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When True Night Falls: The Coldfire Trilogy #2 Paperback – October 4, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Coldfire Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Warrior priest Damien Vryce and immortal sorcerer Gerald Tarrant reunite in an uneasy alliance to combat an evil that threatens the delicate stability of life on Erna. There the mysterious force known as the "fae" conjures monsters from the stuff of dreams. This sequel to Black Sun Rising ( LJ 11/15/91) secures Friedman's reputation both as a gifted storyteller and an innovative creator. A good choice for most libraries.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

On the planet Erma, humans have survived for 12 centuries in uneasy coexistence with the fae, a natural force with paranormal powers. Now those powers and the hostility of the fae are increasing, human survival on Erma is threatened, and a human priest-warrior and a native Erman female must go on a quest in search of a solution to the burgeoning conflict. This tale definitely straddles the border between fantasy and sf, appealing to readers of both in the manner of Bradley's chronicles of Darkover or McCaffrey's of Pern. Friedman is not yet quite as accomplished a storyteller as Bradley or McCaffrey, but she has exhibited steady growth over the years and her piling on of lots of well-chosen detail continues to bring her worlds and characters to life quite well. So her latest is for anyone who cares for its kind of quest-romance. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Coldfire Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (October 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756403162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756403164
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First I was uncertain I would like this one after Black Sun Rising eclipsed everything else. I also worried that the plot would be weak, but let me tell you, When True Night Falls is my favorite of the Coldfire Trilogy. Damien begins to understand the nature of Tarrant's transformation from the Prophet to the Hunter. Their relationship is explored more deeply, and you see sides of Tarrant you had hoped, but weren't sure, were there. I loved this book so much, and some parts were so moving I cried. I think the action in this book was excellently executed and that you can really picture the desperation that the characters go throw as they confront the obstacles in their path to the enemy. The theological discussuions in this book really got me thinking. This book is not your usual rainbow-dragon-magic-and-princess kind of fantasy. It's gritty and intelligent and just an overall WOW. Be sure to read the last in this series, Crown of Shadows.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Almost everyone I spoke to who had read this series said that the second book was not as good as the first. Possibly as a result of this, my expectations were not as high, but I have to disagree. Though in structure, it's similar, and you could even argue that this volume is a rehash of the first book, I felt that this book was done better than the first one.

In the beginning of this novel, the characters from the first book are arriving at their destination: the lost civilization, the eastern continent, settled by a group of religious pilgrims centuries before. The priest Damien Vryce finds a culture and nation that realizes his dearest dreams of a civilization ruled by his religion, where the faith in his God holds dominance in the hearts and minds of its people. But it is soon revealed that all is not as it seems in this new land, and the companions find themselves on a trek to the south to discover the source of the evil that has insinuated itself into the civilization.

In that regard, it is a rehash. Much of the book is spent traveling again, and this is the part I found a bit tedious. This book could have been about 100 pages shorter if the unnecessary overland journey section were shortened. But I felt that the reasons behind the actions certain characters take were a bit more well established than in the first volume of the trilogy. The characters also change and grow along the way, and the characterization is better in this volume than the previous. In the course of this novel, we learn who the true enemy is, and this sets up the plot of the third novel.

One of the problems I had with this book was the title. The author took pains to define what True Night meant in the first book, and it doesn't really come into play for this one.
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By A Customer on June 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't ask my why. This book is very emotional and intense and very action-packed, and the end, well, the end made me cry. I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say that this book gets you attached to the characters and to feel the desperation of certain situations, and so, when something sad happens, it's very very sad. But I'm giving a wrong impression. This book is far from a tragedy. It's the fast-paced sequel to Black Sun Rising, that most excellent of books, though this one is better, being more effective. In this book you learn a lot more about Erna, sacrifices, the turning of Tarrant: how a man revered as "prophet" could become the "Hunter" a vampire-like adept. I adore passages in this book that were so descriptive that I was there alongside the characters and the dialogue between Damien and Tarrant, those antagonistic allies, - well those are priceless. I keep rereading chapters over and over, getting a thrill over how closely attached I feel to this world and this cast. The mix of theology with SF and fantasy (even a skillful dab of horror) kept the story original in a genre that is afflicted with formulaic creations. The author's imagination in creating the fae and a character so utterly "cool" but complex as Tarrant (the Hunter) is pretty astounding. If I've convinced you that this book is as great as it is, then you must first read Black Sun Rising and after reading this one, read Crown of Shadows. I assure you, the Coldfire Trilogy is worth it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wish I could review this book in a vacuum, but I can't help compare it to the first in the series, Black Sun Rising, because I read them one right after the other.
First, don't get me wrong. The author can hold my attention, and draw me from chapter to chapter. There were episodes in the book I could not put down. Again, she has created a weird world -- this time on the eastern continent -- and has further developed her archon demon as well as her evil dictator, "The Prince." Her wasteland of death near the end is truly scarey!
But . . . I was a bit disappointed comparing this book to the first in the series. The first novel was complete as a story-- with a beginning, middle, and end. This just seems a transition, albeit 650 pages of transition. It sort of ends unresolved, forcing the reader to purchase the third volume to see what happens.
The plot is less complex and considerably more simple than the first novel, and -- frankly -- I believe it can't support the huge number of pages. One wishes her editor had been a bit tougher on her, and whacked about 25 percent of the manuscript.
For all her strengths as a writer, she has one irritating trait, which is to describe in narrative what a character is feeling. To paraphrase, she might say that "Damien was deeply hurt by what she said. He felt pain at her words. His anger welled up . . . " Really, a good writer should DRAMATIZE emotion, and "render" the feelings of characters in good dialog-- not stop the book and start explaining to the reader what a character is supposed to be feeling.
As with another reviewer, I have ordered the final book of the trilogy from Amazon, hoping it is more like the Dark Sun Rising, and with fewer of the shortcomings of When True Night Falls. Even though I will admit -- for all its flaws -- that When True Night Falls is good. Just, after the first one we have been SPOILED. It was SO good.
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