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A Turn of Light (Night's Edge) Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 5, 2013
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"A warm and intricate fantasy opus with large themes woven into a charming story." —Charlaine Harris
“Science fiction author Czerneda will charm fantasy readers with multidimensional characters, a vivid setting, and powerful themes of hope and renewal.” —Publishers Weekly
"Known for her powerful and insightful sf novels, Czerneda brings the same exacting sensibility to her brilliant fantasy debut. Her characters are both charming and believable, and Jenn, her friend Wisp, and the soldier Bannan stand out as memorable and utterly real. While this can be read as a stand-alone, there are plenty of possibilities for more stories in the world outside Marrowdell. Fans of L.E. Modesitt Jr. and Charles de Lint will love this fantastic and magical fable." —Library Journal
"I was captivated by Julie Czerneda's A Turn of Light. Yep, she used her writerly powers and sucked me right in. Many fantasy novels out there are *about* magic. Few, like Julie's, embody it." —Kristen Britain
"Luminous and beguiling. With Marrowdell and its enchanting inhabitants, Julie Czerneda has conjured a world that readers can sink into and disappear. I lost myself to this tale that is, by turns, lovely, lyrical, and thrilling. This book is a feast for the mind and the heart." —Lesley Livingston
“A Turn of Light is a gorgeous creation. Julie Czerneda's world and characters are richly layered and wonderful—full of mystery, hope and, most of all, heart. Come spend some time in Marrowdell. It's worth the journey. And be polite to the toads.” —Anne Bishop
"Infused with idyllic enchantment, Julie Czerneda weaves a heart-warming bucolic tale, packed with magic both wild and strange -- a top notch fantasy read!" —Janny Wurts
"It contains some of the most lyrical, breathtakingly beautiful writing I have run across in my many years writing reviews." —Bookworm Blues
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There are epic fantasies, and then there are the fantasies I love best that are what I call 'slice of life', of which A Turn of Light is one. These are quiet fantasies about everyday people doing everyday things in their worlds, worlds which aren't like ours and which we discover through little differences. The momentous changes are not to kingdoms and rulers, but happen inside average people who have to face their own spiritual and emotional challenges in these new worlds. A Turn of Light is a fantastic place made real by the people within it and the journeys they take. I can't wait to revisit this world in another book.
Did she really have to repeat the main character's full name? Was there a prize for saying "Jenn Nalynn" as many times as possible? It was a little grating.
For such a long book, it really didn't have much of a sense of danger until nearly the end. It's long and a little sleepy, much like Marrowdell.
The good: For a while, it was hard to put down. I wound up forsaking the other book I was reading in favor of this. I like her writing style, although I hope the next book is shorter. I also hope more happens and the world building she did won't go to waste.
I really liked the characters, particularly Wyll/Wisp and Scourge. I'm interested in seeing more of their world-- it felt like a lot of the really interesting things happened in the past and there was nothing left for the present. I hope Jenn being part sei will be something that has significance in the next book.
The romance was a little much, but it was believable. I also liked the relationships between Jenn and Wyll/Wisp and Peggs/Kydd. Everything seemed, for the most part, believable and intertwined very well. It wasn't just that she had magic, but that everything around her was magic. It's odd to see it incorporated so well.
All things told, though, I'm a little glad to be done with this. I'll enjoy returning to this particular world, but I need a reprieve for now.
It's taken me a while to read through, but that was no fault of the book's nor the author's. My schedule had left me very little time to read, sadly.
I loved this book. I loved the characters. But, the big thing was that I fell in love with the town. Marrowdell drew me in like a moth to a flame and I couldn't turn away.
I've seen quite a few people complain about the main character. That she's whiny. And that she doesn't want to be where she is. She's too sheltered. And that she seems selfish, etc.
She's all of those things.
She's also 18 years old and living in a small Podunk town in the middle of nowhere and wanting, desperately, to see more of the world and constantly getting told she can't.
I think she sounded and felt just like I would imagine ANY small-town girl who desperately wants MORE yet knows she probably will never get it might sound like. I feel as though the author did a splendid job depicting just that.
I hated finishing this book.
I'll miss Marrowdell.
Top international reviews
A Turn of Light takes place inside one village within the time of a few days, and yet the author manages to stretch this to 800 pages in paperback format. This is quite a treat, but don't worry, the plot managed to be interesting and moving ever onwards. The scope of the story is quite small, almost just down to the fate of one person. But there are branches of the story that encompasses others. And there are elements to the story that could become truly epic if the author wishes it.
The protagonist is a young woman, Jenn, of almost 19 who finds out she cannot leave the valley of the village where she has lived all her life. If she does so, she will die. We find out that Jenn is "turn-born" and cursed... At the same time she wishes the playful spirit that has accompanied her all her life into flesh and pronounces her intent to marry him. But strangers are arriving at the village, and among them a handsome ex-warrior who is accepted and welcomed by the villagers, whereas the strange man Jenn proclaims her love for has less good fortune with winning over the villagers.
The setting is just the one village with the surrounding valley, and it's by all appearances just a normal place at first look. But it is teeming with magic and creatures and not a lot is as it seems at first look. The world (in miniature) building is one of the finer aspects of this book, and along with it the author's skill at keeping you interested despite the fact that not -so- much happens.
I debated between giving this 3 or 4 stars. As I don't think my mind will dwell on it long after reading, I opted for the lower score. But by all means, it was a pleasurable read.
And that's the problem: The bulk of the book is wasted on describing, not very interestingly, life in what is essentially a mediaeval village full of quirky characters. Yes, there is an overarching darker theme, but that is mishandled by having a surfeit of magical creatures whose hierarchy remains unclear.
Dutifully finishing the book felt like hard work. NOT a "page turner".
Some of the creatures she has dreamt up are very unusual.
One of the two main characters is a 19 year girl wanting to leave home, the other is an older war veteran travelling with an old comrade and a rather strange horse to find a new life.
I found the 19 year old girl sections a fraction YA for my taste. Done very well indeed, but not fully to my taste especially near the start of the book - but then I'm not a 19 year old girl. The other point of view character was both well done and not YA at all.
This is a long book (so you get serious value for money) but it doesn't drag - the story keeps going, it doesn't bog down in multiple threads like some large fantasy books. The secondary characters are all interesting, the hints of the world outside work well too. Look forward to the sequel mentioned in some other reviews.