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Into the Dark Lands (Sundered) [Paperback]

Michelle Sagara West
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.77
Price: 9.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

28 Sep 2005 Sundered (Book 1)
War has its cost, and the Servants of the Bright Heart and the Servants of the Dark Heart have been locked in a struggle that has defined life--and death--for millennia. But the end is coming, and only the Lady who has served the Bright Heart for the whole of her immortal life has seen it, in a vision that spans time and demands the highest of prices. Erin is a healer, and against the nature of her birthright she has learned to wield a sword and use it to bring death to the enemies of her people. Scarred by the losses that war always demands, she is the chosen champion of Light and the enemy of darkness. But no magical sword or simple quest awaits Erin. Her journey and her doom lie in the Dark Heart's stronghold, and in the hands of her people's greatest enemy.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Benbella Books (28 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193210058X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100587
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 13.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michelle Sagara West is a novelist who has eight published novels as Michelle West and four novels originally published as Michelle Sagara.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Dark Fantasy. 14 Nov 2007
Into the Dark Lands is the first in the Sundered Quadrology. It begins the story of Erin of Elliath, Warrior of the Light, and Stefanos, First Servant of the Dark. Erin is born into a time of constant conflict, the Servants of the Bright Heart and the Servants of the Dark Heart have been locked in a war for millenia. The Lady of Elliath has traversed various futures, trying to find the one that will end the war. She has found only one slim hope that her granddaughter Erin will be able to pull a lasting light from the darkness. The course she chooses for her people is full of sacrifice and pain, risking everything for just the possibility of success. Erin is born a healer, scarred by personal loss, she chooses instead to wield a sword and fight the enemy on the battlefield. But her greatest struggle will happen after she is captured by Stefanos and taken to the Dark Heart's stronghold.

I loved this story. It's not one I'd recommend if you prefer a lighter romantic tale. It's essentially a very dark version of Beauty and the Beast. Bear in mind also that it's not concluded here, there are three more books to come. The character description can be sparse, I think the only physical thing we learn about Erin is that her hair is auburn, and then not until well into the story. I often find myself imagining characters differently to how authors describe them, so this was quite freeing.

The first part of the story deals with Erin's childhood, her training and how she becomes a warrior. There are scenes here that are absolutely heartbreaking. When Erin attends her father's funeral as a young child. MSW absolutely captures the loss of childhood innocence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best series I have ever read! 29 Dec 2013
By Fre06
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oh wow just where do I start? I was recommended this book as I love reading anti hero romance but this guy Stephanos is truly the ultimate evil male lead. I admit like other reviewers said the writing was a bit different and took me awhile to get used to it but once I did the story enthralled me and I just could not put it down, this is the story of how a powerful and truly evil creature falls in love with Sara who is good and pure it was so fascinating to watch Stephanos become so besotted with Sara that he would do anything to keep her even to curb his natural evil tendencies so he could keep her happy. This is a four part series which I seriously loved and will definitely recommend to anyone wanting a true love story.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad... 15 July 2009
By Mara Greenwood VINE VOICE
This wasn't a bad book but I found it a little trite in places. I think its really aimed at a younger audience and while I thoroughly enjoy some young adult fiction, this book just didnt really do it for me which is why I havent gone out of my way to purchase the sequels. It is listed as being fairly dark in theme and while i would agree with this to a point, it seems to have been watered down to cater to a younger audience - which doesnt really suit me, I'm afraid to say.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad Scan Detracts from a Great Book 19 Aug 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like all of Michelle West's work both as Michelle West and Michelle Sagara, and I found that this series does not appear to be an exception. The Beauty and the Beast love story (as she describes it at the beginning) is fascinating, and its set up in such a strange way. This said, I do feel obliged to note, for purchasers of the kindle edition, that this is probably the worst conversion to Kindle I've ever paid for. This is clearly done as a scan of the original book, and clearly no one bothered to do a proof-read/spell check after the OCR. It is noticeable and annoying and definitely knocks the kindle edition down at least a star. If you are accustomed to reading OCRed scans, it has that familiar annoying quality, but is quite readable. If you're not, you'll find the apparent typos in this book exceedingly obnoxious, and given that book 2 isn't out on Kindle (but the rest of the series is), I'd be inclined to say its not worth it despite an otherwise great book.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a great book 4 & 1/2 stars 16 Sep 2004
By loonigrrl - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book in a used book store years ago, and I am so glad I picked it up! It started off rather slow, but as soon as Erin meets the First Servant of the Dark Lord it became such an unsually compelling love story. Most of the book is a dark and rather tragic romance between Erin and Lord Stefanos. They can't help but be both repelled and fascinated by the conflicting nature of the other, as they find themselves compromising what they've always believed in to be together. It took me years to finish the series because books 3 and 4 are so expensive, but if you can get your hands on them, I recommend all four- they don't disappoint. These are the types of books you can't let go of even days after you finish the last page.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Approach with an open mind 8 Jun 2006
By Michelle - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Michelle Sagara West herself in the introduction states that a reader had once equated the romance between Erin, the heroine, and Stefanos, the (anti-?)hero as a type of Beauty and the Beast. I agree but the story is so much deeper and more compelling. Initially, the book seems complex because it sets the stage for the "main" storyline by explaining the world of "Light" and "Dark." As mentioned by other reviewers, the 2nd half is simpler in its focus on the romance but upon rereading the book several times, I personally saw a parallel between the romance and the struggle of the Light and the Dark. I am still waiting for books 3 and 4 of the series because I NEED to know what happens to Erin and Stefanos.

This book was one of Ms. West's earliest works so that if you read the Sun Sword series, you will recognize the focus on the characters but the plot is sparer and more direct. I found it refreshing because it made me focus more on the relationship between Erin and Stefanos. If one doesn't expect the level of intricacy of the Sun Sword series, one will find the book a delight.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Enjoyable - 4 1/2 Stars 31 May 2010
By New in VT - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After purchasing this book on the basis of strong reviews I was slogging through the first pages wondering what everybody was raving about. Its an ambling origin story, girl suffers tragedy and then throws herself into working hard to become a great warrior for her people, blah blah blah. Then somewhere around page 130 the real story starts and I fell into the beautifully crafted, tension filled, darkly romantic relationship of Erin, the warrior of the light and Stefanos, the most powerful of the dark. So much so that days after finishing I am still haunted by the echoes of this story.

A few things keep this book from rating a full 5 stars - namely the first 130 pages (do yourself a favor, skip or skim as there is little that is necessary to be found in them). And technically the conceit of the people of the light (aka the good guys) battling the more powerful people of the dark (aka the bad guys) is not perhaps the most original. However starting at page 131, all of these things fade into the background of the relationship of two people (defined loosely) who are both complex, richly imagined, passionate, and lively. The tension and chemistry between Erin and Stefanos is unexpected and yet hugely compelling. Stefanos especially is a surprise as the lord of all that is evil who is also a powerful, dark, passionate, and weirdly kind creature. So much so that by the end of the book I found myself rooting for him (which is sort of like cheering on Sauron by the end of Lord of the Rings).

The conclusion of the book is dark yet grimly satisfying and I like to believe, slightly hopeful. A surprising find that is worth checking out.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow 18 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow indeed, this is one of the coolest fantasys I've read. It manages to combine the Light vs. Dark thing into the romance element, which makes for great storytelling. It's a beautiful story, dark at times but no less breathtaking. I actually couldn't help liking Erin (and everyone who knows me knows that I've always got a thing against young heroines). She's brave and strong, and not in the sappy makes-you-want-to-pull-your-hair way, but in the real sense, and I really can't EVER remember thinking that of any character. And Stefanos... there's the real "wow" part. You've got to hate the guy (I mean, who wouldn't?) but then if you don't love him, are you totally screwed? See, that's what makes him so... "wow". He inspires love, hate, fear, and respect on many different levels. What can I say? This is one amazing love story. Then why the 4 stars, you might ask. Well, that has nothing to do with the plot, it's the fact that that Bright Heart or whatever thing got me so confused I skipped the prologue. Even so, a truly supernatural romance you've gotta read.
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