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The Still (Rodrigo of Caledon Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

David Feintuch
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Book Description

David Feintuch’s fantasy debut: the rousing tale of a young man’s quest to reclaim his throne and master his own soul

Rodrigo, Prince of Caledon, is petulant, selfish, and uncaring. When his mother, Queen Elena, dies, he fully expects to inherit the title of king. Instead, his uncle usurps the throne, and Rodrigo is forced out of the kingdom, along with his brother and best friend.
In order for Rodrigo to take back his birthright, he must win not only the allegiance of the Council of State, but also the Still, a mystical power that can be channeled by the rightful king of Caledon. To wield that power, Rodrigo must be pure, must be honest, and must be crowned king. Rodrigo’s success or failure will determine the fate of not only his homeland, but of his very soul.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews Review

    When Queen Elana dies, underaged Rodrigo's status as the rightful king is instantly threatened by the ambitions of his uncle. Despite his personal shortcomings and manifest lack of readiness to rule, he has loyal friends and allies and they help him first to flee his uncle and, gradually, to fight and win the most important battle of the war for Caledon: the struggle to command himself. Only then can he begin to claim his kingdom.

    This isn't a sanitized Fantasyland, nor is it a comfortable story. David Feintuch doesn't flinch from the violence and roughness of his medieval setting, and his depiction of Rodrigo's striving for self-confidence and the respect of others is hard-hitting and hard to put down. There's room for a sequel, but no real need: the coming-of-age story is the heart of this book, and it beats vividly.

    From Booklist

    After the sudden death of his mother, young Prince Rodrigo of Caledon has to fight for his right to rule rather than be subjected to a regency he probably would not survive. Unfortunately, he also appears unfit to rule. He is callow, selfish, and burdened by the requirement to remain a virgin (with women, anyway) in order to wield royal power. Thanks to a fascinating array of friends (including his companion and lover, Rustin) and enemies (including his uncle and half the nobility of Caledon, plus foreign invaders), Rodrigo slowly and painfully matures. The process may be slow and painful for some readers, too, for Feintuch is definitely prolix in large parts of this book. On the other hand, the maturing of an adolescent ruler in a fanciful medieval society has seldom been handled in such painstaking detail. Not quite up to the level of his Nicholas Seafort series, Feintuch's latest is an intelligent and ultimately admirable book, nevertheless, and it hints strongly at a sequel. Roland Green

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1742 KB
    • Print Length: 592 pages
    • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (January 8, 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00AQAD20Y
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,428 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow....I could kill Roddy. August 17, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    I had to read a science fiction book for my physics class, and I was fortunate enough to have my teacher recommend Midshipman's Hope. I really enjoyed that book and so when I saw Feintuch's name in the library, I was aggreable and took out the book. I started to read at 9 at night and didn't put it down till I finished. The reason was that I, along with most of the other reviewers, hated Roddy. I wanted to kill him. And I still don't like him. I found him to be immature and emotionally, a wreck. However, I believe Feintuch's intention was to make a character you hated so much, you had to finish reading the book to make sure he became better. I needed to find out that Rodrigo could change and become a better person. He does get progressively better and I now eagerly await a sequel so that I can be assured of his continue development into the monarchy. I loved this book and am planning on buying my own copy. It's great.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but Enjoyable February 3, 2005
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    This book is both.

    Challenging for some people, as we've seen from the reviews, to understand and sympethize. Rodrigo is a tough character to attach yourself to - he's moody, cocky, direspectful, selfish and uncaring. Despite all that, I couldn't help it but to feel bad for him at times. He is obviously confused and lonley, but it took so long until he figured it out himself.

    His relationsip with Rustin is very frustrating since you don't know whose side to take. Rustin bullies Rodrigo phisically (within reason most of the times, but still), while Rodrigo abuses him emotionally. And Rodrigo's insistance over his virginity really started to bug me because he is cheating and sleeping with Rustin. Yet, he still wallows in self pity and treats Rustin like an object to use rather than a person.

    The thing that made is more frustrating is that Rustin really is in love with Rodrigo, while the Prince confesses he is ashamed of what they do together and that it would stop as soon as he could have a woman. This is where his character remains shallow throughout the book, while in other points he matures remarkably.

    His adventures, his trials and his sufferings transform Rodrigo into a worthy King. I love the character of Genard, and how Roddy always calls him Garamond. I don't know why, but things like that made me burst out laughing every time. ALso, when Roddy falls off his horse and starts screaming and cursing the horse and then abruptly calls him "good boy" for returning. Perfect for Rodrigo's character, and entertaining as well.

    The last part of the book is so gripping that I almost had to hold my breath. I couldn't believe how things twisted around and I was so angry at what happened to Rodrigo.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books that just gets to you... February 20, 2003
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    The Still is the coming of age story of Roddy, the future king of Caledon and wielder of the Still - a magical power. After having his uncle take regency, Roddy is forced to undergo a quest that will start him on his trek to maturity. Having had no discipline his entire life, he's a petulant child who often displays tantrums like those of a two year old. Only after enduring churlish situations, pain, love, loyalty, and betraying quite a few people is Roddy actually able to take a few steps towards being a decent man.
    I had never read anything like fantasy before The Still. I had read Feintuch's other books (the Seafort saga) and immensely enjoyed them so I gave this a shot. Boy am I glad I did! It wasn't easy though... although it's an awesome book, I detested Roddy so much that by halfway through the book I had the intense urge to throw the book against the wall. Feintuch is one of those rare authors who can make you hate a character so much that you want to throw the book against the wall in frustration. At the same time, I absolutely loved Roddy's loyal friend Rustin.
    The book was well-written, and it's incredibly enjoyable. A definite page-turner! I'm reading the Seafort saga again, but I plan to re-read The Still and The King as soon as I'm through.
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    27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    I like how the back cover of my paperback termed this book "unconventional." I don't know if that statement represents some sort of warning or what.
    Although negative reviews are rarely seen as helpful, I prefer a reviewer that has the consideration to tell others about a book that isn't so good.
    Disregarding the romance of sorts between a would-be king and his henchman, the spoiled princeling throwing tantrums gets a bit old after page 250. Mr Feintuch, I get your point: the kid is spoiled, please continue developing your plot. I hoped that after Roddy had his epiphany (you knew it was coming) things would get better, but they really didn't.
    For those who say this is the best book you have ever read, you truly have my pity. Feel free to cast "unhelpful" votes, if it makes you feel better. However, better books are out there for the finding.
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    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    By JM
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    The general outline of the story has some promise: CAllow young prince striving to grow into his crown. Unfortunately Feintuch goes to such excruciating lengths to establish Prince Roddy's starting point that the reading is a chore rather than a joy. Despite being 16, Roddy acts like a spoiled, obnoxious, and often cruelly violent 6 year old. At his best, he is utterly thoughtless of anyone but himself. As I said, this could make for an interesting story of personal growth, but Feintuch spends 250 pages with example after example of his hideous behavior. At last it dawns on him that maybe he should reform. Feintuch then spends another 150 pages continuing his hateful behavior, with only brief interludes of maturity.
    Does anyone actually enjoy reading in that much detail about someone you can only want to slap silly? If you've got the book, do yourself a favor and just skip to page 400 and read the last 180 pages. In the book's defense, if Fentuch had compressed the first 400 pages into about 10 and spent the rest of the book telling about a character we could care about, this would have been worth reading.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars and I managed to make it through 442 before I got totally bored. It is...
    My version of this book was nearly 600 pages, and I managed to make it through 442 before I got totally bored. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by DonMaker
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book
    I liked the book. I tried to like Rodrigo, but I liked Rustin more. I was looking for more between the two characters. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
    Published 9 months ago by JaimeJim
    1.0 out of 5 stars I disliked the character
    I disliked the character, but even a bratty, spoiled teenager can grow and mature into someone worth rooting for. That's what I was hoping for as I hung on to the end. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by DRRD
    1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading.
    I'm an avid reader, I read the cereal box while I have breakfast, but this book is a waste of time. I couldn't even finish it.
    Published 20 months ago by D. Ecklen
    3.0 out of 5 stars A long road to almost nothing
    About at the 1/3rd point I almost gave up but kept reading because, by George, I'd bought the darn book. Read more
    Published 20 months ago by N. E. Collett
    4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing fantasy tale with coming-of-age twist
    If you like reading about s***ty people trying to be good, you will love this book. Yes, as the other reviews say, the main character, Roddy, is a selfish, insolent, and generally... Read more
    Published on January 4, 2013 by B Waters
    4.0 out of 5 stars More Medieval Fantasy-but look again
    Yes, I'm tired of fantasies set in psuedo-Medieval settings. How unoriginal! I'm sure studies have been done on why so many fantasies are set in a place...kinda like Europe! Read more
    Published on August 20, 2007 by Brenopa
    2.0 out of 5 stars Decently written story about someone I am rooting against
    The title for this review kind of sums up how I feel about The Still. I will not go into too much detail about the plot of the story, as that is already been done, but will give my... Read more
    Published on October 12, 2005 by John Dunphy
    5.0 out of 5 stars painful
    (I am not a native speaker, please overlook my style)

    Fantasy novels used to be one of the most escapist fiction genres, second perhaps only to cheap romances: I eagerly... Read more
    Published on May 8, 2005 by Furio
    1.0 out of 5 stars Bah
    Ever see that horrible Dungeons & Dragon movie where the sidekick character was so annoying that people in the theatre cheered when he was killed? Read more
    Published on January 29, 2005 by R. Elmore
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