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The Gates of Twilight (Bantam Spectra Book) [Kindle Edition]

Paula Volsky
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In a fragile alliance, the natives are stirring uneasily under their foreign rulers. Rebellion is brewing, and at the heart of the conflict lies the bloody and powerful cult of the god Aoun, whose followers will stop at nothing to rid their land of alien domination. So civil servant Renille vo Chaumelle, scion of a proud, conquering line mingled with native blood, is conscripted as a spy and ordered to penetrate the fortress-temple known as the Fastness of the Gods. There he is to discover the secrets of the priests of Aoun and - if the chance presents itself - assassinate the lead priest, named in legend as the god's own son. But in the holiest depths of the temple, Renille finds there is more to the cult than his superiors suspect - far more than they will ever believe. What he learns leads him to the beautiful princess Jathondi, daughter of the native ruler, who is fated to be the crux of a violent confrontation between the fanatic followers of a flesh-hungry god and their arrogant overlords. Together, Jathondi and Renille must brave a whirlwind of revolution and apocalyptic magic that could shatter a nation, and open the long-sealed portal between heaven and earth.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the sweltering Aveshquian city of ZuLaysa, a revolution is brewing, and the result is an uncommonly sophisticated fantasy by Volsky, author of the critically acclaimed Illusion. Foreign, western Vonahrishmen ostensibly rule this preindustrial eastern realm, but the mysterious, ancient cult of the god Aoun is growing in power daily. Renille vo Chaumelle, a westerner with native blood, is asked to infiltrate this cult and cripple it if possible. The assignment is full of unexpected dangers and surprising revelations, which keep the narrative moving quickly. Together with a beautiful Aveshquian princess, Renille must ultimately confront the gods themselves in order to contain the erupting national violence. Volsky does not neglect the traditional hallmarks of fantasy; the land of Aveshq is reminiscent of India yet enlivened by magic and such wonders as yahdeeni, ferocious sea-going beasts of burden, fields of pungent blue spice and the glorious Oodpray Palace. But the author's greater accomplishments lie in the depth of her characterizations and the subtlety of her portrait of the clash of dissimilar cultures. Some of Volsky's attempts at tension between the protagonists can be a little clumsy (conversations with schoolmates had "taught her that men were deceitful, selfish, and ruthless. No doubt exceptions existed, but dangerous folly to assume that Chaumelle qualified as such."). Still this is a quibble in a a captivating novel whose appeal should extend well beyond fans of the genre.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In a detailed, exotic land reminiscent of India under British rule, the native, fanatically religious Aveshquians rebel against their foreign Vonahrish occupiers. Civil servant Renille vo Chaumelle, a Vonahrish of Aveshq ancestry?and empathy?allies himself with Ghochanna Jethondi, daughter of a provincial hereditary ruler. Together they expose the high priest's deadly secrets. A realistic portrayal of another society; highly recommended for fantasy collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 699 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (February 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004N636F8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,973 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
(8)
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, but not too bad January 27, 1998
Format:Paperback
We return to the world of Illusion--old stomping ground--with Ms. Volsky's The Gates of Twilight; the time is a few generations after that wonderful novel (she does satisfy our curiosity about Dref and Eliste in a few placating sentences), the place a colony of post-revolutionary Vonahr. The setting is familiar to those who know about the English settlements in the Indies (any passing knowledge of the Jungle Book suffices) and the plot unsurprisingly touches on the injustices of imperialism thereof. The storyline is complete, unlike The Wolf of Winter, but feels sketchy in parts, unlike Illusion. Secondary characters, which in her previous works would have resurfaced somewhere within the novel to lend a sense of completeness and continuity, are dropped after a few limp scenes. Ms. Volsky also begins to develop her "planar" concept of God, which was hinted at with The Wolf of Winter's necromancy, and is more fully developed in The White Tribunal. On the whole, The Gates of Twilight is readable, enjoyable for an afternoon, but not a true indication of Ms. Volsky's talent.--Emily C. A. Snyder
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Volsky book June 29, 2000
Format:Paperback
The reviewers that said they were disappointed inspired me to write this because I completely disagree. Granted, different people like different books, but I truly think this is a great book. I like "Illusion" and "The White Tribunal", but I love "Wolf of Winter" and "The Gates of Twilight". Both of them gripped my imagination firmly and pulled me into Volsky's world completely.
Paula Volsky has a gift of being about to write in such a way that an exotic location becomes so lifelike that you feel like you are really there, and I never felt so completely drawn in as I did in this book. The story is intruguing, the characters are believeable, and the descriptiveness of the location is incredibly lifelike.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice try but not quite May 3, 1999
Format:Paperback
If you've read "Illusion" you know what I mean. The book is good, I like the settings of 18th century India at the time of the British settlement that were used as inspiration of the story, but the characters were too bidimensional. You never quite got to know them deep inside, its as if they're just actors playing a role, very unlike "Illusion" were you could feel the passion and see the souls of the characters. And the secondary characters were used as fillers, just to make it look complex. But even so, it's not boring, it's as deep a reading as the previous books and its quite entertaining, but it didn't leave me thinking like Illusion did at the end, which by the way was pretty easy to find out. But these are only my opinions, and I encourage people to find out by themselves, as I did with Illusion, which is still my favorite. This one might turn out to be yours.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the characters are there. November 12, 2004
By CMN
Format:Paperback
this book takes you to fictional, Vonahrish colonized Kahnderule (akin to India/S. Asia), where a decidedly alien (though now degenerated) 'god' is still lurking about. it's a beautifully detailed and colorful fantasy setting.

Perhaps to match her setting and her characters --the two leads being entre-deux-- her style of prose remains the same, but the way she constructs the story/characters/meaning has a different flavor... more subtle, and more abstract. I'd guess that she was experimentating a little. I think it's an excellent book, but if you're looking for another Eliste VoDerrival, she's not here.

(Note to Amazon; I used some of the same phrasing that i used for a review elsewhere).
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