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The Silence of Medair: Medair Part 1 Paperback – November 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Andrea K Hosth (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098087890X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980878905
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,551,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

You can read [it] for its strong, conflicted heroine, its playful subversion of fantasy tropes, or its deep, detailed analysis of the nature of racism.  If not, just read it for the beautifully crafted prose.
--Aurealis Awards 2010 Judges' Report

About the Author

Andrea K Höst is an Australian writer of fantasy and science fantasy.

More About the Author

Andrea K Höst was born in Sweden but raised in Australia - mainly in Townsville, Queensland. She now lives in Sydney.

Andrea writes fantasy and science fantasy, and enjoys creating stories set in worlds which slightly skew our social expectations, and most especially give her female characters something more to do than wait for rescue.

Her novel "The Silence of Medair" was a finalist for the 2010 Aurealis Awards for best fantasy novel, while her novel "And All the Stars" was a finalist for both the 2012 Aurealis Awards and 2012 Cybils Awards.

You can catch the latest news from Andrea at her site: www.andreakhost.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Cryonic on September 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
(Cross-posted from the Frida Fantastic book blog)

A lot of fantasy involves a hero on a fetch quest to save the kingdom from invading hordes. But what if the hero failed? This is exactly the beginning of this book.

The central premise is amazing and makes this book stand out from its contemporaries. Epic fantasy as a subgenre seems to like its epic wars and the threat of invasion, but it doesn't concern itself much with a logical consequence of war--colonialism. Medair fetches the Horn of Farak, but she dooms her kingdom when she falls asleep in an enchanted labyrinth. She wakes up five hundred years later to find that her homeland is no longer hers. The Ibisian invaders now rule the lands, and Medair's disappearance and the collapse of her kingdom has become the stuff of legend. Her kingdom's people mostly have been wiped out, or they're of mixed blood and identify themselves as Ibisians.

Medair is on the wrong side of history, and has to come to terms with her homeland as a colonized space. What more is that she still has the powerful artefact that is capable of nothing less than genocide. While she hides her true identity, different factions pull her into escalating wars. She has to decide whether to side with her invaders, and what justice really means in this new context. So yes, plenty of engaging ideas there.

The narrative is introspective and filled with flashbacks, but it works so well because Medair is such a complex heroine. She is deeply loyal to her dead kingdom, feels disgust towards the Ibisians, but is also a very compassionate human being. The rest of the cast is interesting even if mysterious, and the rich dialogue is filled with carefully chosen words and courtly intrigue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Versace on September 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Medair an Rynstar has to be counted among the least fortunate heroes in all fantasy fiction. After a small error of judgment on the eve of an epic triumph over an overwhelming enemy, she is robbed of the chance to save her beloved Empire. Thrust into a homeland transformed by the hated invaders, she wants nothing more than to hide away in exile and nurse her grief. But after she escapes an unexplained kidnapping attempt, she finds herself in the service of her most reviled enemy. Now she is forced to choose between her oath of loyalty to a dead emperor and the realities of her new world.

Medair is an unusual fantasy heroine. She is a strong woman of conviction without a place in the world, a diplomat left with nobody to speak for and an unremarkable mage in possession of the magical equivalent of a tactical nuke, a weapon too powerful to be of any use. Her decisions - to keep secrets and serve nobody - draw her back to the centre of world affairs, the last place she wants to be.

Andrea Höst's evocative prose paints rich landscapes, whether she is dealing with her sumptuous world of world-breaking magic, the tenuous social fabric of a conquered empire or the inner torment of Medair herself. "The Silence of Medair" is on the one hand stirring and emotional high fantasy, with the requisite invasions by sorceror-armies, magical shenanigans, political intrigues and scenes of apocalyptic destruction. But it is also a tense emotional drama, a subtle and elegant romance, a haunting meditation on survivor guilt and a frank exploration of the political and emotional underpinnings of racism. It's a lot to live up to, but Höst handles it with aplomb. I can't recommend it enough.

What's more, it ends on a cracking cliffhanger. I'm glad the sequel's out already.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liza on July 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Medair's story begins on a cryptic note. The reader is unsure who she is or who she wants to be. The only thing the reader knows is who she was. As the story progresses, her internal conflict is laid bare. As the book draws to a close, she begins to make decisions that will not only change her, but change the world around her. Medair is brave and conflicted, loyal and full of despair. The story is well written, so much so that at one point in the drama, I found myself crying! I look forward to reading the remainder of her story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ende on June 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been one of those people who more or less looked down on self-publishing--I would read self-published books by favorite under-published authors but avoided almost everything else out of the belief that it would be poorly written, poorly plotted nonsense. No more! Without self-publishing, I never would have had a chance to read Andrea K. Host's books, and that would be a sad thing indeed.

In short, "The Silence of Medair" is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The writing is smooth and clear, showcasing the time and effort the author has invested in her craft (even the included song lyrics aren't painful!). Both the main character and the supporting characters are extremely likable, with their motivations clearly thought out but not always immediately apparent. The world building and plotting are consistent throughout the story--the set up (large-scale war and political intrigue) is one I associate more with epic fantasy (which I am not a fan of), but Host successfully makes the story very character-driven instead. Best of all, the book is not only a very good story, it also meditates on issues of identity and racism, among others, and does so in a very non-obtrusive, non-preachy way.

The one concern I have comes from reading the author's "The Champion of the Rose" as well: in both magical coercion is used to drive the plot, making the characters behave in ways very out of character. Host handles this plot device very well in both cases, and in the case of "The Silence of Medair," I would have not thought a thing about it if I hadn't read the other book. I'm actually not sure why I bring it up--it just feels necessary to do so (although its use in "The Champion of the Rose" is far more discomforting than in this book).
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