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by S.M. Stirling

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Book 4 of S.M. Stirling's Emberverse III trilogy, to be published in September 2017. These books are set in the same world as the "Dies the Fire" trilogy and the "The Change" series (Emberverse II, The Sunrise Lands).

It's Change Year 46, two generations after high-energy technology died in a catastrophe most of the human race didn't survive.
Crown Princess Órlaith and her brother Prince John Arminger Mackenzie take center stage as the children born after the Change and their children battle against powers that are not sympathetic to humans and human concerns.

This book is a sequel to "The Golden princess", "The Desert and the Blade", "Prince of outcasts", and earlier books in the series.




To Robert W. Chambers, author of The King In Yellow, one of the seminal texts of modern fantasy and horror, and pioneer of the unreliable narrator. If he was good enough for Lovecraft to be inspired by (aka “steal from”), he’s good enough for me to do the same!


Thanks to Kier Salmon, unindicted co-conspirator, who has been my advisor and helper on the Change since the first.


To Gina Tacconi-Moore, my niece, flower-girl at my wedding twenty-eight years ago, Queen of Physical Fitness and owner of CrossFit Lowell, who gave me some precise data on what a really fit young woman, such as herself, could do.


To Steve Brady, native guide to Alba, for assistance with dialects and British background, and also natural history of all sorts. He saved me from an embarrassing error about vultures this time, for example!


Pete Sartucci, knowledgeable in many aspects of geography and ecology.


To Miho Lipton and Chris Hinkle, for help with Japanese idiom; and to Stuart Drucker, for assistance with Hebrew.


Diana L. Paxson, for help and advice, and for writing the beautiful ‘Westria’ books, among many others. If you liked the Change novels, you’ll probably enjoy the hell out of the Westria books—I certainly did, and they were one of the inspirations for this series; and her “Essential Asatru” and recommendation of “Our Troth” were extremely helpful... and fascinating reading. The appearance of the name Westria in the book is no coincidence whatsoever. And many thanks for the loan of Deor Wide-Faring and Thora Garwood, on whom she gave fresh advice and help for SEA PEOPLES.


To Dale Price, help with Catholic organization, theology and praxis.


To John Birmingham, aka that silver-tongued old rogue, King Birmo of Capricornia, most republican of monarchs.


To Cara Schulz, for help with Hellenic bits, including stuff I could not have found on my own.


To Lucienne M. Brown, Pacific-Northwesterian and keen wit, for advice and comments.


To: Walter Jon Williams, Emily Mah, John Miller, Vic Milan, Jan Stirling, Matt Reiten, Lauren Teffeau, and Sareena of Critical Mass, for constant help and advice as the book was under construction.


Thanks to John Miller, good friend, writer and scholar, for many useful discussions, for loaning me some great books, and for some really, really cool old movies.


Special thanks to Heather Alexander, bard and balladeer, for permission to use the lyrics from her beautiful songs which can be—and should be!—ordered at Run, do not walk, to do so.


To Alexander James Adams, for cool music, likewise.


Thanks again to William Pint and Felicia Dale, for permission to use their music, which can be found at and should be, for anyone with an ear and salt-water in their veins.


And to Three Weird Sisters—Gwen Knighton, Mary Crowell, Brenda Sutton, and Teresa Powell—whose alternately funny and beautiful music can be found at


And to Heather Dale for permission to quote the lyrics of her songs, whose beautiful (and strangely appropriate!) music can be found at, and is highly recommended. The lyrics are wonderful and the tunes make it even better.


To S.J. Tucker for permission to use the lyrics of her beautiful songs, which can be found at, and should be.


And to Lael Whitehead of Jaiya, for permission to quote the lyrics of her beautiful songs. One of which became the Montivallan national anthem.


Thanks again to Russell Galen, my agent, who has been an invaluable help, advisor and friend for decades now, and never more than in these difficult times. I’ve had good editors, but none who’ve helped my career and work as much.


All mistakes, infelicities and errors are of course my own.





Dedication: To Jan, for being wonderful.


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Copyright © 2016-2017 by S.M. Stirling <>

These sample chapters have been converted to HTML by Bo Johansson

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