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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Surprise Remaining in this Saga
*** SEE THE INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN J. ANDERSON ON THE WUAT WEBSITE! ***

The Ildiran Empire is about to betray the human race. In a Faustian deal, hydrogues have pledged not to exterminate the Mage-Imperator's people, as long as they help destroy all of humanity.

On Earth, the Terran Hansa is crumbling. King Peter and Queen Estarra are mere figureheads,...
Published on July 1, 2006 by Terri Rowan

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many instances of deus ex machina
I would like to offer an overall review of all seven books combined. Even though each book has its own sub-plots, one has to read all seven to stitch every piece together. Unless you plan to read all of them (a major time commitment) I suggest that you go find yourself something shorter to read. This is an epic saga.

I find the books and the story hard to...
Published on September 26, 2010 by physics lover


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Surprise Remaining in this Saga, July 1, 2006
*** SEE THE INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN J. ANDERSON ON THE WUAT WEBSITE! ***

The Ildiran Empire is about to betray the human race. In a Faustian deal, hydrogues have pledged not to exterminate the Mage-Imperator's people, as long as they help destroy all of humanity.

On Earth, the Terran Hansa is crumbling. King Peter and Queen Estarra are mere figureheads, and the real leader, the Chairman, grows more erratic by the hour. Terrified for the safety of their unborn child, and the Hansa at large, the King and Queen must find a way to survive.

Two elemental forces, the verdani (sentient forest) and wentals (sentient water) are drawn together in an awesome merging of power, while the unpredictable faeros (sentient fire beings) hassle the hydrogues. In an unholy alliance, the hydrogues and Klikiss robots move forward in their plans to eradicate "rock dwellers." The robots have succeeded in infesting the Hansa's space fleet with the deadly soldier compies. Entire grids of the fleet may be lost.

Betrayal, subterfuge, and espionage may give way to hope if humanity can pull itself together. After the ruthless measures taken by the Hansa military against outlying colony worlds, the mysterious Roamers, as well as the lack of aid to other allies, planet Earth is in grave danger. Can Hansa "allies" and victims forgive the corrupt government in time to help save the birthplace of humanity? If not, all is lost.

By maintaining the high standard of writing for which he is known, Kevin J. Anderson continues to thrill and astonish readers with the fifth installment of The Saga of Seven Suns. Many "epic" series tend to lull after a few novels, but this Saga thrusts forward in ever-changing ways. While some events are somewhat predictable--perhaps intentionally--there are enough surprises to sustain the level of tension necessary to pull the reader through.

There are a few threads of the tale that will either not make sense, or will seem out of character for a while. Don't let that fool you. Press on, because even though you may think you know what will happen, you don't.

After reading this novel, only two questions remain. The first is whether Anderson can finish out this series with the same caliber of storytelling. One would have to read to the end of this book in order to understand the full impact of this question--to say more would be to spoil a spectacular ending. The Saga is not over by a long shot, but Anderson has a lot to live up to.

The other question: Do we really have to wait another year for the next installment?!

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
6/21/2006
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Final War with the Hydrogues, April 11, 2007
By 
Of Fire and Night (2006) is the fifth SF novel in The Saga of the Seven Suns, following Scattered Suns. In the previous volume, DD used the Klikiss gate to find Margaret Colicos on an alien planet. Tasia Tamblyn was captured by Klikiss robots. Patrick Fitzpatrick III negotiated a deal with his grandmother for the freedom of all Roamers within the Osquivel system.

King Peter and Queen Estarra found the friendly dolphins slaughtered and realize that they can no longer hold back in their struggle with Hansa Chairman Basil Wenceslas. Mage-Imperator Jora'h converts the thism of most of the rebels back to himself, but Rusa'h escapes to a faeros city within the Hyrillka sun. Anton Colicos reads Homer's epics to Rememberer Vao'sh until he recovers from his thism withdrawal. The verdani battleships finally reach Theroc.

In this novel, the Osquivel survivors return to be welcomed by enthused crowds. The scientists push through the crowds, impatient to begin investigating the hydrogue derelict vessel. Dignitaries pose for the cameras in front of the small ship.

King Peter and Queen Estarra are there to greet the rescued EDF soldiers. Chairman Wenceslas is also there, although the survival of these men and women was a surprise and embarrassment to the EDF and himself. He wants the public ceremony over as soon as possible.

Admiral Lev Stromo commands the forces sent to rescue the "dunsel" commanders of the EDF rammer fleet, but they find no escape pods and no debris around Qronha 3. Headquarters sends further instructions and his communications techs pick up a faint hidden signal that shows them lost EDF crewmembers and Klikiss robots. Unfortunately, the soldier compies serving on the bridge also receive a signal to take over the ship.

Mage-Imperator receives a visit from hydrogue warglobes at the invitation of his daughter Osira'h. Still, the hydrogue emissary is not interested in negotiating with the Ildirans. First he threatens to destroy the entire race, but mental prodding by Osira'h causes him to provide the Mage-Imperator with a choice: exterminate the Terrans or die.

In this story, the Roamers are definitely not cooperating as ordered. The Terran Hanseatic League is also losing control of its colonies. Meanwhile, Chairman Wenceslas is losing control of his judgment and temper; he starts indulging himself with paranoiac fantasies and planning the death of Peter, Estarra and their unborn child.

Elsewhere, the various enemies of the hydrogues are gathering forces to terminate the ten thousand year old war. The Terran colonies and Roamers are allying with the faeros, the verdani and the wentals to take the war to the hydrogue planets. The Ildirans have an incidental role in this war, but the Hansa government is mostly unaware of the allied offensive.

This novel concludes one phase of this story, but the series does not end with this volume. Stay tuned for Book 6.

Recommended for Anderson fans and for anyone else who enjoys old fashioned space opera with a cast of billions. If you have not read any of the previous books in this series, start with Hidden Empire.

-Arthur W. Jordin
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many instances of deus ex machina, September 26, 2010
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I would like to offer an overall review of all seven books combined. Even though each book has its own sub-plots, one has to read all seven to stitch every piece together. Unless you plan to read all of them (a major time commitment) I suggest that you go find yourself something shorter to read. This is an epic saga.

I find the books and the story hard to classify. It is science fiction, but what kind? The story starts as if it is going to be hard science fiction. (That's why I probably consider the first book to be the best.) But then it degenerates into several parallel threads, many of which are pure fantasies. By the end of the seventh book, I felt that 90% of the threads and plot were more appropriately described as fantasy than science fiction.

Even if you prefer fantasy over hard science fiction, you will still be disappointed by the repeated "deus ex machina" saving the day. I count seven such cases, three of them occurring in the last volume. Anderson is very good in weaving a complex story to its crescendo and creating a very tense (nearly hopeless) situation for the heroes. Then he cannot get them out of there in any plausible way, and he resorts to dues ex machina time after time. Because of that, you will feel disappointed (perhaps even cheated) once you finish the story, even if you will find it entertaining most of the way.

The characters are one-dimensional. There are good sub-plots of love, hatred, betrayal, revenge... The evil is really evil, and the good-guys could do no wrong. If you don't mind that, you may enjoy the saga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Fun to Read, August 29, 2006
This fifth installment did not disappoint, in fact it finally gave readers some blessed relief from the suspense which has been slowly and maddeningly building up over the first four volumes. To my surprise, Anderson actually brought most of the main plot lines to a final resolution in this volume rather than waiting for the final sixth volume. And he did it in a very satisfying way--I hate endings that leave you in a bad frame, and this was NOT the case here. What twists he did leave us with in the final chapter were not a total shock to me (I won't spoil it here)...I had aready thought this would be a great subject for a sequel series. So...while he at least tied up most of the loose ends in this fifth volume, the sixth and final book will be VERY interesting.

Hats off to the author--he writes well, tells a wonderful story, writes great action, and develops characters you care about (my favs are King Peter, Tasia Tamblyn, Jora'h, and (shock) Patrick Fitz III :-) And... I really hate Basil!

I love this stuff. Its fun to read and I'll miss it when it fades away. Thanks Mr. Anderson.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Twists and Turns, December 31, 2007
By 
owookiee "owookiee" (Winston-Salem, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Another great book (5th) in the series by Kevin Anderson. While the series takes a bit to get going, in that you're introduced to a lot of different plot lines immediately, by this time they're all easy to follow. The thing I like most about this series is STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS. There are many other multi-book series where when you finish a book you feel like not much has happened even though you just read 600 pages. Not so with The Saga of Seven Suns. This fifth book, in my opinion, harbors the most change from start to finish, and left me amazed at where he's taken the story. Anderson isn't afraid to shake up the plot into entirely new directions, or to kill off characters where it makes sense...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW. Could not put it down. Finished in 2 days, September 7, 2006
By 
Sung W. Cha "mrcha" (Good o'l USA (planet earth!)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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In a word "WOW". It's been forever since I read a book non-stop like this. If you are reading the review, I am sure you read the preceeding 4 volumes. Chances are you just finished and wondering what other people thought! I will tell you now... keep reading!

All the characters, all the plots, all the mysteries, all the questions are all perfectly intertwined and unravelled in this book. Well, save for a few, which leads into the 6th book.

Honestly, I thought it was going to all end here, but it does continue. And continue it does. In a way that will keep me faithfully waiting for #6.

But, damn... what a satisfying book. Other series of this length that I've read usually tend to drag on... with multiple pages on details of what a blade of grass looks like. But this book keeps the pace going non-stop. A true feat considering the borderline-multiple plot line.

Wow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Fire and Night: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 5, August 2, 2006
This is the best of the series!! KJA is a master at making vast universes with layered plots. In this book you get many revelations and more anticipation for the next book. The ending sparks a new begging. We finally find out what happened to Margaret, King Peter takes a stand and Basil Wenceslas is falling apart. It seems to me that most of the questions have been answered for now and the next two books can be separate series. I will not question KJA's wisdom because this series has definitely kept me interested. My only gripe is why does it have to take a year to come out with the next installment??
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Plot That Keeps Expanding Without 'Milking' Us..., February 9, 2010
By 
*Spoiler Free Review* The Plot keeps expanding but not in an unsatisfactory 'milking' sort a way. Quite the contrary, I find that many plotlines come to satisfying conclusions while generating new exciting plotlines. The characters we've come to love are continuing growing in thier arcs and overall I feel this is the best book in the series thus far. I read the negative review of this book and don't know what that reviewer was smoking or if he is just trolling. This book rocks and made me excited to rush out and get the next one. I read 'Of Fire and Night' cover to cover in one day and stayed up till 6:00am finishing it off.

The best thing I can say about this series, now looking back on it with some perspective, is that I think the author has done a fabulous job with pacing. I think perhaps books 2 and 3 could have been boiled down a 'touch' more and sped along a bit, but overall, they are still decent books. As long as the plot pacing stays more or less constant, then i'm hooked in the whole way.

KJA, great job!!! But beware the Goodkind curse. His Sword of Truth series started out great but then after book 3 he just decided to start milking his readers. By book 5 he was churning out absolute dribble with a plot that went sideways and stopped going forward. So far, your books are not doing that and are going forward in a very satisfying way. As long as you are going forward, I'll be with this series till the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, May 12, 2008
all I can say is... wow. I started reading the series because as a kid I enjoyed Anderson's star wars books (hey what are you doing, please put away the pitchforks and torches) and i wanted to see what he could do in a universe of his own.

Like the rest of the series this book has enough logical inconsistencies that the sci-fi snobs will hate it, but they are probably too busy re-reading I, Robot for the 537'th time anyways. For those of us who read for a good story this book is absolutely worth it, because this book has a hell of a good story.

Anderson wraps up plenty of the storyline so you really get a good sense of closure for this part of the series, but enough ominous loose ends exist that I'm sure the next two books will be as much a roller coaster as the first five.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Series, February 19, 2008
I could not wait for the paperback to come out - The Sage of the Seven Suns is full of suprizes and a good read. A must read for those looking for excitement and entainment! I'll be look for more in this series and or just other books by the author!
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