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The Sky-Blue Wolves
Cover of The Sky-Blue Wolves
The Sky-Blue Wolves
Emberverse Series, Book 15
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S. M. Stirling presents the stunning and epic conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Change series, now in paperback. Many years ago, when advanced technology failed and humanity found itself in a turbulent, postapocalyptic world, extraordinary men and women birthed a new society from the ashes.
Two generations after the Change, Crown Princess Órlaith struggles to preserve the hard-won peace her father brought to Montival—the former western North America. But the Change opened many doors, and through them Powers strong and strange and terrible came, to walk once more among humankind.
With her fire-forged friend and ally, Japanese Empress Reiko, Órlaith must take up her sword to stop the spread of the mad malignancy behind the Yellow Raja, who has imprisoned her brother Prince John. And from the emerging superpower of Mongolia, the Sky-Blue Wolves of the High Steppe ride once more beneath the banner of Genghis Khan—the thunder of their hooves resounding across a world in turmoil.
S. M. Stirling presents the stunning and epic conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Change series, now in paperback. Many years ago, when advanced technology failed and humanity found itself in a turbulent, postapocalyptic world, extraordinary men and women birthed a new society from the ashes.
Two generations after the Change, Crown Princess Órlaith struggles to preserve the hard-won peace her father brought to Montival—the former western North America. But the Change opened many doors, and through them Powers strong and strange and terrible came, to walk once more among humankind.
With her fire-forged friend and ally, Japanese Empress Reiko, Órlaith must take up her sword to stop the spread of the mad malignancy behind the Yellow Raja, who has imprisoned her brother Prince John. And from the emerging superpower of Mongolia, the Sky-Blue Wolves of the High Steppe ride once more beneath the banner of Genghis Khan—the thunder of their hooves resounding across a world in turmoil.
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    CHAPTER ONE

    Pearl Harbor

    Aupuni o Hawaii

    (Kingdom of Hawaii)

    December 4th

    Change Year 46/2044 AD

    TUUNNNNGGG.

    Órlaith Arminger Mackenzie felt the massive frame of the frigate Sea-Leopard quiver beneath her feet as the fourteen-shot broadside cut loose, the catapults on the gun-deck below shaking the thick Douglas fir and Garry-oak structure of the warship as it sailed parallel to the coastline and across the land-breeze with a slow rocking-horse motion. The three masts and their stripped minimal shapes of battle-sail towered above her, and the other five frigates of the Montivallan Navy squadron traced a line behind her that might have been drawn with a ruler, white wakes against the cerulean blue of the ocean.

    A little farther out from shore were the smaller, less drilled ships of the allied fleets, the navies of Hawai'i and Dai-Nippon, and the transports and barges that bore the troops who would storm ashore to put right the sneak attack and invasion. It was the task of the warships to soften their way.

    Bolts and eighteen-pound roundshot arched out, a near-flicker as they left the launching troughs, arching away into invisibility with distance. That drew a merciful veil over what would be happening on shore as they slashed into the massed ranks of the Korean invasion forces, the dense black mass on the white beach, sparkling here and there with edged metal. They raised their square shields in a futile gesture against missiles designed to shatter the thick timber frames of warships or the stone of fortress walls.

    What was it Da said? Órlaith thought grimly. Yes, that it's a great pity that fighting evil starts with killing evil's conscripted farmers.


    Odors of tarred rope and wood, hot canvas and sweat and metal oiled with canola gone slightly rancid in the mild warmth overwhelmed the scented breeze off the land, that itself was tainted with the smoke of burning homesteads where the invaders from the east had harried among the Hawaiian workshops and settlements around Pearl Harbor. Behind the Montivallan ships some smoke still rose from the ocean itself, where the enemy fleet had met its fate five days ago and was now mainly drifting wreckage . . . and bloated bodies feeding the gulls. Sweat ran down Órlaith's flanks into the padded arming jacket and trews beneath her suit of plate, light and flexible though that titanium-alloy marvel of smithcraft was, but this wasn't nearly as bad as some desert summers she'd worn it through back home.

    Still, when she took a dipper of water from the scuttlebutt with a murmur of thanks to the sailor, it slid down like the pure product of a mountain spring, stale and warm and tanged with the chemicals that kept it safe as it was. You had to be careful about things like that, though: it occurred to her that if she made a casual joke and asked if there wasn't cold beer instead, some officious twit might run around in a panic trying to find actual cold beer and getting in everyone's way.

    While she was off looking for the Grasscutter Sword with Reiko-and dodging the people her mother the High Queen had sent to drag her back if they could-she'd gotten used to being around only her core of followers who knew her well and were friends as well as vassals. It was irritating to readjust to people who saw only the rank, though she couldn't really blame them, since that was all they could know.

    "Time to get closer," Admiral...

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  • Booklist

    November 1, 2018
    In the conclusion to Stirling's epic Change series (beginning with Dies the Fire?, 2004), the newest heirs to the rebuilt world must fight once again: the eldritch power of the King in Yellow motivates a ghoulish army attacking from what was once Korea. �rlaith, heir apparent in Montival, and Reiko, empress of Japan, lead an attack to the enemy's very stronghold. Fortunately, they bear the mythical weapons of their ancestors. This is vital, not least because �rlaith's sword grants her knowledge of languages. The heirs of Genghis Khan, a revitalized Mongol people, fight the same enemy; Dzhambul and Bort� will be valued allies in this conclusive war. The balance of resurgent magic and familiar human politics continues to be a satisfying act; Stirling has built a fascinating world, populated with believably scheming characters, and this is a deftly constructed final epic battle interspersed with gentle human moments. As an ending, at least for this post-Change generation, it is a satisfying one, answering enough questions while leaving enough room for the fictional world to continue to grow in the reader's mind.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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The Sky-Blue Wolves
Emberverse Series, Book 15
S.M. Stirling
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