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Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One [Kindle Edition]

Melissa McPhail
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Hardcover $27.94  
Paperback $19.95  
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Book Description

"All things are composed of patterns..." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:

In Alorin...three hundred 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.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Winner of Best Fiction and Best SF/Fantasy from the Written Arts Awards 2010 and a ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist.

A fantasic read...well written and descriptive... Melissa McPhail is an extremely talented writer.   --Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for RebeccasReads

This is a richly imagined piece of work...the characters are engaging, and McPhail manages to do some very original things, which is often difficult in fantasy, given that so much work in the genre relies on Tolkienian stereotypes....some strong work here.  --Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards  

A well thought-out story with many layers...the characters are all interconnected...and the underlying mysteries that tie everything together are well hidden and thoroughly disguised. --Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views  

About the Author

Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader.  A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the Fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations.  Her work reflects a deep understanding of human motivations and adventures into the age-old question of good versus evil as modified by context, viewpoint and time.

Ms. McPhail lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats.  Cephrael's Hand, her first novel, is Book 1 in the series A Pattern of Shadow and Light.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1739 KB
  • Print Length: 654 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.; 3 edition (September 22, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0046A9VLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,678 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it now! Get it for Later! Just GET THIS BOOK! October 5, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have my favorite writers -- but I think I just found my next new (Sorry J.C. -- there's a new girl in town!) I found myself so vested in the characters and the story, I shunned spouse and children, snuggled up under a fluffy blanket in front of the fire without benefit of the depressing Washington rain -- just to finish the book! Every chapter just keeps you wanting to read on to find out what happens next. This story is so well done. Pleasantly, nothing is as you expected...except for the good vs. evil part. Or is it? Hm...well you'll just have to read to find out. If I have to wait for years for the next book in this series, things could get ugly for all parties involved.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cephrael's Hand; Needs polish January 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book brings a few fresh ideas to the table and paces itself well, but it always manages to aggravate. Whether it's the over-reliance on the glossary to decipher the first quarter of the book, the mediocre editing that let grammatical errors slip through, the ridiculous (and inconsistent) written French accents, the comically awful attempts at French ("Nous établir les garcon"), or the dependence of all her story arcs on the limitless power of their own Deus Ex Machinas, there's just too much to simply overlook.

The raw material is there, but the polish is not. I cannot help but feel that with a critical editor, the book could have quite easily been good.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully dragged myself to the end. January 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I can't understand why this tomb of a book got the 5 star ratings that it did. The inconsistanties, both in dialog & characterizations ruined this story. Most of the dialog is stilted old English, sitteth instead sit, and then we get, "Who's the broad?" or some other urban slang. The characters make stupid decisions, causing this reader to wonder why should I should bother rooting for such moronic people. Like a bad B movie, they continuously enter into danger, then get snagged by the same bad guy again, over & over. If you want to read a well written epic fantacy, I suggest Jim Butcher's Furies or anything by Robin Hobb. I won't bother with the second book in this series, and you should not bother with the first.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read - left wanting more... October 4, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Melissa McPhail weaves a story filled with magic, adventure, love, seduction, chaos and complexity right from the start. I was captivated from the first page and left wanting more at the last word.

It amazed me that she was able to seemingly easily weave each character's story to a beautiful intersection. Each revelation, each twist had me on the edge of my seat and wanting to read on to find out where it would ultimately lead the characters.

I am not-so-patiently awaiting the next installment in this series...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! October 18, 2010
By LR
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For those fantasy fans out there, read this book. Gripping, gripping, gripping. The book kept moving without seeming redundant and is laced with humor and wit. I highly recommend it.

Wheel of Time fans, this is a MUST.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Visual! October 12, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't know how Melissa McPhail did it, but as I read, I saw the action as vividly as in a video! You don't have to be a fan of Fantasy, because I found enough human interest to CARE about the characters, LOL reparte', plot twists and damn-good mysteries, bloody-fierce battles, impassioned love, and back-room intrigue to be sucked into every chapter. If you refuse to give in to Destiny, you may just find incredible truth, as well. Wisdom has no genre and Melissa McPhail has much to share. In case you are wondering (as I was), "Cephrael's Hand" is the ominous constellation ruling at the time of the story, and on the cover. I couldn't put the book down; buy it. It will be one you keep, not resell.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging book! Excellent read! September 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well-written, well-paced medieval fantasy novel that was a great read! Ms. McPhail writes intelligently of her multiple characters (the story is told from multiple POV's), and has interwoven their storylines together wonderfully, with the perfect moments of action, humor and sobriety. Loved this book, and absolutely cannot wait for the next (and the next...)!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next Great Fantasy Series! September 13, 2012
Format:Paperback
Fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will love this new series by Melissa McPhail. Her first novel was ambitious, well written, loaded with intrigue, rich characters, and intertwining plots. The story is compelled by strong characters who motives are not immediately clear. I can say the the end of the first book was nothing that I could predicted. A sign of a truly epic, great story is not being able to predict the overall direction.

Now that I have finished I left wondering when the next book will be coming out. I know that as an author myself that there is no higher compliment I can give. I could find no reason to give this less than the five stars it rightly deserves. If you are looking for the next great fantasy series, here it is!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
This book pulls you in from the very first page. The characters are richly developed and interesting. There are a few minor editing issues but not enough to detract from the read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jacqueline
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I couldn't walk away. So many pieces woven together so well.
The story worked its way into my daily life.
Now for the next book
Published 1 month ago by Dodie McPhee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Melissa McPhail has created an intricate, believable fantasy world and populated it with characters that hold your attention from the first page to the last. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Koffer
4.0 out of 5 stars winding but worth it
At fiery I found some the dialogue a little off putting but the slow set up and world-building came together. Sad it ends on a bit of a cliff- hanger....
Published 2 months ago by Holly Hunt
3.0 out of 5 stars book
this was a free e-book from the kindle store. it look interesting so I got it, any reader would have.
Published 3 months ago by sandra j allen
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of spelling and grammatical errors
The story is good, but as an avid book reader, I find spelling and grammatical errors incredibly annoying. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Melodi Barnes
4.0 out of 5 stars well done.
Too many threads begun Without a proper finish. Too many new And difficult to pronounce words. Otherwise it was a very good story.
Published 8 months ago by Michael Angelo Cobb
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read.
This was an enjoyable book. It largely avoided some of the pitfalls of some fantasy books. Within reason, it didn't place too many strange names for different terms to convolute... Read more
Published 8 months ago by FentonPCrane
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising Trilogy
The book starts off a little slow and with all the unusual names it was easy to get a bit lost. But once you get into it, you develop an interest in the two main characters. Read more
Published 8 months ago by rjesrom
5.0 out of 5 stars A really cool book
I am only in the third of the book, and I am completely hooked. As a lover of fantasy, I would say it is on par with A Game of Thrones and the Wheel of Time sagas. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Elena Lenkova
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More About the Author

Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the Fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations.

Ms. McPhail lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats.

Cephrael's Hand is the award-winning first novel in her series A Pattern of Shadow and Light.

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