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Myrren's Gift: The Quickening Book One Paperback – 20 Jan 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Myrren's Gift: The Quickening Book One
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  • Bridge Of Souls: The Quickening: Book Three
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  • Revenge: Book Two: Trinity Series
Total price: £28.97
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 2005 edition (20 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841493732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841493732
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 4.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

McIntosh has assembled a wonderfully varied cast of royals, soldiers, and assassins for her swashbuckling tale. . . I can't wait for the next volume. (STARBURST)

A very promising start to an engaging tale (SFX)

[a] delightful and fast-moving story. (Publishers Weekly)

It's a 'just one more chapter (sort of book. Don't start reading MYRREN'S GIFT in the evening if you have to get up early the next morning!')

Book Description

A wonderfully fast- paced, page-turning fantasy, featuring a truly original fantasy concept

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Myrren's Gift is the first title I have read by this author and it has left me feeling very let down.

The main storyline and underlying themes I found alluring, encapsulating some of the things a good fantasy novel should have (mystery, political intrigue, righteous cause, etc). And the idea of reincarnation for the protagonist was unique, opening many opportunities for character development and growth. But it wasn't followed through. Execution was diabolical.

The pace of the story is very choppy and often stalls before picking up any sort of momentum. Descriptive imagery is weak and hardly apparent, often non-existent. Alarmingly character viewpoints are continuously changing mid-chapter. Never have I jumped between four character viewpoints in as many paragraphs. There is purposed domination by the author in 'dumping' vast amounts of information onto the reader (this can go on for 3-4 pages at a time) whilst simultaneously rushing through key scenes.

The characters are contrived, their acting and thinking often not in line with their personality traits, background or experiences. The timeline of events are unrealistic and rushed. The main character just bounces around from place to place, disaster to disaster, all within a few short weeks of each other. One day he's lying in bed with broken ribs, a few days later he's fighting in a tournament against a matched opponent, the ribs forgotten by both the character and author.

But worst of all is the author's world creation - or lack thereof. Class distinctions result in different upbringings and idealisms - but this has been ignored. There are temples and a deity called Shar - and that's all we're told about their religious beliefs, customs and how it has shaped their community.
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Format: Paperback
I'd been toying with the idea of buying this for a while. The cover blurb was interesting, and I liked the cover. (So I'm shallow.)
I think the title of this review sums up my reaction to the book. McIntosh demonstrates several "first novel" problems -- poor to 1-dimensional characterisation; multiple confusing point-of-view shifts, often changing every paragraph (and no, it wasn't meant to be omniscient); info-dumping -- and these added up to marked lack of appreciation for her prose. Still, the story itself is quite interesting, even if some of the plot twists are telegraphed rather obviously. I do think it would be a better book were it edited severely, and marketed as a YA fantasy. For those of us fantasy addicts awaiting the newest Bakker or Erikson, "Myrren's Gift" is not enough to tide us over.
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Format: Paperback
When I first saw Myrren's Gift, the first book of The Quickening, in my local bookshop, I did not think it was a fantasy novel. The cover art showing a towering castle in a mountainous region suggested a historical epic or perhaps a medieval romantic saga. A quick read of the blurb, however, was enough to convince me to give this book by an unknown Australian author a try.
Wyl Thirsk is the king's general. When he witnesses the execution of Myrren, a girl accused of witchcraft, he shows her compassion and mercy. In return, Myrren promises Wyl a gift but he quickly dismisses the notion, thinking the doomed girl had nothing left to give. He is to find, however, that his simple act of kindness would trigger a series of events that will change his life forever.
Myrren's Gift does not have dwarfs, elves, wizards or talismans of magic. On the surface, Wyl's world appears "too" Earth-like and ordinary, inhabited by mere humans and everyday animals. The ferocious ekons are the only species I remember that are entirely from McIntosh's imagination. In fact, Wyl's sidekick and loyal companion is an inconspicuous dog and not a fire-breathing dragon or even a mischievous halfling.
A few chapters into the book, however, and you will see that Fiona McIntosh has nevertheless created a rich and satisfying world to please any seasoned fantasy reader. Instead of electrifying showdowns between powerful magicians, she gives us intriguing conflicts and edge-of-the-seat situations. And where other writers would attempt to dazzle readers with both wonderful and hideous creatures, McIntosh instead offers us unforgettable human characters who are easy to like and care about.
Wyl is one of the most believable protagonists I have come across - brave but not perfect.
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Format: Paperback
I liked its cover, I liked the blurb on the back, and I especially liked the author's thanks to Robin Hobb for her support. Well, I thought, if no lesser light than Ms. Hobb thinks Ms. McIntosh is worth supporting, then this must be good. More fool me. Without question, this is the worst book I have read in many a year. There is nothing to recommend in this book, and by the time I was a quarter of the way through I was skipping paragraphs, and then at the end whole pages. the only descriptions worth anything are of interior décor, and they are painfully twee in any case.
Added to that are the non-existent characters and the way her characters either discover boundless depths and qualities in each other that they can respect, or else fall in love with each other within five minutes of meeting, there is the plot that staggers from east to west, back again, then north, then south, then back east, the ridiculous politics, and the dizzying change of character viewpoints, often within the same chapter or even paragraph. For example, in Chapter 13, from the POV of a mercenary launching a sneak attack we lurch to the motives of the king who ordered it, and then lurch again to those defending against it. The 'Quickening' has a huge logical hole in it (i.e. how did Wyl remain Wyl when Myrren gave him the gift of it?) and the 'twist' at the end was visible a mile off. It was just a coin's toss whether Wyl would end up as Celimus (caricature of a one dimensional matinee villain) or the assassin. Really quite dreadful.
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