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Back From Chaos: Book One of Earth's Pendulum: Back From Chaos by [Hertzberger, Yvonne]
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Back From Chaos: Book One of Earth's Pendulum: Back From Chaos Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

These characters actually seem to breathe November 16, 2011 While the intrigue encompasses all of them, the character you become rivetted to is definitely Klast. Men admire him, women fall in love with him. He has his own version of morality. He is a spy who will do what is required of him, but he dislikes killing, and must believe it necessary. He has a gentle and loving inner core, well hidden, and a talent for almost disappearing in plain sight when he needs to observe a situation or guard his Lord. I finished the last page knowing I wanted to read the second book in the trilogy.

From the Back Cover

Back From Chaos back cover blurb:
 
Klast, loner, assassin and spy, has no idea that his destiny is linked to the maid he is sent to rescue. But even before he can fulfill it he must wrestle with his own demons, and help Lord Gaelen unmask a traitor. Failure will upset the Balance that Earth, goddess, needs to provide good harvests, health and peace. 
     Earth has shown Liethis, true seer, that unless Klast completes his missions, more catastrophes, like the Red Fever that ravages the population, will follow. Time is short.

Product Details

  • File Size: 907 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Yvonne Hertzberger; 3 edition (October 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 28, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006112JPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,550 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Return from Chaos is a fitting title for Yvonne Hertzberger's fantasy novel.

With degrees in psychology and sociology, the author's interest in balance in life leads the action of the novel. The tension of the novel is the imbalance in nature--individual, social, and governmental--and how nature seeks to balance those imbalances.

Earth magic and earth energies have been disrupted. The "magic" of the novel is a seer who knows the disruptions of earth energy and sees how they must be set in harmony again. The author steps out of the category of "just another fantasy to be read, enjoyed, and put aside" by focusing on this earth magic--that individual action affects the world, and that the world affects the individual, that true harmony is both universal and specific.

The newly crowned king and his newly wed wife must find harmony in their relationship, for that harmony must extend to the kingdom. The king's assassin and a brutally raped attendant to the queen seek to overcome their experiences in order to find a means of expressing their love. Other characters seek their places in the new kingdom that has been forged on the hard anvil of battle.

The best example of nature seeking harmony is in the love relationship of two characters: Klast, the king's assassin, and Brensa, lady in waiting. Klast was abused as an orphaned child and has grown into a loyal yet emotionless assassin. Brensa is violently raped during the aftermath of a war. The author devotes a significant portion of the novel to chronicling how these individuals can find and exhibit love--both emotionally and physically. She details how emotional stress is made manifest in the physiology, and how that can lead a woman to not be able to physically express her love with a man.
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The book is not so much about Klast (though he does get a decent amount of face time), as it is about the political maneuverings that surround his lord and some of the other major figures. The story follows numerous characters - something I'd normally find tedious, but kind of works here since they are all part of the same story arch and all you're really getting is different perspectives of the same action. As the King's assassin and spymaster you get to see how Klast faces the different challenges that present themselves in the ensuing chaos that arises from traitors, plague, enemy forces, power games, and a number of emotional conflicts, all the while getting other characters' perceptions about Klast himself.

There is solid character development, though the world building is a little rough; you get a lot of names without really getting a general picture (a map at the beginning would help a lot) of what the territories look like or how things are run or what part religion or the 'earth' plays in the scheme of things. Also, there is a fair amount of action and it is pretty fast-paced to start out (book starts in the middle of a siege), but slows down a lot later when it sacrifices fighting to concentrate more on poltics, intrigue, and a bit of romance.

All in all, I didn't expect much from this 99 cent unknown, but I'm glad I took a chance on it. It was surprisingly entertaining and it was fun to see how people thought of Klast as this cold and cunning badass, and then to see what he was really feeling.
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This is the first work of Yvonne Hertzberger I have read, but it will not be my last. I picked up the free read from Amazon without knowing what to expect, and was pulled in from the opening pages. Hertzberger writes with an uncommon elegance, lending her story important details without weighing it down in extraneous prose. The pace is close to perfect, and the narrative moves its reader along without effort. Despite the simplicity of the story, I was wholly absorbed and rapidly turning pages from short chapter to chapter. Though this is the first book in her "Earth’s Pendulum" series, it doesn’t leave you hanging but leaves you wanting more.

Perhaps that’s the thing. Hertzberger introduces characters easy to care for, while at the same time invites her reader into a modern medieval world she won’t want to leave. I think, however, the most successful aspect of this story is the romance. The compassion and attraction between the characters is deeply-rooted, and invokes a visceral reaction. I have admitted elsewhere that I am drawn to moments of literary romance, and for me, it’s not something a writer can fake. I think when done well, the reader is moved by the characters and the feelings they express for one another. Again, this can’t be put on. Like Rochester’s and Jane’s repartee, where love bleeds from the seams despite sardonic quips, deft flirtations and parries, Hertzberger’s dialogue channels romance and the romantic on every level. Even her descriptions of food serve to romanticize the atmosphere as a complement to her tightly-woven narrative. A great writer can pull this off without effort, and for me, Hertzberger is in that class.

There’s everything to love about "Back From Chaos" … I couldn’t put it down.
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Back from Chaos was a compelling fantasy with true-to-life characters that I enjoyed immensely. It's different from the fantasies I've read in the past, as there was little magic and no mystical creatures--a grounded novel written in a quiet, compassionate voice. My favorite character was Klast (spy/assassin), but I liked them all, even Sinnath. I enjoyed the world Hertzberger created, and especially identified with the theme of restoring balance. All in all, a great debut, and one I'd recommend.
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