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The Initiate Brother (Daw science fiction) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Mar 1995


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton / Signet; Reissue edition (30 Mar 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886774667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886774660
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.4 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,341,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Feb 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
These were evidently arranged to save Sean Russell from the curse upon the author of the perfect book, because _The Initiate Brother_ and its sequel _Gatherer of Clouds_ are in all other respects a display of hubris. Most of the characters are charismatic leaders, gifted artists, or spiritual adepts. This is bold, because almost anyone can create a credibly weak and stupid character, or a shallow and conventional Hero; but convincing greatness is difficult. Russell achieves it consistently: when his poets produce poems, they are impressive poems; when his generals lay plans, they are impressive plans. And yet they are all vividly human, with appetites, failings, and senses of humour. It would be a remarkable experience to meet any of them, but one can easily imagine doing so. And the books are not just showcases for these memorable figures, either: the plot is both gripping and elaborate. Finally, while it is easy to rave about these books after finishing them, in reading them one is much too immersed in the story to be conscious of the author's skill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Mar 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again a Western author has managed to take two or three non-western ideas and make a dramatic story that could win an award as a made for TV movie. The dialogue drips with politeness and tempers are rarely lost. I would have liked to have found some depth and spirit. All I found was a bunch of stuffy aristocrats with Asian-sounding names who are all trying to best one another. The attempt was made to integrate a quazi-Buddhist religion to counter the over dramatic main characters, but the monk you come closest to is the religions shining star and happens to be an amazing super munk. If (as I expect) foreshadowing holds true, he just happens to be the original master himself reincarnated! When the characters shut up you can almost see an interesting plot develope. All in all I would have to say that I was hoping for a story that represented the front cover... A serene monk lost in meditation... A more appropriate cover might have been a monk on a leash.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 July 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If there is one criticism to be levelled at Tolkien, it is that his Lord of the Rings books were so wonderful that they spawned scores of annoying imitators. Sean Russell did not fall into this trap. He created an unique (for this genre) society based upon Asian, especially Chinese, themes. His charcters, which in another setting might be Tolkienish, here are incredibly refreshing. His plot is as epic as can be. Also, THIS BOOK AND ITS SEQUEL ARE NOT FORMULAIC! The jaded conclusion that my many years of Sci-fi readership led me to expect, did not occur. I cannot reccomend this book highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 May 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Humane, beautiful, humorous, poetic, genteel; scattered with lines and passages that inspire reverie ... I have such a grasshopper mind that I rarely finish even short books anymore, but for me this novel was worth the time, and I am looking forward to the continuation in "Gatherer of Clouds" ... I am glad to see that Mr. Russell is getting hardcover deals now, and I wish him every success, as he became one of my favorite writers while I was only partway through this novel
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By A Customer on 13 May 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is a total cliche. I will not actually read the second novel to confirm that all the remaining cliches are confirmed -- however I would say that most of the plot appears to have been stolen from a Transformers cartoon from when I was a kid. Everyone is one dimensional -- either perfectly good or perfectly evil. I presume that he will kill one main character (the foreshadowing for who is evident) and one bad guy will turn out to be good in the end -- of course the disgruntled member of the evil army that the good guys captured and then got to be their guide -- good grief. I won't continue, suffice it to say I thought this was bad.
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By A Customer on 30 Sep 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book and the one that follows (Gatherer of Clouds) are some of the most original fantasies in the last 10 years. While most fantasies have magicians and all kinds of magical creatures, Mr. Russell decided to concentrate on people, and not only that, he decided to concentrate on INTERESTING people. This, I wish to impress, is a rare occurance in fantasy novels where the spells or the dragon or the magic sword are usually the bread and butter.

The last fantasy that was this original was probably "Seventh Son" in the Tales of Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card.
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