Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Devil in the Dust (Outremer, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 2003
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Brenchley's striking new epic fantasy series [is] a revelation. -- Starburst
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mr Brenchley's hand is heavy, rough. His writing is harsh and the few -luckily- attempts at finer prose fail.
This must be the reason why I found it so difficult to read this book: page turner is surely not an expression to be applied here and I strongly discourage readers from attempting this book who only wish for a bit of light reading.
My own mood usually varying from the need for easy escape (the most often) and attention to quality writing in fantasy novels, it took me a while to finish these short 250 pages.
I have been rewarded by a solid book, traditional and yet astoundingly new.
It is set in a not so alternative Middle Age, that of the -bloody- holy crusades in Palestine. The author changes names but little erudition is needed to place every piece on the chessboard so that the book is not even accompanied by the customary map.
The plot is, at least in this first volume, rather slow, with few events and a lot of musings, centred on the two main characters, the peasant Marron and the noblewoman Julianne, who shift from chapter to chapter as bearer of the writer's point of view.
Characterization is generally well done, very consistent and convincing. I could not relate to Julianne though, who in my opinion is rather stiff and lifeless if compared with her male counterpart.
I bought the whole series because I was told it was gay-themed. In this first volume there are sparse hints, though explicit enough; a light homosexual subtext could be found in the budding relationship between Marron and his knight Anton.
The American edition splits the original three book in six, each priced individually so that the nice cover art is poor compensation for the increased cost.
Last but not least this series is currently out of print: I was lucky enough to get it second hand through Amazon's distinguished second-hand service but I do wonder what fills the head of most publishers: if the other volumes are half as good as this one, this series should have its place in any library.
We first meet Marron, a young man who has come to Roq de Rancon to become a Knights Ramsoner like his late father. The Knights Ransomers are basically the religious army in the land of Outremer, and Roq de Rancon is the most strategically important fortress in this vulnerable realm facing hostile neighbors outside it and a hidden, "enfolded" heretical state somewhere within its own borders. The Folded Land is left pretty much a mystery in the pages of this opening novel, but the people of Outremer are highly desirous of finding it and destroying it. The king of Outremer claims to enforce the will of God, made manifest most impressively to the religious warriors via the magic of the King's Eye. Before Marron first experiences the wonder of this vision of light, however, he is baptized in blood. His actions during his first "battle" (the complete slaughter of a community of "heretics") open the way for disillusionment in his soul. He trains hard, though, and a certain noble knight, Sieur Anton d'Escrivey, makes him his squire. Marron's struggles within the strict orthodoxy of the militant religious order and the hardships of his particular situation serve as the strongest elements of this novel.
We also meet a fascinating young woman, Julianne de Rance, teenaged daughter of the King's Shadow, as she makes her way to meet the man she is to marry. She is a strong and compelling character who finds herself a temporary guest at Roq de Rancon. With her comes Elisande, the most mysterious character of all in this story; Julianne befriends her on the road and takes her to the Roq alongside her, but she is never successful in learning the true story of her most unusual friend's background. Obviously, there is much more to be learned of Elisande as the series progresses.
I absolutely loved The Devil in the Dust and am excited over the books left to read in this impressive fantasy series. This first novel positions the major players on Brenchley's mental chess board, but epic omens hang over the land of Outremer. Encircled by enemies and further threatened by an invisible enemy within, Outremer is a land on the brink of climactic change, and the assembly of heroes we see slowly coming together stand poised to lead the reader through a whirlwind of fantasy delights in the days ahead. Brenchley creates a world you can see in your mind's eye quite clearly and gives birth to characters you come to know and care for as soon as you meet them, no matter what dark mysteries each may yet hold in his/her soul.