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YMMV / Safehold

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  • Base-Breaking Character: Hoo boy, Rhobair Duchairn. One chunk of the fanbase thinks he's a good man trapped in an absolutely horrible situation, the other thinks that his (unwilling) role in the jihad means he deserves anything he gets. The latter were likely not too happy when he wound up as a Grand Vicar utterly determined to rectify everything wrong with his Church.
  • Complete Monster: Vicar Zhaspahr Clyntahn is the Grand Inquisitor of the Church of God Awaiting, as well as the Big Bad for the series so far. In A Mighty Fortress, his response, to learning of a group of reformers within the Temple itself, is to have them, their families, their aides, and their families arrested, subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture, and executed, this eclipsing a delcaration of Holy War that had been stewing in the background since By Schism Rent Asunder. In How Firm a Foundation, he launches the Sword of Scheuler, an operation which instigates a civil war in the Republic of Siddarmark that kills hundreds of thousands in both the initial attack and the aftermath, which features a winter full of starvation as well as atrocities and counter-atrocities committed by and against Temple Loyalists, vis-à-vis those who remained loyal to Siddarmark's Lord Protector. His penchant for the torture and painful death of his enemies has resulted in multiple instances where armies aligned with the church Leave No Survivors out of a sense of mercy, as to spare any would be to leave prisoners of Clyntahn's wrath.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Raynoz Alvahrez, a Worthy Opponent and developing Father to His Men. He debuts in Like A Mighty Army, and his performance there made him a favorite of many and forum-goers treat him in the same way they do the characters who have been there since day one. It helps that he's one of best-developed characters on CoGA side.
  • Memetic Badass: If you ask the fandom, Major Phandys is a Double Agent who's just waiting for the right moment to reveal himself. He Mercy Killed Hauwerd Wylsynn. He spies on world's top espionage agency. He may or may not have been sleeping with Goddess of espionage, Nynian. He's conspiring with Rhobair. One day he'll be there when Clyntahn goes down. The fans were right, except for the sleeping with Nynian part.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Ferayd Massacre, in which several family-owned Charisian merchant ships were boarded and their crews, among whom were the families that owned the ships, were slaughtered, marked a level of escalation on both sides of the conflict. For Charis, the act was heinous enough that their response was to send the navy to flatten the port where the massacre happened as well as arrest and execute the Inquisitors who lead the boarding parties. For the Temple Loyalists, the Church told them that, along with the blasphemous execution of consecrated priests of God like common felons, the Charisians were murdering civilians left and right themselves when, in reality, the Charisians restricted themselves to military targets and the specific priests, and gave civilians time to evacuate before leveling the port to the ground.
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    • Clyntahn's treatment of anyone even remotely associated with the Wylsynns is this for Duchairn, who comes to view voting for the invasion of Charis as his own.
    • It takes a lot to turn a declaration of Holy War into an afterthought. Clyntahn pulls it off with his purge of the Wylsynns' Circle of reformers. How Firm A Foundation also shows that this has become an In-Universe Moral Event Horizon, as it cements Clyntahn's status as a complete monster to anyone who isn't plain ignorant or as fanatical as Clyntahn himself.
  • Protection from Editors:
    • The books are quite long and could use a little tightening. One example would be the jargon-laden, plodding opening chapter of How Firm A Foundation which is about a ship getting fighting to avoid running aground in a storm; it really contributes nothing to the plot, though it revisits two minor side characters and shows off Weber's knowledge of sailing.
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    • The later books also show spelling errors, characters called by one name when the narrative clearly means another, occasional confusion between Charis, Chisholm, and Corisande and a changing in the name of Hektor Aplyn-Ahrmahk's duchy from Darcos to Darcos Sound.
    • The first five books contain the story that Weber had originally planned for book one. Then the material for book two took four more. He's openly stated that he's deliberately dragging things out to put his kids through college.
  • War Ship: Cayleb & Sharleyan, given they started out as (albeit reluctant) enemies. Also Irys and Hektor.

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