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

190 customer reviews

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Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One + The Dagger of Adendigaeth: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book Two + Paths of Alir: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book 3
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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

From the Author

This 2014 edition of the award-winning Cephrael's Hand has an updated map, glossary, cast of characters and the new cover from the rebranded series. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 first novel in her award-winning epic fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow & Light.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 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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31 of 38 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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19 of 23 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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25 of 31 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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19 of 23 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robin Burks on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately. A lot of that has everything to do with the sheer volume of self-published quality fantasy books currently being made available. Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow and Light by Melissa McPhail is one such novel.

Cephrael's Hand is a mass adventure that takes place in a medieval-like world that boasts shape-shifting dragons and the sort of magic that is wrapped up in patterns of the universe. It is an amalgamation of stories that all coalesce together to form one solid plot, similar to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Unlike Martin's work, though, Cephrael's Hand leaves out the incest and sex, instead focusing its female characters on being stronger and more respected in their communities. There is a lot of political intrigue, a hint of romance (a sort of "will they or won't they?") and characters that you immediately begin to care about. It's an old sort of tale with an entirely new concept and it is one that is very difficult to put down.

Like Martin's books, this novel, too, is a long one, clocking in at 654 pages. But it's a story you don't ever want to end, and fortunately, there is a sequel (which I will be reading next). McPhail has managed to create a world that you want to live in and exist in and has given us characters that we cannot help but to empathize with. One particular character is Trell of the Tides, a man who has forgotten who he is - he is currently on a quest in search of his true identity. I found Trell wonderfully thought out and cannot wait to see him discover his true nature. But this book doesn't just heavily feature male characters - the females, too, are equally compelling.
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17 of 21 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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Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One
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