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Stormwarden (The Cycle of Fire, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Cycle of Fire Series

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Mass Market Paperback, March, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'THIS IS ONE OF THOSE DO-NOT-PUT-DOWN-UNTIL-FINISHED BOOKS, OF WHICH THERE ARE TOO FEW' - Andre Norton

'A GIFTED CREATOR OF WONDER' - Raymond E. Feist

'JANNY WURTS IS A GREAT NATURAL STORYTELLER' - L. Sprague de Camp

'THE WORLD JANNY WURTS WRITES ABOUT IS WONDERFULLY VIVID' - Stephen R. Donaldson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Janny Wurts is the author of the Cycle of Fire series, co-author of the Empire series and is currently working through the Wars of Light and Shadow series. She paints all her own covers and is also an expert horsewoman, sailor, musician and archer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Cycle of Fire, Book 1 (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (March 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061054623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061054624
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,615,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The problem, I think, lies in the fact that read the Wars of Light and Shadow before I read Stormwarden. Although there is no doubt that Ms Wurts is an excellent writer, I found this book somewhat unoriginal. Both Taen and Jaric are represented as handicapped children who overcome their problems and find strength when confronted with their fates, which sounds like a typical children's fairy tale. For some reason, I find myself unable to relate to these characters. The rapid development of Emien, Taen's brother, becoming an "evil" character is also unrealistic. A further, rather disappointing surprise, is the fact that the Vaere is a computer, mixing fantasy with unimaginative science fiction (and I'm afraid I'm a fantasy fan). Compared to the Wars of Light and Shadow, Stormwarden remains in the shadow.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great time to be an audiobook reader! I've said often recently that I'm so pleased with Audible Frontiers for bringing us some older fantasy literature on audio, and this month their UK production team released Stormwarden, the first novel of Janny Wurts' The Cycle of Fire trilogy which was first published in 1984.

Having greatly enjoyed Wurts' stand-alone novel To Ride Hell's Chasm, and knowing how several of my fellow FanLit reviewers feel about her The Wars of Light and Shadow saga, I've been waiting and hoping to find one of her epics on audio. So when Audible Frontiers UK released Stormwarden, I snapped it up within a few hours.

Stormwarden is a coming-of-age story that focuses on three youth (Jaric, Emien, and Taen) who get caught up in a battle between kingdoms, sorcerers, demons, and aliens. There are some now-classic fantasy characters here -- scrawny orphan boy who gets a sword, white-bearded sorcerer who controls the weather, a beautiful enchantress with white hair and violet eyes, and a beautiful dreamweaver with black hair. (Someday I want to read about a middle-aged, overweight, brown-eyed sorceress with thin mousy hair... or maybe I don't.) But these characters are treated with respect by both author and audiobook reader (David Thorpe) who pack them full of vigor, drive, and both admirable and reprehensible character traits and emotions.

There's plenty of the unexpected, too. For example, much of the story takes place at sea. Also, an alien endows humans with supernatural powers by injecting them with crystallized demons. For a coming-of-age story, the plot is refreshingly unpredictable and Stormwarden ends with an exciting action-packed climax -- a trademark Janny Wurts feature.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Cycle of Fire is the coming of age story of three children, Taen and Emien the children of a fisherman who died at sea and Jaric Ivainson, an orphan and a scribe. These gifted children stand at the nexus of forces beyond their control. It is also the story of Vaere trained sorcerer, Anskiere, a master of wind and wave. Lastly it is the story of power struggles between human and human. Over all of this hangs the very real threat of conquest by the demons.
STORMWARDEN begins the tale and deals primarily with Taen. She is lame from an accident and something of an outcast. When Anskiere is arrested for committing a crime against the people through the use of his powers, Emien is happy to see him go, but Taen remains faithful.
And so begins the division between the two of them. For Taen it is the first step towards her destiny. For Emien it is the beginning of a long slide towards his.
STORMWARDEN is a masterfully crafted tale of the trials and tribulations faced by the three children and the decisions they make. But more importantly it deals with the consequences of those decisions.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read these books years ago (the three books in the Cycle of Fire) and when I saw them at my local Half-Price Books I picked them up again. I remember them as containing a good story in a believable world structure, if a bit too demon-ish at times (reminiscent of Tolkien).

Well, upon this most current reading, I am noticing that the books are mostly narrative, with very little dialogue. So much is explained in narrative that I found myself glossing over large swaths of explanations until I could either get to the parts about Emien (none of the other characters engaged me emotionally, except perhaps the Captain-Kirk-like Kielmark), or until I reached a patch of dialogue. This made it an almost tedious read.

I'm halfway through book 2, "Keeper of the Keys," and I'm finding the same problem there. Too much narrative, not enough dialogue, not enough character development to really make me care. I may not bother finishing the series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An excellent novel about the coming of age of 3 children and their destinies. Although the plot is not entirely unique, Ms. Wurts has a knack of vividly portraying her characters that makes us love them. This is even more evident in her more recent series, the Wars of Light and Shadow. In any case, the adventures of Jaric and Taen inspire hope and keep us in suspense, and this remarkably talented author manages to create a world without too much of the dreary detail that encumbers many other epic fantasies. A fresh and vivid tale that inspires the imagination. (Ms. Wurts' apparent fondness of the ocean is rather a distinguishing trait of her works, don't you think?).
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