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Exile's Return: First Book of Elita (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Kate Jacoby
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Sep 2002 GOLLANCZ S.F.

Robert Douglas, Earl of Dunlorn, returns to Lusara after three years of self-imposed exile to find that the Guilde has spread throughout the land, bringing fear and tyranny to the people. The usurper King Selar is oblivious or uncaring, too busy planning to overthrow his brother, King of neighbouring Mayenne.

Robert has sworn a vow never to oppose the king, but his brother Finnlay won¿t let him return quietly to his lands and abrogate responsibility for the country they both love: for Robert, like his younger brother, bears a heavy duty: they are sorcerers, and thus outlawed in Lusara. For though magic is believed by most to have vanished from the land, there are a few who still wield the power in secret.

And when Robert and his brother rescue Jenn, running in fear of her life from Guildesmen, they discover a new kind of sorcerer, whose powers, though different, may be as great as Robert¿s. And with Jenn come new possibilties . . .

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Exile's Return: First Book of Elita (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + Black Eagle Rising: The Third Book of  Elita
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (5 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575074744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575074743
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 14.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,664,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Book Description

The first in a glorious epic of political intrigue, sorcery and romance: magic can no longer lie hidden when an ancient evil threatens the country.

About the Author

Kate Jacoby has lived and travelled all over the world; she wrote EXILE¿S RETURN, the first in the Elita quintet, whilst backpacking through the Middle East.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In a tiny cove on the southern coast of Lusara an old man waited by the rocks for a signal. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the strength of an Amazon review and I'm so glad I did - I quickly bought and read the next 3 books and would rate all 3 with 5 stars. This opening book is probably the weakest (and I don't mean that as a criticism) only because it is setting the scene and it takes a little while to set up the myriad plotlines. The story is very people driven though - the main characters Jenn and Robert are powerfully realised and the supporting 'cast' are also drawn with depth.
At first I thought the obvious borrowing from Scottish names and more especially locations might distract (living quite near one of them as I do!) but the storyline is strong enough to withstand it.
Yes there are similarities to other fantasy works; a prophecy, a weak cruel king, a seriously evil bad guy and a couple who are fated to be together despite the odds but Kate Jacoby pulls it all together in a quite refreshing way - I am eagerly awaiting book 5! If, like me, you have been dispairing of some of the recent fantasy series please give Kate Jacoby a go - I guarantee you'll enjoy the ride!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising adventure 3 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It was bought on a day I was just browsing through the fantasy section, money burning a hole in my pocket that I just must spend and finally my sticky little fingers landed on this book. I was very glad they did. Kate Jacoby's excellent writing style immediately catpulted me into her world and from the first page I wanted to know what was going to happen next. True, the book does seem to tick off some of the 'Fantasy by Numbers' boxes, a mysterious hero, sorcerers, an evil King, a prophecy that speaks of great evil etc etc. But she does each of them in her own way, making a fantasty world with magic that is as real as any you'd find in a history text book. You can believe these characters exist somewhere and after reading the second book 'Voice of the Demon' I have the third book on order and am interested to see what else we can expect from Kate Jacoby in the future. Definately an author to watch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully character driven. 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow. I picked Exile's return up after a friend recommended it, and I wasn't disappointed. While a little slow at the start, the story picks up beautifully. The descriptions of places are wonderful, but it is the characters that drive this book. Robert,is the flawed hero who sometimes we just want to shake - or hug. While Jen is the best strong but very female, female character I've read in a long while. Joined by good friends and bad enemies together they are trying to save Lusara, and themselves. A great read, which I highly recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing character driven intrigue. 30 Nov 1998
By A Customer
The blurb compares Exile's Return to the Wheel of Time books, and I found that an unflattering comparison. The characters of the land of Lusara are interesting and well developed, and they drive the plot themselves without being pushed around by the narrative.
The plot itself just gets more interesting as the book continues; Robert Douglas, Earl of Dunlorn, returns home from three years of exile, imposed by himself under mysterious circumstances. Shortly after his return he and his companion Micah encounter Dunlorn's brother, and then Jenn, a young woman on the run from the oppressive Guilde. Jenn displays miraculous powers, and the two brothers - who are secretly sorcerors - try to unravel her mystery. On top of this, Robert faces pressure from all sides to act against the tyrranous usurper King Selar, and criticism for abandoning his country when it needed him most. Robert has sworn not to intervene, but as discovers more about the happenings in his absence, he finds this vow a difficult one to keep...
One of the things which makes Exile's Return different is the choice of adversary: instead of world-eating demons and ultimate evil, Robert faces an evil King. The magic, when it is introduced, comes as a surprise (despite the fact that it's revealed in the blurb), and is dealt with in an original manner. No all-powerful creatures here; even Dunlorn, supposedly the most powerful member of his group of sorcerors, can do little more than make light, move objects, and camoflage himself and others. Dunlorn is also an intriguing (there's that word again) character, not so much because he has a mysterious background, but because certain mysterious events have involved him, and even the reader is not always sure of his motivations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Josef K
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a story that will have you ripping through its pages in your haste to reach the conclusion only because, in the Elita quintet, Jacoby has constructed an immersive fantasy world worth savouring.

Almost a decade has passed since I first encountered this series and at that time the local library's renewal system suffered extensive abuse as a result of my fascination with them. Exiting this enchanting fantasy world was a difficult prospect to face.

Returning to them post-graduation, I recognise they will never be a literary milestone, but they remain that rarest of achievements: a book full of stories. Numerous fantasy staples are in attendance, from a grand battle between good and evil to a country torn apart by a conquering monarch via the story of a peaceful minority facing state persecution. As dramatically realised as they are, these will fade into the background as a result of the numerous compelling individual stories.

The characters experience romance and vulnerability and constant tension between public expectation and personal desire. They are frustrating, stubborn and deeply, complicatedly human. They don't effortlessly understand one another; they are flawed and their relationships both weaken and strengthen them. There is one romantic relationship at the forefront, but it runs alongside numerous other relationships and none of them are neglected or over-emphasised. Minor characters are compelling without becoming a distraction from the primary players.

Magic is a prominent force in the book and it weaves the stories together without ever being a distraction - Jacoby is never so distracted by her own special effects that she loses track of what's important.

A series for any fantasy fan, it is one of those that have stayed with me for a long time
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