|A Mighty Fortress|
|Illustrator||Ellisa Mitchell (maps)|
|Published by||Tor Books|
| Preceded by|
By Heresies Distressed
| Followed by|
How Firm A Foundation
It was released on April 13, 2010.
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.
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
Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Book design by Ellen Cipriano
Maps by Ellisa Mitchell
Ruhsail Ahbaht • Rahn Aimayl • Archangel Langhorne • Archangel Bédard • Archangel Schueler • Cayleb II Ahrmahk • Phylyp Ahzgood • Merlin Athrawes • Sharleyan Tayt Ahrmahk • Samyl Cahkrayn • Hauwyl Chermyn • Kynt Clareyk • Zhaspahr Clyntahn • Charlz Dahbyns • Hektor Daykyn • Daivyn Daykyn • Fronz Daykyn • Irys Daykyn • Erek XVII • Amilain Gahrnaht • Koryn Gahrvai • Klairmant Gairlyng • Lywys Gardynyr • Sairaih Hahlmyn • Paitryk Hainree • Tymahn Hahskans • Zhoel Harys • Zhak Maigee • Allayn Magwair • Rahzhyr Mairwyn • Raichenda Mairwyn • Gwyahn Myls • Mailvyn Nohrcross • Barkah Rahskail • Bynzhamyn Raice • Leahyn Raice • Rhobair Seablanket • Shan-wei • Maikel Staynair • Brahd Tahlas • Sailys Tayt • Sahlahmn Traigair • Zahmsyn Trynair • Aidryan Waimyan • Edvard Waistyn • Airwain Yair • Aibram Zaivyair • Zhoel Zhanstyn
HMS Bedard • NGS Crusade • HMS Dart • HMS Dawn Wind • HMS Devastation • HMS Dreadnought • HMS Flash • HMS Grand Vicar Mahrys • HMS Green Hollow • HMS Guardsman • NGS Holy Writ • Hornet • IHNS Ice Lizard • HMS King Haarahld • HMS Mace • HMS Port Royal • HMS Prince of Dohlar • HMS Rakurai • HMS Shield • HMS Squall • HMS Sword of Charis • HMS Wave
Armageddon Reef • Empire of Charis • Candlemaker Lane • Cherayth • Kingdom of Chisholm • Copper Kettle • Princedom of Corisande • Corisande Island • Kingdom of Dohlar • Dolphin Reach • Fairstock • Harchong Empire • Harchong Mark • King Ahrnahld's Tower • Barony of Larchos • Lizardherd Square • Maikelberg • Castle Mairwyn • Malansath Province • Manchyr • Manchyr Cathedral • Safehold • Saint Kathryn's Church • Serabor • Republic of Siddarmark • Grand Duchy of Silkiah • Shwei Province • Talkyra • Telitha • Telith Bay • Tellesberg • Temple Lands • Temple of God • Yu-Shai • Zion •
Ahrmahk marble • House of Ahrmahk • Earldom of Anvil Rock • Order of Bédard • Bishopric of Barcor • Bishop Executor • Church of Charis • Church of God Awaiting • Corisandian Parliment • Earldom of Craggy Hill • Day of Creation • Duchy of Fern • Gbaba • Grand Vicar • Barony of Green Valley • Grand Inquisitor • Group of Four • Duchy of Halbrook Hollow • Holy Writ • Imperial Charisian Army • Knights of the Temple Lands • Earldom of Lock Island • Marthak Mountains • Navy of God • nearoak • Regency Council • recon skimmer • Barony of Rock Point • Royal Charisian Marine Corps • Royal Charisian Navy • Earldom of Storm Keep • Bishopric of Tartarian • Earldom of Tartarian • Temple Loyalist • Treaty of Silk Town • Vicar
- Note on the title of the fourth book on davidweber.net