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Young Cayleb Ahrmahk has accomplished things few people could even dream of. Not yet even thirty years old, he's won the most crushing naval victories in human history. He's smashed a hostile alliance of no less than five princedoms and won the hand of the beautiful young Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm. Cayleb and Sharleyan have created the Charisian Empire, the greatest naval power in the history of Safehold, and they've turned Charis into a place of refuge for all who treasure freedom. Their success may prove short-lived. The Church of God Awaiting, which controls most of Safehold, has decreed their destruction. Mother Church's entire purpose is to prevent the very things to which Charis is committed. Since the first attempt to crush the heretics failed, the Church has no choice but to adopt some of the hated Charisian innovations for themselves. Soon a mighty fleet will sail against Cayleb, destroying everything in its path. But there are still matters about which the Church knows nothing, including Cayleb and Sharleyan's adviser, friend, and guardian-the mystic warrior-monk named Merlin Athrawes. Merlin knows all about battles against impossible odds, because he is in fact the cybernetic avatar of a young woman named Nimue Alban, who died a thousand years before. As Nimue, Merlin saw the entire Terran Federation go down in fire and slaughter at the hands of a foe it could not defeat. He knows that Safehold is the last human planet in existence, and that the stasis the Church was created to enforce will be the human race's death sentence if it is allowed to stand. The juggernaut is rumbling down on Charis, but Merlin Athrawes and a handful of extraordinary human beings stand in its path. The Church is about to discover just how potent the power of human freedom truly is.
As a mighty fleet gathers to sail against Cayleb and the Charisian Empire, Merlin Athrawes and a handful of extraordinary humans stand in its path, ready for a battle that just may hold the fate of Safehold, the last human planet, in the balance. By the author of By Heresies Distressed. Reprint. A best-selling novel.
Awakening in the form of a warrior from the time when the Earth was lost to powerful alien race, cybernetic avatar Merlyn Athrawes assists the island empire of Charis to gain independence from the controlling Church that has forbidden technology and human development. By the author of the best-selling Honor Harrington series.
Centuries ago, humanity fought a war against aliens-and lost. A tiny population of humans fled to Safehold, where, centuries later, their descendants have forgotten their history. For them, life has been an eternal Middle Ages, ruled by the Church of God Awaiting, secretly erected to prevent the re-emergence of industrial civilization.But not all of Safehold's founders agreed with the church. Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of one of Earth's long-dead defenders, has now been reawakened to restart human progress and challenge the hegemony of the Church-keeping his identity a secret.After a long and bloody fight, his allies seem to have finally gained the upper hand. But then someone arrives who knows too many secrets-including Merlyn's own... .
Here is the saga of humanity reduced, by an implacable alien enemy, to inhabiting a single colony on the distant world of Safehold. To avoid drawing the attention of the enemy through the busy signals of an industrial civilization, the human rulers of Safehold have taken an extraordinary measure. With mind control and hidden high technology, they have built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, one designed to keep Safehold society medieval and unnoticed forever. After disagreement about the wisdom and justice of this course, the dissenters were ruthlessly eliminated. Centuries have passed and now, in a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android initiates a rebirth set in motion centuries before. A rebirth that will provide the only remaining humans with their last chance to learn the truth and to rejoin the universe. It is destined to be a tremendous undertaking, unfolding a story of deception and ignorance, freedom and tyranny, and the liberating power of the truth. 'Nobody does space opera better than Weber' Publishers Weekly
In David Weber's By Heresies Distressed, the battle for the soul of the planet Safehold has begun. The Kingdom of Charis and the Kingdom of Chisholm have joined together, pledged to stand against the tyranny of a corrupt Church. The youthful Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm has wed King Cayleb of Charis, forging a single dynasty, a single empire, dedicated to the defense of human freedom. Crowned Empress of that empire, Sharleyan has found in Cayleb's arms the love she never dared hope for in a "marriage of state." In Cayleb's cause, his defiance of the ruthless Group of Four who govern mother Church, she has found the task to which she can commit her mind and her courage. It is a cause for which she was born. Yet there are things Sharleyan still does not know. Secrets Cayleb has not been permitted to share, even with her. Secrets like the true story of humanity on Safehold. Like the intricate web of lies, deception, and fabricated "religion" which have chained humanity for almost a thousand years. Like the existence of the genocidal alien Gbaba, waiting to complete mankind's destruction should humans ever attract their attention once more. Like the existence of a young woman, Nimue Alban, nine hundred years dead, whose heart, mind, and memories live on within the android body of the warrior-monk she knows as Merlin. And so Empress Sharleyan faces the the great challenge of her life unaware of all that task truly entails...or of how the secrets the man who loves her cannot share may threaten all they have achieved between them...and her own life. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
When the Republic of Siddermark is threatened by wars triggered by the Charis kingdom's declaration of independence from the Church of God Awaiting, Vicar Clytahn , King Cayleb, Queen Sharleyan and Merlin Arthawes struggle to prevent widespread starvation while protecting their people from violent attacks.

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