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The Covenant Rising: Book One of The…
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The Covenant Rising: Book One of The Dreamtime (The Dreamtime Series) (udgave 2005)

af Stan Nicholls (Forfatter)

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287368,588 (2.94)1
From the author of the internationally acclaimed Orcs series comes a powerful new epic fantasy to rival illed with spectacular magic, action, adventure and political intrigue. In the land of Bhealfa magic underpins the social order. Different classes enjoy different qualities of magic; from meagre charms for the destitute, to grand conjurations for the rich. But the most skilful and expensive spells of all are those used by the authorities to control the entire population. Reeth Caldason is the last remaining member of a tribe of warriors who were brutally massacred decades ago. Cursed with episodes of blind rage that endanger anyone near him, he is forced to wander the world seeking revenge for his people and a cure for his magical affliction. But the spell that binds Reeth is an esoteric one, and his search has so far been fruitless. Only when a young sorcerer's apprentice named Kutch tells him of the mysterious Covenant does he regain a glimmer of hope. Forming an uneasy alliance the two head for Bhealfa's capital city in search of this secretive magical society, unaware that they are about to be drawn into a dangerous world of conspiracy and sedition.… (mere)
Medlem:crissybuhr
Titel:The Covenant Rising: Book One of The Dreamtime (The Dreamtime Series)
Forfattere:Stan Nicholls (Forfatter)
Info:Harper Voyager (2005), 422 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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The Covenant Rising af Stan Nicholls

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Viser 3 af 3
Back in London in the early 80s, I frequented two great SFF bookstores: Forbidden Planet, and Dark They Were and Golden Eyed. In looking up the source of the latter's name (a Ray Bradbury story) the other day, I was surprised to learn that Stan Nicholls had worked at both. So that's a point in his favor right there.

Covenant Rising (or Quicksilver Rising) is the story of Reeth Caldason, a tormented warrior with a secret; Kutch, a novice magic user; and Serrah, another warrior, from another country. They and a host of others are enmeshed in the machinations of two empires fighting it out through proxies on the island of Bhealfa. One of the things that Nicholls does very well is to not only create interesting, credible characters, but to keep the story moving smoothly across many fronts at once. He does this latter as well as anyone I've ever read - there are a lot of moving pieces, but it's never confusing as the narrative moves around. It would have been nice to have a map, but you can't have everything.

Nicholls does less well with some other aspects of the story. Magic is related both to mysterious, vanished Founders, and to raw magic that flows around the country in underground streams. So far, so interesting. But the application of magic is sadly disappointing. Nicholls uses magic to blatantly copy modern technology, and I sometimes had the feeling what he wanted was to be writing a police procedural. Without much explanation, magic provides a visual APB for the cops, a 3D 'Wanted' poster, timed fuses, and other handy devices. Characters talk about terrorists, setting fires with accelerant, and the cell structure of the resistance movement. A secret agent is for some reason named "Geheim" (German for "secret"). But this is epic fantasy, not urban, and there are simply too many of these ill-fitting terms and tools to swallow.

It's a shame about the terminology and magical technology because the story is otherwise very well done. This is my third time through this book. Once when I bought it, another re-read some years later because it had stuck in my head, and now because I've finally tracked down books two and three. Three readings tells you something right away. Even so, as I re-read it, I kept running across clever bits (e.g., the prince who fears Death so much that he and his whole court are constantly on the run), and thinking "Was that in this story?" There are at least half a dozen such clever ideas, neatly integrated into the story. If Nicholls had taken the time to work out more credible magic, the book would have been a deserved classic. As it is, it's good, but not great.

Overall - well worth reading if you're looking for well-written fantasy and can overlook frequent use of pseudo-technology. For myself, I'm looking forward to reading books 2 and 3, but I'm not yet convinced that I should move on to Nicholls' more famous series, [b:Orcs|1037549|Orcs (Orcs First Blood, #1-3)|Stan Nicholls|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1348261022s/1037549.jpg|1023898]. ( )
  BMorrisAllen | May 14, 2013 |
Quite a different take on magic where basically magic is the technology in the world. Reeth Caldason is the last remaining member of a tribe of warriors who were brutally massacred decades ago, he's cursed with fits of blind rage and apparently almost indestructable, and aging very slowly.

He wants rid of the spell and this brings him in contact with some very different people, and a resistance who are trying to free their country. There are wheels within wheels and some very complicated politics.

The use of magic was interesting, it is treated as technology and used almost as trivially as we would use technology. Magic power varies and the wealthy can afford more than poorer people (there is an amusing aside once with volunteers handing out minor charms to the poor). However the wheels are almost too complicated and you really don't get involved enough in any one character to really connect. Well I didn't anyway.

Interesting and I'm looking forward to the followup. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Sep 4, 2008 |
The Covenant Rising by Stan Nicholls is the first book of The Dreamtime. This book promises a rich, detailed world with a twist on the concept of magic. Magic is regulated by the powers that be. The back cover promises a gripping tale of magic, sword duels, and mystery. This is the first book I have read by Mr. Nicholls so I am basing this review not on a body of work, but on this book as an individual entity.

The main plot of this book centers around the search for a mysterious group and what their influence is regarding magic. Along the way there are also subplots of political intrigue, a mysterious death that has long ranging complications. There is also the subplot of the main character being afflicted with a spell that no one has any answers for, but it is causing him great distress. This novel is packed with a great deal of potential. Sadly, the plot falls remarkably flat. It quickly becomes uninteresting and formulaic to the extreme that observant readers will guess where this book will end, and ultimately where the entire series will end up. While the book starts off very well, within the first fifty pages it quickly stagnates into a regurgitation of past fantasy books and is no where near original. In fact there are no less than three sections of the book where it was nigh painful to read due to the pacing and prose and lack of interest in any of the plot points.

The characters of this book are equally disappointing. There was a great deal of potential for characters such as Reeth, Kutch, and Serrah, yet, when I finished the book all he characters were largely forgettable. They are riddled with undisguised clichés and the dialog is often redundant and uninteresting. In fact, there were several times while reading this novel that the dialog seemed less like talking than it did the author telling the reader what the reader had to know to make the book make sense. In the end, the best words to describe the characters are flat and uninteresting, which is too bad, because I had high hopes for this novel.

One thing I particularly liked about this book is the setting. There seems to be a good amount of potential here. There is a rich history for the world, there are interesting takes on magic and how it is used. I was genuinely interested in the setting. Unfortunately without a good plot, and good characters, the setting can not carry a book.

As I mentioned before this book suffers from several things.

Poor characters. Both in terms of dialog, development, and riddled with clichés. Mr. Nicholls seems to want to have a very detail, involved plot. Yet, this book may have benefited from a less complex plot. Maybe, Mr. Nicholls tried to do too much with this book and in the end had so much going on he lost the reader.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this book even though I tried rather hard to. In the fantasy genre today, there are so many other books out there I can not really see myself ever recommending this one to anyone. In fact, I am not sure if I will read another Nicholls books again. With the dearth of books in the genre, books like this can sour a reader. I may even warn people against reading this one, which I normally never do. Great promise, terrible execution for this novel. ( )
  BeezerMN | Oct 22, 2007 |
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From the author of the internationally acclaimed Orcs series comes a powerful new epic fantasy to rival illed with spectacular magic, action, adventure and political intrigue. In the land of Bhealfa magic underpins the social order. Different classes enjoy different qualities of magic; from meagre charms for the destitute, to grand conjurations for the rich. But the most skilful and expensive spells of all are those used by the authorities to control the entire population. Reeth Caldason is the last remaining member of a tribe of warriors who were brutally massacred decades ago. Cursed with episodes of blind rage that endanger anyone near him, he is forced to wander the world seeking revenge for his people and a cure for his magical affliction. But the spell that binds Reeth is an esoteric one, and his search has so far been fruitless. Only when a young sorcerer's apprentice named Kutch tells him of the mysterious Covenant does he regain a glimmer of hope. Forming an uneasy alliance the two head for Bhealfa's capital city in search of this secretive magical society, unaware that they are about to be drawn into a dangerous world of conspiracy and sedition.

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