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Heaven's Needle (Ithelas, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – April 26, 2011


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Heaven's Needle (Ithelas, Book 2) + The River Kings' Road (Ithelas)
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Product Details

  • Series: Ithelas
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439159165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439159163
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Liane Merciel's second novel set in the world of Ithelas comes factory-equipped with the deluxe High-Fantasy options package: a Manichean conflict between the virtuous priests of sunlight and the evil practitioners of blood-magic we met in the first book, The River King's Road. But Merciel tweaks the formula — and deepens her storytelling — by introducing a third element: a plague of pure chaos capable of tempting noble knight and nasty necromancer alike into despair, madness and unspeakable violence... Merciel splinters her narrative and discretely parcels out clues to the mystery so that the reader stays one step ahead of her characters — and watches in mute horror as they blunder into situations that could cost them their very souls." -- NPR.com

About the Author

Liane Merciel spent most of her childhood bouncing around the world as an Army brat. She has lived in Alaska, Germany, and Korea, and has gone camping in every one of the fifty states. Her hobbies include yoga, training rats, and baking cupcakes capable of sending the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man into sugar shock with one bite. Currently she lives and practices law in Philadelphia.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Boomer49 on May 25, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is as if a different person wrote this book compared to the River Kings Road.
Way too much discussion about magic and gods slows it down like an excess amount of rain keeps a garden from properly growing. You will be able to gloss over large amounts to get to the meat of the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sneaky Burrito on July 16, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heaven's Needle is Liane Merciel's second "Novel of Ithelas." It follows the events in The River Kings' Road though I hesitate to call it a sequel, exactly. The plot from the previous book did reach a logical conclusion, and maybe Merciel will revisit those characters in the future, but you don't necessarily have to read The River Kings' Road to understand Heaven's Needle. It will help you understand some subplots if you read both, though.

There is some overlap with subplot from The River Kings' Road concerning Kelland (a knight associated with a particular religious order) and Bitharn (a woman who travels with him). Kelland starts off Heaven's Needle imprisoned by some bad guys (Thorns). If you liked Kelland and Bitharn in The River Kings' Road, you'll be happy with this book because they're major characters. The only character who really undergoes a transformation, however, is Asharre (a woman who excels with weapons). She's unsure of her place in the world after the death of her sister, but agrees to go on a journey protecting Evenna (an Illuminer, which is kind of like a priest or priestess/healer). Asharre experiences a nice resolution at the end of the book, and you're left feeling glad for her.

Merciel does a couple of things really well in this book, and so I'll start with those. I feel like most of the major viewpoint characters had a lot of depth, including complex personalities and internal conflicts. They're also largely sympathetic because even though they sometimes have to make decisions and do things they don't want to, we can understand their reasons for doing so.

I felt like the pacing was excellent, as well. The major characters are nearly always in danger; it was hard for them to catch a break.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maeve04 on May 17, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alright, I'm a sucker for covers. Awesome artwork on the cover. If it had had a map, I would have been even more smitten. This book was such drudgery to get through though! I can't warn you enough about how many hours of gristle, guts and gore this book took me through! I was so distracted by the gore that I'm not even sure I got much more out of it in my memory, it was that distracting. I even read parts of it to my teenage son to demonstrate that yes, it was way too much gore! That bit aside, the slight romance was well done, the teamwork between fighting characters was believable. I think it could have used a map. The writing wasn't bad. Just, if shock value gore turns you off- people exploding, that kind of thing- skip this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Finn on September 30, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
i picked this up after reading and enjoying the authors debut novel the river kings road while that was a strong if some what conventional novel Heavens Needle while a sequel to that book is another kettle of fish entirely, for starters this as much a horror novel as it is a fantasy one and merciel has an obvious gift for descriptive language which invokes some very disturbing images when she is describing the victims of the mad god, it is also very much a stand alone while it does pick up after the events of the river kings road and does follow two of the characters from that novel it is by no means neccessary to have read that book to enjoy this one as outside kelland and bitharn it is a new cast of characters.

while this author dosnt do anything terribly oirginal by itself rarely have i seen an author blend two genres, horror and fantasy, together as seamlessly as this one does added to this she has and interesting and well rounded characters evocative language and enough world building to give the impression that they are many more stories to be told in this setting.
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