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on 19 November 2006
Jennifer Fallon really suprised me with this first book in this trilogy. Having read the Harshini trilogy I wasn't sure what more Fallon could bring to this world especially as the Harshini trilogy was pretty much a closed trilogy.

However Fallon managed to take us to the time before Damin Wolfblade was born and tells us the story of Marla Wolfblade, Damin's mother.

If you like great plans, broken trust, unlikely relationships, intrigues at court and assasinations, than this book is a must read. Brakandaran the half breed is also involved in this tale so be prepared for some Harshini magic.

a great read and look forward to "warrior" the next book in this trilogy.
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VINE VOICEon 9 November 2008
At the risk of mis quoting this normally I would avoid Fantasy novels like the plague and not touch them with a 10 foot orc spear - but , this is very different. Yes, there are elements of magic (but not too much) but this fair cracks along with the story being the efforts of a young princess a) to survive , b)protect her family and c) maybe marry for love. You hardly get the chance to get to know some characters as you think that they will be main characters throughout the story and nope.. dead !
There are some definate story lines to be unravelled at the end (I've moved onto the second in the trilogy this weekend) but while there is plenty of action its the portrayel of the characters that I liked. People you could identify with , and a sense of humour (Lord of the Rings characters seemed very serious to me..- all the time)
In short a great read , good paced story - a definate cut above the rest
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on 31 January 2006
With Wolfblade, Jennifer Fallon goes into the past of the world she created for the Hythrun Chronicles, giving us a story of Marla Wolfblade, Damin’s mother (the Hythrian Warlord in the original trilogy). Marla was an interesting character in that trilogy. Though not used much, she was intriguing, irascible, politically expedient and very intelligent. How did she get to her position? Wolfblade begins that story. Other than a slow beginning, it’s a fantastic tale of political fantasy with the question always hanging over the book: who will end up with the throne of Hythria? I’m already looking forward to the results, which is a good thing since we know what the political landscape will look like in about fifteen to twenty years.
Sixteen-year-old Marla Wolfblade is the only sister to an increasingly perverted High Prince of Hythria. Lernan has no interest in bedding a woman, not even to establish an heir, and the rest of his practices become increasingly strange as the book moves on. He has no interest in running the country, and leaves that to the High Arrion of the Sorcerers’ Collective, an old man named Kagan. Marla is to be married off to the King of Fardohnya as part of a political bargain, but dissidents within Hythria are determined to remove Lernan from power. Other dissidents come up with a plan of their own. Caught between these factions, young Marla wishes desperately to marry for love, but instead is constantly told what she must do for the good of the realm. Now, with the much-needed son that everybody wants, will she be able to protect him from those who want absolute power anyway?
Wolfblade is book one of the “Wolfblade Trilogy,” at least in North America. When Fallon originally wrote the books in her native Australia, this was book four of the Hythrun Chronicles. Personally, I wish they would have left it that way. If you’re a fan of Fallon’s like I am, you’d follow her from book to book anyway. However, anyone who picks this up cold as the beginning of a new series may be hard-pressed to stay interested at the beginning. I cared about the characters because I knew where this would ultimately lead and I wanted to see how the story got there, but I have to say the beginning is tedious at first. I persevered, and I was rewarded, but somebody coming in without the benefit of the previous books might not.
Part of the problem is that Marla is incredibly annoying. It’s a vivid contrast to the Marla we know from the previous trilogy, and it’s hard to get used to at first. She whines a lot about marrying for love, gets the mistaken impression of who she’s going to marry *twice* (both times thinking that she would finally get her wish only to have it dashed) and is despondent after that. Without our knowledge of the characters, Fallon has to work doubly hard to keep them interesting as she’s introducing all of the palace intrigue. Who really cares who will succeed to a throne of a country we’re not familiar with at all?
Thankfully, Fallon gets past that and delivers a wonderful book. The characters are extremely well-drawn (the beginning is important to what comes, even though it is slow), the situations interesting, and Fallon makes us care about this succession. Political fantasy, where there is no earth-shattering threat involved, can be boring, but Fallon avoids that trap as well. Marla and the rest of the nobility have to maneuver very quickly to satisfy their aims, and many of those aims are conflicting, even for people on the same side. It’s almost heartbreaking, but also horrifying, what Mahkas, Laran’s brother, finds himself forced to do to keep a secret. Marla’s relationship with Laran is about as good as can be, considering the age difference between them. Marla’s dwarf slave, Elezaar, teaches her about politics and how to accumulate power and protect herself, and their relationship is quite good as well.
Yes, you did read correctly above. One of the problems with Wolfblade is the very similar set of character names, even more confusing because of their relationship to Marla. Lernan is her brother, and Laran is her husband. It makes it hard to tell them apart at times, at least until the context gives it away (they are two vastly different characters). Thankfully, other than the slow beginning, this is the only real fault with the book.
What I was really impressed with was that Fallon was able to surprise me. Certain events that I thought would turn out one way went in the completely opposite direction. Because of that, one of the chapter climaxes completely floored me. I felt like I had been punched. It was a great move on Fallon’s part, and the rest of the story flowed from it, creating more surprises. While the end result of the book is tied up fairly neatly, it leaves a lot of room for the next book to carry the story forward. Thus, it makes the best of both worlds: a self-contained story for those who hate “to be continued” and the first part of what looks to be a great trilogy for those who don’t mind that.
What may be even more of a selling point for those who enjoyed the first series is that there is more action with the Harshini, those demi-god like beings who regularly talk to the various gods, who are immortal (unless killed), and who were hunted down by the Medalon priestesses. We learn a lot more about them and their relationship to the gods as well, and it looks like there will be a lot more of that in the subsequent two books. I can’t wait.
If you’re a Fallon fan, you have to pick this book up. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, you can still try this one, but just persevere through the beginning. It gets much better.
David Roy
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on 2 May 2008
I read the Demon Child trilogy after being enthralled with the Second Sons trilogy, and was not disapointed one iota.

So when I saw this was available, I ordered it pronto. To my delight, I couldn't put Wolfblade down, and found it up to Ms Fallon's usual intriguing and well written standard.

I'd also ordered Warrior - the next installment, but there was unfortunately a long 4 day gap between the end of Wolfblade and this arriving, but it is here now, and I'm making good progress with that too.

If you like her other books then definately read this!
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Going back into Jen's Hythrun world we are treated to a prequel to the Demon Child trilogy, however if you haven't read the original series you're not going to get the full picture as the author elects to trust that the reader has done omitting facts that are key to understanding this tale which for the first part will perhaps have more putting the tale down which picks up if you persevere. As you've come to expect her work is well written, the characters believable and to top it off the plot leads the reader on an adventure that they'll be pleased that they started. Full of plot twists with an unpredictability thrown into the mix has made this tale a joy to read backed up with huge action sequences as the reader gets to appreciate the full power of the Harshini.
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on 21 September 2010
This is the first book of a prequel trilogy to Fallon's Demon Child trilogy and I made the mistake of reading some of the reviews on Amazon before starting the book. These reviews implied that I wouldn't be able to follow the story unless I'd read the Demon child series first so I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the book (especially as it's another doorstop book - over 700 pages!) but it just goes to show that you should never listen to critics! I loved the book - all the political wrangling over succession and hints at the use of magic and the `hidden' race of Harshini made for a convincing world. This is a world that has existed for hundred of years and will go on even without the characters. Marla, nominally the `main' character makes enormous strides to grow up throughout the book - and by the end comes of age. But all the other characters are superbly written as well and there are one or two shocks when some characters are killed off. This is a world where the good guys don't always win - in fact the good guys don't always do good and the bad guys aren't all bad - everyone is a shade of grey and their actions can go either way. I was able to follow the story without reading the Demon Child and I think it surprised me when the story took a certain turn as I didn't know how it was going to end. I enjoyed this so much - I can't wait for the middle book of the trilogy to arrive - Warrior.
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VINE VOICEon 19 January 2009
If you haven't tried Jennifer Fallon before, you're in for a treat! I haven't read Demon Child trilogy so that's still to come. 'Wolfblade' is the one to start with. If you've enjoyed Song of Ice and Fire, you'll enjoy this one. There are many similarities. Very well written and definitely page-turning. I've just finished 'Warrior' - the next one, and it's even better! Lots of political intrigue, not too much magic [thank goodness!], no orcs or similar [though there's a brief mention of demons and on one occasion someone arrives on a dragon]; no huge battles, no explicit sex, no bad language [makes a pleasant change] but a really good read. Go for it!
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on 7 September 2014
A very poor imitation of a fantasy novel. Bought as an Amazon recommendation having recently finished Song of ice series and being an avid Robin Hobb reader I was looking around for something new. Buyer beware! this book is poorly written lacking in substance and written more like a kids book . I don`t see myself buying any more of this trilogy.
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on 23 August 2015
This read got me from the start,the story unfolding along the way but not always how you would expect,,,,,then it was finished......yes I am looking forward to the next book
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on 7 November 2012
These books combine an interesting, well-developed fantasy world with very believable characters who develop and change as the fast-moving stories move on.
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