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Alara Unbroken: A Novel of Magic: The Gathering

Alara Unbroken: A Novel of Magic: The Gathering [Kindle Edition]

Doug Beyer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Once upon a time, the plane of Alara was shattered into five planes, each distinctly populated with relative mono-magical culture that reflects each of the five colors. Now, the planes are beginning to realign and merge once more.

As nefarious forces work to hasten the cataclysmic realignment for their own gain, the populations of once ordered planes struggle to come to terms with a new planar order in which long separated struggles between opposite clash once more; martyrs face executioners, fire and water, earth and air, growth and decay, the innate versus the artificial.

Amid this chaos, Ajani, a fierce leonin planeswalker, struggles to bring justice and resolution to his brother's death. Noble warrior Rafiq searches for the source of the of this evil that has invaded his world. And Sarkhan Vol, planeswalker and dragon hunter, taps into a power so pure and ancient, it threatens to consume him even as he revels in its unadulterated totality.

An action packed story from the mind of one of the creators, Doug Beyer opens up the Shards of Alara(TM) set like no one else can.

From the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (26 Jan 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00317G76U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,969 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice convergent story line ... 16 Jan 2011
By Filip
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
For people like me liking the fantasy world and stories of Magic, this story is a nice convergence of different story lines and of course a convergence of the different shards. Enjoy the drama of all characters as they all try to find a solution for the malignant plans of the oldest planes walker ever, the elder dragon Nicol Bolas. With deceit, revenge and deceptions lying around every corner. At the end of the day we might see that Alara as we knew it will never be the same again...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much to say, so little book. 9 May 2009
By Novel Enthusiast - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Magic the Gathering is something that I have been interested for around ten years; I have all of the books and I play the card game. That being said I had pretty high expectations for the Alara Unbroken book after reading Agents of Artifice (which I recommend). I had these I expectations because of the great cards found in the Alara sets and the exceptional characters that were rumored to make an appearance in this book.

The book itself is about the inhabitants of a world that was split into five different shards (think dimensions) that each represent different mixtures of the five colors of the Magic the Gathering Universe. What they are dealing with in this novel is the convergence of their world(s). I also can't help but mention that the main antagonist of the story is the big grand daddy of all of Magic's villains: Nicol Bolas, the dragon planeswalker.

Now, as for my review. I have to say that this book wasn't bad. It was exciting in many places, and the dialogue was well written. There are a lot of "Oh now that was just cool!" moments as well. So why did I give it three stars? My first reason is that while some moments of the story are exciting, the majority of it is horrendously predictable. I was also mixed because the book had what I consider an anticlimactic and rushed ending. And finally, while there are characters from each of the five shards appearing in this book, only three shards are represented by main characters and the other two shards seem to be just staging areas for characters originating in the other three. All in all, I feel this should have been a much longer book. There was just too much story and too much creativity left out in order to minimize page number. Because so much was skipped an awesome idea was lowered to mediocre status in my opinion.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death to the block novel! 26 Nov 2010
By mo_j - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Doug Beyer, the author of Alara Unbroken, is a Wizards of the Coast employee responsible for much of the creative content of Magic: The Gathering. His contributions to Magic continuity range from penning card flavor text to writing the weekly "Savor the Flavor" column for It is therefore unsurprising that his foray into M:TG fiction is filled with the kind of detailed, accurate information that is often glaringly absent from those books authored by freelance novelists with no real understanding of the game or of the mechanics of the Multiverse.
However, the problem with Alara Unbroken is not that Beyer has too little to say about his subject, but rather that he has so much to say that to try and condense it into one book seems farcical. The novel, with its terse, two-page chapters, reads like the outline to the three books that he wishes he had been allowed to write. The narrative assumes an epic, plane-spanning scale that would have been served far better by a traditional Magic trilogy, with each book corresponding to an set released for the card game. Unfortunately, this format has been discarded in favor of a new paradigm in which we only get one novel per setting, alongside character-specific "planeswalker novels" with insular plotlines. The latter type, designed to flesh out and showcase pertinent characters, seems like a complete waste of the thoughtfully rendered settings created for the card game (and highlighted in the former type.) If you want to populate a thoughtfully rendered world with well-fleshed out characters, you will either require more pages to do it in or you will have to tell a smaller, more intimate story. Since the block novels tend to be about huge planar cataclysms and epic, inter-dimensional journeys, I suggest that the folks at Wizards try and rustle up a few more pages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not the Best 18 Feb 2010
By G. Castle - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a newer magic player and started just after shards block finished, which has been my favorite block I have been around for (of the 2 XD). I liked the book, but it was lacking a bit. Esper and the humans on Grixis weren't really mentioned much until midway towards the end. I loved how the sections where small and it jumped between the shards often. I could read 3 pages of bant, then 4 of naya. It made it helpful for reading while doing other things (like reading a bit while my computer starts up =p). The story was good, but Rafiq and rest of bant never really deal with Bolas as cover may suggest. The thing I dislike the most would be that you never really find out what became of Nicol Bolas in the end, but the worldwake player's guide said he went Sarkhan Vol to Zendikar, who just left Alara at the end (so bit too vague for me). I did find a few spelling error, but only about 3 noticeable ones in the whole book so it wasn't bad.

Overall, I think the story could have been presented better so it's not the best book. But it is still good and I would recommend to anyone who likes the Alara block.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 7 Feb 2010
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
When I first heard about this book I thought it would be amazing. Saddly I was proved wrong. Nicol Bolas is the most powerful being in the multiverse. I feel like he is not represented well enough in this book. The plot moves to fast for much enjoyment. Parts of the book that should have been dramatic had a flash of light and poof, the problem was gone. Try reading the Ravnica cycle. Those magic the gathering books are good. Go Boros!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Great Example of How Not to Write 4 Jun 2009
By Travis - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author provides little to no description of any of his locales, characters, or settings. The dialogue is horrendous, and resorts to real-world cliches such as bad cop drama. The "chapters" are often less than one page in length before jumping to the next uninteresting sequence. The fight sequences were often pointless. This seems more like an excuse to sell cards rather than tell an interesting story. This was a chore to read and one of the worst books I've read all year. If you're looking for a good Magic book, try Agents of Artifice or the upcoming Artifacts Cycle omnibus.
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