"All things are composed of patterns...." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross.
In Alorin...300 years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him....
In the kingdom of Dannym...the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.
©2010 Melissa McPhail (P)2016 Podium Publishing
Only after warning them that it had weaknesses, however it's not a bad story and is very well narrated.
I was happy listening to it as I was doing so in the garden or doing jobs - if I'd sat to listen to it, I should have got very irritated by the writing style and given up.
No, I don't think so but it was the performance that kept me listening.
No, not really - found bits of the parts with the pirate amusing though.
This book really needed a severe editing. Lots of cliches and over-use of adjectives/adverbs, sometimes oddly - weird use of the word 'subtlety' and lots of repetition. An over fondness of elaborate description and names, both of which are pretty unoriginal holds up the narrative. The basic story is quite good but the writing is a bit ponderous. Hence I shan't follow up with the next volume as I don't care enough about the characters to persist with the heavy narration style.
At first was so much information and characters to take in and keep track of... But The narrative of Nick and the story are just Mind blowing. I dont know how many days I have been at work looking like a zombie all because i couldnt bring myself to pause :D
It was a decent story with more or less alright writing. The narration was great.
Most probably the ones with the pirate. That's all you're getting, no spoilers.
There were quite a few, yet, some of the fight scenes were pretty neat.
Movie 1 of 10 in an epic saga of family, friendship and clumsy attempts at love.
Be warned... For all it's good points, the writing is lacking in a few key aspects. Among other faults is the authors habit of repeating words. There is a limit to how many times in one sentence I want to hear the phrase "tawny eyes". That limit is once. Once per sentence.
Other than that, it's good.
I admit, with so many storylines at once, this was difficult to get into, but most certainly worth persevering! I fell in love with all the characters and my excited and anticipation grew with every chapter. I was so enthralled by the end I had to get the second instalment instantly. I would definitely recommend this book.
Having read the rave reviews for this, and the other books in this series, and even waiting for the fourth book, before I started listening to it, I expected it to be spectacular. I was so disappointed. I know that sometimes a book can start slow, and build, but having listened to this whole book, I just don't see why it gets the credit it does. I was utterly bored, and couldn't even like any of the characters (in truth, I can't even remember any of the characters). The only highlight in this experience was Nick Podehl. But as wonderful as he is as a narrator, he can't do much with poor material.
I loved this book it was captivating and well written and Nick Podehl's narration was brilliant, one of the best narrators I've had the pleasure of listening to.
"This is a great book!!!"
If you don't like large fantasy novels expertly written, then this is not the book for you
The start is a bit hard to keep up with, because from page-one you hit the ground running, there is so much going on and it keeps its momentum through out the book.
I had seen an advertisement for this book saying "if you like Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan you will love this book."
I am always skeptical when people say things like that, but in this case it was true.
Robert Jordan is dead, Brandon Sanderson completed the wheel of time based off of his notes, (I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson.) But Melissa McPhail is the closest I have come to experiencing a story that has the feel of The Wheel of Time.
For many years epic fantasy has been a boys club, ( there have been many woman fantasy writers but none of them had the depth or complexity for me to see them as one of the top fantasy writers)
I am glad to say this is no longer the case, (in the past for years alone I have gone through about 1000 books, and I have found great female Fiction writers, science fiction writers, but until now I had never found a great female Fantasy author.
This series deserves its place in the top 10 if not the top five great epic fantasy series out there.
"could not get into the story"
struggled to get past chapter 10. I understand the thrill of mystery and trying to figure out characters and there past and purpose but it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a series. I felt like there were books before this I had missed. To many characters thrown at the reader all at once. This book has gotten some good reviews though. As for me It did not hold my attention.
"A sub-par fantasy."
This is only for the hardcore epic fantasy enthusiast that is 20 series down and can't figure out what to read next. Cephrael's Hand might hit the spot, but the writing suffers heavily from telling and not showing. The story isn't bad, just overly familiar, with far too many ideas I can trace a straight line back to Wheel of Time.
The narrator does a great job with the material he is given.
Full disclosure: I got about 60% through and quit reading, so maybe the ending is worth it? Also, there are great many people that seem to love this book, so maybe it just wasn't my shot of whiskey. (It should have been - I'm nothing if not an epic fantasy enthusiast)
"Average overall — good plot, subpar characters"
No, this is a book to listen to while doing something else.
This is the first one.
Not best performance.
About half way through the novel and I suspect I won't be able to finish it. Here are some of the things that I enjoy about this story. The overall story is interesting and the mysteries behind the plot are compelling. The magic system is unique. This is a long book that gives the buyer a lot of value for the credit. There are a lot of unique species that gives this story a very fantastic aspect, in the most literal sense.
The worst aspect of the book is the unrealistic interactions between many of the characters. For example, every time the story follows Trell "of the tides" you know several things will happen: he will be complemented about being intelligent and wise by strangers (he does not demonstrate these qualities at any time), he will be called handsome by random strangers, and he will fantasize about having sex with attractive women whom he recently met. He also gets lauded for his military genius but you never hear about any of the details. Yes, we are told that he was instrumental in winning a major battle, but what he did and how it was better than what others could do... who knows. This makes many (most?) of his interactions unrealistic. Trell, a major character, is able to single handedly sink this novel, but there other examples that I won't include in this brief review.
I did not feel that Nick Podehl was the best narrator for this novel. I've listened to five or six different novels narrated by him and this was the worst. His desert voices are especially grating. I don't think the story is dark or epic enough to have a deep voice like Michael Kramer, maybe Tim Gerard Reynolds. The way Podehl does the voices enhances the ridiculous way that some of the characters interact.
All in all, not the best and not the worst. For me, believability of characters is more important than fantastic story. I think that if the writing style is improved the next novels will be a real treat to read, but as is this series is for those with extra credits and nothing interesting going on.
"I'm having a hard time following this book"
I'm an avid audible member and have listen to hundreds of books, but for some reason I can’t seem to follow this one. It seems like the book skips around from character to character so fast that it’s difficult to follow the story-line. I’m all for complex but this seemed convoluted to me. Soo sorry but I had to throw this one back and move on to a different book.
I could not follow the character's - right when I started to understand and follow along the book switched gears to a different character and you had to start all over again to learn the location, the background and what direction the book is heading.
I love the way Nick can bring a character to life with all the voices he uses. I'm sure they had to make a list of characters and figure out who went where before they could even begin to develop the characters style or persona. He is wonderful!
Build the story background slower, I felt bombarded by it. Too much to absorb in such a short time with out any reference. Stop hopping between characters, give your reader time to familiarize themselves with the story and who the characters are. I get the idea the author is trying to create mystery, but the way it was presented just added to the confusion. I'm no writer and cant begin to know how difficult it is... Best of luck
Cephrael's Hand is not a good audiobook. Trel, a main character, awoke 5 years ago without any memories. He finally sets out on a quest in an attempt to learn his roots. Several times in the novel individuals offer to answer his questions. Trel, however, declines. UNBELIEVABLE! The world building is never truly explained. Who are the main protagonist? What are their motivations? What powers or abilities do they posses? There seem to be several levels of demigods? What is the hierarchy?Why do some want to kill humanity? Just saying he/she is malevolent does not answer the question. There seem to be multiple levels of conflict. How do they intertwine?
After listening to the book, I am more confused than at the beginning. Nick Prodehl does a good job with limited material. Maybe the written novel has some maps, charts, list of the many characters etc that brings more sense to this mishmash. I give up!
"Great Start to a new series"
Yes, anyone that's a fan of the Stormlight series by Brandon Sanderson, or patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind series, this is what you want to read next
Trell. I just enjoyed his parts of the book the most out of the other characters. He wasn't as prevalent in this book but hopefully he has a larger part in the second one.
He reads each character so well and distinctly. If you liked his narration of the Name of the Wind than you'll like this.
This book is very big. There are a LOT of characters and for some, like Trell, you can go a long time before returning to a character's tale. Just beware of that and pay attention or you'll get a few story-lines mixed up.
"If you haven't read this your missing out on life..."
This book is amazing ans well written. It makes you look at magic in a different light. I won't bother given a drawn out review of why this book is amazing. You just have to read it for yourself. If you havent, you are missing out on life.
If she writes it, I will read it. I have a new relationship with this author. #RealationshipGoals.
Waited for the audible release as I listen on my way to work. Amazing story, I find myself just sitting in my car not wanting to stop.
"**WARNING** Homophobic Undertone"
This series is set in a fantasy setting with gods, monsters, magic, and dragons with adult rated romances. A good combination for an epic series spanning several books of around 30 hours per book which seems good value for money.
There is good character development and the narrator does a great job of leading the listener through the complex story with so many characters and their machinations. At times it is hard to follow the torrent of names and locations but the book is well written with layered stories.
Before one reads "Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow and Light, Book 1" and gets wrapped up in the lore be aware the second book has a strong anti-gay agenda vilifying Gay Men as evil monsters or paedophiles that subvert straight men's minds against their will through possession making them into undead monsters. It is mild in the this book making it is easy to overlook this undertone. One keeps reading hoping the story might only be using this theme to drive the narrative on but it is hard to ignore in the second book making this book unpleasant with this homophobic undertone. The strong homophobic tone makes it impossible to enjoy the series leaving a disgusted sour taste as you think back that you enjoyed the story up until a point when you realise the undertone of the book.
With the homophobic undertone of the "Pattern of Shadow and Light" series it is unlikely I would read any of the author's next books.
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