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Myrren's Gift (The Quickening, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 31, 2006

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (January 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060747579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060747572
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fantasy fans will welcome Australian author McIntosh's gripping first installment in her Quickening trilogy, a tale of the eternal struggle between good and evil filled with magic, blood and jealousy. When 14-year-old Wyl Thirsk inherits the generalship of the Morgravian legions on his father's early death, he's fortunate to possess both the good habits and wise judgment that have helped the Thirsk family remain commanders of the legions for generations. These virtues will serve him well in his dealings with King Magnus of Morgravia's wayward son, Prince Celimus, whom Wyl is duty-bound to protect. After both boys achieve adulthood, the cruel Celimus orders Wyl to witness the torture and execution of a young woman, Myrren, accused of being a witch because she has mismatched eyes. Before her death, Myrren passes on to the empathetic Wyl a most unusual gift. Some readers may feel frustrated by the lack of information about Myrren or the purpose of her gift, though no doubt future volumes will fill in the gaps in an otherwise delightful and fast-moving story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


McIntosh has assembled a wonderfully varied cast of royals, soldiers, and assassins for her swashbuckling tale... I can't wait for the next volume. STARBURST A very promising start to an engaging tale SFX [a] delightful and fast-moving story. Publishers Weekly It's a 'just one more chapter sort of book. Don't start reading MYRREN'S GIFT in the evening if you have to get up early the next morning!' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ron Simmons on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
As with most, I'd have to agree that the strength of this novel is its premise of the Quickening, a magical gift possessed by the protagonist which is either gift or curse, depending on how you look at it. What it does is lend the novel a definite twist that is not quite like anything I've read before. At first, this makes things almost too tidy. But by the end, things are anything but.

But if unpredictability is the strength of this novel, it is also its weakness. First off, the magical power is a latent one; the wielder does not control it as much as he is controlled BY it. Perhaps that is the arc of the story that lies ahead. But for now, it weakens the hero, for rather than overcoming obstacles, he consistently succumbs to them. For only in succumbing does the magic manifest. Second, in terms of unpredictability, is that of the narrative flow. Characters are constantly making very strange decisions in this book which seem completely out of character with what we know about them going in. It happens suddenly, joltingly, which keeps the story moving forward in fits and starts. Sometimes, explanations come later which help to smooth these rough spots. But seldom are they completely satisfying, and often they come not at all -- or at least, not in this first volume.

Another thing that struck me is the amount of scheming done by some of the characters. I love intrigue, but there are a couple of problems here. One is that the "genius" plans our heroes come up with are often the most obvious solution to be found -- one that any 4-year-old might devise. This is fine, but in that case, get to it quickly. Don't build it up for page after page as "Oh, whatever will we do?" followed by "Wait, I've got just the genius plan!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was attracted at first instance to this book's cover and purchased it having read only the first page in the bookstore. It was engaging, easy to read and I found myself intrigued by the Thirsk legacy and how the King would drive a wedge between this great alliance.

If only I had known then what I know now.

I can honestly say that I cannot in all my years recall having ever read a book populated with so many alternately stupid or brilliant, one-dimensional people. Our hero Wyl falls into so many blatantly-obvious traps (traps that anyone old enough to read this book will see coming from a mile away) that quite frankly you'll either be laughing or tearing your hair out by the end of the book. I counted Wyl fell into, on average, 1 trap per 100 pages. If someone ever does a study on modern fiction's stupidist protagonists, Wyl has my vote for a top 10 finish. In fact, there could even be a medal.

After Wyl, there are the very bad guys, the rogues with the hearts of gold and the tom boys who populate this work with it's gallery of stereotypes. Oh, and don't forget the super genius toilet boy and psychic dog. No, really.

And quite beyond the cast of cardboard actors, the outline of this fantasy setting might have been scribbled on the back of a post-it, with room to spare: "Two kingdoms. Warring. Civilised barbarians to the north. Distances deceptive. Disregard time and space for pace." One chapter they're in the south, the next in the north, then they're in the east before a quick jaunt to the south brings them back to the east. Okay, there is fast paced and then there is this!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Russell on May 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bought the first 2 books in this series. Myrren's Gift is an original spark of an idea and suprises you when you find out what it is. The book isn't too bad but I can't fathom some of the choices the characters makes at all. Just when things are going well, there's sadistic executions, deaths and all goes awry again. You're just getting to like some new good characters when they're torn away, tortured ( count the number of good guys tortured then killed, or just killed brutally, it's unbelievable! ) and left to to rot while she goes back to her main character Wyl. As one other reviewer said, it's like she was making it up as she goes along and the threads of the plot just unravel on her and don't tie up. The main character lets slip the name of a destination which leads to more carnage and then does it AGAIN in book 2 even though he's twigged what he caused the first time !! I'll go on to review book 2 now....don't think I'll be buying any more, pity there was a third..I was hoping to struggle to the end of the second one, Now I'm thinking of not bothering. The good characters don't seem to have a brain between any of them, they're always reacting and aren't capable of plotting any revenge bar putting a severed head in the post, oh how headless they are !! Enjoy :~)
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Nicholson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a top notch fantasy/adventure.

I must admit the beginning was a little slow to get going, but once into this novel, I found it hard to put down. Some of the reviews on the covers described it as a real pager turner and I'd have to agree. It was one of those books that I really looked forward to getting a few minutes to read a few more pages.

The novel has all the ingredients for an intriguing fantasy story; there is magic, betrayal, love, unspeakable cruelty, true kindness and friendship and some unexpected sudden changes in circumstance; . (in some ways reminded me of George Martin's "Fire and Ice" series). You will find that Myrren's "gift" adds a definite twist in the genre of average fantasy tales.

One of the other reviewers mentioned that the writing quality was not great, and, to a certain degree, this may be true, but the story itself is so interesting, you become deeply immersed in it before you realize what's happening. I felt the quality of the book and story telling improved as the novel progressed and at the end I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as I neared the riveting conclusion of this book.

All in all, good fantasy reading; I'm looking forward to Book II
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