change but Cardinal Ratzinger fled to Umbria where the connections with the worldwide Roman Catholic church were reestablished in time for his election as the new Pope. Probably the greatest post-Change success of the Roman Catholic Church was reunification with the Church of England and the crowning of the British monarch as Emperor of the West. For a time Europe was threatened by raids from pirates out of the Canary Islands, supported by the Emir of Dakar. A coalition of European nations joined together to retake the Canary Islands and then destroy their bases on mainland Africa. Information on the rest of the world is scanty. Merchants from Astoria and Newport have been trading at several ports in Asia, including one named New Singapore. Parts of South America apparently survived, given that Cardinals from there participated in the election of the new Pope. Sicily has colonized Libya while a scattering of African city-states have survived along the coast of the continent including Cape Town.
About the Author S.M Stirling
Stephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best-known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series. S.M. Stirling novels Go Tell The Spartans and Prince of Sparta are set in Jerry Pournelle's "CoDominium" future history.S.M. Stirling's novels are generally conflict-driven and often describe military situations and militaristic cultures. In addition to his books' military, adventure & exploration focus, he often describes societies with cultural values significantly different from modern western views. One of S.M Striling's recurring topics is the influence of the culture on an individual's outlook and values, with a particular emphasis on the idea that most people and societies consider themselves (mostly) moral. Stirling also has a fascination with technological development, and frequently turns to explorations of this within the context of many of his novels. The Draka for instance, chose and faced a different imperative in their conquest of Africa, and turned earlier to breech-loading firearms and steam power than the rest of the Western World. The stranded islanders of Nantucket must try to rebuild their technological base once the island is stranded in 1250 BC, while the dazed survivors of the 'Change' now face a world where electricity, firearms, and internal combustion no longer work. In the past S.M Stirling has frequently collaborated with other authors, including David Drake, Jerry Pournelle, Anne McCaffrey and Raymond E. Feist.
The Protector's War - S.M. Stirling - NEW Book
In stock-ready to post on Tuesday