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First Truth by Dawn Cook
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First Truth (2002)

by Dawn Cook

Series: Truth (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I am a big fan of Kim Harrison, she is one of my top 5 authors. I had to try her Dawn Cook books, I found it very enjoyable. It is an easy to read, fantasy. The two main characters are from opposite sides of the track in this world. Alissa is stubborn, powerful with latent magic and naive. Strell is humorous, musical and stubborn. Both distrust each other, and think less of the other because of where they are from. They are forced to combine their journeys after events tear their families apart.There is some repetition I found grating on my nerves at times, but the story moves quickly. The relationship that grows is believable and follows a natural course for the time period.
I enjoyed the story, I could believe in the characters and their relationships, the world created and it's magic was new and exciting. I have already ordered the next book in the series.


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  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
I always mean to re-read this series, but I may have sabotaged my efforts. I've started and stopped so many times, FIRST TRUTH is memorable enough to be boring, yet I can't remember the rest of the series well enough to jump ahead. I'm past the halfway point (and I remember that I find Strell as annoying as Alissa did for the first part of the story). I'm going to keep rushing through to get past book two, I think that's as far as I made it on my last re-read attempt. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
Like a number of other recent reviewers, I recently found out that Kim Harrison and Dawn Cook are one and the same, and decided I'd take a gander at this early fantasy series of hers. No, it's not the Hollows - it's not as expansive, as complex, or as exciting as the Hollows books are. To be frank, it's not great. But it's not bad, either, and it's kind of fascinating to see the germ of Kim Harrison's talent here - in flashes, to be sure.

First Truth is a small book, and it's even smaller than it could have been. The setting is pretty localized - there's the desert plains, the foothills farmers, the coast, and the mountains in between. Each of these areas has a distinct culture, and they're locked in a state of mutual animosity. The book mostly follows its two main characters, Alyssa and Strell, as they attempt a dangerous mountain crossing in the autumn, when the weather can prove deadly. Thrown together by necessity, they're soon trapped in The Hold - a massive mountain fortress, inhabited by one evil maniac and one imprisoned ally - by the season's first snows.

So here's the deal: Alyssa can sense the presence of a magical book. The evil maniac, Bailic, wants the book so he can use it for the usual evil maniac purpose, i.e. he wants to try to take over the world, but he can't sense it. He's pretty sure either Alyssa or Strell could sense the book, but he needs to figure out which one. Alyssa and Strell are powerless against Bailic, but trapped in a magically sealed dungeon of The Hold is Useless, a powerful creature who, if freed, could murder Bailic in the blink of an eye.

So you've got three people who are *supposedly* really highly motivated to accomplish something. Alyssa is driven by a magical compulsion to find the book...except that mostly she cooks and sews and doesn't go looking. Bailic is all fired up about forcing his guests to find the book, and but he appears to be both stupid and lazy - he thinks of one lame plot every couple of weeks, always ridiculously easy to foil, and in between he just wanders around acting creepy. Useless is pretty darn motivated to escape his prison, and his behavior is the oddest of all. He's got two mobile allies in The Hold, and he can actually communicate with them telepathically, but instead of enlisting their help, or making use of Alyssa's powerful magical gifts...he tells them to go away, seals Alyssa's magic against her own use, rendering her extra defenseless against Bailic, and announces his desire to just...wait around in prison until Bailic dies.

So they all arrive at the hold and basically loaf around doing nothing for months. And then, when they finally decide to take some action, it's so ridiculously simple to achieve the goals they've been putting off that I was kind of angry. If any of the above characters had put even a tiny amount of effort into achieving their goals a little earlier, the book would have been about 1/4 as long as it turned out to be.

So, to sum up, I actually quite liked this book at the start - but during the months of dawdling around in The Hold it totally lost me. Still, it was kind of fun to see baby Kim Harrison in action. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
The story has great potential. The world is firmly created and the story is interesting. I just...really don't like the main character. She's a brat. An annoying brat. I don't get why all these characters are so enamored. She never listens, doesn't have any respect for anybody else, and just bugs me. But I have all four books in the series so...on to the next one. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
Alissa doesn't believe in magic. Even though her father has filled her head with stories of the Hold and Keepers, she was convinced that they were only stories. But when Alissa's mother throws her out of the home to find her destiny, Alissa finds that stories can be real. As Alissa journeys through the foothills and plains, she meets up with Strell, who helps her find the truth.

I was so disappointed in this series. As a big fan of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, I thought her debut YA fantasy novel as Dawn Cook would be just as fun -but it seemed like this was written by a completely different person. I was looking for an exciting, action-packed YA fantasy novel filled with magic. I didn't even mind if it followed a very traditional story structure -I just wanted something fun in the vein of Percy Jackson and the Olympians or something of that nature. First Truth wasn't like that at all -while the world was interesting, the characters were incredibly flat and impossible to relate to. Not only that, but it felt like it too far too long for the plot to start moving and when it did, it didn't seem to go much of anywhere until the very end.

While at times charming, First Truth just doesn't deliver. The plot was slow-paced and the action felt nearly non-existent. The world was fascinating and fun, but was populated by uninteresting characters and a bland protagonist. I really wanted to like this book -I wanted it to take me back to my childhood and be so fun that I just went along for the ride -despite the fact that the plot isn't incredibly original. This book actually spawned three sequels, and I'm afraid that I wasn't interested enough to continue.
  BookAddictDiary | Feb 1, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is an epic romance fantasy that doesn’t fall pretty to the usual clichés and bad characterization.
 
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For Tim, who not only loosed the beast, but gave it wings and a heckuva strong updraft.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044100945X, Mass Market Paperback)

View our feature on Dawn Cook’s First Truth.

Before she wrote as New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison, Dawn Cook wrote the Truth...

This is the first novel of Dawn Cook's extraordinary coming-of-age fantasy featuring Alissa, a young novice in the art of magic, who embarks on an epic journey of discovery and danger.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Despite her refusal to believe in magic, Alissa is sent to the Hold, a legendary fortress where human Keepers learn the art of magic from the Masters, joining forces on her journey with Strell, a wandering musician, to find her destination, but she soon discovers that Bailic, a renegade Keeper, threatens the safety of the Hold, and only she can save it.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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