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Against the Light Kindle Edition

134 customer reviews

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Length: 495 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King’s Blades. He and his wife Janet, his in-house editor and partner for over fifty years, live in Victoria, British Columbia. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Product Details

  • File Size: 598 KB
  • Print Length: 495 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (January 24, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 24, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IZLYF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King's Blades. He is both a founding and honorary lifetime member of SF Canada. Dave and his wife Janet, his in-house editor and partner for over fifty years, live in Victoria, British Columbia. They have three children and four grandchildren. Visit his blog and webpage: www.daveduncan.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Kulamata on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading the last two or three Dave Duncan books I've been struck by a common feeling; the author writes good, solid, rewarding books. His style is smooth, and never intrusive; there are no infelicitous phrases to stumble over, no names that cannot be remembered or mistaken for one another, no barriers to a happy reading experience. His descriptions of the society and the physical environment are extensive enough that the characters are not moving in a sterile world, and are spare enough that the reader is not bored by padding and bloat.

This is the first in an apparent series; the basic plot is not especially original. An oppressive dominant religion suppresses an older, more humane religion that welcomes and shelters gifted individuals. An attractive set of four siblings, adherents of the old religion, follow individual paths set by their distinctive personalities and gifts. Their actions plausibly follow from their personalities, which are deftly described, differentiated, and convincing, with a skill that is too often lacking in genre fiction.

The plot moves along steadily and clearly. The book is a good length, with enough in it to solidly fill a proper book without adulterating additives. The ending is fine, a bit open-ended, which results from its need to provide hooks for the next volume in the series.

I'm sorry to see that there are so few reviews for DD's recent books; he's been doing this for a long time, and his craft is thoroughly polished. He doesn't need to experiment, or flail around "finding his voice". He just reliably turns out one satisfying read after another, and "Against the Light" is another success.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Dave D. on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't have much to add than has already been written by the first two reviewers quite eloquently. The basic plotline is not a completely original one in the fantasy field but the characters are fully fleshed out and the writing is very engaging. I would recommend you try the sample, as that sucked me in and the rest of the novel was just as quick with excellent timing. It makes for an excellent read overall. As already stated, this may be part of a new series, however, the novel stands on its own without a cliffhanger finale.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Roger Bagula on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this alternate reality in a very 16th century world
a family of "witches" faces prejudice and persecution.
Finally they end up having to flee England like the Pilgrims
did. The witches have PSI abilities that can be trained
and have familiars that attach themselves to them at an early age.
One family in particular has very power inherited powers:
the Woodbridges. It is their passage though the Earth Mother cult's mole holes
that comprise a lot of this story. Much like Christians in
Rome, an underground society exists in parallel
to the orthodox Light church that the King supports.
Not quite a sword and sorcery fantasy adventure
this novel is still very entertaining and well written.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Thom Mitchell VINE VOICE on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Against the Light is yet another great fantasy novel from the prolific author Dave Duncan. He crafts a world with characters that are engaging and the reader is quickly pulled into the world. He develops both the male and female characters within the framework of his plot without bogging down into detail for the sake of detail.

Duncan artfully breathes life into an old premise of a corrupt church terrorizing an older religion combined with an ailing king plus all the petty venality and corruption that mankind can offer. The usual motives are present in spades - greed, revenge, lust for power, and hope for peace - mixed together with classic bildungsroman character development.

I found the book was a fast read that kept my attention the whole time and found myself postponing chores in order to finish it - always the mark of an enjoyable book. I assume this book is the first of series (or at least I hope it is) but even if it isn't, it stands on its own as a complete book with a satisfying conclusion. Definitely a worthwhile read.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Psychic Cypher VINE VOICE on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've had some of Duncan's books in my "to read" pile for a while, but this was the first I sat down and tackled. Largely I'm wary of getting into new authors because I find that my taste isn't always the same as others. When some folks (often times many folks) rave about an author, I often find myself scratching my head. But I'm now a fan of Duncan's work and will (quickly) push his other books to the top of my list. Suffice it to say that, if this is indicative of his other books, you can expect a good, engaging read with developed characters, a well-drawn world, and a great story. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Originally I was intrigued by the idea of a fantasy novel being written by inspiration of the historical book God's Secret Agents : Queen Elizabeth's Forbidden Priests and the Hatching of the Gunpowder Plot. I personally enjoy a bit of scandalous history and am a fantasy lover. So when I found my husband in bed listening to a Robert Jordan novel and playing games on the iPhone, I figured I would grab a fantasy novel and settle down with him. Two hours later, he asks me how I'm liking my book. My response "It's very boring".

And it remained very boring.

Duncan introduces us to the world of Albi, a medieval-ish land shadowed by the conflict between two religions: an old Mother Goddess-worshipping faith and the official Heavenly Father-worshipping faith. When the son of a prominent family is arrested whilst returning from studying the Earth religion, a chain of events begins to threaten to tear the kingdom apart. Rollo and his siblings deal with the conflict in unique ways, but their efforts as well as those of others fail to be one thing: interesting.

Another reviewer called this book a "snoozefest" and I agree. Duncan becomes so wrapped up in the political and religious debates that the story and characters and even basic emotion are left far behind. Frankly, to enjoy this I figure you must be fanatical about a religion or a history buff willing to examine a fictional country. Characters run about doing all the necessary political and/or religious things in order to keep the plot going.

What is left is a bone-dry novel version of Albi's history textbook.
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