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Witch Fire (The Banned and the Banished, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999
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Wit'ch Fire grabs you in the first scene, and doesn't let go until the very end. This is the beginning of a new fantasy series--the Banned and the Banished--by first-time author James Clemens, but its sophistication and style are reminiscent of experienced fantasists such as Guy Gavriel Kay and George R.R. Martin. Elena is "the wit'ch of spirit and stone," born of a deadly alliance between three powerful mages in fulfillment of prophecy. But can she learn how to use her powers in time to resist the forces of the Dark Lord? She is joined in her battle by some unlikely allies, but the motley crew may be the only hope for a threatened world. Clemens handles plot and characterization deftly, but the addition of lots of un'neccesary apos'trophes to let you know you're reading a fantasy is a little distracting. Still, Wit'ch Fire is a fast-moving, entertaining read that's definitely worth your time.
From Publishers Weekly
Thirteen-year-old Elena is the daughter of kindly orchard keepers who have no idea their little girl is the reincarnated sorceress Sisa'kofa, "wit'ch of spirit and stone," dead for more than five centuries and now the world's last hope for defeating the dreaded Dark One and his minions. This launch novel of a projected trilogy by first-time author Clemens is another entry into the crowded fantasy adventure field, and the book introduces all the usual suspects: an ancient prophecy; an adolescent with burgeoning magical powers; her loyal multispecies cohort; a power-mad evil sorcerer. Just as Elena's magical ability starts to manifest, the Dark One's servants arrive to capture herAfor the Dark One plans to add her newborn powers to his own. Elena's escape begins a wild chase as she struggles to learn what she is and to come to terms with her growing power. She must eventually embrace her magic in order to save herself in the inevitable climactic battleAand to prepare for further confrontation with the Dark One, in Book Two. Readers who like their stories full of violence, magical pyrotechnics and black-hearted villains will find themselves on familiar ground here. Those in search of something original should look elsewhere.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I must admit, while reading the first several pages, I was doubtful that this book would be good, but I kept reading, and I'm very happy I did.
The plot is complex but good; everything fits together nicely. The author weaves the story with several very different and very interesting characters. Some you'll like, some you won't, and some you'll want to hate but you'll feel sorry for instead. Despite the fact that there are a number of characters to follow, I found it easy to follow the story and distinguish them. A tribute to Clemens' ability to create distinct characters.
If you can make it through the first several pages of the book, then you're in for a real treat. The action starts and doesn't let up until the end, and the pace will leave you breathless. The characters must face and outsmart or fight a variety of different creatures in order to live. The battles are interesting and vividly described. And just when you think it's over, something else happens. By the time I reached the end of the book I was desperate for the more. But alas, I'll have to wait until it's published. It's definitely on my "to buy" list.
Wit'ch was bad enough. Then D'warf and og're. It just got to be annoying. It's the same old "generic fantasy" with a western european setting and feel, with the standard fantasy races. The plot differed somewhat from the norm and was mildly enjoyable. But the apostrophes stuck everywhere distracted me and made the book almost unendurable. I finished book 1. But read book 2 and 3? I'd rath'er p'ut ou't m'y o'wn ey'es f'irst.
Certain scenes had me exclaiming aloud, or at times laughing. Even if the story overall wasn't good (which is was) Clemen's writing style would have held me over through the whole thing. At first the fragmented storyline had me confused, but happily satisfied and purring when it all came together later (Oh, yes, I felt so devilishly clever :P). The characters all held me in rapture with their realism, and ability to evoke emotions. Many times I would feel like grumbling at their stupidity, or praising their daring bravery, though sometimes uncouth ;-)
Even if the storyline didn't beg for more books, the characters and writing did. Yes, at time I was bothered by Elena's reluctance to accept herself, or her sometimes evident immaturity, but really, who wants the perfect heroine? The old caricatures are quite tiresome. Clemens did a wonderful job writing this book, I loved the plot, people, style, flair, and excellence overall of Wit'ch Fire. (And I also noticed the ' in names. Nice touch that there). I am very looking forward to the third, fourth, and fifth books in the series.
Though I wouldn't recommend it to those who aren't willing to tolerate the air of mystery around some aspects of the story, I'd recommend it to almost anyone else. Happy reading!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Makes you want to continue reading and look forward to the sequel.