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The Last Guardian of Everness (Chronicles of Everness) Mass Market Paperback – August 2, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the War of the Dreaming Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Last Guardian of Everness is a sublime cocktail of Jungian satire, incantatory Vancean language, and screwball semi-divine comedy; witty, cantankerous, and awesomely eloquent, John C. Wright amazes in fantasy as much as he has done in SF."
-Locus

"Already regarded as one of the best science fiction writers of the last decade for his stirring Golden Age trilogy, John C. Wright proves he has the right stuff to write exciting modern day epic fantasy with the terrific The Last Guardian of Everness."-Midwest Book Review

"The Last Guardian Of Everness is the first part of the War of the Dreaming trilogy and looks to be a wonderful epic fantasy. Unlike other epic fantasies, Wright blends the very real world of today with his rich dream world, the two meeting in the myths of central Europe. The background of the dream world unfolds intriguingly, with a wealth of characters and settings. For fans of fantasy who enjoy a rich and textured story that unfolds in twists and turns, The Last Guardian Of Everness will be a wonderful read."
-SFRevu



"A sublime cocktail of Jungian satire, incantatory Vancean language, and screwball semi-divine comedy; witty, cantankerous, and awesomely eloquent." (Locus)

"John C. Wright proves he has the right stuff to write exciting modern day epic fantasy with the terrific The Last Guardian of Everness." (Midwest Book Review)

"A wonderful epic fantasy...unfolds intriguingly, with a wealth of characters and settings...a rich and textured story that unfolds in twists and turns." (SFRevu)

About the Author

JOHN C. WRIGHT, a journalist and a lawyer turned SF and fantasy writer, lives with his wife and son in Centreville, Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Chronicles of Everness (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (August 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812579879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812579871
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,390,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Todd Ellner on September 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Over the years I've read a lot of stories which claim to take place in the first of all worlds, the origin of dreams. Almost without exception they are standard roadside attractions on the Fantasy Tour.

John Wright has avoided this trap. His writing style evokes Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft's Kadath, and Eddison. Without ever saying "Look at how clever and well-read I am" he mixes fairy tales, the Mahabarta, occult imagery and our deepest fears in a seamless way.

And this is all in the first sixty pages.

I feared, at the end of The Golden Transcendence, that Wright was a one-hit wonder. Those fears have been most joyously laid to rest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This award-winning new author turns his hand to fantasy bringing the same fast-paced action, fascinating characters, intriguing philosophy and top-notch world-building to the story of Gavin Waylock and the guardians of Everness, that "strange and ancient house unchanging."

Ware the toll of a single ring

Night-mare her single rider will bring

Woe if twice the great bell tolls

For fire-giants and fell frost trolls

Storm-princes rise at the sound of three

The fourth ring brings the plague Kelpie

Five for Selkie, Six for Hate

Seven for Doom, Death for Eight

And if the toll sounds nine withal

Wake the Sleepers; Nine worlds fall.

For fifteen hundred years the Waylocks have guarded the gate between the world of reason and science, and the world of dreams. Now, standing watch in the Deeper Dreaming, Gavin Waylock, heir to Everness, hears the sea bells tolling without end as a black gull brings him a burning light out of the darkness. Eager to win his spurs, he disregards his grandfather's caution and summons a dream-colt to take him beyond Tirion to the iron cage where the first Waylock, founder of Everness, arch-traitor and wizard, swings above an abyss of madness.

With this errant impulse, Gavin Waylock sets in motion the downfall of Everness House: For Acheron is indeed rising, its terrible heralds even now taking their first steps out of the mists of dreams and into the waking world...

The high fantasy is married with thrilling action scenes; there are moments of great beauty and tenderness, and moments of silly humor. One of the supporting characters, Wendy Varovich is particularly enchanting and often very funny.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
At the heart, there is a great story here. The characters and plot are both intriguing and well-thought out. Unfortunately, Wright spends too much time describing unnecessary scenes.

It's difficult to write a GOOD dream sequence; there's always the danger that the reader will be overwhelmed while trying to figure out symbolic connections and allusions. This book is full of dream and memory sequences, some of which aren't necessary to either plot or character development; they punctuate the story and are slightly painful to read (boring actually). I had a very hard time actually getting to the end of this novel because of all the irrelevant prose I had to plough through.

Essentially, the bones of this novel seem strong, but they are buried under a mountain of dross.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Note to the unwary: This book is the first of two volumes, and the ending is quite a cliffhanger. Things won't be resolved until the second volume comes out in 2005, so keep this in mind if you're not the patient sort. Okay, now for my review, which goes a little bit against the grain here. What I liked about this book was Wright's unique and imaginative blending of mythology, horror, and legend. I also liked how he wove a constant thread of choice and consequence throughout the story and gave us some characters that were truly compelling.

What kept me from giving this book a higher rating is that I found it somewhat of a chore to get through. Most likely, this is because I'm so desperately weary of the common elements of so-called "high" fantasy. You know what I'm talking about...rituals, quests, Words and Objects of Power, heavy symbolism, mythic creatures, earth magic, perpetual angst, etc. I've started to avoid much of the fantasy genre for this very reason, and I probably wouldn't have bought this book in the first place, except that I enjoyed Wright's harder sci-fi (The Golden Age trilogy) so much.

So, if you're reading these reviews to help you decide whether to purchase this book, and if you aren't as tired of the fantasy genre as I am, my unreserved recommendation is that you click the "add to cart" button. Wright is clearly talented and proves he can deliver fantasy with as much punch as he does sci fi. If, however, you're like me and find you have trouble stomaching a lot of the core elements of high fantasy, you might want to wait on this one until you can buy both volumes at one time and less expensively.
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Format: Hardcover
Having devoured the Golden Age trilogy I eagerly dived into Everness. Then I actually had to check the cover to see if it was the same author. Going from the dazzling mental gymnastics of Golden Age to this bit of fluff was jarring. This book reminds me more than anything else of all the Piers Anthony novels I read in high school. Just about every tired fantasy theme is thrown in--weak boy is the chosen one, must go on quest, buncha enchanted stuff to acquire, world going to end unless he defeats insanely powerfull baddie, yadda, yadda. It all reminded me of why I stopped reading fantasy years ago.

Even worse, it's all done in a kind of fuzzy dreamland where nothing seems all that real. You're transported there by mystical dream horses (which Wright should've just had the balls to call Night Mares after the Xanth novel). The characters can be suddenly transported to other frames of reality with little explanation of how or why, so why should I ever believe anyone's really in danger? This just killed any chance of suspense for me. If you're like me and you can spot a dream sequence in a movie after two seconds and resent the manipulation, this isn't the book for you.

On the one positive note, Wright can write. Even when he's writing fluff he can put words together so skillfully I found myself re-reading paragraphs just out of technical appreciation. His passages written in old english style have the kind of weight and lyrical beauty I haven't experinced since Tolkein. An extra star for that, but still I can't recommend the book. Read Golden Age three times first.
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