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Wolfblade: Hythryn Chronicles, Book 1 | [Jennifer Fallon]

Wolfblade: Hythryn Chronicles, Book 1

Marla Wolfblade of Hythria is determined to restore her family's great name, but conspirators surround her: The Sorcerers' Collective, the Patriots - even members of her own family. She must make sure her son Damin lives to be old enough to restore the Wolfblade name to its former glory. Elezaar the Dwarf is a small man with big secrets - but that doesn't matter to Marla Wolfblade. Her brother is the High Prince of Hythria, and, in this fiercely patriarchal society, her fate will be decided on his whim.
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Publisher's Summary

Marla Wolfblade of Hythria is determined to restore her family's great name, but conspirators surround her: The Sorcerers' Collective, the Patriots - even members of her own family. She must make sure her son Damin lives to be old enough to restore the Wolfblade name to its former glory.

Elezaar the Dwarf is a small man with big secrets - but that doesn't matter to Marla Wolfblade. Her brother is the High Prince of Hythria, and, in this fiercely patriarchal society, her fate will be decided on his whim. She needs someone politically astute to guide her through the maze of court politics - and Elezaar the Dwarf knows more than he lets on. As Elezaar teaches Marla the Rules of Gaining and Wielding Power, Marla starts on the road to becoming a tactician and a wily diplomat - but will that be enough to keep her son alive?

©2004 Jennifer Fallon (P)2014 Audible Studios

What the Critics Say

"...showcases the Australian writer's skill at dramatizing the convoluted schemes and backstabbing of king making and power politics... Fallon sets the stage for another lively fantasy saga full of intriguing characters, smart dialogue and twisty plotting." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 07-19-14
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2014

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An epic political drama"

    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

    Wolfblade is the first book in Jennifer Fallon’s WOLFBLADE trilogy which is a prequel to her DEMON CHILD trilogy which I read several years ago. These are fat epic fantasies with lots of characters that are focused mostly on political drama but also contain plenty of magic and romance.

    This story takes place in Hythria, one of the kingdoms in Fallon’s world. Lernen, the current High Prince (a Wolfblade) cares nothing for his country and is not respected by his people because he spends his time in the pursuit of unusually decadent pleasures. All of the nobility agree that Lernen should not be running the country, but they disagree about how they should take care of the problem. Some are content to wait him out, some want to kill him, and some want to take his place. Since Lernen doesn’t seem to be interested in begetting a son, his heir will likely be any future son of his sister Marla Wolfblade, a beautiful teenage girl who Lernen can basically sell off to the highest bidding potential husband. At the beginning of the story Marla is immensely silly. She is more interested in the romantic idea of marrying a handsome warlord than in how her status as mother to the next High Prince gives her (and her husband) political power in Hythria. When Lernen decides to marry her off to the king of the neighboring barbaric country of Fardohnya, Marla is devastated, especially since she thinks she’s in love with the younger son of a Hythrin warlord.

    Fortunately for Marla, there are several people in Hythria who don’t want her marrying the Fardohnyan king either, including many of the nobility and the head of the Sorcerer’s Collective. She has another strong ally in a clever dwarf named Elezaar who she has recently purchased from the slave market. Elezaar has his own reasons for keeping Marla happy. Together they will attempt to save Marla from this disaster, but the plan they come up with will have terrible consequences for almost everyone involved. Marla must navigate a political landscape filled with secrets, treachery, sorcery, adultery, kidnappings, and assassinations. By the end of the story many of her family, enemies, and accomplices are dead, some have gotten in way over their heads, and Marla is transformed into a completely different person.

    If you love long soap-opera-ish epic fantasies with a medieval setting, lots of characters, many plot twists, complicated political intrigues, and lots of treachery and death, you’ll probably love Wolfblade. In many ways it’s similar to A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, though not as dark and compelling. For the most part I like Fallon’s world, but there are some aspects that I have a hard time believing in. For example, Hythria seems like a typical patriarchy where a woman is valued only for her beauty and the sons she can bear and is expected to remain a virgin until it’s time to be married off to the man of her father’s choosing. Yet just before she’s married, she’s given a court’esa (a purchased male whore) who teaches her all about sex and she’s allowed to have court’esas when she’s married. I find this unlikely in that type of society. I also couldn’t believe that Lernen would be unwilling to spend just a little time trying to get an heir. I mean, for such a decadent guy, how hard would that be? And in a country that has an all-powerful High Prince, would the assassins’ guild really be allowed to keep secrets about who’s trying to kill members of the royal family? Unlikely. This didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the story too much, but it kept me from being completely immersed in Fallon’s world.

    Readers who are familiar with the DEMON CHILD trilogy will recognize the origin of a couple of the main characters in those books, namely Damin Wolfblade and (I think) R’Shiel. We also get to visit the Harshini Sanctuary in Wolfblade and learn a little more about their lifestyles.

    I listened to Wolfblade in audio format. This has recently been produced by Audible, it’s 25.5. hours long, and it’s narrated by Maggie Mash who has a lovely warm British accent and does a terrific job with the character voices and the pace. I will be choosing this format for the sequel, Warrior.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Richard B. 07-08-15
    Richard B. 07-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Even better second time round!"

    Delectable descriptions. Complex web of stories and rich characters to relate to. Don't miss it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    glowbugs 05-30-14
    glowbugs 05-30-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Mediocre at best"

    There are several parts to a great epic fantasy novel that this book is clearly missing.

    1) This book has poor character development. The author is attempting to make her characters more than 2 dimensional and failing. And on top of poor development ---there are some characters in the book that are above and beyond "stupid."

    2) The plot is terribly predictable. I keep hoping that I'll be wrong and that I'll be surprised, but it hasn't happened yet.

    3) The author manages to draw out the most annoying parts of her book. Somehow no one guesses this "secret" that is terribly obvious and it draws out (if you get this book you'll see what I mean).

    With that being said, I like the narrator, no problems there.

    This is clearly a "lite" writing of fantasy and not a very good one at that. Overall I'd say if you can stand the annoying characters and predictable plot you may find this book to be mediocre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Cheri 11-11-14
    Cheri 11-11-14 Member Since 2014
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    "unless you enjoy pedophiles and child molesters.."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    no one should enjoy a story about pedophiles.


    What could Jennifer Fallon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    taken a lengthy course is 'how to write a novel'.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Maggie Mash?

    her voice isn't 'bad', but the cadence is. if she studied some of the better narrators, maybe.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Wolfblade?

    well, if i started in chapter one and started erasing ....


    Any additional comments?

    not only was this a third rate novel, about a completely hideous topic, the narrator completely ruined any hope of redemption by her inability to vocally 'act'.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • English Speech And Pronunciation
    United Kingdom
    7/20/15
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    "outstanding!"

    This is well read and the start of an amazing series. Jennifer Fallon is not afraid to make sudden changes that make the story all the more believable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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