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on 7 October 2002
This is the first book in the Artefacts of Power tetralogy (followed by Harp of Winds, The Sword of Flame and Dhiammara).
Aurian is a red-haired young girl, daughter of the Magefolk, who lives with her mother Eilin in the crater left by the magical accident that killed her father. Upon hearing of the catastrophe, Forral, a skilled Mortal swordsman, friend of Aurian's late father, comes to offer his help. Although most unwelcome by Eilin at first, he'll take care of Aurian's education and physical training as she grows up. It won't take the little girl very long to fall in love with the man.
But soon it's time for Aurian to move to the city of Nexis and its Academy, to be trained among the Mages. Only then does she realize the social chasm and power struggle that exist between the Mage and Mortal casts.
Anvar is a slave boy working in the kitchens. Being regularly beaten by his master, he escapes one day from the Academy, and stumbles upon Aurian. Being of a gentle nature, she decided to takes him under her wing, as her personal servant.
For Miathan the Archmage, this is going to far, for he wants Aurian for himself. Before long, his jealousy and thirst for power will lead to a terrible confrontation, releasing deadly wraiths, unleashing Hell. Aurian has no choice but to sail away. But in the magical storm created by Eliseth the Weather-Mage, she stands no chance and she soon finds herself stranded on the shores of the beautiful yet hostile Southern Kingdoms, where she'll rediscover the history of the only weapons that can defeat Miathan: the Artefacts of Power.
Aurian is a wonderful fantasy, packed with action and unexpected turns. The world created by Maggie Furrey is enchanting and mysterious, her characters endearing and real. And even though Aurian's capricious and impulsive temper sometimes had the tendency to get on my nerves, I grew very fond of Anvar and I'm looking forward to seeing their friendship evolve and the story unravel.
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on 30 June 1996
Maggie Furey writes a gripping tale of mages, mortals and
the love that can keep a world going. Aurian, gifted with
fire magic from her late father and earth magic from her
mother, grows into the only mage capable of preventing
another cataclysm caused by dark magic from destroying the
world. Her love for a mortal, frowned upon by other mages,
proves to be the critical factor in her growing skills.

Unfortunately, Aurian has conceived a child by her mortal
lover, Forrel. Mithial, the Archmage and Aurian's teacher,
attempts to abort the child without Aurien's knowledge but
is interrupted by Anvar, Aurian's servant and bondsman, and
Forrel. Mithial unleashes a host of dark wraiths against
Forrel by using the forbidden cauldron, an artifact left
from the old ages that was used for evil and hidden away long
ago. The death of her lover causes Aurian to vow vengance
against Mithial and rid the world of the cauldron and its
evil.

This is an excellent story, with many well developed
characters and an engrossing plot. The story is continued
in Harp of Winds.
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on 26 September 2000
Wow. Absolutely fantastic. After reading Lord of the Rings, I doubted I would find another fantasy novel so enjoyable, so quickly. This book was perfect. If you are looking for something which you won't want to put down, this is it. Combines magic, unique characters and situations, each with sub-plots and depth not normally accomplished in one novel. Original, fast and funny whilst emotional. Easily one of the best books I've ever read, I just can't wait to read the next three !
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on 20 April 2001
Why has it taken me so long to find this author! A superb fantasy, rich in characters, ideas and texture - a must for anyone liking this genre.
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on 9 November 2012
I've owned the series The Artefacts of Power for more than ten years & yet still find all of them a pleasant read.

Aurian was my introduction to the fantasy genre & despite branching out to David Eddings & Ann McCaffery, I still find myself occasionally picking up Aurian & happily reading my way through the entire series.

Furey has written what I consider to be the definition of the fantasy genre. The plot is a classic good vs. evil, the language is reasonably simple, description is competent to strong; the characters are interesting & easy to associate with &, to visit a cliché, features plenty of magic, combat & the odd dragon. Furey hasn't reinvented the genre by any means, but the world in which the story plays out is well formed & you get a good picture of what is being presented.

It is fairly obvious from this series & her other fantasy series, the Shadow League, that Furey is a fairly strong feminist. Her principle characters are all strong females & some of the male protagonists are a bit pathetic at times. While the chief antagonist is male, there is a swathe of female antagonists as well. That said, I wasn't particularly bothered by this, the characters principle traits are consistent & Furey cleverly injects ways of speaking that give characters the accents that show they are from different countries despite the convenience of language being translated through magic.

As with many fantasy novels, it doesn't take a genius to work out where the plot will go & the antagonists are classic villains whose motivations are simply to take over, but this doesn't mean the reader isn't rewarded for the time invested & as there are four books to the series, Furey takes her time building up to finale, but offers plenty of rises & falls throughout the plot, even happily killing off what the reader might think as indispensable characters, keeping the plot interesting.

Prior to Aurian, my tastes lay with firmly with Sci-Fi, so to be completely hooked into the genre speaks volumes for how accessible the plot is. I'd thoroughly recommend the entire series to anyone looking to enter the genre as well as to anyone familiar with the genre & looking for an enjoyable addition to any library.
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on 31 December 1997
This exciting fantasy novel tells the story of Aurian (a red-headed mage), of her adventures and of her friends. I enjoyed this well written book and I recommended it to my sister and my mother. They both love the book. I have already read "Harp of Winds,"The Sword of Flame", and have just started "Dhiammara!" I hope that Maggie Furey will write more of these fantastically magical stories! I loved this book and hope that everyone who reads it will enjoy it as much as I have.
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on 13 March 1999
I read the whole series from start to finish and it revolusionized my life. I've never been a big fan of fantasy till one day i was walking about in the local library and it captured my eye. I borrowed it, took it home, and could absolutly not tear my eyes away from it till I'd finished. I also showed it to my friend, who then discovered, much to my joy, the other books in the series. I was hooked, and still am. i can not wait to read more of Maggie fureys books!! The Artefacts of Power series is compelling, scintilating, fast paced and magnificently sculptured. I never knew one book (well, 4) could change my life and outlook so dramatically. For me, Aurian and the world she lives in is real, and somewhere in my soul, forever will be.
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on 11 June 1999
This is the first Maggie Furey book I've read (can't believe it!) although I've seen her name many times. My wife bought the full set and devoured all 4 in a week, so I thought it must be pretty good. I was not disappointed; full of strong characterization and action, the book flows very well and Ms Furey has a very readable writing style. The book reads like some of the D&D games I've been involved in, and at times I did feel that some characters and plots were hastily conjured up to 'massage' the flow of the story. Apart from that it is a rollicking good read.
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on 30 July 2015
I first read this book as a teenager, after having loaned ot from my local library
I have since purchased all from this series and the shadow league series. It is immediately entertaining and drags you into an addictive reading situation! I bought these because I immediately knew it would be the kind of book I would happily read again and again over the years! I am sucked in whenever I read and am thoroughly happy to say it is a big middle finger to all those who say a woman cannot write a decent fantasy book! Suck on that E L James you big perv you!
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on 21 August 2002
After finishing this book I had withdrawal syptoms!
I find it hard to compare to any other fantasy novels I have read, it belies the gritty realism and accuracy which made The Lord of the Rings such a good read (a bit of an understatement) and every doomed predicament seems too easily escapable.
However for what this book lacks it makes up for with the colourful characters, a fast paced, eventful storyline and the amazing imagery that Maggie Furey conjures up.
I hope the other books shall be just as enjoyable to read.
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