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World without End

by Sean Russell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Moontide and Magic Rise (1)

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460338,714 (3.7)5
Chronicling the epic fantasy adventures of naturalist Tristram Flattery as he voyages to discover the lost history of magic in a world where reason and science reign The Age of the Mages is over, and all the secrets of their magical arts are thought to be lost to the world. There are even those who suspect that the last of the great Mages spent their final years scrupulously eradicating all traces of their craft from the pages of history--insuring that their art will never be practiced again. It is the dawn of a new era: an age of reason, science, and exploration, and Tristam Flattery is one of its most promising young naturalists. But when Tristam is summoned to the royal court of Farrland to try to revitalize a failing species of plant which seems to have mysterious, almost magical, medicinal properties--a plant without which, he is told, the aging king will surely die--he soon realizes that he has been drawn into the heart of a political struggle which spans generations, a conflict which threatens the very foundations of his civilization. And before long, Tristam is caught in the grip of a destiny which will lead him to the ends of the known world--on a voyage of discovery that has more to do with magic than with science....… (more)
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Showing 3 of 3
Excellent, atypical fantasy, set in the equivalent of the Age of Enlightenment, with solid characterisation, awesomely twisted political scheming, detailed world-building and elegant prose. ( )
  salimbol | Jan 9, 2014 |
Fantasy set in a parallel world’s Age of Discovery/Enlightenment. Lots of court intrigue and naval battles. A little too long, and too much intrigue. Hopefully the sequel will get to the plot ( )
  roseread | Feb 12, 2010 |
The book was good, but it was very clear that this was just the first half of the very large story, so it was obviously not a story in itself. Russell tried very hard to give this book its own rise in action and climax, and once we finally got to it, it was at least intriguing. And it did make me eager to get to the second book right away. There was the feeling of "Now the story is *really* getting interesting."

It wasn't that the story in this volume wasn't interesting -- it just took a long time for everything to develop. But the characters were well drawn, and it wasn't hard to adopt favourites pretty quickly. I loved the main character, Tristam, even while I felt that we were actually too much outside, observing him, rather than being right there in his head with him. I also quite liked his cousin, Jaimas, and wished that we could see more of him, but Tristam was so very much the centre of things that I was sorry we didn't. (I got my wish in the second book, though...)

I was uneasy about Tristam occasionally, though, because so often there seemed to be evidence that certain characters were using him or had ulterior motives -- yet he continued to trust them. There didn't seem to be any rationale for it, and I felt like he wasn't behaving like a real person. So even though I liked him, I wasn't entirely satisfied with how he was portrayed.

The thing that was greatest about the book, to me, was the court intrigue. That was really, REALLY well done, and I frequently laughed in delight, thinking to myself, "I don't know whose side anybody is on!" In fact, I wasn't even sure how many sides there were, in the first place. I thought that was probably very much like a royal court in this sort of society.

I did enjoy the book, but I sometimes wondered, with both this and the next one (which was far more gripping) whether they could have been written with half or 2/3 the length. ( )
1 vote kashicat | Jun 29, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sean Russellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bralds,BraldtCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davoust, LionelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmidt, DietmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Owl's song on whispered shores
Where the silvered sea dies
Along the wake of a running moon,
Moontide and magic rise
Would it be too bold to imagine, that in the great length of time, since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, would it be too bold to imagine, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament which the Great First Cause endued with animality...and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity...world without end!
- Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia (1794)
One of the two horns of my dilemma.
- Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1760)
Dedication
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The drama unfolding in the field below seemed so improbable that it could have been nothing more than two groups of players preparing a performance - the duel that would bring down the curtain on the first act.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Chronicling the epic fantasy adventures of naturalist Tristram Flattery as he voyages to discover the lost history of magic in a world where reason and science reign The Age of the Mages is over, and all the secrets of their magical arts are thought to be lost to the world. There are even those who suspect that the last of the great Mages spent their final years scrupulously eradicating all traces of their craft from the pages of history--insuring that their art will never be practiced again. It is the dawn of a new era: an age of reason, science, and exploration, and Tristam Flattery is one of its most promising young naturalists. But when Tristam is summoned to the royal court of Farrland to try to revitalize a failing species of plant which seems to have mysterious, almost magical, medicinal properties--a plant without which, he is told, the aging king will surely die--he soon realizes that he has been drawn into the heart of a political struggle which spans generations, a conflict which threatens the very foundations of his civilization. And before long, Tristam is caught in the grip of a destiny which will lead him to the ends of the known world--on a voyage of discovery that has more to do with magic than with science....

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Book description
The Age of the Mages is over, and all the secrets of their magical arts are thought to be lost to the world.

There are even those who suspect that the last of the great Mages spent their final years scrupulously eradicating all traces of their craft from the pages of history—insuring that their art will never be practiced again.

It is the dawn of a new era: an age of reason, science, and exploration, and Tristam Flattery is one of its most promising young naturalists.

But when Tristam is summoned to the royal court of Farrland to try to revitalize a failing species of plant which seems to have mysterious, almost magical, medicinal properties—a plant without which, he is told, the aging king will surely die—he soon realizes that he has been drawn into the heart of a political struggle which spans generations, a conflict which threatens the very foundations of his civilization. And before long, Tristam is caught in the grip of a destiny which will lead him to the ends of the known world—on a voyage of discovery that has more to do with magic than with science….
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