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on 23 April 2000
She's done it again! If you loved the Dragon Prince line of books, you'll love her latest outings! Ms. Rawn brings these strong and wonderful characters to life. The Beginning is a bit daunting, yet for good reason. It sets the stage, lays a foundation as it were. You become wrapped up in these characters because they are so well thought out they seem like real people. Ms Rawn has a rare and precious gift. Buy this book if you love to read a well crafted tale which will leave you wanting more!
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on 31 March 2000
If you loved her previous works in the Dragon Prince series you will love her most recent outing into the fantasy world. Ms. Rawn has created an entirely new and exciting world of richly detailed characters. I've read the first two books in this trilogy and am egarly anticipating the third. Whilst having a penchant for strong female characters, Ms. Rawn does not do this at the expence of the male characters in her writings. By the time you reach the second novel in the series, you feel as if these characters are old friends. Ms Rawns evocative writing style truly brings these colourful people and places to life.
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on 9 March 1998
This book was a wonderful experience for me, I was at first intrigued by the lovely cover art, and the contents of the book turned out to be just as beautiful. I read a lot of fantasy, but rearly have I come across a world so complex with characters as truly human. From the very first chapter I was hooked, and couldn't put the book down. I felt for the characters, I was happy, sad and angry, I laughed and cried, and I cannot say that is something all books make me do. I can recommend this book to everyone.
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on 8 September 2000
I have to agree with two of the reviews below and can't believe the other one! Rawn writes with a complexity that matches that of real life and real people that brings belief to a fantasy World. You feel for the characters and wish them the best, but as ever life is made difficult, and you keep turning the pages to see how situations are resolved. I love it.
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on 27 November 1999
I have always liked Ms Rawn's books. I read all the Dragon prince books and enjoyed them. But she has surpassed herself with this first book of a new series. She still has a tendancy to create too many characters which can be confusing. But in the characters of Sarra and Collan she has excelled herself. Collan in particular is wonderful. I fell in love with him. Wish I could meet someone like him in real life! The plot is engaging and complicated and Rawn has twisted our world completely around. In this world the women have all the power and money and the men are second class citizens. If you liked Rawn's other works, you'll love this
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on 1 March 1999
Even though the beginning was hard to get into first, I would say it was worth it. The book is amazing. I could not put the book down!! This book is an unforgetable book.
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on 18 February 1998
I give the characters a score of 10. They were captivating and obviously meant something to the author. The storyline had me reading the book at lightning speed. not because i was enthralled but because i was skipping or skimming entire chapters at a time. The jabberings on about things fairly irrelevant to the story were uninteresting to me. I would like to read the sequel to see how it turns out, but have not yet been able to locate it.
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on 31 May 2003
This book is the first in a trilogy of which the final book is not yet published. I found it a gripping read and although it is rather large, read it in less than a week. The story is elaborately told with each character developing into a close friend if you like. I seriously recommend this series, no matter what kind of fantasy you might normally read. Although it's a bit hard to get into at first, you're soon sucked in. Enjoy....
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on 7 March 1998
I've been reading Melanie Rawn's books ever since "Dragon Prince" first appeared, and this is simply the best yet. Brilliant characters (as usual, for Ms. Rawn), and an intricate world surrounding them. A truly great story that kept me reading all the way through, and extremely anxious for the succeeding volumes! This promises to be one of the best fantasy series available, once it's completed.
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on 8 May 1997
...good characters make a good book.

"The Ruins of Ambrai" is the first book I've read in a long time were the charcters and relationships seemed utterly realistic. In comparision other modern fantasy characters, including even Robert Jordan's, seem shallow. Sarra and Collan's relationship was one of the first I've read that didn't strike me as either contreived, shallow, or fake. It was at this time that I formed the opinion that only women authors are capable of seeing a realistic relationship. She also seemed to be the only author who doesn't have the strange compulsion to involve every male and female who get thrown together into a romance. For once, they could actually TALK.
I was especilally impressed with Rawn's presentation of good and evil. It wsa a pleaser not being told for once what to think, but rather being left to draw cunclusions for myself. In the beginning I was torn between a like for Glenin and Auvrey, whille I couldn't help feeling they were wrong. This slow development of evil in people was beautifully done, and much closer to reall concepts of evil now in days then all the typical fantasy's black and white presentasion.

The turning and twisting plot held me glued to the page, and it did not disapoint me. Even after two readings, I still feel that there are alot of ideas left to explore. The richness of the book is amazing.
The only draw back in this otherwise perfect book was the complate lack of morality of any kind, and the sometimes crude vulgarity of the society. Examples: the charming bawer custom and the lovely coin just issued. I completly agree with Sarra's opinion on the coin, and Gorynel Desse rematk that an opening between a bower and serwer was appropriate.
Otherwise, it was an amazing book, and Rawn was very sucsessfull in building characters very different from each other, while keeping up the tensions and lapses between them. The best example is, of course, the three sisters: Glenin, Sarra and Cailet. I only hope that the second book manages to keep it up.
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