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Black Sun Rising: Coldfire Trilogy, Book 1 | [C. S. Friedman]

Black Sun Rising: Coldfire Trilogy, Book 1

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. They are absolute enemies who must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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3.8 (608 )
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  •  
    Jason United States 06-20-12
    Jason United States 06-20-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    24
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    "Slow start but really quite fun"

    The opening of this book was hard to get through as the setting at first seems alien enough to be difficult to grasp and familiar enough to be generic (it's a post sci-fi fantasy). We immediately meet a character who is committing a heinous act and, with no appreciation for who he is, it's jarring and unpleasant to read. Eventually, the book comes into its own, with the introduction of some very enjoyable characters (although they seem a little flat at first).

    The magic system presented is more detailed than much fantasy but doesn't quite achieve a level of detail where the reader can appreciate the limitations/strengths of the magic characters without being told directly about them by the narration. It doesn't have as much detail as the Mistborn series, but that also means that it doesn't get bogged down by that detail the way that I feel that Mistborn was.

    By the epilogue, I realized that I had actually grown attached to the characters, as I was smiling and chuckling at their actions.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul HOWELL, MI, United States 06-26-12
    Paul HOWELL, MI, United States 06-26-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    "A great sires comes to audio at last!"
    What did you love best about Black Sun Rising?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Black Sun Rising to and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy SARASOTA, FL, United States 01-01-14
    Billy SARASOTA, FL, United States 01-01-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Frustrating beyond belief. Couldn't finish it..."
    What would have made Black Sun Rising better?

    The story line barely made sense. The need for the "Quest" was never developed or explained, let alone the main characters' reasons for pursuing it. The story just never took form for me. I really liked the character Damien at the beginning of the book, but towards the end of the final section, I was so disappointed and frustrated by his incessant whining that I could not even finish the book! By the final third of the book, every scene in which Damien opened his mouth (or his thoughts) he was ranting about his guilt and self-hatred for letting the "evil" Tarrant live. Even though Tarrent was the Father & Prophet of Damien's religion. Even though Damien himself said earlier (more than once) that as long as they were on this quest together, they had to get along and look out for each other - even to the point where Damien saved Tarrant's life by allowing him to feed off his own (Damien's) blood and nightmares. Halfway thru the book Tarrant became more likeable than Damien!

    Never before have I come to loathe the main character of a sci-fi novel to such an extent. Never before have I discontinued a book so close to the end, but I just couldn't take it anymore. Listening became tedious and annoying for me. It frustrated me beyond belief (hence the title of this review).

    William (Tedium Ad Nauseum) explained it better than I... Read his review please.


    Has Black Sun Rising turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I will continue to read and enjoy Sci-Fi & Fantasy novels as long as I live. There are so many good author's out there, like Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie... No reason to let one bad apple spoil the genre...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the combat scenes.


    What character would you cut from Black Sun Rising?

    The author.


    Any additional comments?

    In retrospect, this is probably one of the worst books I have read beyond page 200 (or listened to until the final part) . The most redeeming aspect of this audiobook was the wonderful performance by R.C. Bray. He was a pleasure to listen to. Creative and believable voices & accents. Especially the non-humans. I will seek out other books (not by this author) that Bray has performed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil United States 07-02-13
    Phil United States 07-02-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    Story
    "Great twist -- very likable bad-guy...."

    I was introduced to Gerald Tarrant and Damian Vryce maybe 2007 or 2008 and have enjoyed the dialog between the two ever since. When I saw that it was in audio form I decided to chance it.

    I've seen other reviews where this trilogy was characterized as tedious, maybe I was spared that because I had already read the trilogy, more than once.

    There is a sense, at least to me, of earned respect given by each character. The mix of frontier mentalities with the canonical structure of the Church made for a great backdrop for Tarrant and Vryce.

    There is a slower pace to this story that is a wonderful change from my other genres where things are always on the move or blowing up, etc.

    Another thing that I enjoyed, is that it the characters where not truly black or white, all had their faults, all had their strengths.

    Then there is Tarrant, how could I not love, him... arrogant, powerful, but always, well almost always true to himself...

    In the previous statements I wanted to say that all the main characters have a dark side and a side that strives for the goodness of the light; with Tarrant he has his dark side, and then his maybe-no-so-dark side... ;-)

    I didn't get to the point where I had to write in the margins of my copy of this book; for that try reading "My House has Two Doors" by Han SuYin, but I can see where one might have to double back a couple times to see if he or she missed something. Really not easy with an audio file..

    My two cents for what it is worth..

    pj

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anniepoo Indiana 03-09-13
    Anniepoo Indiana 03-09-13 Member Since 2012

    just myself

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    17
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    5
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    "An excellent rendition of a superb story"

    This trilogy is one of my very favorite reads. Mr. Bray does an amazing job with the voices, especially the unhuman voices. Highly recommended to anyone who already thinks they might want it, and to those who enjoy an intricately plotted, character driven, richly detailed story which explores the natures of good and evil, altruism and self-interest, and unlikely allies. This is a complex series, yet each book comes to a satisfying conclusion, so one is not left hanging should one decide to stop after the first (hard for me to imagine, but tastes do vary). If you enjoy admiring an attractive villain, there are few as attractive as Gerald Tarrant, and Damian Vries makes an excellent hero as well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Crum South Carolina 02-28-13
    Jessica Crum South Carolina 02-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    Story
    "A little less drama, please."

    I felt like this could have been a much better book if it hadn't taken itself so seriously and gotten bogged down in how the protagonist and antagonist felt about each other (and everything else) all the time. I mean, seriously, I don't care how they feel. Let's just get through this plot. I'm not against a little introspection, but this was ridiculous.
    I guess I shouldn't be too hard on it. The idea was good; very interesting. It just moved so slowly. I never get bored mid-book... except for this one.
    Sadly, I won't be finishing this series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth ROCKAWAY, NJ, United States 08-31-12
    Kenneth ROCKAWAY, NJ, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    45
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    4
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    "mind drifted off into oblivion"

    I could not keep my attention on this book; either the narrator or just boring story did it, I could not pay attention for more than 5 minutes. Author also failed to create any emotional attachment to the characters.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 07-13-12
    Coral Mississauga, ON, Canada 07-13-12 Member Since 2004

    I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
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    "Pleasure to Hear"

    The story was great. It had a wonderful balance of actual characters and magic with rules. The bad guy was bad but yet still had more character then a single drive and goal villain. The whole time I didn't want to put the story down. The action was great without the battles becoming tiresome. Bray did a nice job without over powering the story.

    Note there are a very few scenes where if you a thin voice hard to hear you might very difficult. However they are for the most part short and not super critical to the plot.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Folsom, CA, United States 06-20-12
    Jason Folsom, CA, United States 06-20-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow start but really quite fun"

    The opening of this book was hard to get through as the setting at first seems alien enough to be difficult to grasp and familiar enough to be generic (it's a post sci-fi fantasy). We immediately meet a character who is committing a heinous act and, with no appreciation for who he is, it's jarring and unpleasant to read. Eventually, the book comes into its own, with the introduction of some very enjoyable characters (although they seem a little flat at first).

    The magic system presented is more detailed than much fantasy but doesn't quite achieve a level of detail where the reader can appreciate the limitations/strengths of the magic characters without being told directly about them by the narration. It doesn't have as much detail as the Mistborn series, but that also means that it doesn't get bogged down by that detail the way that I feel that Mistborn was.

    By the epilogue, I realized that I had actually grown attached to the characters, as I was smiling and chuckling at their actions.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Palmer, AK, United States 07-06-12
    William Palmer, AK, United States 07-06-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Coldfire Prelude"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    If you are not familiar with this author and/or story, the Prelude in Book two is a must read/hear before reading the first book as it explains so much of the ground work/foundation of the story line. I was lost for a lot of this first book and found it more interesting after listening to the start of the second book. That said, after the Prolog in book 2 is a complete rundown of book one, so avoid that. The author is very wordy and takes a lot of time to develop a story...this was the first time I thought about the abridged version.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Trying to figure out what was going on.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Somewhat. Some of the character accents seemed silly, like the Dracula voice.


    Do you think Black Sun Rising needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    The story was complete, but the world created has a lot of room for exploration in narrative form.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book, but it has some real slow areas. I am finishing book two now and will get the third one as well.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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