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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light Stealer is NOT Dawnthief, 12 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Light Stealer (Paperback)
P>Light Stealer is a stand-alone novella (and an excellent one) which describes the events surrounding the discovery of the spell 'Dawnthief'. However the novel, 'Dawnthief' takes place some 300 years after the events of Light Stealer, though of course it deals with the same spell, hence the title.
I agree though, buy Dawnthief and read it and you'll be a fan for life. Bear in mind, though, that Dawnthief is raw in some respects and Barclay's books improve the further you get into this action-packed series.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear up a few things, 31 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Light Stealer (Paperback)
Light stealer is a fantastic book and most of the stuff you read in other reviews does it perfect justice, but just to clear up the fact that Light Stealer was NOT released in the UK under the name Dawnthief. Dawnthief is a totally separate book making up part of the raven series. Lightstealer is a stand alon novel which tells the stroy of Septern, a mage born on the balaian dimension (the same as the raven) but it is set 300 years prior to anything that happens in the raven trilogies
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proof that fantasy can be done well in shorter forms, 17 Mar 2003
By 
S Mazey "The Eternal Night Website" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Light Stealer (Paperback)
Septern is the most accomplished Mage in all of the mage colleges of Balaia. He is also the one man who has succeeded in developing the "Holy Grail" spell - the spell of ultimate destruction. This spell being sought to prove that it is possible and hence nothing is beyond magic, and Septern's creation "The Dawnthief" is the proof of this fact.
Driven by his ego he decides to travel to a conference of the mage colleges to announce his discovery. This decision goes against the advice of one of his students, who warns him of the state of war about in Balaia and how the various sides of the conflict would want to secure this knowledge to aid their war effort.
His conviction is that the various parties would see this as proof of the infinite possibilities of magic, and as a gateway to unlocking further secrets. This belief bolstered by his desire to go down in history as the Dawnthief's inventor, a belief he uses this to block any thoughts that his student might be right.
But following his lecture and the reaction of the various parties he begins to see his error and races back to his home to attempt the defence of his secret and to save the lives of his students.
Well, this is an unusual beast - a fantasy novella. Out of the three genres we read, sf and horror lend themselves to this format far more readily than fantasy, and high fantasy especially. To achieve a successful fantasy story, setting the background for the world, the characters and still have room for a gripping plot in a story this length requires a skillful writer, and fortunately James Barclay is a writer well up to the task.
This proved to be another of those PS Publishing books that I picked up when it arrived on my doorstep, opened to see what it was all about and was instantly hooked - not stopping again until the book was finished.
But if you have any of the problems of fitting such lengthy works in to a hectic lifestyle but still want to read fantasy then books such as this are ideal.
And don't for a second think that the shortness means that many of the usual (and necessary) parts of a fantasy story have been sacrificed for space. This world is fully developed, and the descriptions evoke sufficient detail to flesh out the places, characters and events. What we don't get is the "every blade of grass" approach that I've come across from time to time.
As an introduction to the author's Raven books (this is set in the same world) this is highly likely to make you want to read more.
PS Publishing has developed a reputation for producing extremely well produced books, with high production values and wonderfully entertaining stories and this most certainly continues this trend.
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Light Stealer
Light Stealer by James Barclay (Paperback - 30 Mar 2003)
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