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Avaryan Rising: The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen, A Fall of Princes Paperback – October 15, 1997

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The lover of strong characterization, mage-kings and high magic, intricate plotting and clear flowing prose, can't do better than Avaryan Rising."--Charles de Lint

"The tale is the kind of accomplished fanatsy--featuring sound chrarcterizations, superior world-building, and more than competent prose--that has won Tarr a large audience."--Booklist

"With elegant prose, Tarr beautifully conveys splendid real settings, realistic politics, convincing cultural details--and cultural clashes. Even when they wield awesome magic energies or manage empires, her appealing characters remain captivatingly human. This is a sweeping saga, spiced with exciting, unexpected plot twists."--Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Judith Tarr is the author of more than twenty widely praised novels, including The Throne of Isis, White Mare's Daughter, and Queen of Swords, as well as five previous volumes in the Avaryan Chronicles: The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen and A Fall of Princes (collected in one volume as Avaryan Rising), Arrows of the Sun, and Spear of Heaven. A graduate of Yale and Cambridge University, Judith Tarr holds degrees in ancient and medieval history, and breeds Lipizzan horses at Dancing Horse Farm, her home in Vail, Arizona.
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Product Details

  • Series: Avaryan Rising
  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; 1st edition (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312863888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312863883
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,316,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My first novel, The Isle of Glass, appeared in 1985, and eventually won the Crawford Award, as well as being a finalist for the Locus Award for Best First Novel. My YA time-travel science fiction/fantasy/historical novel, Living in Threes, appeared as an ebook from Book View Café in 2012, and is now in print. My new novel, a space opera, will be published by Book View Cafe in 2015. In between, I've written historicals and historical fantasies and epic fantasies, some of which have been reborn as ebooks from Book View Café. Various of my novels have been finalists for the World Fantasy Award and the Locus Award, and I've had short stories reprinted in Year's Best anthologies and collections of classic fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history. I live in Arizona with an assortment of cats, two dogs, and a herd of Lipizzan horses.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anika Leithner on September 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Avaryan Rising combines the first three novels of Judith Tarr's series (The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen, and A Fall of Princes). Having had no previous experience with the author, I picked up this book on an impulse in the book store. I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

In my opinion, Tarr's strongest point by far is her skill in character creation and development. Anyone who reads a lot of fantasy at some point tends to become a little bored with the same cookie-cutter characters that appear to dominate much of this genre. Tarr offers a refreshing alternative. Her characters are unique, fascinating, and extremely well developed. Already on the first page of "The Hall of the Mountain King", I was drawn to the powerful (if somewhat tragic) figure of the old king, who stands on the top of his battlements day after day, in sun, wind, rain, and snow, keeping watch for his beloved daughter. The characters that follow are similarly fascinating, haunting, tragic, powerful, and seemingly real. Examples: Mirain, the young son of a mortal and a God, who sets out to conquer what he claims is by right his Kingdom and Empire. At the beginning of the book, Mirain is only 15 years old, but his description as someone who commands the love and respect of his people seems very believable to me, as Tarr immediately sets him apart from other young men his age, due to his heritage (which is gift and burden at the same time ... something that Tarr explores in much detail and very well). Vadin, his squire, who is initially so overcome with his hate for Mirain that he proposes a wager that would forfeit his soul, should he ever feel any friendship for his new master. The list goes on, and each new character is as unique as the first.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cathy L. on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
One thing that really sets these books apart from other high fantasy I've read is the prevalence of melanin in the main characters' skins. Most of the major players, particularly in this first omnibus, are dark, ranging from black to bronze to gold in skin color. I've also realized that I really don't know anything about northern African and Mediterranean geography and culture. I'm fairly sure that's the basis of the fantasy setting--the characters' coloring and the unexpected appearance of a distinctly Minoan form of dress helps--but I don't know where reality ends and the fantasy begins in relation to the world building here.

1) The Hall of the Mountain King
This book introduces the world of the series and the son of the sun god as he reclaims his birthright in his human grandfather's court, stealing the position from his less favored uncle. Mirain, despite some pretty spectacular powers and fighting ability, is a clean-shaven teenage priest so he spends a significant portion of the book with the other characters underestimating him... to their detriment. We primarily view him through the eyes of his unwilling squire/new best friend who's pretty sure Mirain's insane. The book sets up the idea of the dichotomy and conflict between a god of light and a goddess of darkness, one good and life sustaining, the other evil and bringer of death.

2) The Lady of Han-Gilen
This is the story of how Mirain gets married. In it we are introduced to the polygamous culture of this world (not that the harem women are addressed at all, grrr) in the form of the opposing suitor for the titular lady's hand. Despite the opposing suitor being more clearly portrayed as totally head over heels for her, she chooses her childhood crush. Of course.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shirleyann Soltys on June 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Before this, I've never read any of Judith Tarr's work, but after reading this trilogy, you can be sure that I will be searching for everything she's ever written! At certain points in the story, I found myself breathless. The characters were very well developed and believable. The tapestry of magic, romance, power and sacrifice that Ms. Tarr weaves is complex and beautiful. This is a definite "must read."
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By krisc1@worldnet.att.net on July 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This was a mastery of writing, without a doubt. Tarr's style is so clear, yet very descriptive at the same time. And the story is absolutely enthralling. I read this entire volume in 3 days! The stories are nicely connected, and she focues more on the interrelationships of the characters than on just plain old magery and fighting. I thought the series was over when I finished this book, but thankfully there are 2 more to go! I'm just starting Spear of heaven now :-) If you love fantasy, you'll love this book - without a doubt.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
One of the best fantay novels I've read in a long time. Engrossing, original, and at times fun. It slighted toward a historical romance with the sexual unnuendoes but the roundness of the characters and the high magical elements makes this a trilogy not to be missed. i hope to read works as original and refreshing as this in the future.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite science fiction/fantasy series of all time.

I've read these books over and over, and get something different from them each time.

The world building is solid, the characterization is brilliant, and the plot will keep you guessing.

Highly recommended.
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