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3.8 out of 5 stars12
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2002
I have two things to admit. 1. I am not a huge 'fantasy' reader and 2. I do know the author. But don't dismiss my comments because of the above, as I am an avid reader of fiction (we are talking two novels a week) and so I am actually pretty hard to please. I was looking forward to the publication of Socery Rising. I had read and enjoyed Jude's collaborations as one half of Gabriel King but I was more than blown away by her first solo writing adventure.
In essence, it is a story of two feuding 'nations', the Eyrans from the North and the Istrians from the South, who have an uneasy truce but who have gathered together for the annual Allfair. Add to this steaming cauldron the nomads - the Footloose - purveyors of charms and until now harmless potions -who have come all over Elda and the Master's runaway apprentice, Virelai, with Beta the cat and the strange but beautiful woman, Rosa Eldi and very perplexing things start to happen. The status quo has well and truly been ripped apart - and no man or woman is untouched by the sorcery pervading the Allfair. Men are possessed, some are reduced to violence, some to powerful obsessions whether it be of women, riches or land and a few realise a power - a 'sixth sense' if you like, that is both beneficial and dangerous. There are some great characters in this story, in fact so many, I hardly have the space to list them. My favourite is the courageous, head-strong, athletic and very gifted Katla. She features strongly in this the first book of the Fool's Gold series and hope that we may see plenty of her in the following books.
I was charmed by the author's magical and poetic use of language. I was gripped by the horrifying and sometimes violent scenes and I adored Jude's sense of place and person. I felt her lands and her characters really did exist - I wish! But most of all, and most importantly, Sorcery Rising is a compulsive page turner and I for one cannot wait for book two. Can someone please hurry Jude up?!
Fiona Swinton
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on 17 April 2007
I was really looking forward to reading this book, as the blurb on the back sounded intriguing. However, I have to agree with the earlier reviewers who thought that the writing style was tedious - I would also add overwritten, convoluted and, in some places, just plain bad. Sometimes sentences go on for a whole paragraph, and you find yourself reading passages again to try and work out what's going on. The use of punctuation in this book is also bizarre - far too many semi-colons, colons and dashes dotted about here and there, which sometimes makes for difficult reading that jolts you out of the story. The author's descriptions are often far too long, and there are too many pages of descriptive text unbroken by any dialogue or anything else that adds interest or furthers the plot.

Another thing that really irritated me while reading the book was the large number of errors that really should have been picked up before the book was published (e.g. wrong character's name used at one point; a whole sentence repeated in another; typing/spelling errors).

One reviewer also mentioned that there were too many viewpoint characters. I would agree with this, particularly as not all characters are very well-developed and it's not immediately clear to me why so many viewpoints are needed.

On the plus side, the plot is interesting and showed enough promise to convince me to read the second book in this trilogy (needless to say, my criticisms of the second book are much the same as those for the first). It's just a pity that story and plot are slowed down far too much by excess description, over-wordy writing style, and far too many deviations from correct use of grammar and punctuation.

If you've already started reading the book, it's probably worth persevering with it, as there are some good bits scattered here and there; if you haven't already started it and are looking for a good fantasy book to get your teeth into, I'd look elsewhere.
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on 5 December 2003
Katla Aransen is a young woman on her way to her first Allfair--a gathering of peoples from lands all over Elde. There her father plans to sell his cargo and with the profits, make a good marriage for his sons and daughters.

Katla has no wish to marry anyone. She wants to remain free to climb the cliffs and rocks that she loves and create beautiful knives and swords with her talent as a smith, but when she arrives at the Allfair and climbs the rock her people call Sur's Castle, she unwittingly sets unforeseen events into motion that might see her burned at the stake and war between bitter rivals.

This story was huge in its vision. Katla is a wonderfully captivating character, as are her brothers and father. Saro Vingo is another character that we feel drawn to. This book deserves its four stars, but the fifth I withheld because there was simply too many good characters. I know that sounds weird, but there were so many different points of view in this book and so many character switches, that I was in danger of getting lost.

Jude Fisher is one talented lady. She would have had all five stars if she had limited the point of view to a handful of characters instead of two handfuls and more. Buy this one now, and then hurry on to the second book called Wild Magic... I'm starting it tonight.
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on 3 March 2003
Drama, suspense and magic, this story has it all.
Set in a world where magic has lain dormant for generations "Sorcery rising" proved to be all I hoped for and more. The characters are dynamic, they're life-like and you can relate to them all. She's drawn alto of inspiration from the ancient cultures of scandinavia and the middle east, all the while creating her own spin on it.
A great debut, by an astounding author. If you miss it, you'll miss one of the greatest works of fantasy out there.
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on 24 October 2006
In a moment of desperation before a long plane journey I bought Sorcery Rising and then for a variety of reasons, never opened it. On returning home I did a quick scan of the Amazon reviews and was disappointed to read so many negative reviews.

On my next trip I took it with me. Were the other reviewers reading the same book?

Fisher's novel is a not an immediate page turner; this isn't fast food but a gourmet meal. The characters are trickled into the first hundred pages; diverse and absorbing they each add another thread to a tapestry which is delightful because it takes a while to comprehend the scene.

Though one senses the growth a protagonist who could grow along the lines of a Paksenarrion (Elizabeth Moon), part of the enjoyment is the strength of all the parts rather than just the engaging, tom-boy heroine Katla.

Sorcery Rising is an excellent novel both well written and entertaining. Don't be put off by some less positive reviews, read this book. Jude Fisher could become a major name in the genre if this quality continues.
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on 8 August 2003
This was an amazing book which told of several people, whos lives become complexly intertwined during the story. It tells of the headstrong Katla, an Eyran, who loves climbing, and also forges beautiful swords and daggers...
Of Saro, an Istrian, overshadowed and bullied by his arrogant brother...
and many more people. The problem is that Istrians and Eyrans at the Allfair are turning against one another, forcing Saro away from the person whom he has begun to love most, and forcing him to care for his murderous brother. Is this just old feuds being brought up again, or is it something more, is the old forgotten sorcery active once more, and how will it affect the lives of the people that the story focuses on?
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on 4 October 2010
Well, I will try to keep this short!

This was an excellent book in terms of writing style, Fisher has a great talent for character and description, that doesn't ever get boring, and it was this alone that really kept me reading.

However, in terms of actual story, this book was really lacking. The entirity of this book was, for me, something that would normally be the opening to any normal fantasy book, an introduction to the characters in a neutral place. However, the whole of this book was pretty much that. The idea of sorcery was rarely mentioned, at least, not until the very end, which seemed to me from the title to be a main feature of the story.

As I mentioned before, the characters are great and full of life. Even Katla, the main character, I thought was an excellent character! I usually don't like female characters, but I think Katla had such a strong personality and isn't ridiculously moany. she is a well written female lead, and it's a nice change!

The other characters were quite interesting, but each of them seemed to be slightly obsessed by sex, or at least, sexual organs, as this was mentioned quite a lot. Although, I will say that this isn't tastelessly done (and it so easily could have been that way!), it actually adds another, realistic and human, dimension to the characters.

All in all, this is a really good read, but I don't plan on reading any more in the series. There just wasn't enough depth of story to make me interested in it, and even the excellent characters aren't enough to push me to read them. But i do still recommend this to all fantasy fans, especially those who like the work of Kate Elliot or susan dexter.
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on 3 October 2003
I found this book a very good read. The characters were credible and the plot imaginative, in my opinion. I am really looking forward to the sequel.
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on 5 August 2014
"Medieval With Magic" - Is my name for this type of fantasy and Sorcery Rising is far from the worst example I have read. I enjoyed it.
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on 23 September 2013
While the writing was polished, and at times there were parts that engaged me fully, I found the story protracted and largely uninteresting. Reading was a chore unfortunately. There were many different characters and I never felt close to any of them. However, I would recommend trying it if you are interested in Fantasy as there are certainly interesting parts, and I see that some readers have really enjoyed it.
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