The Coldfire trilogy tells a story of discovery and battle against evil on a planet where a force of nature exists that is capable of reshaping the world in response to psychic stimulus. This terrifying force, much like magic, has the power to prey upon the human mind, drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams, and indiscriminately giving them life.
This is the story of two men: one, a warrior priest ready to sacrifice anything and everything for the cause of humanity's progress; the other, a sorcerer who has survived for countless centuries by a total submission to evil. They are absolute enemies who must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known.
©1991 C.S. Friedman (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book was interesting at the beginning, with an usual magic system. Then it devolved into endless wandering, with little to nothing happening. C.S. Friedman has a tendency to use the same word over and over again. Malevolence was used so often, that I wanted to throw a thesaurus at her. Not recommended, and I willl not be reading the rest of the series.
When I first started listening to this book I was very hopeful. It has an interesting conceit - a world which contains a force that responds to human thoughts and shapes the physical environment accordingly. I found the protagonist, a warrior-priest with a mission, a refreshing change from the usual.
Alas, I got bogged down in the book and found getting to the end difficult. The development of the plot and the characters did not fulfill the original promise. Instead, the story became tedious and repetitive. Motivations were not clear. By the end I didn't care anymore.
Too bad, because it had a great concept.
That being said, others seem to like the book so read the reviews carefully. Perhaps it will be your cuppa tea. Sadly, it was not mine.
Perhaps the best thing about Black Sun Rising and the Cold Fire Trilogy as well, is the world creation. The magic system alone is worth the credits. I have listened to over 700 books, and the reading of the entire trilogy is top notch. RC Bray nails it.
While Black Sun Rising stands out, as special, if you you are a fan of good world creation, it is easily in the same category as such great books, as Mistborn, the codex Alera, and Chalion books.
There are many stand out scenes in this book, but i was hooked 20 years ago by the prologe, and it still stands out to me to this day.
I loved this book so much that i spent a year creating a paper and pencil RPG based on it back in the 90's.
I have been waiting for these books to come out on audio for years. And i am not disappointed in the least. Five solid stars.
I was a HUGE fan of this series in print when I as a youngster....
I was overjoyed to see it finally available in Audio!!
The story remains as great as ever. (just go with it past the grisly start of
The Audible narator is servicable, but I had hopes for something slightly
more "rough-edged" to portray the "Hunter" Character.
Still a great buy that you will not be disappointed with!
This mountain of books isn't going to listen to itself.
FOR REAL you need to pay attention to every word. I would recommend this to a dark friend who had not much too do. You cant miss a few words do to a zone out while driving.
I don't remember
Bray is great. Nothing to complain about. I would say he is a 4 out of 5.
Yes... read a normal fantasy book. I do love my sword, wizard, and king.
The writing style is kind of strange along with the book. Every part of the book seems to show on how dark and wrong it is. It becomes a bore. I understand the authors intent. But it is a tad over done..... Making it dark.Every seen seems to have a description where it explains why every thing will be dark. This is only a skip if you CANT pay attention the whole time. Overalll... its a 3 star.. you can skip this one. But is a Fan-sci book to the extreme.
If I could give this book zero stars I would. I am an avid fantasy fan so in comparison to much better epics, this is horrible. The religious philosophy and magic system are so poorly explained. The characters are so poorly developed. New characters randomly appear and disappear with no explanation. I should have read more reviews. Like other reviews have said, the endless internal monologues of the characters replace normal dialogue. So annoying. The characters actions and motivations are so unbelievable. Do not waste your time or money on this book!
This is one of my favorite books of all time. And at first I was really enjoying the narration...until The Hunter first came on stage. He is, without a doubt, my favorite book character in the history of many years of reading. And this narrator gave him a terribly cheesy accent that wandered somewhere between Arabic and Italian, but rendered a chilling, powerful, emotionless character into a caricature. I couldn't stand to listen anymore and had to turn it off.
Gerald Tarrant, AKA the hunter. Villain, antihero, hard to quantify and yet always compelling and complex.
Great job differentiating, but see my complaint about the accent for The Hunter.
Honestly? Ciani. Which would kill it since the plot revolved around her, but she was always an irritant in the print edition and remains one in the audiobook.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Black Sun Rising is the first novel in C.S. Friedman’s popular COLDFIRE trilogy. I read Dominion, the prequel novella, a couple of years ago after reading (and loving) several of her science fiction novels. I admire Friedman’s worldbuilding and her writing style.
The COLDFIRE trilogy feels like traditional epic fantasy, but it would best be categorized as science fantasy because it takes place in the far future on Erna, a planet colonized by humans looking for a habitable world. When they got to this world, they discovered that natural laws work differently. Some force, which they call the “Fae,” feeds on human fears and uses those “vibes” (my word) to influence evolution. This means, for example, that creatures that aren’t real, but that we fear, such as vampires and other monsters, can quickly evolve on Erna. (This is similar to the magic system in Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood and Lavondyss.) Also, the Fae interfere with human technology so that it’s nearly impossible for humans to control electricity, firearms, or other technological devices.
Some humans, called “adepts,” have learned to “work the Fae.” This works even better if they make some sort of personal sacrifice. Shortly after the humans arrived and began getting killed off by the monsters they dreamed into existence, one of them, on his own, decided to make a sacrifice for the colony by destroying their spaceship and its vast store of knowledge. Thus, the humans have essentially cast themselves back to a medieval culture, which is what makes these novels feel more like fantasy than science fiction. I found Friedman’s explanation for why human beings were living in a medieval society on a new planet to be completely believable.
In Dominion, we met Gerald Tarrant, an undead sorcerer who used to be the most devout and revered prophet of the One True God (essentially the Christian God) on Erna until, seeking power, he made a personal sacrifice that was so evil that it damned him to Hell. Now he is the most powerful human on Erna, but he fears death because he knows he’s damned. In order to stay alive, he had to become a vampire and must feed on human fear and blood. Thus, the man who used to be the holiest and most revered human on the planet has become the most evil and feared monster. This trade-off — the sacrifice Gerald makes in order to gain power and knowledge — is the theme of the trilogy and it produces some fascinating repercussions, ethical dilemmas, and thought exercises.
Not all of that information is laid out in Dominion, but we get enough of it to make us want to read on to find out what motivates Gerald Tarrant. In Black Sun Rising, he is called “The Hunter” and it is known that his minions scour the streets at night looking for pretty girls to bring to their master. We also meet Reverend Damian Vryce, a devout warrior priest of the One True God who wants to rescue his girlfriend, an adept who has been kidnapped by dark forces. Thinking that Gerald is the kidnapper, he enters Gerald’s forest (which we learned about in Dominion) and finds his castle. It turns out that Gerald isn’t the bad guy (this time) and the two join forces, along with a couple of others, and begin a quest to hunt down the real bad guy (or girl).
As you’d expect, Damien is not too happy about working with Gerald — he hates the man — but Gerald is the only person powerful enough to help him. Much of the tension in the story involves Damien’s conflicted feelings about working with and not against Gerald. Other tension stems from the hardships they endure on their quest. These involve several typical epic fantasy quest issues such as being attacked by minions of an evil sorcerer, enduring earthquakes, hiking across precarious cliffs, and tunneling through underground mines. Some of their adventures reminded me a little too much of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. There’s even a Boromir-type character and I kept thinking of the “Eye of Sauron” as they entered X--Mordor--X enemy territory. Yet despite these types of Tolkienesque plot elements, Friedman’s characters and the history of her world are completely unique and what I liked best about Black Sun Rising. I look forward to learning more and exploring more of Friedman’s world in book two, When True Night Falls.
I’m listening to the audio versions of the COLDFIRE trilogy. They’re produced by Audible Studios and are very nicely narrated by R.C. Bray. Black Sun Rising is 24 hours long.
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