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Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One Paperback – September 22, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 654 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (September 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432759671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432759674
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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 (11/10)

A fantasic read...well written and descriptive... Melissa McPhail is an extremely talented writer. --Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for RebeccasReads (12/10)

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

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Characters" 36
  • "Writing" 25
  • "Action" 5
  • "Depth" 5
  • "Funny" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Pimentel on 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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Steven R Burke on 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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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Karl on 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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Se on June 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I never write reviews but what an amazing read! The author has such a penchant for combining fantasy and explorations of morality. Her take on sacrifice and leadership was wholly original. The book is a philosophical argument substituting narrative for bland logic and perhaps real philosophers should take note of how to actually make a point. Even if you're not interested in the fresh philosophical perspectives, the book is an absolute page turner, the plot is never too slow, the characters delicious (even the annoying ones). Please get this book!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By LR on October 18, 2010
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Barb Colaianni on 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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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Ford on 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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