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The Fade (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 6 Nov 2008

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Frequently Bought Together

The Fade (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + The Braided Path: The Weavers Of Saramyr, The Skein Of Lament, The Ascendancy Veil (Gollancz) + The Ace of Skulls (Tale of the Ketty Jay 4)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (6 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082984
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Wooding's aptitude for world building is impressive, and he creates a mythical and magical place that is striking and involving. He is equally skilled in characterisation too and the world he has birthed is populated with a wealth of fascinating characters. Wooding keeps things moving quickly, sending the narrative flying by at knots." (SCI FI NOW)

Book Description

The astonishing new fantasy from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the author's excellent and original 'Braided Path' trilogy, I had been looking forward to reading his next offering for adult readers. Though not quite as good as his first outing, 'The Fade' did not disappoint.

Set beneath the surface of a hostile moon, 'The Fade' is tale of war, intrigue and racial hatred. The novel is constructed in an inventive and unusual manner, opening with a chaotic battle scene, that results in the main character, Orna, being taken prisoner by the enemy. From there the plot travels in two directions; one going forwards, treating us to the story of Orna's trials in prison and her heroic escape. The other runs backwards, recounting the events that put this trained killer onto the battlefield.

'The Fade' is written in the first person, which lends the story a sense of urgency, but does occasionally mean that the depth of the storytelling feels unrealistic. Wooding has created an interesting world, filled with antagonistic races, warring factions and unworldly ecosystems, which are all very well described and stand up to close scrutiny. How he managed to pack so much information into just over 300 pages, and still leave room for an intriguing story, is testament to the quality of his writing. My only real complaint about 'The Fade' is that the story of, 'elite warrior-escapes inescapable prison-against all the odds', is hardly original, and in the middle third the story felt a little run-of-the-mill.

The last third however is terrific. As the plot unfolds, the two diverging narratives cleverly marry up, and we see how events in Orna's past effect her actions in the present.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By xenofan VINE VOICE on 6 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a stunning book, wonderfully written with a gripping and intense storyline that had me eager to turn the pages. It's chapter ordering takes a little bit of getting used to: the story is split into two timelines, one going forwards from the events in the "first" chapter, (actually the book begins at chapter 30) and one going backwards (sort of) to events leading up to those in the beginning. It takes a little getting used to, but it works rather well.

The story itself is very gripping, and the world is one of the most unusual locations that I've seen in a fantasy story for a while now. It's all so fantastical, that there were times when I did struggle to remember to invision the settings acurately-I kept forgetting that the majority of the story takes place in a world that is underground. The characters are great, and the ending was stunning. I loved how the author brought together the threads from both timelines to reach a conclusion that I just couldn't have predicted.

I'm eager to see what else this author has to offer. Though short (about 320 pages) The Fade is an excellent title and well deserving of a read if you're into fantasy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Toby Andersen on 17 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another truely excellent novel from Chris Wooding, The Fade is a deeply originally structured fantasy, with intricate characters and emotional complexities that get you very involved.
The story is about the lead character's revenge and the lengths they will go to. lots of satisfying subterfuge and spying, lockpicking and sneaking about - prison escapes and infiltrations. set in a subterrainean world in the midst of war - its a very interesting read.
where this book is original is in its narrative construction - the book starts with a chapter part way between two stories in the book - from that point on one strand continues the story and the other is a backward flashback system of the character's life before the opening chapter, revealing the reasons and motives in time for their effects to be felt in the present.
It is written in the present tense and in 1st-person, initially difficult to get into, but after a few pages, this style comes alive - your right there in the action and decision making process all the time. another clever bit of writing is in the first chapter - i dont want to spoil it, but it relies heavily on preconceptions of human thinking, then when you think you know it all, it totally subverts your thinking revealing something about the character that totally throws you. very interesting to be manipulated so easily.
in closing, a satisfying novel, a standalone fantasy thats well worth a read, political subterfuge and espionage with unforseen twists and turns especially in the last 10 pages, The Fade is interesting, descriptive and accomplished in its prose.
i'd give it 10/10 but i liked Wooding's 'The Braided Path' more so its
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
The world of Callespa was long ago settled by humans. A rocky moon circling a much huger world (presumably a gas giant) in a binary system, the world became virtually uninhabitable when the stars' output dramatically increased. Humanity retreated underground, splintering into many tribes, leaving only those hardy people known as the SunChildren to dwell on the surface. For many years the nations of Eskara and the Gurta have been at war, a battle fought back and forth through vast subterrenean chambers with neither kingdom able to win a decisive advantage.

Massima Leithka Orna is a Bondswoman, an indentured servant of Clan Caracassa. She is also a member of her clan's Cadre, a collection of warriors and magic-wielders (known as chthonomancers) beyond compare, elite fighters at the front of every major push but also adept at assassination and espionage. During a brutal battle her forces are betrayed and her husband is killed. Taken prisoner to a Gurta fortress, Orna lives only to escape and find her son, now serving on the front lines.

The Fade is a terrific novel. Relatively short (just over 300 pages in hardcover) it is nonetheless superbly-written with vivid characters. The first-person narrative works well, as does the unusual structure (the present-day storyline alternates with flashbacks - in reverse order - showing Orna's history up until the point of her capture). Whilst the epic story of conflict between two civilisations forms the backdrop, the novel is much more concerned with Orna's emotional journey and her relationship with her late husband and her son, which is handled well with all the depth and complexity of real-life relationships. The underground steampunk-esque setting is extremely well-realised and atmospheric, as are the short sections set on the surface.

The Fade (****½) is a complete story in itself but a fair number of loose ends are left dangling for possible future sequels.
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