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on 18 February 2005
I would say that this novel is built along rather classic lines of fantasy. There is a quest involved and the hero is someone who thinks himself of being pretty average and even lacks self-confidence. We later find that it is not the case of course. However, what makes this one special then? I think it is the alienation between the majority of humans and the other races that makes it so unpredictable. I am writing as one who read both this and To Light a Candle, so if the reader wants to fully 'get' my review, one would have to read both.
Even in the first book, I chill at the appearance of the Enemy- the Endarkened. This is not the first fantasy I've read with Demons in it but Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory certainly created them to be some of the worst lot of Demons I have read about. A magical lot that lives on pain and torture of the very worst sort. The more I read about the Enemy in this trilogy, the more I find it to be unsettling and unpredictable. The Enemy are subtle and cunning, not to mention extremely patient. This combination is scary when it is the Enemy who has it in abundance. However, to be more precise would be giving details of the plot and I do not like doing that.
Where there is evil, there is also good and this trilogy has it in abundance as well. One of the most endearing races in the novel are the unicorns. Contrary to the stupid creatures from another of Mercedes Lackey's novels, these ones are extremely intelligent and even more beautiful. They are not fragile creatures but capable of defending themselves and those with them. There is absolutely no possibility of them being corrupt and this purity is so comforting when one reads about the absolute evil of the Enemy. Another amusing character is the hero, Kellen. He is basically a teenager and not one who is plagued by his hormones obviously because his constant companion in the novel is a unicorn and we all know that is one thing about unicorns that never varies. He is sensible and willing to question and best of all, accept what is different. Moreover, he is most amusing when he is among the Elves and trying, but not really succeeding, to be eloquent and courteous.
My title is Perfect as it is and I believe it is exactly that. I say it because the novel is not without its flaws, however, despite its flaws or maybe because of them, it is still a wonderful novel. It is a harmonious blend of a classical storyline with a modern, dry wit that endears. The characters are interesting and much too likeable because the trilogy is not without death and danger. I am now sorry that I read it when there are only two books out and not the whole three!
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on 4 November 2006
These three books (The Outstretched Shadow, To light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls) are among the best books i have ever read. The first book drags a little but you must stay with it, because when Kellen gets expelled from the city the story explodes into action that doesn't stop until you finish the last page of the last book. I can't praise these two authors highly enough. Their collaberation on this series is simply awsome. I will never forget this story, and will never part with my copies of these books. They are keepers of the highest order.
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on 7 May 2004
Although it took me a long time to get into The Outstretched Shadow, once I'd read my way a few hundred pages in I was hooked and I'm now eagerly looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. The problem with this book is that Our Hero grows up in a stultifyingly boring city and our authors give us ample opportunity to sympathise with him by keeping us in this tedious place for far too long. Neither he nor we are stuck in that dreary place forever though, and in time we are off on a classic quest, moving in and out of well built, enticing communities and meeting many interesting and likeable characters. It's nowhere near as war-like and butch as the misleading cover illustration suggests, and in fact is written with plenty of Lackey's usual wit, charm and attention to domestic detail. Worth sticking with!
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on 2 January 2012
I am sorry to say that I was very disappointed by this book. Expecting an exciting story *I usually love Mercedes Lackey's books*, this just wasn't it. I'm well into 200 pages of the book and nothing extremely interesting has happened yet. Kellen (the main character) gets banished from his home city. While the part where he has to survive the banishment was full of action and well written, everything before that and directly after that just isn't. When the book finally gets to the banishment (promised on the cover), it made me think the story would finally get on it's way. Sadly, it doesn't. The book is very slow paced. If you like that or have more patience than me, that might not be a problem.
I know other reviewers have said that the story will get on it's way later on... It's just taking too long.

Two other notes of disappointment:
- The most important person Kellen meets after the banishment (won't say who, because I don't want to spoil it) comes across as a very 'Mary Sue'-character. A bit too perfect and a bit too brilliant in doing everything that has to be done.
- The evil ones in this book are far too evil. It is way over the top. I like it that they have a masterplan and a lot of patience. But really, half of their evilness would have been enough to severely dislike them.
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on 10 August 2009
I don't know if it's just me, but I find collaborations between authors rarely work and it's the same here. I don't know James Mallory's work so I can only comment on Mercedes Lackey's contribution to this story - or lack of it.
I love most of Misty's work because she brings characters to life with all their faults and foibles. Unfortunately, none of that was brought to this work. The characters are totally forgetable; I couldn't even remember the main character's name a couple of days after I finished the book, never mind the rest.
The story itself is well told, but for those hoping for something along the lines of Misty's "Last Herald-Mage" or "Mage Storms" trilogies character-wise forget it.
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on 8 January 2016
I was not planning to write a review but came across the books page here as I was browsing for something else. Seeing so few reader's comments, I feel that I should add a quick note. I am a pretty keen fantasy reader (as you will note when looking at my other reviews). Unfortunately, some time ago, I had to reduce the amount of books in my house and bags and bags of fantasy went to the local library. The Obsidian trilogy did not. This tells you nothing at all about the content of the book but it will tell you that this trilogy was good enough in my eyes to qualify as a keeps.

I don't think that it is highbrow, critically acclaimed writing or ground breaking fantasy or any other superlatives. What the trilogy does deliver is an enjoyable fantasy adventure story, long enough to be well developed and short enough to be ideal for taking on holiday. This is an easy, pleasurable read, just don't expect fireworks from page one, as one of the negative reviewers mentioned, it does start at a fairly slow pace. One criteria I have from books I keep is a good ending. Some books went to the library because although I enjoyed the beginning, even the middle, I didn't like the ending. I'd rather have a slow beginning than a boring ending anytime! Hope you agree :)
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on 4 April 2009
What can one say about the storytelling capabilities of Lackey and Mallory? oh yeah, absolutely amazing, this is a book that submerges you in a world of magic, elves and other bright folk, including Dragons. I always find it difficult to write a book review without giving too much away, save it to say in this case, if you have read any of Lackey's other works, (Valdemar, Bedlam's Bard etc.) You already know the story will envelop you and swallow you whole. If you have not read Lackey before, prepare yourself for a hell of a ride as you travel with Kellen Tavadon across the world. All-in-All - 100% pure fantasy into which one can quite easily get lost. A highly Recommended read.

Other books in this series
To Light a Candle (Obsidian Trilogy - Book 2)
When Darkness Falls (Obsidian Trilogy - Book 3)

Related Books
Phoenix Unchained (Enduring Flame)
THE Phoenix Endangered (Enduring Flame (Hardcover))
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on 9 September 2008
The story starts off quite slow but once it gets its act together it keeps up at a nice pace for the rest of the series.

The characters personalities aren't anything too original and the plot seems a bit cliched and some parts of the second book just seemed to drag but overall I liked this series quite a lot.

Its plot was incredibly original (well maybe not that much but it was good and original enough to be different which is close enough), the characters were wildly varied and they had character development. It was kinda strange how they developed but develop they did and it worked out well.

The only real bad point I can make about this series was that it just just didn't grip me as much as some series/books have. It did grip me though- and moderatly hard at that which I think says it all: Not perfect but good nonetheless
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on 27 May 2006
I bought this book purely for the reason that mercedys lackey was co auther, but i fell in love after the first chappter.

Natually as i have read nearlly al her books and loved every one of them i was going to enjoy this one. I couldnt be more true. If like me you are a great fan of her books then you should read it hey even if you aren't go for it.

Okay so it is a clasic fantasy novel where the hero (kellen) ends up fighting evil with help from friends he has made along his journey. Even so i still found myself being surprised at where the book took me. I felt myslef biting my nails when kellen and newly made unicorn friend where escaping from the demons chasing them.

There are a few surprise characters who we meet in this book, his long lost sister who also ran away from the place that is Armethalieh. Only problem is that he doesn't remember her. Kelen is a hero who, unlike most is not too keen on learning how to use all his gifts, especially after he learn the price that could be inolved. Despite all the worring he does eventually get over that fact just in time to realise that the price is nothing compared to what the result is.

This book travels at a steady pace building up the story, collacting strands as it goes along. The effect is that of 2 authors who really know what they are doing. Unlike most books where most of the focus is on the main character this one does tend to give us an idea of how the other characters feal. Although i would like to know more about certain elves.

The ending was a masterpice which left me crying out for more. I for one cannot wait to read the next book in the series. This is a definite must read.
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on 16 August 2006
This book, which I brought only at the end of july, and started the other day, is one of the best series I have ever read, it starts of slowly, filling in the details about the city, and the hero's life, which then brings in strong women. Women who in the book are look at not worthwhile in the city but away from it they have the same faults, as the men, but can also do magic, which I would love to be able to do. It would be a very good book for a person who is starting out in the science fiction/fansty.
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