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Lightbreaker: Codex of Souls Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2007

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Lightbreaker: Codex of Souls + Heartland (Codex of Souls)
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Product Details

  • Series: Codex of Souls
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597801380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597801386
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Teppo's urban fantasy debut explores a dramatic premise bogged down by pretentious passages of overblown monologue. Landis Markham, magick user and manipulator of the world's energies, spots a human soul possessing a deer. He follows it, intrigued, and soon lands in the midst of a power struggle that could destroy the world. Using a chain of captured souls to enhance his abilities, Markham chases an evil magus around Seattle and its suburbs as he pieces together a complex plot and continues his relentless fight to save innocents and heal the darkness in his soul. Tighter writing could have made this a page-turner and created more desire for the inevitable sequels, but Teppo beats metaphors into the ground and segments of purple prose mire the plot and distract from the strong characters. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Mark Teppo (born May 21, 1968) is an American author of contemporary fantasy and science fiction. His work is strongly peppered with references to occult concepts, most commonly those of Hermeticism and Alchemy. Prior to his current tenure as a fiction writer Teppo was a music journalist working both as a staff reviewer and editor for various publications such as Earpollution, Igloo Magazine, Earplug, Teppo is also Chief Creative Officer of Subutai Corporation, whose first offering is the interactive fiction project The Mongoliad.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
It is also served by some very good writing.
Keith W. Harvey
I really liked the philosophical framework the author set up for magick and can't wait to see more about the secret society of the Watchers in book II.
Brandon T Gray
I had to push to get through the frustrations of the story and almost put it down for good at the end.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Mad Hatter VINE VOICE on August 28, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lightbreaker is Mark Teppo's first entry in the Codex of Souls series and his debut Urban Fantasy effort, which sets a dark tone for the series well. From page 1 you join an exciting chase with the main character Markham as he follows a body jumping soul and Teppo more than keeps up the pace. Things are a bit cloudy with Markham's past, but Teppo quickly covers the highlights yet still leaves you wanting more. I had an immediate liking to Markham even when he sometimes goes about things not in the nicest manner. He is painted as a grey man and an outsider, which has allowed him to learn all types of magical techniques. The story is set in and around Seattle, which was a nice change up from most UF.

Lightbreaker effortlessly melds many styles of magic such as Hermeticism, Shamanism, and Western magick with a healthy dose of Aleister Crowley and tarot symbolism. The story gets bigger and bigger quite unexpectedly, especially towards the end. What starts as a unusual chase develops into a soul stealing cataclysm. The first section mostly has to do with Markham wanting to get revenge for a great wrong done him, which is quickly turned around on him a bit too easily. However, Teppo quickly made up for this flaw with a broader story and the introduction of great characters and some cool magic. One of the things I've loved about the past few Dresden Files is the magical politics, which Lightbreaker has in spades with more to come.

Lightbreak is a fine entry into Urban Fantasy that is sure to standout from the pack. I give Lightbreaker 8 out of 10 Hats. Fans of strong male protagonist Urban Fantasy are sure to have an immediate connection to Markham and the world Teppo has concocted. There are many plot holes left open, which I hope are address in future volumes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jared on February 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This novel starts off with a start lead: The protagonist is back in town to find a woman from his past. While seeking her out, he uncovers malicious magic users and picks up a cop friend.

As I went through the story, one of the things that bothered me greatly was the sense that the first-person narration was hiding the truth of things from the reader. I don't want to spoil the ending, but the item in question was the magic chain that the protagonist used. It was referenced constantly and the narrator thought about it, but never told the reader what it was key to the story, key to the ending, understood by the narrator, and understood to the narrator to be key to the issues at hand. This should not happen in first-person narration. It feels like the narrator is lying to the reader and it is only frustrating.

At the end of the book, the last chapter or so was a challenge to get through. The prose was not the issue, it was the content. Religion and magic are often interwoven in fantasy, but there is a line between showing that link and having the protagonist under some kind of apotheosis and smack the reader over the head with a religious narrative for the resolution of the novel. It very much felt to me like a religious sermon or a gospel out of the Gnostic texts.

I had to push to get through the frustrations of the story and almost put it down for good at the end. I won't be reading any further in this series and this novel may have soured me on the author for good.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wendy S. Delmater on March 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I got a free copy of Lightbreaker as a publishers promotion. I was curious: what was there about this author and the planned series--the Codex of Souls--that was worth the expense of a WFC giveaway at the book table? I did not keep all the books that were offered at the 2008 World Fantasy, but the title and the art intrigued me, so I lugged this one home.

Much as I love the folks at Night Shade Books, I am NOT the target audience for a novel that repeatedly uses (sometimes sick) sexual imagery in dreams and interpretations of Tarot card readings. I admit that this worked well as a means of foreshadowing and misdirection, but things like a fat cherub beating a fish to death with its oversized engorged tool are enough to throw me right out of a story, okay? The readings and, especially, the dreams just went on and on and on and ON until I found myself skimming, which was not all that useful when said dreams and Tarot readings were referenced again and again as Our Antihero tried to untangle the skein of the mystery.

There were good, nay great moments like when (spoiler alert) the person he most wanted to hurt showed up as a fellow captive, and they settled their differences and worked as allies. It was also wonderful to see the main character go through an internal transformation where he dealt with his fears. And there were unexpected zombies, which worked very well. But the continual, magikal ecumenical "kumbayah" moments where the author tried to show that all forms of magik were the same, really the same! got dizzying in their multiplicity of traditions. Teppo tried to tie together too many forms of magic in one book.

Wendy S. Delmater, Editor
Abyss & Apex Magazine
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By merzbow on May 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author sets his story in an interesting, if not especially original, urban-fantastical world. However, I could not get past the overwrought and terribly whiny protagonist. Perhaps there's a very good reason for his obsessive and increasingly annoying handwringing over a particular girl in his past, but I gave up in disgust before this could be revealed. I can't stand crybaby heroes...
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