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Bringer of Light (Hidden Empire 4) [Hardcover]

Jaine Fenn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
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Book Description

18 Aug 2011 Hidden Empire 4

Jarek Reen is trying to save a lost world. He discovered the primitive theocracy of Serenein by accident, and now he wants it to take its place in human-space. To do this he needs a shiftspace beacon - without it, there is no way to find the planet again. The beacons were made by the Sidhe, the race that originally gave humanity access to the stars - and dominated human-space for millennia, before a coalition of human rebels and Sidhe males brought the evil Sidhe females down.

Most people think the Sidhe are long dead, but Jarek knows better: a renegade female Sidhe is one of his companions, and a male Sidhe gave her and her lover the special powers that made them Angels, very unusual trained assassins.

Jarek's only hope is to find Aleph, the hidden system where the last Sidhe males are rumoured to live. But even if he can persuade these eccentric, introspective beings to put aside their interminable internal squabbles, he still has to persuade Serenein that joining the rest of humankind is a good thing . . . for the price of progress is likely to be high. Can he stop it turning into tragedy?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (18 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575096942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575096943
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 15.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,199,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jaine Fenn is a British author, mainly of science fiction, who practices a small but evenly balanced number of virtues and vices. She studied linguistics and astronomy before going on to work in IT, an experience which left her with a distrust of technology unusual in an SF writer.

After having a number of short stories professionally published in the early noughties, she turned her writing virtue/vice into a career when her first novel was picked up by Gollancz in 2007.

The Hidden Empire series are far future SF, with each book telling a discrete story which contributes to the overall plot.

Product Description


"A fabulous setting for a sprawling series of old-fashioned adventure novels. There is a similarity here to the oeuvre of Neal Asher. . . . Good light entertainment, which continues to build a platform on which Jaine Fenn can grow her empire and her audience." --"Strange Horizons" on "Guardians of Paradise" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Jarek Reen is trying to save a lost world - but the cost may destroy it...

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stark and vivid 19 Aug 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
The third release by Jaine and the concluding part to the set up of the forthcoming fall for the civilisation within. As usual with Jaine's writing it's a lot of fun, the characters wonderfully vivid and the story arc delves into a deeper understanding of a universe that few knew much about at the beginning of the first title.

Add to this stark prose, great descriptive which when backed with a conspiracy of epic proportions alongside a decent overall strategy and it's a title that really gets you ready for a huge war of atrocity as the few go against the many in a no quarter asked for war. Magic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 18 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just discovered Jaine, and I am most impressed a fast paced story with excellent chracters!

I would recommend this to people who like Si-Fi
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fight against the Sidhe - Part 4 10 Oct 2012
By Zippy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read all of the current series of Jaines books about the fight against the female Sidhe on the Kindle. This one has probably been the best laid out and I must say an enjoyable read. Other reviewers have given good descriptions of the book so I won't bother with that but I'm now looking forward to the next in the series "Queen of Nowhere". Though I note it isn't being released until just after Christmas which seems like a barmy idea from the publishers Gollancz.
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Jarek, Taro and Nual's attempts to expose and defeat the machinations of the alien Sidhe continue. In alliance with the Minister of Vellern, their latest mission takes them to Aleph, the refuge of the male Sidhe after the devastating war with the females. However, the trio's assumption that the enemy of their enemy is their friend is soon shown to be hopelessly naive. Meanwhile, on the primitive world of Serenein, other allies against the Sidhe find their attempts to keep their people safe may soon be tested...

Bringer of Light is the fourth novel in Jaine Fenn's Hidden Empire sequence, which currently stands at five books. The series so far as been varied in quality, with great ideas often battling against so-so prose and a mixed bag of characterisation (our protagonists are well-drawn, but everyone else is sketchier). The previous book ended with a left-field revelation about a threat to humanity that dwarfs the Sidhe in magnitude that was fairly horrific and executed with deft skill. Whilst that threat is not much expanded upon in Bringer of Light, the upturn in writing quality that delivered it does at least continue through this volume.

The story is bigger this time, with Fenn juggling multiple storylines featuring established characters (Jarek, Taro and Nual visiting Aleph, Urien and Kerin on Serenein) and some newcomers as well. Ifanna's storyline on Serenein is an interesting addition to the mix, less of an antagonist than a well-meaning person drawn into cross-purposes against Kerin's goals (and from Ifanna's POV, fully understandably). All of this results in a somewhat longer book than the previous ones in the series (though at 400 pages it's hardly Peter F. Hamilton territory) and Fenn does a good job of handling the larger scope.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars with Space Elves 23 Aug 2011
Hope Jaine forgives me for that headline. I mean that in the best way possible.

Reading an ongoing book series is a change of pace from everyday life. One year between episodes would not go down well on television (my other interest) but it does when reading. You still want it earlier but the gap between books in a series let you re-read the ones you already have and good books are like really good friends, they are always there when you need them so I often do.

The Hidden Empire series by Jaine Fenn is one such. Principles of Angels, Consorts of Heaven and Guardians of Heaven has been good company while waiting on Bringer of Light. The two first are standalone to establish the characters and the third brings them together.

The series is basically about the fight against the Sidhe (the space-elf) females that rule the galaxy from behind the scenes. They once upon a time enslaved humanity but were killed off with the help of the male elves. Or at least that is what the galaxy at large believes.

Now Jarek seeks to bring the hidden world Serenein back into galactic civilization again. But he needs the help of the secretive Sidhe males to make that happen but they have their own agenda as he soon discovers. He is accompanied by the two assassins Taro and Nual, the later a rebel Sidhe female, the ancient enemies of the Sidhe males which complicate things.

But meanwhile things on Serenein heats up, the place is the Sidhes' source of jump kernels and they won't give that up without a fight. When not fighting off Sidhe incursions Kerin impersonates the old Sidhe ruler to keep the priesthood from getting suspicious.

It feels good to rekindle my friendship with these great characters.
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