READ À Black Sun Rising

C.S. Friedman ↠ 8 READ

READ À Black Sun Rising Å THE POWER OF THE FAEOver a millenium ago Erna a seismically active yet beautiful world was settled by colonists from far distant Earth But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold and the colonists found themselves caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae a terrifying naturaPrey upon the human mind itself drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them lifeTwelve centuries after fate first stranded the colonists on Erna mankind has achieved an uneasy stalemate and human sorcerers manipulate the fae for their own profit little realizing that demonic forces which feed u. Black Sun Rising is a brilliant setting with a mediocre story A warrior priest and his companions track a demon in order to restore one of their member’s memories but are forced into an alliance with perhaps the greatest evil of all the former Prophet damned by his own church and driven into a dark pact which brings both power and a vampiric curse The novel sets up a variety of interesting themes but concludes its bloated story with cliches a disappointment given the great world crafting of CS FriedmanBlack Sun Rising takes place on Erna a planet whose original human colonists were driven back to the dark ages by the mysterious energy known as the Fae The Fae both is and isn’t magic in the traditional sense while it is used for common wizardly purposes it is also a product of Erna’s ecosystem that grants human thoughts and most dangerously fears corporeality Many humans have learned to Work it for their own uses and a few known as Adepts are born with the ability to both see and control the Fae effortlesslyCiani is one of these Adepts but she loses her powers in an attack by a mysterious group of demons for a somewhat poorly explained reason Damien is a zealous priest of the Church who vows to restore Ciani’s powers He is accompanied by Ciani’s assistant Senzei who doesn’t do much except be sad that he wasn’t born an Adept as well These three characters are all fairly one dimensional Damien clings to black and white morality Ciani has a thirst for knowledge that precludes morality and Senzei just wants to be powerfulHowever they are joined by a much interesting person Gerald Tarrant Fae vampire Tarrant was a powerful Adept who finally turned the tide in the struggle against the Fae by founding a Church to discipline humanity’s subconscious and thus limit the Fae’s manifestations However the Church eventually damned all sorcerers and so after death he will go to a hell that he has literally created from the Fae To avoid this he murders his family to make a pact with ambiguous dark forces that grants him eternal life and devastating powers in exchange for life as a literary clicheThe narrative is mostly told from Damien’s point of view and the book is at its best when dealing with Damien’s conflicting emotions regarding his Prophet turned Vampire Damien hates Tarrant with a religious passion but needs him as a weapon in his uest to help Ciani He is forced to compromise his stark moral judgments and enters areas of gray morality kicking and screaming Likewise the narrative needs Tarrant as a foil for the relatively simple characters to play off of and as the only interesting character in the storyBlack Sun Rising begins with Tarrant’s savage murder of his wife and children and Friedman does a good job of inserting enough instances of his savagery throughout the narrative to make you feel bad for liking him But as the story develops Tarrant loses his mystiue He becomes and Dracula as his nature is explained and the instances in which his powers are limited in order to generate tension feel contrived Tarrant preserves his grip on what little humanity he has left by clinging to a personal sense of honor; he is the Honest Abe of vampires for he will not tell a lie or go back on his word His adherence to his self imposed code is the primary way that the narrative justifies his involvement with Damien and his companions but this mostly feels artificialAt one point in the story Tarrant is badly hurt and needs to drink blood in order to heal himself Ciani is the only one with enough blood to spare but Tarrant won’t drink it because apparently he takes the form of his victim’s fears and Ciani is most scared of a demon; therefore if he drinks her blood he will become a demon and attack He has also sworn not to hurt Ciani Hence the awkwardly contrived predicament So he has to stay weak and the protagonists can’t rely on his powers and thus narrative conflict is born It’s a strained way to go about generating tension because the author wants to preserve sympathy for Tarrant I say make him drink her blood Make him go crazy and attack her Kill her for all I care like all the other characters Ciani not especially likable Let Tarrant deal with the collapse of his artificial humanity and let’s see what happens Powerful moments in literature come from those kinds of severe shocks to a character’s worldviews and this novel does not go far enough in that regardRather than potent character development Tarrant’s preceding dilemma results in of the run of the mill action that bloats the novel to almost 600 pages Some of the action is great; the scene in Tarrant’s forest realm is particularly well done in it’s dark aesthetic But there are also scenes of earthuakes and confrontations with various demons that presumably are manifested fears but seem to be generic fantasy tropes and treacherous nighttime marches that while none are boring per se comprise action fodder that doesn’t add much except reading time While the time invested in the book lends itself toward investment in the book’s characters the character’s developments over the narrative don’t seem to warrant it It feels cheap substitute than effective strategy Certainly the characters develop and change but it could have been accomplished in a efficient and effective wayAs might be apparent from the preceding paragraphs I enjoyed the set up for this novel but was let down by the execution The book primarily deals with the cliched theme of the corrupting influence of power and near the end the book becomes almost pedagogical in this regard It’s disappointing because this concern is not as uniue as the setting is capable of What compelled me the most was the ecological nature of the Fae; as a product of Erna’s ecology I think it would have been interesting to explore of humanity’s relationship to the environment For example what does it mean when a religion’s reality is fundamentally linked to one planet in a galaxy full of them Where is the division between humanity and ecology when nature can manifest human fears and desires and when evolution is driven by human perception This is only the first book in the series so it’s possible that some of those uestions are investigated later I just find them compelling than the cliched “power corrupts” theme and wish they had been the focus from the startWorst of all the seeds are clearly sown for Tarrant’s ultimate redemption from his life of evil I’m guessing in some sort of grand sacrifice to save Erna While this isn’t bad in and of itself it just feels too familiar I want an evil character who stays evil I want the series to take the moral ambiguities that so stressed Damien and drive them to an even greater extreme an extreme that truly challenges Damien’s world view and which cannot be ignored As it is Damien is able to preserve his moral compass; I want Tarrant to obliterate that compass as Damien is forced into deeper and deeper reliance on Tarrant’s evil I want Damien driven to the brink of insanity maybe over the edge and then I want to see how he responds Friedman doesn’t take enough chances in Black Sun Rising and I’m hesitant to read another two 600 page books just to see if she will later on Who knows maybe I’d be pleasantly surprised by the seuels But with so many other books waiting to be read I’m not rushing to find out

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THE POWER OF THE FAEOver a millenium ago Erna a seismically active yet beautiful world was settled by colonists from far distant Earth But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold and the colonists found themselves caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae a terrifying natural force with the power to. Black Sun Rising; Or How Ciani Got Her Groove Backtwo major things to note in this sometimes absorbing sometimes ridiculous science fantasy novel a fascinatingly developed magic system and a head smackingly stupid uestregarding the stupidity let's first clear the air with some extended ranting so we can later speak on pleasant things and end on an agreeably positive note CS Friedman seems like an endearing author; her writing style can be lazy but it can also be interestingly uirky so i feel we should spare the rod and spoil the child a little bit at least but only after a firm discussionSLIGHT SPOILER in the very beginning of the book some creatures attack the lovely and saucy sorceress supreme Ciani and mind suck her powers away various characters assemble to journey into a sinister uncharted land in order to find the nasty subhuman culprits deliver some payback and so release Ciani's powers okay let's just get it out there it is absolutely unacceptable that a bunch of random non characters including a father and his 2 daughters and 1 major character have to die pretty horrific deaths all so that some sexy enchantress can get her powers back for chrissakes her life was no longer in jeopardy and PTSD that changes sex appeal into mousy forgetfulness just isn't a problem worthy of a body count even worse apparently the primary members of the party are automatically willing to just toss everything to the wayside and go on a deadly uest things like a fiancée religious orders and a magical Forest all because1 an Awesome Sorceress should never be parted from her Awesome Powers2 a couple evenings of flirty banter can really impress a warrior priest oh come on it was just some nights of convo and fine dining they didn't even bone he just has a feeling about her could this feeling turn to love UGH hey asshole is your spiritual calling so fragile that you'd give up everything so some wizard you barely know can continue to remain extra powerful who cares both the egalitarian and the God lover in me freaked out about this whole rationale3 apparently some piddly promise to protect said sorceress made by an immortal vampire sorcerer to a pleasure demon best 2 characters is enough to just up and change your entire life and go on a dangerous uest and maybe die this is a guy who mainly spends his time hunting down various virgins stranded in his magic forest to feast on their fears etc which no doubt keeps his hands full it was just so nonsensical hey Idiot Vampire why are you even on this stupid uest you prey on humans Ciani barely even likes you pal she's the warrior priest's gal so anyway awesome character; absurd character motivation4 as far as Ciani herself goes apparently She's uite a Woman at least that's what multiple character say repeatedly much to my annoyanceso that's it for the eye rolling parts they are a big part of the novel even enough to give it 2 stars but there's a lot of intriguing stuff too the novel is set on a far flung world in the far flung future a world where some natural energy source called the fae literalizes everyone's dreams fears desires etc so on this world you have to exercise a lot of emotionalmentalspiritual control supernatural creatures do exist they gain lives and personalities and often want your blood andor booty simple magical devices work if you really really believe in them things like guns are problematic because if you have any doubts your gun is just going to explode in your hand and faith now truly and tangibly works thousands of people believing in something can actually create something super powerful like an impregnable to demons church or HELL Hell exists because people believe in it uh oh and so do pleasure demons which isn't so bad in this world people have varying levels of ability to work the fae and some folks like The Amazing Chiani are born with natural aptitude the fae itself is also fascinatingly divided into different sorts of fae based on which type of natural energy source they derive from and they each have their own uniue properties abilities weaknesses for instance there is earth fae and the fae that comes from light or the absence of light or even from tidal forces my personal fave it was all so interesting and carefully developed and new to me that complaints aside it all still sorta worked

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Black Sun RisingPon such efforts are rapidly gaining in strength Now as the hordes of the dark fae multiply four people Priest Adept Apprentice and Sorcerer are about to be drawn inexorably together for a mission which will force them to confront an evil beyond their imagining in a conflict which will put not only their own lives but the very fate of humankind in jeopardy. Im having a hard time with rating this If I were to rate the world building and magic system I would give it 5 stars they are absolutely brilliant This has strong sci fi elements mixed with fantasy The whole thing is happening in distant future Humanity has moved to this planet that is totally different from planet Earth It has something that at first looks like magicIt is inhabited by sentiment forces who feed on human emotionsbloodsemen and can be tapped to fuel various things But they can also be a unintentional corporal manifestation of our fears darkest desires nightmares suppressed longings They even evolve and in time become as we perceive them They are called fey and respond to strong emotions desires focused prayersor natural adepts At first humanity had no idea of any of this So you can imagine our horror when a first glimpse of our own ugliness became tangible and started shoving its true nature You know that one about abyss gazing back Here it also walked talked and wrecked havoc All of our own makingNaturally humanity freaked and founded The Church to combat all these 'demons' and unholy abominations It's Something between inuisition warrior monks and witch huntersNow moving on to this books weakest points In my opinion they are characterization and character development and some mayor logical holes in plot and motivation Some characters seemed a bit 2d and I couldn't always understand and relate to their reasons for doing stuff Also sometimes as the plot moved on I couldn't always answer why this was happening Or why is it happening this way You know logical holes If they are to big or to many of them the whole thing doesn't fitSo you can see why I'm having problems rating this On one hand the world is stunning but characters and plot suffer for it at times I wish I could give it 35 Because 4 seems to much and 3 not enough