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The Nameless Day Paperback – 2 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (2 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007348320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007348329
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 3.1 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,939,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The Nameless Day, the first volume of Sarah Douglass's new 'Crucible' sequence, is set not in some faraway fantasy realm but in what both is and is not the Middle Ages of the Hundred Years War and the Black Death, a Middle Ages strangely truncated so that the Black Prince's conquest of France and Joan of Arc's attempt to save it are going on at the same time. Something demonic is going on -- a mysterious faction within the Church has failed to take the precautions that need to be taken and something has been unleashed: it is precisely because no-one trusts the warrior turned priest, Thomas Neville, that he finds himself lumbered with investigating what went wrong with the last journey of Brother Wynkyn thirty years before. Thomas thought his life was over having made the wrong choices, and gave up his old life to repent perpetually. But finding himself considered expendable by almost everybody and everything starts to change his mind.

This is an ingenious, passionate and more than slightly loopy fantasy, with vividly evoked landscapes of dangerous deadly beauty and ultimate disgust; the flawed self-hating Neville is as intriguing a character as Douglass has given us. -- Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for previous books in The Axis Trilogy:

‘BattleAxe is the best Australian fantasy novel I’ve experienced to date.’
Martin Livings, Eidolon

‘Enchanter is utterly enthralling and unputdownable.’
Karen Brooks, OzLit

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. E. de Jager on 12 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Being a big fan of this type of book I devoured it within two days. The main character, Thomas Neville, monk, warrior, sinner is a great character. He makes you want to slap him a few times, which I find is a good hallmark for a good character.
It is a good indication of life in the Dark Ages. Their misconceptions, prejudices and how hard life could be as well as how narrow most people's (read Catholic Church in this instance) outlook on life was.
Great fun. If you liked the movie "The Messenger/Joan of Arc" you will love this book.
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Format: Paperback
Well, just finished the above named book by the Australian author Sara Douglass, who wrote the brilliant Axis Trilogy, of course. The Nameless Day opens well, creating a great sense of time and place. It's set in 14cent Europe, the time of Joan of Arc and all that. Basically, demons have been leaking into the human world via the gateway to hell, which needs to be resealed every solstice. Unfortunately, the monk who is the gatekeeper gets the plague and dies, meaning all hell breaks loose, literally. We follow Thomas Neville, who is given the divine mission to expunge the demons who are at large and to seal the gate again. Sounds great? Unfortunately, it ain't. The protagonist is not at all sympathetic, meaning we don't care what happens to him. If you know much about history, you also pretty much know what's going to happen next. And there is no real resolution at the end of this book. The Nameless Day is branded `historical fantasy' and represents the first of its type I've read. It just isn't my thing really.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 April 2002
Format: Paperback
This book, and the book following it, The Wounded Hawk, provide a very interesting look into an alternative way of thinking about God, Satan and Demons. I found it a very good read, despite it's incredibly length. It provides subtle clues, which whilst not being too subtle, would not 'Snap' into mind as being linked until the very end of the book when all is revealed (in The Wounded Hawk). The Nameless Day is a must read for those who are remotely religious and enjoy a historic book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ENTJohns on 11 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Strange priests, mysterious angels, pagan rites..this book is a skillful mixture of fantasy and (alternative ) history. I do NOT like fantasy, but this book's premise intrigued me from the start. It's kinda anti-religion (woo hoo)-- the reader doesn't know who to trust. There's a healthy dollop of mystery and lots of great writing. I couldn't put it down and neither could my husband...then of course, there's the next book _Wounded Hawk_ which reveals or does it only serve to confuse? (There's a bit of a romance but I love Douglass' pragmatic attitude to "romance"). It's a fantasy book for non-fantasy readers like me...it's fast, the characters intriguing and the research excellent.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roger Latham on 7 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
As a fan of fantasy, things medieval and alternative history I was very attracted by this book, but maybe I was spoiled by coming to it from Mary Gentle's phenomenal "Ash". I found Douglass' work uninspired and downright confusing.
The main problem is the main character, Thomas Neville, who begins the novel as a monk on a mission to defeat the demonic forces in the world under the orders of the archangel Michael. The problem with the characterization is threefold: first, Neville is a thoroughly dislikeable character - judgemental, self-pitying and selfish. Now this wouldn't be a problem if this were a conscious literary choice, but it doesn't seem to be, since (and this is the second problem) Neville doesn't develop in any kind of consistent way. Starting the novel as a devout monk, he has casual sex with two different women with apparently no second thoughts or pangs of conscience, and then deserts his vows, similarly with no thought of the seriousness of his decision. Which connects to the third difficulty: Douglass appears to have little or no understanding of how the medieval religious mind worked - she knows the language, but clearly has no empathy with the religious views of the time, which makes it impossible to empathise with her main character or understand the internal conflict which drives him - Douglass is much more comfortable writing about politics and secular characters. This is a problem in a novel where religious and theological issues are at the heart of both plot and theme.
I liked the look of this but was very disappointed. Try Gentle's "Ash" instead.
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