• By Schism Rent Asunder

  • Safehold Series, Book 2
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 25 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,577 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $55.93

Buy for $55.93

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The sequel to the New York Times best seller Off Armageddon Reef

The world has changed. The mercantile kingdom of Charis has prevailed over the alliance designed to exterminate it. Armed with better sailing vessels, better guns, and better devices of all sorts, Charis faced the combined navies of the rest of the world at Darcos Sound and Armageddon Reef, and broke them. Despite the implacable hostility of the Church of God Awaiting, Charis still stands, still free, still tolerant, still an island of innovation in a world in which the Church has worked for centuries to keep humanity locked at a medieval level of existence. 

But the powerful men who run the Church aren't going to take their defeat lying down. Charis may control the world's seas, but it barely has an army worthy of the name. And as King Cayleb knows, far too much of the kingdom's recent good fortune is due to the secret manipulations of the being that calls himself Merlin - a being that, the world must not find out too soon, is more than human. A being on whose shoulders rests the last chance for humanity's freedom. 

Now, as Charis and its archbishop make the rift with Mother Church explicit, the storm gathers. Schism has come to the world of Safehold. Nothing will ever be the same...in David Weber's By Schism Rent Asunder.

Safeholdseries:

  1. Off Armageddon Reef
  2. By Schism Rent Asunder
  3. By Heresies Distressed
  4. A Mighty Fortress
  5. How Firm a Foundation
  6. Midst Toil and Tribulation
  7. Like a Mighty Army
  8. Hell's Foundations Quiver
  9. At the Sign of Triumph
Listen to more in the Safehold series.
©2008 David Weber (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about By Schism Rent Asunder

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,621
  • 4 Stars
    716
  • 3 Stars
    172
  • 2 Stars
    47
  • 1 Stars
    21
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,522
  • 4 Stars
    480
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,360
  • 4 Stars
    552
  • 3 Stars
    142
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    15

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Better then the first book!

I was very disappointed with the first book of this series but this second book was much better. it moved along quite well without getting bogged down in character monologues about technical fluff. What technical descriptions about weapons is short, concise bits that give readers an idea without distracting. I loved the ending, very touching.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought Provoked

It is odd to read reviewers of this Weber opus to find those who decry the slow deliberate political intracacy. This is the entire point of the work. Draw whatever parallels you may with interaction of religion and politics in our current world - they exist as intended by the author. This series isn't some mindless actioner although there is enough action to keep it moving and interesting. The thought processes of the characters are explored in depth as they wrestle with the political and religious realities of their time and place.

This is a fascinating world that is much like our own and the questions involving religion and politics are what makes it great. This is wonderful for the thought it provoked and I expect the continuing saga to be as involved and detailed as the first two installments. I see no need to hurry while I enjoy every minute with these characters and their minds.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Aimless and Didactic

I love David Weber. Let me say that again, I LOVE David Weber. I latched onto his Honor Harrington series and devoured it in record time. I even enjoyed his non-SF series, with only a few exceptions.

"By Schism..." is not his best book.

The first problem is that it's a middle book in a long series. That wouldn't normally be a problem, but Weber makes it one. The book doesn't have a well-defined story arc. In other words, you really don't have any idea where it's going. What's the climactic goal of THIS story? Where's the dramatic tension?

The more subtle problem is the book's didactic narrative. This is NOT an action thriller. It's more talky and long-winded than the first in the series.

The last problem is a byproduct of Weber's success, I think. "By Schism..." DESPERATELY needed a strong editor. It's a tedious listen, and I often found my thoughts wandering as I listened. Why? The narrative is full of fluff, and plenty of wordy baggage. A good editor would have cut and tightened, and pointed out the need for dramatic tension on the way to a climactic ending.

I compared it to other long series before I came to this conclusion. Take Rowling's Harry Potter series, where the series itself has an overarching story, but each book ALSO has a well-defined story arc. Or David Eddings's Belgariad, where each book has a beginning, middle, and end, which all fit into the overall story. "By Schism..." is missing this arc. It still fits in the overall story, but it's a muddled mess as a story by itself.

My last complaint is about Weber's villains. They're... flat. (For comparison, a near-perfect villain is Hans Gruber from the first "Die Hard" movie.) Weber's villains make absurd choices, without any realistic thought about the repercussions.

I really wish I could give this more than two stars. It isn't BAD, per se, but it's not good, either.

Final word: a lackluster book by a fantastic author.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Character's...Great World...No Story

Only David Weber story in my collection that doesn't have 5 stars (and I have them all). I love his writing and thoroughly enjoy the world that he has created in Safehold. Unfortunately, I agree with everyone else that this book didn't exactly progress very much (at least from an action stand point).

There is plenty of character development in this book but it is all political. I can see why some of the reviews were a little poor as a result. It lacks on the intense battles that are generally a staple of Weber. I still enjoyed the book and I can't wait for the next one. This felt a little like a set up book...

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Extremely Disappointing

I enjoyed Off "Armageddon Reef" and was looking forward to the follow up volume. But "By Schism Rent Asunder" had nothing new to offer. First, the plot barely moved forward. In fact, skipping this book can't possibly detract from enjoying the next volume. But a bigger problem is the preachy text. I enjoy philosophizing, this was too simplistic, and offers nothing new over the first volume. Save your credits and read David Weber's Prince Roger series or Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series instead. If you are looking for something good in a different style, read Shantaram, almost anything by Lois McMaster Bujold, or Altered Carbon.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Predictable, preachy and one-dimensional

This is the first audible book that I didn't finish and I have over 300 books in my library. Almost all the characters are utterly one-dimensional. The outcome of the 'war' is a foregone conclusion because one side has complete technological superiority and the other side is utterly evil in the worst comic book sense. Everything that the protagonists do works splendidly while everything that the antagonists do blows up in their faces. It makes you wonder how such idiots managed to maintain themselves in power for as long as they did. Webber is no Patrick O'Brian but his naval battles are fairly well scripted, EXCEPT for the fact that you know exactly how they are going to turn out. When it gets to the point where you're rooting for the villains, it's time to put the book aside.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Nothing signifigant, only waiting

This book is similar to The Matrix 2 in that it seems to just be a filler. Nothing changes that much, no real climax, just the usual casual progression in the usual over-explanatory manner. He just loves to explain how clever he is, doesn't he.
If book 3 is out and you're on a budget, you can skip this one.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Tedious and Long Winded

This first book had a great setup with the philosophical, ethical, and theological questions of how the world began.

This book is tediously long winded about political maneuverings. By the way, NOTHING happens that couldn't have been summed up in 10 pages.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Weber goes from Space Opera to Soap Opera

This one is actually more disappointing than the last two Honor Harrington novels. If you're looking for the wonderful action sequences you like from David Weber, go read the Prince Roger books.

This book is a romance novel full of complicated interrelationships between the church hierarchy and nobility. He's attempting to recreate the 16th century reformation (including direct quotations from the period, such as "Here I stand...") on a new world, and it is hard to care about it all.

There is perhaps an hour of action in this entire novel. And even that action is loaded with boring calculations of the total weight of cannonballs fired at someone.

Discussions of political marriages and their importance takes up much more time.

And...if you are listening to this book and hoping that at least it will conclude with a bang, forget it. He spends the the last half hour of the book (and of your time by the way) writing about a kiss. Seriously.

I suggest to double post this book under Romance Novels.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

About the Schism of the Church

I read Off Armageddon Reef with interest and looked forward to the second book in the series which is this book. Oliver Wyman did a good job narrating the book. In this book King Cayleb has taken over the Kingdom of Charis as his father died at the end of the first book. Merlin is his body guard. The book hangs up in political maneuvering but does come up with some interesting solution to gain allies of his nearby enemies. He marries Queen Charly and brings the Prince of Emerald into his cabinet. There are a few small sea battles but one is building up for the next book but a lot of time is spent on building the Kingdom to face the battle with the corrupt church. The next book should be interesting as this book appears to be a build up to book 3.

5 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for carey pridgeon
  • carey pridgeon
  • 08-05-08

really, really wonderful

Its been years, decades, since I read such a good series as David Webers Safehold Saga. This, the second book in the series has been fantastic from beginning to end.

The Author has a long history of excellent Naval fiction and science fiction, and I think that with this series he has bested all his previous work.

The premise has mankind starting over again on a new planet, not knowing its true history, and just one person, in the form of an almost immortal human like robot housing the mind of a young Naval officer from 'Old Earth' with a secret cache of highly advanced technology, trying to get humanity back on track before the enemy who wiped out old earth comes for them.

Only there's a catch, in this new world, no-one remembers this enemy, or Earth, or anything before the day their ancestors stepped off the colony ships, and technology of any kind is viewed as evil, so she has to act in secret.

The series has a definite Naval edge to it, in fact it would be fair to say that the development of a Navy similar to that of England in the 17 and 18th century is a focal point for this book. Don't let that put you off though, this story is used as a backdrop to the development and interaction of a great many believable and interesting characters.

5 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for gam
  • gam
  • 07-28-17

great story but !

I really enjoyed the story but this book is not the best one in the series. The ending leaves a lot to be desired, it feels like David Weber wrote the required number of words for the story so left us hanging. The characters are good and further developed from the first book, the narration was great apart from the children's voices.