Volume I of The Sundering
By Jacqueline Carey
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765305213, 432pp.)
Publication Date: October 21, 2004
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Following the triumphant success of her Kushiel series (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar), Jacqueline Carey now turns her hand to another startling fable, an epic tale of gods waging war in their bid to control an entire universe and the mortals they use as chess pieces in a most deadly game.
Once, the Seven Shapers dwelled in accord. First-born among them was Haomane, Lord-of-Thought and with his brother and sister gods, the Seven drew upon of the power of the Souma, claimed a race of beings for their own and began Shaping the world to their will.
But Haomane saw the ways of this new world and was displeased. For in his younger brother Satoris, once called the Sower, Haomane thought too prideful and in his gift, the quickening of the flesh too freely to the races...and to that of Man in particular. Haomane asked Satoris to withdraw his Gift from Men but he refused. And so began the Shapers' War.
Eons have passed. The war that ensued Sundered the very world. Haomane and his siblings lay to one end of a vast ocean unable to touch their creations, Satoris and the races of the world on the other. Satoris has been broken and left adrift among the peoples of the world and is reviled, with most of the races believing that it was he alone who caused the rift and depriving them of the balm of the Seven. He sits in Darkhaven, controlling his own dominion--seeking not victory but neither vengeance.
But still Haomane is not content. Through Haomane's whispers in the minds and hearts of the races of the world come a prophecy that if Satoris were defeated, the world could be made whole and all would bask in the light of the Souma again. And the few who stay by Satoris are viewed as the ultimate evil. And so the races come together to defeat Satoris, a being who helped engender them all but who is caught in his elder brother's warp.
Strong storytelling with evocative, compelling, and unforgettable characters, Banewrecker ultimately asks the question:
If all that is considered good considers you evil, are you?
New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey was born in 1964. After receiving B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature from Lake Forest College, she embarked on a writing career. An affinity for travel has taken her from Finland to Egypt, and she currently resides in western Michigan. Her previous publications include various short stories, essays, a nonfiction book, and the Kushiel's Legacy trilogy (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen and Kushiel's Avatar).
"The promise of Kushiel's Dart, the first volume of Carey's immense trilogy set in a skewed Renaissance world, is more than realized in this splendid conclusion...Effortlessly rich in adventurous incident, with a huge cast of well-defined characters, this poignant and robust story will appeal to both fantasy lovers and fans of erotic fiction."--Publishers Weekly (starred) on Kushiel's Avatar
"Carey's lush, sensuous prose again makes her heroine's story a savory feast for mind and heart."--Booklist (starred) on Kushiel's Avatar
"With help from a huge but vividly characterized cast, Phedre's final quest turns these grand abstractions into the stuff of life."--Locus on Kushiel's Avatar
"This exquisitely piercing love story will take its readers on an unbelievable sensual journey. With its unique characters, history and plot, Jacqueline Carey's stunning Terre d'Ange trilogy concludes in an emotionally charged tale seasoned with explicit scenes of love and sacrifice."--Romantic Times (Gold Medal Top Pick and 4 ½ stars) on Kushiel's Avatar
"Reminiscent of the works of Terry Goodkind and Storm Constantine."--Library Journal on Kushiel's Avatar
"Carey's second extravagantly sensuous novel fulfills every promise made by Kushiel's Chosen...Carey's ability to take readers inside Phedre's head and heart fully and completely gives it tremendous emotional punch as well as an unforgettable heroine. There is seemingly something for everyone here: a great love story, intensely spirituality, high eroticism, and lots of adventure, intrigue, and swordplay."--Booklist (starred) on Kushiel's Chosen
"From the first page I shivered--with anticipation, with delight, with awe that a new author could best her breathtaking debut novel. Ms. Carey's alternate Renaissance period is perfection. Can it be read as a stand alone? Yes, but why miss out on Phedre's earlier days, in Kushiel's Dart?"--Romantic Times (RT Gold Top Pick) on Kushiel's Chosen
"Carey has not lost her capacity to surprise: Kushiel's Chosen is nearly as long and just as absorbing, with setting and concerns different enough to represent a new stage in its heroine's life, rather than just Episode 2... Kushiel's Chosen leaves enough loose ends to ensure that another volume will follow--and just as with a masterful series by Martin, Wolfe, or Crowley, that's cause for celebration, not complaint."--Locus on Kushiel's Chosen
"Set in a richly detailed Renaissance-like world, this sequel to Kushiel's Dart boasts a wealth of stunning visual images and vivid, complex characters. Carey's sensual, often erotically charged prose, reminiscent of the best efforts of Tanith Lee and Anne Rice, adds an unmistakable sexual tension to an already tautly plotted tale of conspiracy, intrigue, passion, and, ultimately, love."--Library Journal on Kushiel's Chosen
"It's rare enough for someone to write an excellent novel the first time out of the box, but rarer still to match or surpass that with the second. Jacqueline Carey has done it. KUSHIEL'S CHOSEN is elegant, intricate, sensual and captivating. Once you pick it up you won't want to put it down."--Robert Jordan on Kushiel's Chosen
"Another intricate and satisfying novel of dark magic, court intrigue and good versus evil."--Science Fiction Chronicle on Kushiel's Chosen
"Kushiel's Dart is the brilliant and gripping story of Phedre's quest and how an outcast child became one of the most powerful women in the realm. Stunning, clever, sultry and mysterious, Phedre is an ideal and original heroine. Other characters are equally vibrant and memorable."--Associated Press on Kushiel's Dart
"A well-written and beautifully packaged literary creation."--Mythprint on Kushiel's Dart
"Carey's writing is lavishly detailed, her use of language highly sophisticated, her pacing deliberate but never sluggish, her characters three-dimensional and vividly real."--Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA) on Kushiel's Dart
"Superbly detailed, fascinatingly textured, and sometimes unbearably intense; a resonant, deeply satisfying and altogether remarkable debut..."--Kirkus Reviews (starred) on Kushiel's Dart
"This brilliant and daring debut catapults Carey immediately into the top rank of fantasy novelists. ... At the end, the heroine reminds one of an equally strong-minded sister whose home was Tara."--Publishers Weekly (starred) on Kushiel's Dart
"Making a marvelous debut, Carey spins a breathtaking epic starring an unflinching yet poignantly vulnerable heroine. The tale blends Christianity and paganism with fascinating results, such as arguing, through deft treatment of alternative sexual practices, the sacred potential inherent in every sexual encounter."--Booklist (starred) on Kushiel's Dart
"The author's sensual prose should appeal to fans of Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, and Terry Goodkind."--Library Journal on Kushiel's Dart
"With her provocative debut novel, Jacqueline Carey introduces herself as an extraordinarily talented writer...Ms. Carey weaves an exquisite tapesty of politics, intrigue, history, magic, desire and fate into a breathtaking epic that will captivate readers."--Romantic Times (Romantic Times Top Pick/Gold Medal with 4 ½ stars) on Kushiel's Dart
"Jacqueline Carey astonishes with her first novel...sexy and sometimes shocking, if you don't mind your eyeballs popping out every couple of chapters, this is a swell tale."--The Detroit Free Press on Kushiel's Dart
"An inexorably moving take."--Starlog on Kushiel's Dart
"Compulsively readable...Carey dismantles standard notions of both magic and morality to produce a long, complex saga worthy of the field's best writer on such a scale, George R.R. Martin. It's an astonishing debut."--Locus on Kushiel's Dart
"A very sophisticated fantasy, intricately plotted and a fascinating read."--Robert Jordan on Kushiel's Dart
"Perhaps once in a decade, if you are fortunate, you discover a debut novel as intoxicating as Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart. Part reimagined history, this sumptuous, spellbinding fantasy is kaleidoscopic in breadth, intimate in detail. It is sure to be read and talked about for years to come."--Eric Van Lustbader on Kushiel's Dart
"Jacqueline Carey's Phèdre is a strong, fascinating heroine whose voice stays with you long after the book is done, and whose disturbing sexuality drives her story and illuminates her alternate world. With its rich, convincing mix of invented culture, religion, and politics, Kushiel's Dart is as delicious as it is unsettling; you'll hate to put it down."--Emma Bull on Kushiel's Dart
"Kushiel's Dart is a thing of wonder and beauty. Jacqueline Carey is so wonderfully well-polished, so delightfully audacious, that she fulfills and transcends the whole Fantasy of Manner genre...if I had to compare it something, I'd point to Dorothy Dunnett's books (except with a female protagonist!)."--Rosemary Edgehill on Kushiel's Dart
"Kushiel's Dart is the book for anyone with a taste for high intrigue and sumptuous description, for sensuality and excitement. It's a wonderfully elegant book, as full of beauty and surprises as its appealing heroine. I read it as slowly as possible, to make it last longer."--Delia Sherman on Kushiel's Dart
"Kushiel's Dart takes fantasy into shadowy exotic corners it rarely dares to tread. The standard of the writing is so high, it's hard to believe this is a first novel. There are some genuinely shocking moments, but even the darkest of them are written with skilful elegance. The characters are captivating and the plot cleverly convoluted. I read many new writers, but few of them capture my attention as Jacqueline Carey has. A writer to watch--as the cliché goes--but more importantly a writer to read."--Storm Constantine on Kushiel's Dart
"This is a considerable story, beautifully written. It's a book the reader can live in for a while, and be sorry to leave... powerful narrative, with savage action balanced by exquisite characterization. The best fantasy I've read in years."--Piers Anthony on Kushiel's Dart