- Paperback: 494 pages
- Publisher: 47North (24 Jan. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612182038
- ISBN-13: 978-1612182032
- Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,278,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Against the Light Paperback – 24 Jan 2012
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About the Author
Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King’s Blades. He and his wife Janet, his in-house editor and partner for over fifty years, live in Victoria, British Columbia. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Top Customer Reviews
The story is not particularly original, and the general thrust of the plot can fairly easily be guessed. The characters are a little one-dimensional, so when they do something odd, it doesn't necessarily come as a surprise, when perhaps it should.
The elements of 'magic' or whatever you want to call it seem to come in merely to be able to move the plot forward, or get one of the characters out of a difficult situation, they didn't seem to me to be an intrinsic part of the whole.
Overall, although I finished the book, I never felt involved in it.
It is well written, good story plot with some believable and strong characters in the lead. Some of the lesser characters are very superficial and maybe if they had been omitted or remained nameless, they would have distracted less.
Overall, a good read and book, but I wouldn't be following this if turned into a trilogy or chronicle as not enough substance or depth to establish itself in the fantasy realm.
"Against the Light" is a thinly veiled blending of the state persecution of the Catholics (complete with gunpowder plot) and the fanatical hunting out of witchcraft that was prevalent throughout England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, here transported to a fictional land and embroidered with a few touches of fantasy along the way. The fantasy elements are cleverly and subtly handled, making the book read more as an historical fiction than as a fantasy story per se, though.
Dave Duncan writes with an accomplished and adult assurance that is a pleasure to read in the current age of dumbed-down and action-centred story-telling. If the book has a failing it is perhaps that it flows a little too quickly for its own good, giving the story-line a somewhat contrived feel and introducing an element of predictability to it, at times, that just prevents me giving the book a full 5 stars. Towards the end, it tumbles to an only partially conclusive end, which gives the impression that it could be continued in a sequel, although the author on his blog page is adamant there will not be one.
In summary, "Against the Light" is a good solid yarn about the perennial struggle of the good and the meek against the corrupt and the powerful, with some interesting things to say along the way, and without the constraint of having to be historically accurate in any of its details.Read more ›
What I did enjoy was the dark, witchcraft, old religion elements which are depicted with quite a lot of brutality as the old ways are forced to make way for the new and; the magic's well handled and written with a lot of imagination. I enjoyed most of the characters and there's enough general suspense and mystery to keep you hooked through the first half of the novel.
I was so disappointed that at a certain point the plot seems to wander off and the fantasy begins to lose it's sparkle. Expecting readers to suspend belief and live within a fantasy for a novel spanning almost 500 pages is a difficult task and one David Duncan hasn't managed in Against the Light. Sometimes fantasy is better when kept short and there's too much padding in here for my own personal taste. Don't misunderstand me; this isn't a bad novel, not by any means, but it's predictable and wanders away with itself for large chunks without really getting anywhere. First half is by far the better half, sorry, but I really struggled to finish reading Against the Light once I'd gone past the first 250 pages.
The story was familiar - religion runs the country and the religion out of control. Followers of the old religion must battle the current religion to take back control of the country.
I love fantasy stories, they are my not so secret vice, but I found the book sadly predictable and formulaic. Sorry Mr Duncan, I expected better from you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't believe I actually put off reading this book for over three years! When I first put it on my reading list, I did so because I was looking to read more fantasy books at the... Read morePublished on 21 May 2015 by Ursula K. Raphael
Great characters and interesting story. I particularly liked that the new church had replaced the old one as that had been corrupt and now the new one was even worse.Published on 22 Feb. 2015 by Karen Clarke
I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed by this bbok. It seems to me to be formulaic and I was unable to connect with it. I'm not the target audience so you may have a better experience.Published on 8 Nov. 2014 by T. Walker
Dave Duncan can always be relied on to write a good, exciting and very readable book. In Against The Light we have a fairly complex story but one that is always easy to... Read morePublished on 9 Oct. 2014 by Peter Miller
This is a substantial fantasy book, charting the fortunes of Rollo Woodbridge and his family. It is an easy read, with large font and plenty of direct speech. Read morePublished on 19 July 2014 by Charlotte
Good characterisation. Interesting story line. Excellent concept. Story line kept interest not easily predictable. Would recommend this book to any readers who like fantasyPublished on 18 April 2014 by Edith my hill
Set in a time and place reminiscint of Elizabethan England a story of the clash between the New religion of the Sun, and the old religion of the mother, it draws heavily on the... Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2013 by Donald Thompson
Really good read, left me keen for next book in the series, really bought into the character's I recommend for all.Published on 17 July 2013 by barrytitcomb