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The Serpent Bride (DarkGlass Mountain) Hardcover – May 22, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: DarkGlass Mountain (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 627 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; 1st edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882136
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,700,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in a world evocative of ancient Egypt, the dark, sensuous first in a new fantasy series from Australian author Douglass picks up five years after the events in 2006's Crusader, the conclusion to her Wayfarer Redemption series. Lady Ishbel Brunelle, an archpriestess of the Order of the Coil (whose members use the bowels of living men to foretell the future), is ordered by the order's Great Serpent, who appears as a speaking apparition, to marry Maximilian Persimius, king of the coastal kingdom of Escator. Despite a terrifying childhood vision that warned her of such an eventuality, she agrees and quickly becomes pregnant. Meanwhile, Kanubai, an evil godlike being, stirs beneath the Darkglass Mountain, a four-sided pyramid in the land of Isembaard ruled by the tyrant Isaiah. Kanubai convinces Isaiah's insane brother to deliver a sacrifice and an ancient artifact that will free him from the mountain. Most of the characters are drowning in emotional quagmires, which hopefully future installments will dispel. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“The dark, sensuous first in a new fantasy series.” (Publishers Weekly)

More About the Author

Sara Douglass was born in Penola, South Australia, and spent her early working life as a nurse. Rapidly growing tired of starched veils, mitred corners and irascible anaesthetists, she worked her way through three degrees at the University of Adelaide, culminating in a PhD in early modern English history. Sara Douglass currently teaches medieval history of La Trobe University, Bendigo and escapes academia through her writing.

Customer Reviews

The Salome character - I cannot begin to express my deep disgust at her treatment.
DM
I just don't know what kind of twisted person she is but it seems like she can never write a book where the main characters aren't miserable.
Athame Shadowqueen
My Compliments to Sara Douglass one of the best reads I have had in a long time..and also for the 'BATTLEAXE' Series, read them all..
Frank V

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D.S. Wallingford on June 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seems like old times, eh? Axis and StarDrifter together again, the weird, somewhat icky SunSoar affinity for intrafamily sex, the overarching plots that no one seems to understand or be able to explain to those necessary to their success, but are somehow meant to save the world from complete annihilation... We're back!!! Notwithstanding that somewhat sarcastic introduction, I really enjoyed this book because, well, I really enjoyed The Wayfarer Redemption, despite its flaws. Fortunately, The Serpent Bride contains the same beautiful scenery, rich descriptions of magic and nature and great character development. Unfortunately, it also contains some of the same flaws that plagued the foundation stories.

First of all, there are some inconsistencies with the information about Tencendor and the Icarii presented in earlier books. For example (Spoiler alert!), Salome states here that women pregnant with Icarii babies die if the Icarii fathers aren't present at birth to sing the babies out. What??? If I remember correctly, all Icarii weren't enchanters, and I don't remember a huge problem with infant mortality among the Icarii. Babies were born to non-enchanter fathers who were NOT able to sing their babies out, as they weren't capable of manipulating the star dance. Also, I don't remember this caveat being true in Enchanter, when Azhure was pregnant with Caelum. EvenSong told Azhure not to worry, that Icarii babies were born all the time with their fathers not present. So why, all of a sudden, is Salome so worried? And if this is a needless worry, why doesn't StarDrifter put her fears at ease? In a related issue, how is StarDrifter able to sense that Salome's child is (a) a boy and (b) an enchanter? Is there any such thing anymore as an enchanter, anyway?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joe Buckby on September 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'll state upfront that I am a huge fan of SD's work. But her writing has been at its strongest when she creates historical fiction/fantasy. Her earlier work (Wayfarer redemption, threshold, beyond the hanging wall) were all good fantasy work but not exceptional. Where readers may have hoped that SD had improved as a writer during the past decade or so since she last ventured into fantasy proper, it seems that she has reverted to a level of writing that barely sets her apart from the many other fantasy writers. The main strength of this opening volume of the DarkGlass Mountain trilogy is the incredible world SD has created and the facinating way that she blended three relatively disparate storylines (from her previous novels) into this grand adventure. I could almost overlook some of the flaws in writing style except for a couple of things that need to be rectified in future installments.
1. There are simply too many characters that seem to float around with little impact upon the main storyline. For example, Axis- a hero from the Wayfarer series- has been brought back from the dead but does little in this volume other than hang around and be a sounding board for other character's ideas. Fair enough, he may well play an important part in future installments, but his current status was incomensurate with his 'sceen time' in the Serpent Bride.
2. The book suffers badly from over-writing. The old writing adage of 'show, don't tell' is something that SD has neglected here. There are many, too many, pages where she simply describes how a character is feeling and over analyses each of their motivations. I would have appreciated a defter touch and some more subtety. Perhaps more suggestion and evocation of images would have been better than spelling everything out (Axis felt sad...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I almost didn't pick this book up because the cover was so CHEEZY. That being said this book kept my interest for the most part. A few things that I would loved to have seen done differently:

Lose the "romance" element. Or at least lose the stupid and pointless rift between Maxel and Ishbel and vindictiveness of women like Ravenna and Starweb. Frankly, the couple's falling out and the trauma and drama of them sleeping with other people was a way too big part of the plot and detracted from the story considerably. I always find these types of tricks irritating in fantasy. They are not credible in the least and it sucks that the author relies on the romance so much for her story. It especially sucks that the cliffhanger at the end was mostly re. this element.

Stop portraying men as these god like heroes and the women as jealous, indecisive, and vindicative. It really is pretty trite and again detracts from a decent story.

Get the geography of the place right. The story line (especially Isiah's journey Northward) doesn't follow the map in the front of the book.

Axis again? Was that really necessary. People really should do us the decency of staying dead. There were enough "hero men" characters without his reintroduction.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DM on April 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The plot, the universe, and the writing style were all decent enough. I was very intrigued by the Icarii race. Those things were not what made me almost throw this book out the window.

If you want strong and admirable female characters, look elsewhere. The title character, the Serpent Bride, Ishbel, seems to have potential as a character not to be trifled with, from her survival of a terrible childhood trauma to her cool and professional manner in performing gruesome priestly duties for the cult that saved her, and yet she spends most of the book being just that, trifled with, bullied and manipulated and little more than a vessel for the love/lust of various men - like all the other women, actually, who can be categorized as such: Jealous Lover, Shameless Jezebel, Slighted Lover, Passive Mystic. They have no redeeming qualities outside of their ability to survive the horrible, graphic abuse some of them endure, Ishbel included.

The men are just as selfish, destructive and difficult-to-sympathize with as the women, but at least they serve a purpose in the story other than to hop into someone's bed (seriously, the romantic drama became ridiculous), get knocked up, and be victims of chance. Furthermore, no matter what crimes and slights the male characters commit, they are always forgiven. But the women have to suffer for their wrongs. The Salome character - I cannot begin to express my deep disgust at her treatment.

I did like Ishbel and wanted to see her assert herself as the formidable person she seemed to be at the beginning, so I was pained to find that it just wasn't going to happen.
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