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Peril's Gate (Wars of Light and Shadow, Book 6) Hardcover – January 22, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest installment in the Wars of Light and Shadow series, also the third movement of an inner story arc called the Alliance of Light, well represents the vast and tangled plot lines readers have come to expect from this prolific and popular author. In the first book in the series, Curse of the Mistwraith (1993), the half-brothers dark Arithon s'Ffalenn and blond Lysaer s'Ilessid were set against each other by the eponymous enemy, and now, 30-some years later, they're still going after each other. This book's action begins in mid-flight during a winter gale, with Arithon fleeing the walled city Jaelot, where he's been imprisoned. With him he drags the unwilling peasant Fionn Areth Caid'an, magically raised as his double to trap him. Soon they join forces with Dakar the Mad Prophet (whose prophecies have an erratic track record, though some have been important), assigned by the Fellowship of Sorcerers to defend our protagonist. Dakar has supplies and horses ready. Much geography is traversed with many turgid pages spent attempting to describe the indescribable effects of magic. Occasionally the focus moves to Lysaer, with his large retinue of soldiers and fanatic priests, who in private practice rituals as sorcerous as the techniques of which they accuse Arithon. While fans have compared this series to Robert Jordan's extended Wheel of Time series, newcomers may be put off by the stilted language ("The guard captain's baleful stillness held threat") and the mishmash of plot.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Sustaining the considerable momentum of previous volumes, the third in Wurts' Alliance of the Light series opens at a dead run with Arithon, Master of Shadow, just barely escaping the clutches of evil. Though wounded, desperately sick, and on the run in the depths of winter, Arithon realizes that if his world is to have any future at all, he must stay alive at any cost. Already, the cost in the lives of his countrymen has been high and weighs heavily on his soul. Meanwhile, the sorcerers of the Fellowship of Seven are spread thin attempting to hold together the wards and other magics that keep the world of Athera whole and spinning, and other factions are hotly pursuing their own ambitions. The building pressures and responsibilities fall directly on Arithon's weakened shoulders. Yet, despite many real and potential external threats, Arithon's final undoing may lie within the depths of his heart. Wurts is in fine form here, providing endless twists and turns of plot and an artful complexity that is marvelous to behold. Paula Luedtke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Wars of Light and Shadow (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; 1st edition (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061052205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061052200
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,355,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Wurts'latest book in the Wars of Light and Shadow series is, in a word, magnificent.
After a somewhat repetitive period in the last few books that focused on the exile of Arithon and pursuit of his half brother, Lysear, Wurts has in "Peril's Gate" created a new scenario. This time, Arithon is not successful in his attempt to seek solace on the wide blue ocean. Instead, due to circumstances beyond his control, he is forced to stay on dry land. As such, Lysear is able to feel the pull of his half brother through the curse they share, and orders a relentless pursuit of Arithon.
Peril's Gate moves paces ahead in the story of the two half-brothers. Wurts draws readers deeper into the troubles of the world and the roles the magicians play in saving it. In "Peril's Gate", we experience the growth of Dakar the Prophet, soul-searching of Arithon, a renewed love for Arithon by Elaira, mysterious events that occur around Lysear's wife and son, and we learn more of Davien the Betrayer.
The book is brilliant, pace-y and brings renewed interest and focus to Wurts' world. It is a step up and forward from previous dallying. It is darker, heavier, more serious; but all the more pleasurable to read.
I can't wait for the next book, as we reach a pinnacle and pivotal point of the story of the Master of Shadow.
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Format: Hardcover
Peril's Gate probably exceeds the might of the first books. This is a book of wonder. The pace seems to bog down at points, but overall, the evolution of Arithon's character is masterfully articulated, which it turns out is very likely the centerpiece of the entire series.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I recommened this series to people with only a warning that Grand Conspiracy is not up to par. Otherwise, this is equal to Thomas Covenant, Dune, and possibly even Tolkien.

Thanks Janny for holding my faith in whom I deem to be the torchbearer of modern epic fantasy.
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Format: Hardcover
Buried in this massive volume is an outstanding story with engaging characters shackled by painfully executed prose. In many ways Ms. Wurt's descriptions of magic remind me of the metaphysical diarrheic prose David Brin can sink in to as read in "Earth" and "Kiln People". After so many paragraphs of "elevated harmonics" "polarities" and "magnetics" you start to wonder if you are reading epic fantasy or a "Star Trek" novel and ultimately it all translates into "blah blah blah." But you keep reading, skimming most of the magic babble much like skimming the parts of "Moby Dick" that relate to the technical aspects of whaling. You keep going because there is a rousing good yarn in there and you are determined to liberate it from the pages no matter the cost. The characters are great, if a bit over-wrought and self-tortured. Even manly-men in this series practically break down in tears when they have to kill someone or are faced with the unknown mysteries of ancient magic. After a while it starts to wear thin. Finally, the reader does not learn the meaning of "Peril's Gate" until almost the very end of the novel and while the rite of passage our protagonist wades through is epic, brutal and appropriate, it takes far too many pages most of which rehash things we already know. In the end this novel has wonderful characters, convincing emotion and moments of brilliance separated by gulfs of ponderous magical prose. I will buy the next volume but not in hard cover.
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Format: Hardcover
Peril's Gate is the finest book written by Janny Wurts. Peril's Gate continues the Wars of Light and Shadow series and is the third of four books making up the Alliance of Light sub-series - the fourth being Stormed Fortress.
Peril's Gate takes up where Grand Conspiracy left off with Arithon and Fionn Areth having just escaped Jaelot, Morriel is still camped in the Skyshiels having upset Athera's lane flux which threatens the fabric of Athera as the overstretched Fellowship battle to keep the grimwards and other protections intact. Arithon and Jieret dominate the subsequent action, carrying the reader with them on a journey that will thrill, exhilirate, appal and make them cry. This is not a book for light reading - this book will leave you shaken and disturbed because of where Arithon and Jieret take you. The grand wheel of the Wars and Light and Shadow rolls on as the wider elements of the story are evolved at a cracking pace, but the immediacy, emotion and sacrifice of the lead characters will stay with you after you put the book down.
And all this without having mentioned that in this book we meet Davien, Elaira starts to take control of her destiny, a Paravian or two appears, the Fellowship battles to keep the Mistwraith contained and Kevor continues to win the hearts of his people.
Peril's Gate is not simply a good book, it marks a new level in the intricate writing of Janny Wurts. A must have.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been following the Wars of Light and Shadow for about three years now, and I've re-read the books countless times in that period. I find the whole story simply wonderful, and I appreciate greatly Ms. Wurts unique style of storytelling; so detailed, I'm sure that I could smell some of the scenes she describes. Sometimes though, that leads to the books seeming long-winded, describing in great detail events which aren't particularly interesting. Not in this book.
This book is turning point in the series in every sense. Events of great importance happen; things I never thought I'd see, and it all comes together to set a very different scene than the ones we have come to expect. Ms. Wurts pulls all these plot points off magnificently, her use of language noticeably honed in this volume. I held my breath probably through the entire time I read it; there was so much happening to so many people, and we were all able to see it in wonderful detail. The language seemed especially aimed to affect your emotions, and it did, by goodness.
I felt more satisfaction at the end of this book than in any of the previous books, though they were all marvellous. It really is a fantastic read, and if you've been following the series, than you must read this book. In my opinion, the Wars of Light and Shadow have, only now, really begun.
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