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Host (Thorn St. Croix) Mass Market Paperback – January 6, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Rogue Mage Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third novel in Hunter's postapocalyptic fantasy series (after 2006's Seraphs) finds neomage Thorn St. Croix working as a jeweler and town mage in the rural Appalachian town of Mineral City, Carolina. Then her former home, the New Orleans Enclave, sends arrogant metal mage Cheran Jones, ostensibly to instruct her in media relations as she is woefully lacking in diplomatic knowledge and abilities. When the deadly succubus queen's war on Mineral City provides enough death energy for the powerful Dragon to escape its prison between the planes of reality, Thorn is pulled between the demands of the ultra-lawful Administration of the ArchSeraph and its rivals, the Earth Invasion Heretics, who claim to know the origins of seraphs and demons and the whereabouts of Thorn's missing twin, Rose. Hunter's world continues to expand in this highly original fantasy with lively characters where nothing can ever be taken for granted. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

A native of Louisiana, Faith Hunter spent her early years on the bayous and rivers, learning survival skills and the womanly arts. She liked horses, dogs, fishing and crabbing much better than girly skills. She still does.

In grade school, she fell in love with fantasy and science fiction, reading five books a week and wishing she could "write that great stuff." Faith now shares her life with her Renaissance Man and their dogs in a Enclave of their own. Faith is working on a new series, which Roc will publish starting in the summer of 2009, and a role-playing game, called The Rogue Mage, based on Thorn.

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Product Details

  • Series: Thorn St. Croix (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451462467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451462466
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Throughout this series, Thorn often lusts after men because they are seraphs or the progeny of seraphs. I understand that she can't help it and I think the idea is intriguing. However, all this lust never culminates or amounts to anything. Books don't require sex in order to be good but if Thorn is repeatedly throwing herself at guys, I come to expect something to result from it. I expect her to find a guy (human, mage, kylen, seraph, WHATEVER) and pick him AND end up with him. When I finished the epilogue, I felt incredibly disgusted but not at all surprised. It seems like all three books so far have ended somewhat abruptly with loose ends, just a few pages after the battles are over.

That being said, the characters are well-developed and likable, my favorites being Audric and Eli. And, of course, my favorite aspect of the books is the world-building; I'm a huge fan of seraphs vs fallen/spawn in a post-apocalyptic setting.

The end leaves a lot unsaid and afterwards I went to Ms. Hunter's website, hoping for news of a fourth book though I had a sinking feeling that I wouldn't find anything. One page on the site calls the series a trilogy but I would still love to see what happens to Ciana, Thorn, Cheran, Rose, Audric, and the seraphs. Hopefully there's some evil left for them to fight.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In the beginning of the book, there is one long and boring battle scene which takes close to 50-60 pages. In my opinion, it's too much, it's overkill. This battle with darkness could have taken maximum 20 pages.

Reading the book, sometimes I stopped understanding what is going on: too much religious and unnecessary references; who kills whom; who is on whose side; and in general -- what is happening, etc. As usual, there is no definite ending to several plot lines, the books leaves many questions unanswered.

Author's writing was erratic and illogical (even assuming that this is a Post-Ap Sci-fi, some logic is required).

I liked much more another book by this author, "Skinwalker" released summer 2009.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I feel like I should apologize to Ms. Hunter because I love her work; I hate to say anything less than glowing about someone who is so talented. This is the third book she wrote, and I feel like the weaknesses of the first book wrote her into a corner thematically. The writing clearly improved over the 3 books, but the plot line is difficult to follow, the "good guys" are hard to tell from the "bad guys", and the book seems to veer between science fiction, romance novel and apocalyptic dystopianism, and in this case they just don't work. To detail my difficulties with the narrative would provide too many spoilers for those who want to read the book. I can say that her ability to describe the host from Revelations was not enough for me to picture it and I think assumed more of a working knowledge of Revelations than I have. I also find it hard to believe that the God that send avenging angels to kill off people to stop the religious wars would then be indifferent to subsequent similar behavior on a smaller scale. If she had skipped the sexuality entirely and focused in on the questions about the identity and meaning of the angelic visitors it would have been a really good paranormal political thriller.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved the concepts and worldbuilding. The nebulous nature of the High Host and whether they're actually angels or not is great, the neomages are well-done in that their badassery is balanced by specific weaknesses as well.

That said, if you're not really into long battle scenes, you probably won't like these books much. But for me, the greater problem was the ending. The final battle doesn't end until literally I think five or six pages from the end of the book! I kept glancing at the page number and wondering "How on Earth is she going to wrap this up in half a dozen pages when the Big Bad isn't even dead yet?" The answer, of course, is that she doesn't. Not really. The battle ends and you get a brief epilogue that is basically just "Well, those who survived the battle are all still alive. The end." Unless there's going to be a fourth book - and if there is, it should be clearly indicated that this isn't the real end yet - this is a really crappy ending to a good series. It's as if she wrapped up the battle scene and decided she was too tired to finish it properly. I really question the editorial judgment that lets an ending like that stand.
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Not overly good but the story arch for the whole series is actually intriguing. This is probably my least favorite book in that there are a host of characters that never seem to build into anything more. The ending feels a bit rushed also in that Thorn finds her sister and then after the next chapter the book is done. She had been looking for her for years and all we get is exchanged glances. And what about the High Host? Are they really aliens trying to take over the world or are the actually angels? So, many possibilities with characters and ideas that have been brought up never get flushed out. I don't know if this is the last book and this is only going to be a trilogy but that's what I've heard and that is aggravating if it is true. If you don't mind books not really tying up any loose ends then give these a try but if you like stories to come to a conclusion then stay away.
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