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The Fathomless Caves (Bk 6 of Witches of Eileanan) Mass Market Paperback – Nov 2002

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The Fathomless Caves (Bk 6 of Witches of Eileanan) + The Skull of the World: Witches of Eileanan #5 + The Forbidden Land: Book Four of the Witches of Eileanan
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451459024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451459022
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.7 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,008,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.

Her most recent book for adults is Bitter Greens, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale interwoven with the dramatic, true life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force.

Her most recent book for children is The Starkin Crown, a heroic fantasy adventure set in the magical world of Estelliana, a place of wild magic and terrifying monsters.

Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She's also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series - beginning with The Gypsy Crown - which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate's books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, A Mother's Offering to her Children. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, and many thousands of books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Heinemann on 6 April 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Why did it have to end? What am I going to do with all that spare time now? I will have to find something else to read... I felt so immersed, it felt almost as real as my actual life. All I wanted was for my work day to end, so I could go back to be with all my favourite friends in this beautiful world. Book 6 ties up all those loose ends and is probably the most predictable book of the series. Not many surprises and some things that I expected, were a bit anticlimactic. But all in all still a very good and entertaining read and I will thoroughly miss Eileanan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Great ending to a great series 15 Feb. 2003
By Susan Bischoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book six, The Fathomless Caves, is a great ending to the Witches of Eileanan series. Though I can see points at which the author could branch off to write other books, there is definately a satifsying closure for the main characters and action.
Leading up to the final trial, which is a no holds barred, battle to the death that stretches everyone to their limits, there is a test of the royal marriage, Iseult's return to the Spine of the World, a confrontation between Lachlan and Isabeau regarding his behavior toward her, Maya's capture by the Righ, and Isabeau's confronting of her personal demons and her feelings regarding Dide the Jugglar.
The main focus of the action here is the war with the Fairgean, the sea people who are sworn enemies of the humans. Obviously, they are bad creatures, because they keep coming up onto the human's land and killing everyone, even children, raping women, taking slaves, all that bad war stuff. But Forsyth does the same thing in characterizing the Fairgean as a people that she does with her individual characters. She shows them as a product of their experiences, most specifically, their experiences with the humans over the last few hundred years. The humans come to be seen as less than virtuous, less than completely in the right, and the Fairgean become not quite the mindless villains they may have seemed. One wonders if, with hundreds of years of history of war and attempted genocide, these people could ever find a way to coexist. And whereas a few books ago we might not have been upset had the humans managed to wipe out the Fairgean completely, now that we have met a few and are seeing them as a people, that no longer seems a viable option for a good ending. Or is it?
The struggle between these two peoples becomes something like a good romance novel. You know both sides have their flaws, and everything's against them, but you really want them to work it out, no matter how much it hurts.
Well, you throw that in with all the individual conclusions, and the amazing action of the finale, and it makes for a great ending.
I have enjoyed this series immensely. It's great to read strong female characters, especially when those characters are actually women, and not just more guys in drag with girlie names. The characterization is brilliant, with characters who continue to grow, from the first pages to the last, who make mistakes, who fall into peril, but who, while ever-changing, mangage to hold on to a sense of self that made you fall for them in the first place. The imagery is lovely, and varied, and the use of Celtic and Wiccan lore highly enjoyable.
If you're coming to read this review not having read any other the other books, I would suggest you look up The Witches of Eileanan, because you deserve to enjoy this from the very beginning. It will be worth getting here the long way.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
okay conclusion to a good series 13 Jun. 2003
By Mary Hannah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The conclusion of the Witches of Eileanan is good, maybe not as good as some of the earlier books in the series, but good. Iseult travels away to get the support of her mountain people, leaving Lachlan feeling very forlorn. In addition, the war against the sea creatures is not going so well. Meanwhile, Isabeau is struggling to finish her training as quickly as possible while a certain wandering musician struggles to catch her eye. The end of this series was a little anticlimactic to me, but still very interesting and definitely worth reading if you've made it this far in the series. The whole series gets the thumbs up.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Awesome books, awesome writer. 23 Aug. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A while back, after I had just finnished this book, I e-mailed Kate Forsyth, not really expecting anything in return. I thought to myself, those books are REALLY good. She'll never have time to read all her fanmail, much less write back.
Whoa was I surprised. The email I got was not a two word reply but two paragraphs about what I had asked! Not only are the books fantastic, but the Author was super- nice!
Well, as nice as she was, the books she wrote were even better. From beginning to end, they are captivating. The hardships of war and peace, trust and denial, are all played out fully in these colorful works. Thank you Kate Forsyth for a fabulous read. It doesn't get much better than that!
The Grand Finale! 2 Nov. 2008
By Michael C. Ackerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The scene Forsyth opens with is quaint and eloquent, a picturesque portrayal of a land blanketed in peace and harmony. Of course, as the reader, we know that all is not well. Trouble brews under the surface of this tranquil setting. The Fairgean have not had their final say, and the battle to end it all draws near. The peaceable setting in the land is soon ripped to shreds by a violent outbreak from the Fairgean. In the aftermath, many lie dead. The Righ is nearly killed, saved only by the bloodthirsty sword that Dillon wields. The children narrowly evade death as well, saved only by Bronwen and her deadly lullabies. It was a grand way to set the stage for the final book to this epic series, furthered evidence of Forsyth's command of storytelling.

It seemed appropriate that the focus of this final book in the series would be on Iseult and Isabeau. As far as Iseult was concerned, her primary goal was to attain the loyalty of the Khan'cohban for the Righ. This caused the rise of an interesting internal struggle: where do her true loyalties lie? Lachlan had to release Iseult from her geas, her life debt, in order for her to be able to journey to the mountains. While on the journey there, she pondered whether or not she should remain in the mountains with her people or if she should return to Lachlan.

Of course everyone is wondering what Meghan's fate will be. If you would recall, she had made a pact with the swamp faeries to forfeit her life to them upon the return of the comet. I struggled with this as there was a part of me that didn't want Meghan to die, but then, she is God awful old and everyone has to go at some point. Indeed, there had been such a build up to this that if Meghan didn't end up making the ultimate sacrifice, it might have seemed anticlimactic. I will not spoil the story and reveal what happens there.

In the end, things were tied up quite nicely. The final battle was everything it was promised to be, worthy of the crescendo of attention that it received. One minor gripe I had with it was the delayed actions of Jay. Why didn't he just do what he did from the start? Still, I can't fault Forsyth too much for this. It is a flaw in many fantasy books-- for the sake of not making the battle too one sided, use of an inherent ability or magical power by a protagonist or their helper is put off for what is often a very nominal reason.

This series had the elements of a good series. The evil characters were not purely evil, the good characters were not purely good, the buildup to the end was handled well, the action was neither over or under done, and there was just enough mystery as to what would happen next to leave you wanting more. Needless to say, I am greatly looking forward to the trilogy of Rhiannon's Ride. It will be interesting to see if the consequences of not killing Maya have any impact.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good ending 10 Nov. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you've followed the series this far, like I have, you'll love the final book. Being in Australia, I've read this book a while ago, and the things I can remeber are all spoilers, and I hate it when ppl do that. So, I'll say this was a good ending and an absolutely fantastic series in general. One thing that particularly impressed me (and this is true for the other 5 books as well) is the amount of respect given to the different cultures/races. As Harriet has said above, the Fairgean are given legitimate reasons for wanting war. This is no goodies/baddies book; you feel for both sides.
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