The Protector's War
|Author||S. M. Stirling|
|Series||The Emberverse series|
|Genre||Alternate history, Science fiction novel|
|Media type||Print (Paperback and Hardcover)|
|LC Class||PS3569.T543 P76 2005|
|Preceded by||Dies the Fire|
|Followed by||A Meeting at Corvallis|
The Protector's War is a 2005 alternate history, post-apocalyptic, science fiction novel written by S.M. Stirling and is the second novel in the Emberverse series; it follows Dies the Fire. The Protector's War describes the events of roughly a year, some eight years after the Change which altered the laws of physics in Dies the Fire. It describes the preparations of the Portland Protective Association for a war of conquest against the other communities of the Willamette Valley, their actions in response, and the arrival of three English refugees whose coming will help shape events in Oregon.
Eight years after the Change, Clan Mackenzie, led by Juniper Mackenzie, and the Bearkillers, led by Mike Havel, have carved sections out in the Willamette Valley for their groups. They have become bitter rivals with the predatory Portland Protective Association (PPA), led by the Armingers. The Barons of the PPA constantly violate ceasefires between the three warring factions. During one of their raids, Eddie Liu, Baron and Marchwarden of the PPA, is confronted by a small group of Mackenzies, led by Eilir Mackenzie and Astrid Larsson. After a short skirmish, Liu leaves, again swearing revenge against the Clan. In the meantime, a small group of British soldiers, led by Sir Nigel Loring, Alleyne Loring, and John Hordle, formerly of the Special Air Service, are on their way to Portland. They left England by sailing ship after freeing Sir Nigel from imprisonment imposed by King Charles III. On their arrival, Lord Arminger isolates them; he has them help him find and obtain nerve gas. They trick him into taking a test canister of nerve gas and other canisters that have been neutralized. The British then defeat their guards and escape to the south.
Mike Havel, the Bear Lord, and Signe Larsson Havel, his wife, go on a scouting mission to find and destroy Crusher Bailey, a PPA Associate who has been raiding and taking slaves. Crusher Bailey attempts to ambush the couple, who are masquerading as travelers with a horse herd and a wagon of valuables. When attacked, Mike and Signe retreat to the ruins of what was once a pornographic video store. The two prepare to fight off the bandits while they wait for their backup force, led by Will Hutton, to arrive. The British refugees see the fight and attack the bandits. The bandits flee, losing most of their forces; then the British help the Bearkillers find and annihilate the enemy camp. Sir Nigel and his son meet the Mackenzies and come across their old friend Sam Aylward, who was formerly a sergeant under Sir Nigel, so the British troops choose to join the Mackenzies. The Mackenzies tell of their raid into PPA territory where they ambushed a horse-drawn train and captured Norman Arminger's daughter and heir, Mathilda.
Soon after, Eddie Liu and his massive bodyguard Mack arrive on a diplomatic mission. After negotiating with Lady Juniper, they leave. Astrid Larsson and Eilir Mackenzie with their small band of Rangers discover an enemy camp of PPA knights. Liu returns as they attempt to warn the Mackenzies. Liu shoots nerve gas at the guards, killing all of them, and frees Mathilda. Liu searches Rudi Mackenzie's tent for a book that Mathilda gave Rudi, whick contains the key to PPA codes. A fight breaks out, with Liu and his troops fighting the Mackenzies and Rangers. Mack seriously wounds Rudi before he is killed by Hordle, and Liu is killed by Eilir Mackenzie. The Bearkillers arrive soon after and mop up the remaining PPA knights. Rudi is saved by Signe, who overcomes her distaste for him and saves him with a blood transfusion. The book ends with Rudi's initiation into Wicca.
Characters in The Protector's War
References to other works
- Stirling continues to make references to The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, this time with Astrid and Eilir forming the Dúnedain Rangers.
- A character on the boat that Nigel, Alleyne and John flee on has a crewmember named "Dominique Flandry," a nod to Poul Anderson's character Dominic Flandry.
- The names of the British refugees and other characters appear to be based on the characters Samkin Aylward, Sir Nigel Loring, Maude Loring, Alleyne Edricson, Hordle John, and Robert Knolles from Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company.
- The book which is used by the Protector's forces as the key to their encrypted plans is Bored of the Rings, Harvard Lampoon's parody of The Lord of the Rings.
- Arminger is a follower of the Evil Overlord List.
- Dale Arnold. "The Scourge of God Review". Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- "The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling". Book Review. SF REVIEWS.NET. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- Carlos Aranaga (2005). "Book Review: The Protector's War by S. M. Stirling". SciFiDimensions.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.