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The First Betrayal [Mass Market Paperback]

Patricia Bray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 May 2006
Sometimes the magic inside us isn't meant to be discovered....

Orphan, exile, priest, Josan has been posted to a lighthouse on the farthest edge of the kingdom. As a member of the collegium, he once dreamed of making a real contribution to the Learned Brethren, but those dreams died after a mysterious fever shattered him, body and mind. At least that’s the story he’s been told to explain a past he can’t remember. But that past has returned…with a vengeance.

When Lady Ysobel Flordelis is shipwrecked on Josan’s island, this sets in motion an explosive destiny. The Seddonian trade liaison is traveling to Ikaria on official business, but her secret purpose is to revive the revolution brutally crushed years before. Neither Ysobel nor Josan can foresee the significance of their brief meeting. But as Ysobel navigates the elaborate court intrigues in Ikaria, Josan will be forced to leave his island exile and embark on a treacherous journey to unlock the secrets that bind his past–an act that could lead him to glory...or doom.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra Books; paperback / softback edition (30 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553588761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553588767
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,075,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of discovery, intrigue and rebellion 13 Sep 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Brother Josan leads a quiet life tending to a lighthouse while recovering from backbone fever, which is the culprit behind his scattered memories, or so he's been told. However a chance encounter with the Lady Ysobel has consequences none of them could have forseen and Josan sets out on a journey to discover the truth about himself, but that truth may come at too high a price. Josan suddenly finds himself in a city on the brink of rebellion and his own life is in grave danger.
A very good book, but it only gets 4 stars since parts of it are predictable, yet the writing style is great and it is a book to read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true diamond in the rough - Glad I found it 8 Feb 2007
By Andy Gray - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The First Betrayal by Patricia Bray is the first book in the Josan Chronicles. The second book called The Sea Change is scheduled to be released in July, 2007. I stumbled upon this gem while looking through Amazon recommendations, and I must say I am quite pleased I took the risk of getting this sight unseen.

There are some things that need to be discussed prior to the actual review. Yes, this is a fantasy book. However, it is not a traditional fantasy novel in the terms of what people expect to see in a fantasy book. Meaning, if you are looking for a book that has wizards hurling fireballs, a vast assortment of monsters rampaging the countryside, and large scale battles with gallant knights - this book may not for you. You will find none of that within these pages.

The plot of this book has a couple different layers to it, which are all written very well. The first plot like follows the monk Josan as he is the lighthouse keeper of a distant peninsula to keep ships from crashing against the sandbars. As the story unfolds we find the reason Josan is there, or shall I say the reason Josan believes he is there. A certain sequence of events takes place that turns Josan's world on its head causing him to make some decisions that have larger consequences. The second plot is one of political intrigue and a group of people trying to give rise to a rebellion and coup of the current queen of Karystos. Throughout the book we learn that there was a similar rebellion attempt six year previous and the ramification of that failed rebellion still linger today. Both plot come to an unexpected conclusion.

The main character of this book is the monk Josan. There is also a myriad of other characters that all play important roles within this book. While the plot of this book is solid and well written, it is the characters that steal the show by far. If you enjoy books where character development is not only present, but one of the driving forces then you may enjoy this book. The character development of Josan is second to none. Ms. Bray does a fantastic job of building Josan from the ground up so that the reader not only understands him, but also begins to care about him as well. Another favorite character of mine is Lady Ysobel Flordelis and the role she plays in this novel. She also develops quite a bit as a character - but I won't delve into spoilers so I can't say much more. All of the characters in this book are well written and I felt I had a decent understanding of each and every one of them, which based on the number of pages in this book (342) says a great deal about the quality of Ms. Bray's writing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fresh take on the fantasy genre. This book proves you don't need fantastic battle, hoards of monsters, and wizard duels to be a good book. The political intrigue was written very well, the characters are some of the best I have ever read. This is an engaging book that will help the hours fly by. I have read a lot of fantasy book over the course of time, and I have no qualms saying that this will most likely be on my list of top five books I read in 2007. It's that good. I can't wait until the next one comes out.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start to the story of Josian 1 Aug 2006
By K. Maxwell - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Josian is a monk and a lighthouse keeper on a remote island who has no reason to doubt his past till an assassin tries to kill him and he responds with deadly skills he knows he never learnt. Forced to leave the only home he has Josian finds there is more to his past than he ever suspected.

This is a good opening instalment to this trilogy. Josian is a likeable, if somewhat conflicted and tortured character. This book is a good introduction to Josian and his world but by the end of the novel you have the clear feeling that this is only a starting point and the main act is yet to come.

My only reservation with this series is how it will end given the very poorly written 3rd novel in the Devlin series by this same author, but based on this book I'm willing to give this a series a chance to prove itself better overall than the last one.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing 24 Mar 2007
By RG69 - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
After reading the Sword of Change series with Devlin, I eagerly waited for the next adventure from Patricia. I can honestly say that this series(so far at least) is better than her first. Her stories are grand kingdom changing stories without having to consult a glossary of hundreds of names of people, places, gods, etc. She writes a nice flowing story that is easy to read, yet still tells a terrific story. I hope she continues to grow as a writer, and I will continue to support her efforts.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good... 5 Jun 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good concept but really a set up book. Looks like the rest of the series will be really good. Interesting twists and great characters just kind of slow moving until the end. But without the detail in the beginning you would be lost. Looks to be a great series as good as the Devlin series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, Great Character, More Please 25 July 2006
By Joseph A. Kraska - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first started reading Mz. Bray's work with her entertaining story of Devlin in a previous series. Patricia showed herself an entertaining storyteller in that series, turning a relatively mainstream fantasy plot into a very easy read, and a likeable character (I recommend it).

Here, in _First Betrayal_, Patricia is proving out herself as a storyteller once again, in providing great entertainment, this time with a decently non-derivative and unpredictable story involving a character with an interesting history who has to make some very hard decisions for himself and his future, when he discover that his past and future both could involve very high human costs indeed.

With this book, Mz. Bray has stepped up a notch as an author in my eyes.
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