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Stranger at the Wedding [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Hambly
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After she has a premonition that her sister will die when she takes her marriage vows, a young wizard attempts to stop the wedding

It’s normal for a young girl to be jealous of her sister’s impending wedding, and Kyra is jealous indeed. A plain looking young magic student whose incipient wizardly abilities have done nothing to attract the attentions of the boys of her town, she is not surprised to learn that her sister has caught the eye of one of the city’s wealthiest merchants. But she is alarmed by some of the signs that are coming up in her prognostication lessons. Water turns to blood, the death card haunts her tarot practice, and finally she has a specific vision: that her sister will die the day she takes her vows.
Using every trick in her small magic arsenal, Kyra attempts to disrupt the wedding, going up against a force more powerful than any magic: an impatient bride.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barbara Hambly, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Editorial Reviews


“Barbara is a fabulously talented writer who can write well in any genre.” —Charlaine Harris

From the Inside Flap

Kyra was preparing for her final wizard test before the Council. But suddenly, something was twisting her magic, weaving sinister portents of doom into even the simplest of her spells. Then she knew for certain that her young sister Alix was soon to marry--and soon to die. And so she journeyed back to the family who had disowned her. To save her sister, Kyra would have to face down her father's rage, stand firm against the venomous rivalries of her family's enemies, and confront the Inquisition. Then she must defeat a still deadlier foe--if only she could find it!

Product Details

  • File Size: 855 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (March 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TC1536
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,232 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Among Barbara Hambly's many virtues as an author is her ability to create a universe that, in your heart, you believe to be a real place. She evokes soot, worn wooden floors, and the sparkle of sunlight. She does such a good job, in fact, that most of Hambly's books are part of larger series, such as fantasy trilogies or a mystery series (e.g. her Benjamin January mysteries, set in 1840s New Orleans). This is one of the few exceptions: Stranger at the Wedding is a standalone story, so you won't have the sense of commitment to a whole universe.

In this world, magic works. Magicians are distrusted because of the power they could wield, however, so they are not permitted to marry, to own significant property, or to have a business with more than a few employees. Most mages have withdrawn from the world to learn and research but not to use magic pragmatically; each takes a vow not to use magic to benefit any human. And most of them live in a remote... well, monastary covers it. Some "dog wizards" do their best to eke out a living in the cities, but most of them are poor. Meanwhile, the society-at-large has reached the age of steam and coal; the industrial evolution is underway. (This is a nice change from the usual feudal era in which most magic is presented.)

One of those mages is Kyra, a 24 year old woman of "good family" who was ejected from her parents' home after her magical abilities became public. (Kyra has a "bit part" in an earlier trilogy, but you definitely don't need to have read that one.) When she gets a premonition that her betrothed sister will die on Alix's wedding night, she feels that she must go back home to deal with the threat.

I've owned this book since it first came out (in the 80s? early 90s?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great combination of fantasy and romance May 2, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kyra's family disowned her when she decided to become a magician. She comes back only because she must -- because she has a foreboding that her sister will die on her wedding night.
Working magic in secret, Kyra tries to postpone the wedding long enough to solve the mystery. Yet something completely unexpected happens -- she finds herself drawn to her sister's fiance, Spens! (Though at first glance he seems like a stout merchant with bad fashion sense, Spens is a great character.)
My biggest problem with this book is the structure of the plot. Important information about the past is withheld, and when the reader learns that information, we pretty much figure out who did it. But I enjoyed this book so much that I didn't mind.
I've heard Barbara Hambly's other fantasy books are even better. Now, I can't wait to read them.
I gave this book Desert Isle Keeper status at All About Romance.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Georgette? Is That You? December 7, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nicely tongue-in-cheek -- until it gets Very Dark -- fantasy/romance, much in the style of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances, though the underlying McGuffin is rather nasty.

Kyra the Red would be very typically a Georgette Heyer type heroine -- impetuous, tall, a bit physically clumsy, unrecognising of her own idiosyncratic beauty, unwed at an unfashionably late age -- who has the added misfortune to be a wizard.

A wizard, in a world in which the Church begrudgingly allows one wizards' order to exist, with the proviso that the wizards may not use their magic to affect the world outside their walls. To use unauthorised magic is an automatic sentence of death.

And Kyra has come home for her younger sister's wedding; home, where she knows she is not welcome in her father's house.

Home, where she quickly discovers that someone else is trying to steal away the groom, using illicit purchased magic.

Home, where she cleverly and subtly uses her forbidden powers to stall or prevent the wedding. (The mice are a particularly good touch, and Don Maitz's typically lyrical cover refers masterfully to that sequence.)

Home, where her prophetic dreams have told her that a curse decrees that her sister's marriage bed will be her deathbed.

Home, where she finds herself, uncomfortably, increasingly attracted to her sister's betrothed... who seems (after he gets over thinking her somewhat addled) to return her regard...

There can be little doubt that Hambly had Georgette Heyer in mind when writing this -- compare it to, oh, "The Grand Sophy" or "The Masqueraders" -- and i do not think that Heyer would have felt offended by this tribute.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another entertaining book by Hambley June 30, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is another wonderful story set in the world of Antryg Windrose, although neither he nor Joanna Sheraden appears in it. I think the Windrose Chronicles happen to be Hambley's best series, and this book certainly lives up to that expectation. ... After she arrives the fur begins to fly between her and her estranged family, but once she meets the prospective groom and his family the fun really begins as she tries to delay the wedding and find out who wants her sister dead. This book is once again a great mix of fantasy and mystery, which seems to be a Hambley staple. Also typical of a Hambley book, the prose just draws the reader in, and enough twists and turns occur in the plot that you are never quite sure what is going to happen next. At various times throughout the book the reader will empathize with each of the main characters, which again points to the wonderful and heartfelt character development that I have come to expect from Hambley. This is a great book, and I encourage new and old Hambley fans to track it down and read it. I only hope she writes a few more stories about the characters in this strange new world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another jewel in Hambly's crown!
I first started reading Barbara Hambly's "Windrose" trilogy. Was delighted to find this book even though it didn't feature Antryg Windrose. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by Debra Morse
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting my youth
I adored this book when it first came out, and read it many times, via the library. ( I was broke, or would have bought it. 19 years later, I Kindled it because of nostalgia. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Pudacat
5.0 out of 5 stars Awww!
Magic + matchmaking mamas + mystery = a great story. I love Barbara Hambly and this book is a great example of her very real but fantastical story telling. Buy it!!!
Published 12 months ago by Boppie
2.0 out of 5 stars Loved The Windrose Chronicles - did not like molestation
I did love the Windrose books and looked forward to this book that takes a minor character from those stories and forms a stand-alone story (although in the world of The Windrose... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Carol D. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Read
Not a new book but new to me. Barbara Hambly always captivates her readers wether she is writing fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, or history. Read more
Published 16 months ago by M. Rosen
5.0 out of 5 stars Old favorite
This is one of my favorites. I've re-read it many a time. I love the main character and the mystery of how her sister could be cursed by a ghost.
Published 20 months ago by Amazon shopper
1.0 out of 5 stars a rare misstep by Hambly
NOTE: This review contains mild spoilers for elements of Stranger At The Wedding as well as the Silent Tower and The Silicon Mage. Read more
Published on April 5, 2011 by R. Brookes McKenzie
3.0 out of 5 stars Too descriptive.. as for romance.. If molestation is romantic to you.....
The book is tooo descriptive.. Reading everything in extreme detail was almost tiring.. I realize she studied medieval history and that makes the book what it is, but I feel it was... Read more
Published on October 10, 2009 by S. C. Saragi
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Hambly Fantasy Book
This is my favorite of Barbara Hambly's fantasy books. Instead of trouble on a planetary scale (destroy the bad-guy before he destroys the world) we get mayhem and danger on a... Read more
Published on January 12, 2009 by et cetera
4.0 out of 5 stars Hambly is on a roll
Continuing the thread started in her Windrose Chronicles,
Barbara Hambly weaves yet another yarn that is well-spun
with character depth and a plot that, convoluted as it... Read more
Published on March 6, 2003
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