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Advent (Advent Trilogy) Paperback – 22 Nov 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (22 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444728490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444728491
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.8 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This mesmerizing fantasy draws aside the thin veil between the magical and the mundane to reveal the chaos that might be unleashed if we had to share our world with creatures long dismissed as legends. Told with great warmth and insight, ADVENT is an epic tale that will linger in your mind long after you turn the last page. (Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches)

'It's a beautifully written tale - the first in a trilogy - which in one sense feels like a return to old-fashioned storytelling, yet manages to be utterly fresh.' (Bookseller)

'The first in a trilogy, this is an interesting and original tale, bringing a fresh outlook to old stories, and the characters are well-realised . . . clever twists keep you hooked, and the ending and coda make it well worth the read.' (SFX)

'Myth and magic in the modern world. A traditional quest tale beautifully told . . . The human characters are realistic and sympathetic, even those who are by any definition, downright odd. The uncanny creatures are sufficiently spooky, horrible, vile and violent. The landscape is alive.' (

'There is something profoundly different about ADVENT. Perhaps it is the atmosphere of history, magic and mystery it exudes, or maybe the curiosity of the characters. Or it could even be the beauty, the manipulation of the English language that James Treadwell so clearly is a master of. Either way, you know you have something special in your hands even before the story begins . . .' (

James Treadwell's debut fantasy novel, ADVENT, is nothing short of magical. It is a rich tapestry of light and dark which has been spun deftly thanks to some delicately intricate - yet nonetheless accessible - prose that stimulates the senses magnificently and so begs the reader to learn more, whether aficionados of the genre or not. (

Treadwell's novel . . . defies description . . . The fantasy at the heart of the story is intricately imagined; sometimes so intricately that it verges on unintelligible. But it is also intriguing, strange, dark, occasionally incoherent and absolutely worth a read. Maybe even a second one, to figure out all the things you missed the first time. (Shelf Awareness)

Book Description

Magic is returning - and the world will be utterly changed. The first of a debut fantasy trilogy by the most exciting new talent of the decade.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By @Scattered_Laura on 24 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love mythology. I've always enjoyed reading about the myths and legends of various different cultures and Treadwell blends bits and pieces of some of my favourites up in a blender and laces Advent with them. I also love poetic prose. I like narratives to weave and wander. It's one of the reasons I love Tolkien or the meandering narrative of Susanna Clarke. Given my liking of these things, I feel Advent should have sat quite nicely with my tastes... and yet I can't quite say that it did.

Even though the book has quite a lot going for it, the main reason it isn't sitting pretty with might not even be Treadwell's fault. When I put the book down, my first thought was of the his editor, whoever that may have been. I couldn't help but wonder why this 448 page book was allowed to stay 448 pages long when, frankly, a solid half of those pages were unnecessary.

Treadwell's prose is quite often pretty, but equally as often it's pretty pointless. He seemsto be a big fan of what writers call "purple prose". Don't get me wrong, the imagery is nice and all, but when every sentence is ridiculously dense, every description repetitive... it's tiring. While I was reading it I got the sense that Treadwell's editor hadn't ever imparted Arthur Quiller-Couch's sage advice that sometimes, even when you've written the most beautifully artistic prose, if it's repetitive or redundant, you must "murder your darlings".

Now, I'm not going to argue that much of Treadwell's writing is actually quite lovely. In places it's almost poetry. Unfortunately, somewhere within these lovely sentences and long, artsy paragraphs, the story got lost. At the beginning of the book I quite liked Gavin...even though he was called "Gavin".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Librarydragon on 7 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback
I was pleased to pick this up as it is advertised as the first part of a trilogy, which is always a treat provided volume 1 can cut the mustard. Sadly, for me it didn't really. It was necessary to plough through many pages before anything in particular happened: young teenage boy, conflict with parents who admittedly seem more than usually insensitive, is packed off to stay with maiden aunt while they go on holiday. Aunt doesn't turn up to meet him as promised. He spends the night alone in the aunt's house after being given a lift by a lady he meets on the train and the next day makes his way to the closest house. The book takes too long to get anywhere. The whole of the story takes place over a very short period of time and there was too much descriptive text - well written, admittedly, but still padding after all - and the ending was not satisfying. Of course if you are writing a trilogy you need to leave your readers with loose ends and wanting to know what will happen next, but to be honest I was just pleased to get it over with. It was a clever idea but without enough meat to give it flavour. I don't think I'll be picking up volume 2.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Welsh Annie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I suspect I'm well outside the target audience for this one - I'd assume it'll be marketed for young adults of Gavin's young teen age but 400+ pages of tiny print, strong language in places and magical sequences from the 1500s might put it outside the comfort zone of the Harry Potter fan. But this really was a little gem. The first of a trilogy, set in Cornwall in the present day but turning into a fantastical magic story with engaging young characters and building a belief in magic, mythical creatures and incredible happenings. I was absolutely engrossed by it - the mysterious Miss Grey, Hester the "nutty professor" with the wall of masks, Marina and her unusual parentage, the vanished aunt, then the grotesques that appear and are as real as the earthly characters. Quite complex in parts - the Magus sequences break up the adventure but are central to the story - this really is a rattling good read and Gavin is a wonderfully drawn teenage hero. I'm not really a trilogy reader, but with its clever setting up at the end I think this is a series I'll stick with. This really is a highly accomplished first novel, for adults and the YA audience alike.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sensible Cat on 27 Nov 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Most fantasies for older children/YAs are stories of the protagonist being drawn into another world, where magic reigns and natural laws do not apply. That is the template of the Hero's Journey, from Star Wars, to Lord of the Rings and many more. Usually, the hero eventually returns to the everyday world, transformed.

But this is a different story, a story of the terrifying, elemental power of magic re-entering our everyday existence, transforming not only the main character, but everyone and everything. Treadwell's keen ear for contemporary speech patterns and behaviour makes this a powerful and unsettling concept, and suggests that, even at the end of his projected trilogy, there will be no return to order as we now know it.

Cornwall is a natural setting for such a story to begin, and when Gavin, a disaffected teenager banished from boarding school and alienated from his parents, is packed off on a train to Truro to stay with an eccentric aunt that he barely knows, the scene appears to be set for a formulaic English fantasy. But what happens after he arrives and there is no dotty aunt to meet him takes us into very different territory.

Like many writers of fantasy who have created their own inner worlds, Treadwell writes haunting and beautiful prose and has a deep feeling for landscape and the way it is shaped by local history and topography. I've never seen Cornwall captured better, even by Daphne Du Maurier. But the familiar Gothic scenario of a mysterious, remote country house with its occupants marooned in time and menaced by supernatural forces develops into something equally influenced by classic science fiction narratives of a menacing alien presence invading the charmed world of faerie and the banality of everyday life.
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