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CompleteMartialArts.com - Avaryan Rising: The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen, A Fall of Princes (Avaryan Rising)

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Manufacturer: Orb Books
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813.54
EAN: 9780312863883
ISBN: 0312863888
Label: Orb Books
Manufacturer: Orb Books
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 864
Publication Date: 1997-10-15
Publisher: Orb Books
Studio: Orb Books

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Editorial Reviews:

The classic series now in one volume for the first time!

He appeared out of the northern mountain fastness, wielding powerful magics and claiming to be the Sun God's own child. His burning desire was to rule the entire world, and he inspired the loyalty of men who would fight for it with him. But conquering an empire, and ruling it, are two very different things. Even for the children of a demi-God.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Second Book a Major Let Down
Comment: The first book, Hall of the Mountain King, is worth the read. Vadin and Mirain are interesting, compelling characters with a good, solid dynamic that is interesting and engaging to read, if not exactly the most original thing ever written. Mirain claims to be the son of the dead heir of the Kingdom of Ianon and the sun god Avaryan, giving him the right to the throne. Vadin is pressed into his service by the king, completely unwilling. There's a lot to be said for Mirain's struggle for the throne, his growing relationship with Vadin, and Vadin's just a good, fun narrator. Not Book of the Year, but a solid read.

Then we got to The Lady of Han-Gilen. I suppose this 'Lady' thing should have been a hint. Vadin is no longer the narrator - in fact, he's out of the book completely before it's halfway over. Five pages into the new character Elian and her narrative, I was quite sick of her. Beautiful Princess, Talented Warrior, Perfect Lady! Is there anything she can't do? Hall of the Mountain King did not set me up for a painfully traditional, by the book romance. Vadin and Mirain's enthralling, bittersweet dynamic? Gone, to be replaced by the Red Headed Wonder. And you will hear about how very red headed she is, poetically and every other page. The biggest trial Elian seems to face is that she's torn between two soon to be emperors who love her madly. Never fear, though, she gets to chop off her hair and disguise herself as a boy so she can join her One True Love's army.

Elian is infuriatingly perfect; traits previously reserved for Mirain - who is the son of a god, I remind you - are snatched up. Anything anyone else can do, Elian can do better. And let's not forget her beautiful red hair, which should be a character in its own right. By the second chapter, I could have told you how the book was going to end, because there's very few places books like this go. A bad narrator and a simple plot make for a tedious, dull story.

I'm not looking forward to the third book anymore.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: not your cookie-cutter fantasy novel
Comment: Avaryan Rising combines the first three novels of Judith Tarr's series (The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen, and A Fall of Princes). Having had no previous experience with the author, I picked up this book on an impulse in the book store. I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

In my opinion, Tarr's strongest point by far is her skill in character creation and development. Anyone who reads a lot of fantasy at some point tends to become a little bored with the same cookie-cutter characters that appear to dominate much of this genre. Tarr offers a refreshing alternative. Her characters are unique, fascinating, and extremely well developed. Already on the first page of "The Hall of the Mountain King", I was drawn to the powerful (if somewhat tragic) figure of the old king, who stands on the top of his battlements day after day, in sun, wind, rain, and snow, keeping watch for his beloved daughter. The characters that follow are similarly fascinating, haunting, tragic, powerful, and seemingly real. Examples: Mirain, the young son of a mortal and a God, who sets out to conquer what he claims is by right his Kingdom and Empire. At the beginning of the book, Mirain is only 15 years old, but his description as someone who commands the love and respect of his people seems very believable to me, as Tarr immediately sets him apart from other young men his age, due to his heritage (which is gift and burden at the same time ... something that Tarr explores in much detail and very well). Vadin, his squire, who is initially so overcome with his hate for Mirain that he proposes a wager that would forfeit his soul, should he ever feel any friendship for his new master. The list goes on, and each new character is as unique as the first.

The plot is overall very character-driven (as opposed to action-driven). If you read this expecting fast-paced chapters with lots of action sequences, you will probably wind up being disappointed. Although there is certainly a good amount of action in this book, Tarr seems more interested in showing the inner turmoil of her characters as well as the developing relationships between them. She does it exceedingly well!

Probably the only 'problem' I have with this book lies in Tarr's writing style. Overall her prose is beautiful and a pleasure to read. Every now and then, however, the writing becomes "experimental" (for lack of a better word), with sentence fragments and unexpected shifts between subjects. I found myself having to re-read sentences at times in order to keep up with the plot. I do get the feeling that these sequences are very much intended, but they did not quite work for me. Having said that, I don't think it takes away from the overall experience of the book.

In conclusion, I would certainly recommend this book as a refreshing alternative for any compulsive fantasy reader, although it is not up there with my personal favorites. That, however, is a matter of personal preference above anything else, so don't lend too much weight to it.


Anika Leithner

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Average Fantasy Fare. Yawn.
Comment: I read The Hall of the Mountain King back in 1988, and I jotted down my impressions of the novel at that time. The male characters in this novel were very effeminate, and I don't think that's what the author intended. Rather, I got the impression that the author just wasn't skilled in showing how males express deep friendships toward each other.

The plot concerns a youth who's the scion of a sun god. He comes to accept his inheritance of his grandfather's kingdom, but first he has to defeat his uncle. The boy has mind control powers and is a quick swordsman, so he kicks butt through most of the book. However, halfway through the book we find out he's only 15 years old! Suspension of disbelief is shattered at that point.

Save your money. This isn't worth reading.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: I couldn't put it down!
Comment: Before this, I've never read any of Judith Tarr's work, but after reading this trilogy, you can be sure that I will be searching for everything she's ever written! At certain points in the story, I found myself breathless. The characters were very well developed and believable. The tapestry of magic, romance, power and sacrifice that Ms. Tarr weaves is complex and beautiful. This is a definite "must read."

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A great read
Comment: I could rave but it'd be pointless, my opinion of this book could not be expressed in less than several pages; Tarr has unsurpassed talent in this area, READ IT.

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