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The Awakened City Hardcover – March 14, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Way of Ârata Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Strauss's cautionary tale of religious mania, the gripping sequel to The Burning Land (2004), two men of the land of Galea, Râvar and Gyalo, vie for the role of "Next Messenger," the herald of Ârata, the principal but sleeping deity of a complex religion. Râvar knows he's a False Messenger, while Gyalo believes, with growing horror, that he may actually be the Next Messenger. Gyalo is more concerned, however, with rescuing his wife, the seer Axane, from Râvar, who kidnaps her as part of a plan to avenge the destruction of Refuge, a community of Âratist refugees. Through the two protagonists' opposing viewpoints, the author dramatically explores issues of religious oppression and transformation. While Strauss constructs the early part of the story to help the uninitiated and provides a glossary at the end, readers would do best to start with The Burning Land. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The survivors of Refuge prepare to wreak vengeance on the holy city Arsace, which defeated them in The Burning Land (2004). Ravar, one of the last of Refuge's powerful mages known as Shapers, kidnaps the seer Axane and proclaims himself the New Messenger, a demigod who will usher in a new era of universal destruction. Another Shaper, Gyalo, has to come out of contemplative retirement and meet Ravar and his army of fanatics to determine just who will shape the future of the world. This book inevitably suffers from the unresolved conflicts common to the middle book in a trilogy, or so it appears, but Strauss is no slouch at pacing, characterization, and world building, and she has a real gift for coming up with scary systems of magic. Certainly Burning Land readers will come out in respectable numbers for this continuation of the story. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; 1St Edition edition (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038097892X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380978922
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,225,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I reviewed this book for NetGalley.

Once again, we travel to the Kingdom of Arsace with Ms. Strauss. And again, religious themes are the central core of the novel.

This novel deals with religious intolerance, revenge and false vs. true prophets. Very interesting and thought provoking, as was the first novel. We worth reading if you're into this type of fantasy.
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Format: Hardcover
Goodness, what a bunch of strung-together fantasy clichés. It's adequate if you've never read a fantasy novel before, but if you have, it's as much dead wood as any. A completely interchangeable piece of fantasy trash, the author trying to cover up her lack of flair or originality by a "message" - which has been done before, repeatedly, and by better writers.
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By A Customer on March 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Galea, the Empire of Arsace has begun to throw off the oppression of centuries and regain what was lost especially the First Temple of the Gods in Ninyaser. The Brethen, refusing to lose what they have held for centuries, attack the city of wizards Refuge beyond the Burning Lands. War is imminent on both the mundane and mystical levels.

Ravar wants to be acclaimed the Next Messenger to the sleeping powerful deity Arata though he knows he is a false messenger. His plan is to cleverly use the assault on Refuge, the upcoming war and most critical the seer Axane to further his ambitions. He travels to Baushpar and abducts Axane. However, Ravar fails to take into account one important factor, Axane's loving husband Gyalo who cherishes his spouse. Gyalo risks his life to rescue his beloved, but his journey proves frighteningly enlightening as he begins to believe he is the true Next Messenger, a job he does not want.

With religious intolerance geometrically on the upswing around the world including the United States, THE AWAKENED CITY is a timely cautionary tale that focuses on the impact of societies by de facto and de jure religious oppression. Readers see first hand what occurs when narrow-mindedness is the norm through the changing viewpoints of predominantly the two candidates for the Next Messenger position. The story line is action-packed but insures the key cast members are complete individuals so that the audience can understand their motives. Though better to have read the previous novel THE BURNING LAND this invigorating tale can stand alone in its fervent plea for forbearance of one another's beliefs.

Harriet Klausner
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