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5 Reviews
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent Debut
A facinating and beautiful book. What's it about ? No idea ! Does it matter ? No. The writing is a joy. The characters both engaging and bizzarre. A book that takes place in a time that is almost, but, not quite, turn of the 20th century, and a place that has a feudal european feel.
If it bears comparison with any other writer (always a dodgy idea) it would be...
Published on 26 May 2002

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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The blurb sounded good, but by the time I got half way through this I realized I really didn't care enough about any of the characters to continue reading. I may revisit it one day if I'm desperate and have nothing else to read.
Published 16 months ago by m a baker


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent Debut, 26 May 2002
By A Customer
A facinating and beautiful book. What's it about ? No idea ! Does it matter ? No. The writing is a joy. The characters both engaging and bizzarre. A book that takes place in a time that is almost, but, not quite, turn of the 20th century, and a place that has a feudal european feel.
If it bears comparison with any other writer (always a dodgy idea) it would be Christopher Priest (of "Affirmation","The Glamour" and "The Prestige"). But much less harsh.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 30 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Wanderers And Islanders: Legends of the Land Book One (Paperback)
The blurb sounded good, but by the time I got half way through this I realized I really didn't care enough about any of the characters to continue reading. I may revisit it one day if I'm desperate and have nothing else to read.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars promising start, 5 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Why do fantasy writers have to generate whole series of books? Is it a a lack of imagination that once they have created one world of characters, they have to get as much mileage out of them as possible? Or, conversely, is it that audiences will always want to know more about a well-constructed universe? It's an approach that has certainly worked for Tolkien. And at least with Steve Cockayne's debut novel, readers are the right place - in the beginning. Wanderers and Islanders marks the launch of his Legends of the Land saga. It's a promising start.
Set in a world that is part-1890s rural England, part-magickal fantasy, it's an ensemble piece with the overarching story told through the exploits and dreamstates of the various characters. A young boy receives a visionary gift he knows nothing of, an old man is haunted by a malevolent presence, while the king's magician is embittered as his techniques are overcome by progress of a different kind. It doesn't sound like much, but there is something compelling about the way Cockayne weaves these disparate components together to create a satisfying whole. Perhaps, more importantly for his future plans however, is the slow emergence of a world of opportunities. So even if he does rely on a certain amount of underhand smoke and mirrors to bring his first instalment to a conclusion, perhaps things will become clearer next time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just different, 23 Jan 2004
This review is from: Wanderers And Islanders: Legends of the Land Book One (Paperback)
There isn't a fantasy writer like Steve Cockayne--although there are hints of a John Crowley vision of the fantastic. Wanderers and Islanders holds us suspended over the real and the not real. It's an amazing debut novel that began one of the best trologies in fantasy.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of Depth, 24 Oct 2004
By 
Cr Gibbs "clivegibbs" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wanderers And Islanders: Legends of the Land Book One (Paperback)
This book is without a doubt original. However, the scope and scale of what the writer is trying to achieve seem beyond his skills to interpret. The story is extremely disjointed and for much of the time seems to be a collection of aimless events, with no apparent direction, that are eventually connected (as we knew they would be) in a highly imaginative, but unfulfilling way.
This book also has something of an identity crisis. The first few chapters read very much like a children's' book, in the style of Pullman's Dark Matter series, though crafted with far less skill. I found this rather frustrating as I don't like to read children's' books, but the story then takes on the characteristics and writing style of a more adult read. Confusing and rather disorientating, as well as making the book feel clumsy.
This book does have some interesting chapters and a couple of interesting characters, though most are bland in the extreme. However, my overall feeling with this book was that I could not wait to finish it and read something else. It has the feel of a debut novel, which I think it might be.
This book will appeal to some people, and the idea behind the story is unusual and interesting, but for me - it just does not work.
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Wanderers And Islanders: Legends of the Land Book One
Wanderers And Islanders: Legends of the Land Book One by Steve Cockayne (Paperback - 2 Jan 2003)
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