Book info

Black Sun Rising (2005)

Black Sun Rising (2005)
Author
Rating
3.93 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0756403146 (ISBN13: 9780756403140)
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English
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publisher
daw
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Black Sun Rising (2005)
Black Sun Rising (2005)

About book: Black Sun Rising; Or, How Ciani Got Her Groove Back.two major things to note in this sometimes absorbing, sometimes ridiculous science fantasy novel: a fascinatingly developed magic system and a head-smackingly stupid quest.regarding the stupidity, let's first clear the air with some extended ranting, so we can later speak on more pleasant things and end on an agreeably positive note. C.S. Friedman seems like an endearing author; her writing style can be lazy but it can also be interestingly quirky. so i feel we should spare the rod and spoil the child, a little bit at least. but only after a firm discussion!SLIGHT SPOILER: in the very beginning of the book, some creatures attack the lovely and saucy sorceress supreme Ciani and mind-suck her powers away. various characters assemble to journey into a sinister, uncharted land in order to find the nasty & subhuman culprits, deliver some payback, and so release Ciani's powers. okay, let's just get it out there: it is absolutely unacceptable that a bunch of random non-characters (including a father and his 2 daughters) and 1 major character have to die pretty horrific deaths, all so that some sexy enchantress can get her powers back. for chrissakes, her life was no longer in jeopardy! and PTSD that changes sex appeal into mousy forgetfulness just isn't a problem worthy of a body count. even worse, apparently the primary members of the party are automatically willing to just toss everything to the wayside and go on a deadly quest. things like a fiancée, religious orders, and a magical Forest... all because:(1) an Awesome Sorceress should never be parted from her Awesome Powers.(2) a couple evenings of flirty banter can really impress a warrior-priest. oh come on! it was just some nights of convo and fine dining. they didn't even bone. he just "has a feeling about her... could this feeling turn to love?" UGH! hey asshole, is your spiritual calling so fragile that you'd give up everything so some wizard you barely know can continue to remain extra-powerful? who cares? both the egalitarian and the God-lover in me freaked out about this whole rationale.(3) apparently some piddly promise to protect said sorceress, made by an immortal vampire-sorcerer to a pleasure demon (best 2 characters), is enough to just up and change your entire life and go on a dangerous quest and maybe die. this is a guy who mainly spends his time hunting down various virgins stranded in his magic forest (to feast on their fears etc), which no doubt keeps his hands full. it was just so nonsensical. hey Idiot Vampire! why are you even on this stupid quest? you prey on humans. Ciani barely even likes you pal, she's the warrior-priest's gal! so, anyway: awesome character; absurd character motivation.(4) as far as Ciani herself goes, apparently "She's Quite a Woman!" - at least that's what multiple character say repeatedly, much to my annoyance.so that's it for the eye-rolling parts. they are a big part of the novel, even enough to give it 2 stars. but there's a lot of intriguing stuff too. the novel is set on a far-flung world in the far-flung future, a world where some natural energy source called "the fae" literalizes everyone's dreams, fears, desires, etc. so on this world you have to exercise a lot of emotional/mental/spiritual control. supernatural creatures do exist, they gain lives and personalities, and often want your blood and/or booty. simple magical devices work if you really, really believe in them. things like guns are more problematic because if you have any doubts, your gun is just going to explode in your hand. and faith now truly and tangibly works. thousands of people believing in something can actually create something super-powerful - like an impregnable-to-demons church! or... HELL! Hell exists because people believe in it, uh oh. and so do pleasure demons, which isn't so bad. in this world, people have varying levels of ability to work the fae and some folks like The Amazing Chiani are born with natural aptitude. the fae itself is also fascinatingly divided into different sorts of fae, based on which type of natural energy source they derive from, and they each have their own unique properties, abilities, weaknesses. for instance, there is earth fae. and the fae that comes from light. or the absence of light. or even from tidal forces - my personal fave. it was all so interesting and carefully developed and new to me that - complaints aside - it all still sorta worked.

Okay...this is another I'd like to give 3.5 as it's got to be above a 3 but I didn't care for it as much as I have many of the books I've given a 4.It has an interesting "world system". I don't think the term "magic system works well here as it all has to do with the planet or world on which the action takes place. (To say more would of course entail spoilers). This book might be more accurately called "science fantasy" rather than epic or high fantasy as it's built around the assumption of an earth colony that arrived on this planet and then had to deal with the forces on and of the world of Erna that they were in no way equiped to understand or handle.I found this book at times to be of the "neither fish nor fowl" variety to some extent. I liked the idea(s) that it's built on and the world building though I'm not sure the introduction to this world and it's specialness was done all that well. It's an attempt to inculcate the needed details into the narrative without doing a lot of plot exposition atop the storyline, plot and dialogue. A good way to do things when it works. here I think it bogged down a bit and often (for a while in the early chapters) had the reader going"okay...now how does that work?" Still it does eventually get roughly laid out and while we still have a lot of nebulous edges and loose ends to the system i assume she means it to be that way. A great deal of the plot is that humans are "still after all this time" trying to understand and learn to work with the plant's forces.I found that while I got to know the people in this book the only one I really "liked" all that much was the priest Damien. I was never drawn into the "feeling" I think I was supposed to have for the others. This was the third time I'd set out to read this book. It wasn't that I "disliked it" I'd say I really "liked it" (I mean I gave it 4 stars based on my 3.5 liking) but I just never got heavily "involved" in it. On both prior occasions I laid it down and got involved in reading other things and just, never got back to it. that almost happened this time. I'm always into more than one books at a time and , true to what happened before I got into a few others and this one just didn't "cry out to me" to get back to it. I did as we are reading it in a group and as I said, it's "pretty good". I enjoyed much of it...I just can't say it really "drew me in". I could have lived without getting to the books end.I have the two books following this one on my shelf and I will (hopefully) get to them "before too long". I don't know. I have a huge to be read pile of books, so we'll see. I'm just thankful for the abundance. After all too many books is better than not enough. They are such fragile things.Okay, not a bad read, well written, enjoyable and interesting (mostly). As I said, 3.5...rounds to a 4.
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Reviews
Mpauli
With Black Sun Rising, author C.S. Friedman transports us into a world of darkness, where your fears can manifest themselves to haunt and hunt you.Erna is a planet humans from earth reached via spacship and settled onto. This sounds like SF, but is just a backdrop for a dark fantasy novel.The society wasn't able to hold up to the level of progress of a spacefaring people. So, the atmosphere is more of a gothic victorian world. Think Bram Stoker's Dracula and you have a good picture.Eevryday life is affected by eartquakes, that are way more frequent than on our planet, the cycle of three moons and the omni-present earth-fae, particle-like creatures that can be manipulated to do magic.But the darkness is not only invoked by the setting, it comes right down to the characters. There is Reverend Damien Vryce, whose love for the adept Ciani will bring him to the point, where he has to ask himself how far he is willing to go to help Ciani in regaining her memory that was taken by a demon.Ciani herself has to struggle with the loss of her power and memory and needs to find a way to go on.Then there is Senzi, Ciani's business partner and friend, who longs to have power comparable to Ciani's.And finally we have Tarrant, the dark Hunter with the mysterious past and a vast amount of power.All of those are being confronted by one question: How far will you go to fullfill your deepest desire? The answers to this question is what makes this book so dark and bittersweet.I enjoyed this book a lot, although there were a few dragging parts I could have done without. The book ends in a good place and provides a glimpse of what to expect in the next installment.
A.E. Marling
Fears and expectations shape this world. Worrying your sword could break causes it to do so, making more intricate technologies undependable and isolating this Earth colony on this planet. The power of thought harnesses natural energies, and those gifted with greater control and sight of these beautiful forces are called Adepts.The story perspectives are male oriented, a warrior priest and an Adept's assistant. I loved the assistant's introduction: His fiance leaving him because she saw she'd always be second to his obsession with power he could never have. His master, an old but young-looking Adept has her memories and magical sight stolen, reducing her to see things as we do---lumps of matter---rather than in colorful potential. To regain her former status, the protagonists adventure into a caldera town, a dark forest, a craggy wasteland inhabited by leonine humanoids (the Audible narrator does an amazing purring accent), and into the caverns below the obelisk tower of a demon-dealing Adept. Along the way they enlist the Hunter, an Adept who once was a prophet but sold his soul to the night.Now, I'm not going to try to lie to you. The Hunter's magic is similar to a character in my own novels, the Lord of the Feast. Oops! At least their personalities differ, the Hunter something of a Dracula with a blue-flaming sword, while the Lord of the Feast might bring to mind an evil Oscar Wilde. In both cases, they drain human fear to power magics of heart-stopping potency but that only work in the night.If you love your allies corrupt and dashingly dressed, you may love Black Sun Rising. If you love ripples of night power shining in pulses of purple twilight, this may be the book for you. You would need not to be allergic to adverbs, as they sprinkle the narrative like colored sugar atop a doughnut.
Kara
Okay... I struggled with this one. I liked the idea and the world of Merentha. Good characters, I really like Vryce, but I especially adore the evil Hunter. I'm not sure why, or how it happened, but I do. I also dearly love how the fae are represented, and how they interact with the people and the world of Merentha, and I appreciate it's complexity.That said, I often found myself skipping over paragraphs and pages, so that I could move on with the story (in which I was truly interested), and not be annoyed by reading detail after detail on something I didn't care about or see as relative to the story. Writers can get lost in the details, and for me, the writing style shown here was what I call, chewy. In summary, I finished the book still undecided on weather I liked the author or not... but I liked the story. So I borrowed book two from the library...and then book three.What's funny is, I have reviewed all 3 books with a four star rating, BUT, I would actually give the series as a whole, five stars...purely for the story.Now, what's really interesting, and which some of you out there may care to know, is that her writing style in her next series "The Magister Trilogy," is completely changed, and in my mind for the better.Not as chewy, but I do feel like some of the complexity displayed in the world of Mernetha has been lost.So it's a toss-up. Both series are good. The first one is difficult to read, but has an amazing story. The second is a real easy read, with a very very good storyline.I guess, you could call me a fan of reading the evolving works of C. S. Friedman. lol
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