A Mighty Fortress
04 - A Mighty Fortress 01.jpg
Author David Weber
Abbreviation AMF
Illustrator Ellisa Mitchell (maps)
Publication date 2010
Published by Tor Books
Publication Order
Preceded by
By Heresies Distressed
Followed by
How Firm A Foundation

A Mighty Fortress is a science fiction novel written by David Weber and published by Tor Books. It is the fourth book of the Safehold Series.

It was released on April 13, 2010.

Timeframe: September, Year of God 893 - November, Year of God 894

Plot[edit | edit source]

It is September of the Year of God 893 on the world of Safehold. The Princedom of Corisande had been conquered by the Royal Charisian Marine Corps and incorporated into the growing Empire of Charis. While Emperor Cayleb and Empress Sharleyan have departed to Chisholm for the winter season, Lord Anvil Rock, official Regent of the exiled Prince Daivyn, has to deal with the ongoing activities of the Temple Loyalists in Corisande.

Father Tymahn Hahskans, a Reformist priest who has been preaching against the Church of God Awaiting and the Group of Four, is brutally murdered in Manchyr. Merlin Athrawes, angered over his inability to protect him, gives General Koryn Gahrvai the necessary hints to find and arrest the murderers, exposing their secret headquarters in a Schuelerite monastery within the city's walls. The priests are convicted of torture and murder, and hanged publicly.

Grand Inquisitor Zhaspahr Clyntahn finally moves against the secret reformist movement known as the Circle; almost a tenth of the entire vicarate, including Samyl and Hauwerd Wylsynn, as well as dozens of bishops and archbishops, are purged along with their families and staff. However, a small group, including the majority of the Wylsynn family, manages to leave Zion and make its way to Charis, thanks to careful planning from Ahnzhelyk Phonda and a little help from the seijin Ahbraim Zhevons. The latter is actually a second identity of Nimue Alban's PICA, created by Merlin to deal with matters outside the Charisian Empire. Realizing the advantages, Merlin begins to create his own mythology of an entire order of seijins working all around the world.

Grand Vicar Erek XVII finally declares Holy War on Charis.

Meanwhile, the Church has built a huge galleon fleet to destroy the Charisians and invade Charis. This fleet is concentrated in three different groups: the first is located in the Gulf of Dohlar, in Dohlar and South Harchong. The second consists of galleons built in the Desnairian Empire. The third and final group is composed by warships from the Temple Lands and Northern Harchong. To harass the building and training schedule of these Church fleets, and prevent their joining forces, Cayleb sends one fleet to the Kingdom of Tarot and another one to the Gulf of Dohlar. Eventually, the Imperial Charisian Navy and the Royal Dohlaran Navy face off in the Battle of Dragon Island, with the Dohlarans performing much better than expected, even though they do lose one war galleon and a convoy. Emperor Cayleb and his advisors begin to realize that Admiral Lywys Gardynyr, Earl of Thirsk, is growing into a dangerous adversary.

Some time after their return to Tellesberg, Sharleyan gives birth to Alahnah Zhanayt Naimu Ahrmahk, Crown Princess of the Charisian Empire, much to the rejoice of her husband, her friends, and her people.

With some help from Merlin, Lord Anvil Rock and his son are able to uncover a conspiracy to take back Corisande by a number of Northern-Corisandian nobles. As no surprise to anyone, the Grand Duke of Zebediah is also involved with the conspirators, supplying them with modern weapons for their planned uprising. The plot is foiled, and all those responsible are imprisoned, awaiting trial for treason.

While Charis hastens the final development of explosive shells to equip the smoothbore cannons arming its warships, the fleet sent to the Gulf of Dohlar is heavily defeated by Admiral Thirsk. The second fleet, based off Tarot, has managed to put pressure successfully on both Tarot and Desnair, isolating the first from mainland help and forcing the second Church fleet to stay in port. The third Church force, including the first units of the newly formed Navy of God, sails away from the Temple Lands and Northern Harchong before the onset of winter, with semaphore orders to head west for the Gulf of Dohlar. However, these instructions are in fact a ruse devised to fool the Charisians, who the Church suspected of spying on semaphore traffic, into sending the bulk of its fleet to defend Chisholm and Corisande. The Temple fleet is in fact sailing east, looking to join forces with the Desnairian fleet holed up in the Gulf of Jahras.

Merlin's SNARCS find out the real position of the enemy fleet too late, when most of the Charisian fleet is already on its way to Chisholm, one month away from the strait of Tarot, where the northern fleet could be intercepted. A small fleet of only twenty-eight galleons is mustered at the last minute, ten of them armed with the new explosive shells. Commanded by High Admiral Lock Island, they face a huge enemy fleet of ninety Temple galleons coming from the north and another fleet of sixty galleons based in Desnair. However, with cunning and the element of surprise on his side, Lock Island is able to defeat the northern force in the middle of the night, destroying the majority of their ships. To the great dismay of Emperor Cayleb, the High Admiral himself is killed in a boarding action. Merlin comforts his friend, telling him that, like all those serving under him, Lock Island acted out of an extraordinary sense of duty for his people.

Publishing data[edit | edit source]

Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Book design by Ellen Cipriano

Maps by Ellisa Mitchell

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Ruhsail AhbahtRahn AimaylArchangel LanghorneArchangel BédardArchangel SchuelerCayleb II AhrmahkPhylyp AhzgoodMerlin AthrawesSharleyan Tayt AhrmahkSamyl CahkraynHauwyl ChermynKynt ClareykZhaspahr ClyntahnCharlz DahbynsHektor DaykynDaivyn DaykynFronz DaykynIrys DaykynErek XVIIAmilain GahrnahtKoryn GahrvaiKlairmant GairlyngLywys GardynyrSairaih HahlmynPaitryk HainreeTymahn HahskansZhoel HarysZhak MaigeeAllayn MagwairRahzhyr MairwynRaichenda MairwynGwyahn MylsMailvyn NohrcrossBarkah RahskailBynzhamyn RaiceLeahyn RaiceRhobair SeablanketShan-weiMaikel StaynairBrahd TahlasSailys TaytSahlahmn TraigairZahmsyn TrynairAidryan WaimyanEdvard WaistynAirwain YairAibram ZaivyairZhoel Zhanstyn

Vessels[edit | edit source]

HMS BedardNGS CrusadeHMS DartHMS Dawn WindHMS DevastationHMS DreadnoughtHMS FlashHMS Grand Vicar MahrysHMS Green HollowHMS GuardsmanNGS Holy WritHornetIHNS Ice LizardHMS King HaarahldHMS MaceHMS Port RoyalHMS Prince of DohlarHMS RakuraiHMS ShieldHMS SquallHMS Sword of CharisHMS Wave

Places[edit | edit source]

Armageddon ReefEmpire of CharisCandlemaker LaneCheraythKingdom of ChisholmCopper KettlePrincedom of CorisandeCorisande IslandKingdom of DohlarDolphin ReachFairstockHarchong EmpireHarchong MarkKing Ahrnahld's TowerBarony of LarchosLizardherd SquareMaikelbergCastle MairwynMalansath ProvinceManchyrManchyr CathedralSafeholdSaint Kathryn's ChurchSeraborRepublic of SiddarmarkGrand Duchy of SilkiahShwei ProvinceTalkyraTelithaTelith BayTellesbergTemple LandsTemple of GodYu-ShaiZion

Battles[edit | edit source]

Crag ReachDarcos SoundDragon IslandRock PointTalbor PassGulf of Tarot

Other[edit | edit source]

Ahrmahk marbleHouse of AhrmahkEarldom of Anvil RockOrder of BédardBishopric of BarcorBishop ExecutorChurch of CharisChurch of God AwaitingCorisandian ParlimentEarldom of Craggy HillDay of CreationDuchy of FernGbabaGrand VicarBarony of Green ValleyGrand InquisitorGroup of FourDuchy of Halbrook HollowHoly WritImperial Charisian ArmyKnights of the Temple LandsEarldom of Lock IslandMarthak MountainsNavy of GodnearoakRegency Councilrecon skimmerBarony of Rock PointRoyal Charisian Marine CorpsRoyal Charisian NavyEarldom of Storm KeepBishopric of TartarianEarldom of TartarianTemple LoyalistTreaty of Silk TownVicar

External links[edit | edit source]

Safehold Novels
Off Armageddon ReefBy Schism Rent AsunderBy Heresies DistressedA Mighty FortressHow Firm A FoundationMidst Toil and TribulationLike A Mighty ArmyHell's Foundations QuiverAt the Sign of TriumphThrough Fiery Trials
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