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Darkwitch Rising (Troy Game) [Mass Market Paperback]

Sara Douglass
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

23 Jan 2006 Troy Game (Book 3)
Back in the mists of Britain's untold history is Brutus, last of the Trojan kings, who was armed with the knowledge of how to construct a magical Labyrinth that could rival the might of the gods. Together with the alluring sorceress Genvissa, Brutus almost succeeded in creating the Labyrinth. But thwarted by Brutus's wife Cornelia, they became trapped in a cycle of death and rebirth that will not end until the Labyrinth is completed. Ages pass. Time and again the players come close to victory, but none succeed in the fulfilment of power. Now these soul travellers arrive as the English are in a mighty civil war that threatens to destroy the nation. A great pestilence is upon the land and the newly restored Charles II sits upon the throne trying to hold chaos at bay. He is one of the major players in this drama. And he is not alone.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; New edition edition (23 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765344440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765344441
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Combining history, myth and fantasy, Sara Douglass introduces her new Troy Game series with the first book "Hades' Daughter"...Ms. Douglass recreates the Aegean world and a Pre-Celtic England in a sweeping epic that grabs your attention at the first page."--"Romantic Times BookClub" (4 1/2 stars) on "Hades' Daughter" (Book One of the Troy Game series)

"There is sex and violence aplenty...the taste for this mythic fantasy saga must be acquired, but acquirers will relish it keenly."--"Booklist "on H"ades' Daughter" (Book One of the Troy Game series)

"An ambitious fantasy series."--"Publisher's Weekly" on "God's Concubine" (Book Two of the Troy Game series)

"A rich and complex novel full of rich and complex characters."--"SF Chronicle" on "God's Concubine" (Book Two of the Troy Game series)
"The prolix third book in Australian author Douglass's Troy Game historical fantasy saga (after 2004's "God's Concubine") exhibits the same powerful imagination as its predecessors...[and is] enriched by the author's historical and folkloric expertise."--"Publishers Weekly "on "Darkwitch Rising"

About the Author

Sara Douglass was born in Penola, a small farming settlement in the south of Australia, in 1957. She spent her early years chasing (and being chased by) sheep and collecting snakes before her parents transported her to the city of Adelaideand the more genteel surroundings of Methodist Ladies College. Having graduated, Sara then became a nurse on her parents' urging (it was both feminine and genteel) and spent seventeen years planning and then effecting her escape.
That escape came in the form of a Ph.D. in early modern English history. Sara and nursing finally parted company after a lengthy time of bare tolerance, and she took up a position as senior lecturer in medieval European history at the Bendigo campus of the Victorian University of La Trobe. Finding the departmental politics of academic life as intolerable as the emotional rigours of nursing, Sara needed to find another escape.
This took the form of one of Sara's childhood loves - books and writing. Spending some years practising writing novels, HarperCollins Australia picked up one of Sara's novels, "BattleAxe" (published in North America as "The Wayfarer Redemption"), the first in the Tencendor series, and chose it as the lead book in their new fantasy line with immediate success. Since 1995 Sara has become Australia's leading fantasy author and one of its top novelists. Her books are now sold around the world.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story 8 May 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
You have to read the previous books to really enjoy this one. Once you start the trip you compelled to ride to the end.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intricate 26 May 2005
By D. Chaponda - Published on Amazon.com
If you haven't read Book 1 & 2 of the Troy Game, read them first. This isn't the sort of fantasy trilogy you can just hop onto. In fact, if you read God's Concubine when it first came out it might be a good idea to reread it before jumping into the third volume. Unlike Book 2, which eased into the conflict, Darkwitch Rising leaps into the plot and pursues it in so many different places, with so many different reincarnated characters that it is difficult to keep all the identities clear.

Still, if one keeps on reading there is a great pay off. Douglass' narrative is so intricate that there are surprising twists and turns in almost every chapter. Plot wise, the Troy Game is one of the most intricate fantasy epics you will find. Sara Douglass is impossible to predict and the layers of surprises are amazing (some work better than others -- switching around two characters for example opens up way too many questions). The beginning is slow, but from the moment the character of Catling is introduce, this book finds its way.

Douglas' characterisations are a little more problematic. Often the characters seem to act in a certain way simply to allow a surprising plot development to happen. The reader is therefore more engaged intellectually than emotionally. Reading the book is like watching someone solve a rubix cube, but as satisfying as that is, a little more emotional investment would have made the tale even better.

For example, PLOT WISE, it was interesting to see Noah/Caela/Cornelia fall in love with a character she previously loathed, but EMOTIONALLY, as a reader it is difficult to accept how easily she forgives the atrocities he has commited toward her, women who he whored and raped, and entire civilisations which he caused to be slaughtered. Explaining it away as 'you had a bad childhood' doesn't quite work. One of the best things about Sara Douglass' writing has always been how the ideas of good and evil are very flexible. In her Wayfarer Redemption series the character Wolfstar had killed dozens of children and yet Douglass made us sympathise for him at moments.

However, in that narrative, Wolfstar's actions came back to haunt him. In The Troy Game so far (who knows what will happen in Book 4) many characters commit rape, genocide...etc and then their actions are forgotten or dismissed. In Darkwitch Rising Noah seeks to heal all wounds, and while the wounds of many characters are healed, one is left questioning 'what about all the wounds they have inflicted on characters not central to the Troy Game'? Resultantly, it is sometimes hard to sympathise with the characters. The way that every character in every direction is becoming a god or similar being is also a little grating.

However, overall, this is still a great book. I still feel God's Concubine was a highpoint in the series so far but this is a worthy successor. All the pieces are coming together and this book leaves you breathlessly anticipating the final volume.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book in the series yet 7 May 2005
By Lady Atana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Darkwitch Rising was a completely engrossing novel. The plot twists and thickens in way I did not expect, and at the end, I was left with a sense of despair, knowing that I have to wait for the final installment.

As stated before, you have to have read the previous two books in the series before you cannot even begin to appreciate the majesty of this book. If you have not read Hades' Daughter and God's Concubine, you will not have the background to fully understand and appreciate the characters and the plot.

This novel is not a light read. It is extremely dramatic with no humor to lighten the mood, much like the other two in the series. While some people would find this a bad thing, I think it keeps the overall feeling of the series consistant while keeping you "on the edge of your seat" and focused on the story. This entire series has been one that keeps me thinking about the what has happened, what the characters should've done different, and what the heck is going to happen next... even when I am not reading it. To me, this is a mark of a especially talented author to keep a reader's interest as they go about their other daily tasks.

The characters is this series are extremely well-constructed. In most fantasy series, the characters will start out rather 2-dimensional, and as the author continues to write, will evolve into more complex personalities, purely through accident it seems. Not so in the Troy Game. The characters do evolve as the story progresses, but as a reader you can tell it is a purposeful evolution. The characters will occassionally refer back to their previous experiences/lives and what they have learned from them, and how it has shaped them into the people they are at this time. The occassional character who isn't evolving as fast as the others seems dim-witted and stubborn in comparison until you just want to reach in the book and slap some sense into them.

I realize that in this review I have not given an plot summary or set up to the novel. This is purposeful. There are a few great surprises in the novel that should not be ruined for other readers. I urge you to find them for yourself. Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5) Cornelia rising 23 May 2005
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on Amazon.com
The setting is Restoration London. Cornelia, Brutus, Coel, Genvissa, Asterion, and assorted friends and enemies are walking the earth yet again, as is a mysterious new character who has the potential to throw a wrench in all of their best-laid plans.

This is Cornelia's story more than anyone else's, as she matures further. Noah, as she is called in this life, is a far cry from the bratty Cornelia of Hades' Daughter, and even the staunchly loyal Caela of Gods' Concubine. Here, Noah begins to question everything she had previously accepted, including the Troy Game and her love for Brutus. At first, she begins to teeter into Mary Sue-ness. She is becoming ever more powerful, and it seems like everybody in the entire world is in love with her. But she really wins my heart around the middle of the book, when she begins to break free of the things everyone expects her to do and choose for herself. She makes a shocking choice-one that could destroy many lives, or redeem them. I am really beginning to like this character-and I'm getting quite sick of Brutus. It almost seemed in Gods' Concubine that he might become a decent man after all, but his issues really come back in Darkwitch Rising. I'm sort of hoping Cornelia/Caela/Noah kicks him to the curb in the next book.

What didn't work for me: How to say this without spoilers? About halfway through the book, Douglass throws a twist into the plot. Two characters turn out to be the reincarnations of different characters than the reader previously believed. This switch didn't work for me. There were a few sentences that foreshadowed it, but overall, I think the two characters acted much more like the people I had assumed them to be.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal. I can't believe the plot twists that take place. 18 Jun 2005
By Karrigan Ambrian - Published on Amazon.com
As with every Sara Douglass series I've read so far, the story gets better with each new book. The Troy Game is no exception.

It starts off typically, very similar to the previous book in the series. We see all the reborn characters in their new roles. Brutus is trying to get back to England, but must take it over by force. Asterion is after the Kingship bands, biding his time. Cornelia is living a semi-comfortable life, coming into her powers as a Goddess.

And then events start to happen, things that seem innocent and semi-interesting at first, but slowly build momentum until by the end of the book, your entire view on this series - the story, the characters - will have changed.

I cannot believe the character development that takes place. Characters change in such unexpected (but realistic) ways...I daresay it's the greatest character development I've ever read about in any literary book, period. Brutus is still a jerk, though.

Unfortunately, it's not the last book in the series (at least I hope not), but I'm only sad about that because now it means I have to wait years to find out how the story truly ends. Otherwise, the book ends on a fittingly depressing note, very satisfying considering the huge steps the characters have taken to resolving all conflicts in this one.

There's no other series I have ever read that's quite like the Troy Game...spanning thousands of years of our real-world history, full of characters that are extemely well-written and events that continue to surprise you. I look forward to reading the next entry in this amazing series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3rd of the series 14 May 2005
By Sera Bella - Published on Amazon.com
After waiting the excruciating last four month before the release, I reread all the previous books so I would be fresh on all the characters and their alliances thus far. Cornelia has been my favorite, through her multitude of flaws, although I really enjoyed all the characters in all their vivid splendor. This book further defines that splendor, but at the same time, twists away from you the characters you thought were good and left me very confused and a little numb. A few characters all but lost their roles in the story and few traits of old personalities reemerge.

All and all, it wasn't anything like I expected and that's usually good, but I do like a little bit of the familiar. I gave this book a three star rating, but perhaps my disappointment came from too high expectations.
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