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Against the Light Paperback – 24 Jan 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

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.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have very mixed feelings about this book. Whilst I completed it, and enjoyed the story, there is something that never really engaged me, and I cannot truthfully put my finger on it.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS STORY, A BIT DISAPPOINTED IN THE ENDING I HOPE THERE IS MORE THAT WILL BE CONTINUING THE TAIL.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A very interesting book, with a fair share of political intrigue and games, family tragedy and revenge on a background of a world where "talent" is magic. Thus this book ends up delivering something slightly different to a typical fantasy read: I would argue not enough fantasy.
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.
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By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had not encountered the works of Scottish-born Canadian novelist, Dave Duncan, before receiving a copy of his latest book, "Against the Light", to review. Considering how prolific this author of fantasy fiction is, with more than three dozen titles in print, this is more than a little surprising; if the quality of this offering is anything to go by, it is also a great pity!

"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.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To summarise the basic plot of Against the Light I'd say it's a typical fantasy/morality tale of good v bad, strong v weak, set in a fantastical age without any particular historical fact. Parts of the novel are good, other parts are poor and typical of the genre. I began to lose interest at around the half way point.

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.
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By Su TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 July 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is another fantasy story from author Dave Duncan (who also writes as Sarah B Franklin and Ken Hood) and I have to say I was left disappointed.

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.
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