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Against the Light [Kindle Edition]

Dave Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Hierarchy, high priests of the religious order the Light, has installed King Ethan as the monarchical figurehead, ruling both the magical kingdom of Albi and its predominant religion. Scattered throughout the land, worshippers in the old ways of the Earth Mother are persecuted as heretics. And when young missionary student Rollo Woodbridge returns home to Albi, he is immediately arrested for heresy and treason, setting off a chain of events that plunges the land into utter chaos.

The Hierarchy has more treacherous motives, however, and when Rollo is rescued from jail, his family’s home is destroyed—but Rollo and his siblings are left alive. While Rollo tries diplomacy to end the religious and political conflict, his brother and sister swear vengeance. With the hours to deliverance counting down and their lives hanging in the balance, they must decide whether to stay and fight or leave Albi forever in the suspenseful, action-packed Against the Light.


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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: 613 KB
  • Print Length: 495 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612182038
  • Publisher: 47North (January 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IZLYF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,207 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
195 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, Underappreciated Author Delivers Again! 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable fast read February 5, 2012
By Dave D.
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
4.0 out of 5 stars When the Witches are the good guys 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfying Fantasy 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
5.0 out of 5 stars New fan 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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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars God vs Mother Earth! Who will win? March 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am sorry but no matter how hard I tried to like this book I failed. There were too many confusing bits of language use. If this is the 16th century then where did they get a driveway or highway? A county commisioner or concrete? I expected a Ford Pinto to show up after the first chapter.

Then it was too violent for me. If you are going to torture someone that is fine. Say you did it and move on. No need to drag it out hour by hour day by day or min by min and tell exactly how many times a man craps on himself or how much urine he has produced.

All the characters came off as cold and selfish. Most were downright lacking common sense and there was no worthy story full of love passion or light as far as I am concerned.

It seems to be more an example occult practice book than a story line.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It came to me in good condition, thank you. I'll let you know when I've finished reading it.
Published 1 day ago by Nathaniel Roberts
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Dull
Published 1 month ago by Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read. First I've read of Dave Duncan. Looking forward to a sequel if he writes one.
Published 1 month ago by L. J. Bull
4.0 out of 5 stars Like it
Was a good story, but really thought it ended like they were in a rush to get the story over with, could have told so much more
Published 4 months ago by Kathy Howarth
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit by Dave Duncan
This is a well plotted book with great characters and an interesting set up. I found myself thinking of real-world situations in which the dynamics were similar.
Published 4 months ago by Darla T
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
This story has a good blend of everything. A touch of Washington Irving's "Sleepy Hollow", to what one may learn in history classes about the Salem Witch Trials, this story... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dana A. Hamilton
3.0 out of 5 stars Review
I was disappointed in the ending unless there is another book coming out. I will be ready to buy it.
Published 4 months ago by donna lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Corruption and Decadence
Against the Light (2011) is a standalone Fantasy novel. The volume is set is the kingdom of Albi, where a religious war was fought a couple of centuries ago. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Arthur W. Jordin
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story and well written
Excellent story and great writing style. First book i have read by Dave Duncan, but it won't be the last!
Published 5 months ago by RC
4.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would love to read more from this author. Just enough fantasy while keeping the story line realistic to ordinary people.
Published 6 months ago by Elisa Taylor
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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

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