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The Serpent and the Rose by Kathleen Bryan
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The Serpent and the Rose (2007)

by Kathleen Bryan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The War of the Rose (1)

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148680,863 (3.53)7
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    Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the reinterpretation of Christianity, although they are very different books.
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Gereient is the humble but magically gifted farmboy. Averil is the astoundingly beautiful but kind and humble lady, raised by nuns because her father couldn't bear to look at the reminder of his late wife. They each belong to allied noble orders (the Knights of the Rose and the Ladies of the Isle), and eventually they will meet and fall in love. Their love will undoubtedly be tested by the difference in their social stations and the Darkness Sweeping the Land. I don't know, however, because I gave up on this book about halfway through.

This book is what you get when the Belgariad and Arthurian myth are thrown into a blender, and then only the murkiest dregs are printed. It's a terribly boring mishmash of Christianity-as-last-hope-against-the-Serpent and farmboy-loves-princess. People are perpetually telling the farmboy how humble and gifted he is. Averil is continually far too mature and skilled to be 15. And the villain gets a chapter or two to explain his Evil Plans and how Evil is all he desires and so on and so forth every time the reader is getting truly bored with the farmboy and the lady's meet-cute. There is absolutely no narrative tension, the characters are cardboard cliches, and the entire thing is one huge Fantasy Trope enacted in McEurope. It is not, however, actively horrifying or insulting, so I suppose that's something.

Kathleen Bryan is actually the pseudonym of Judith Tarr, which explains a great deal. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
The Kingdom of Lys has an interesting form of magic. It is worked by knights, magicians, and the Ladies of the Isle. Using glass to concentrate and hold the magic they shape. They also hold the great responisiblity of keeping the Serpent imprisoned by holding the secret of his location as a sacred secret.

Averil has been trained as a Lady of the Isle but was called back home prematurely to help her father, who is the Duke of Quitaine. The Duke has good reasn te fear for the safety of his throne, so he wants his daughter home and wed to secure the succession of his lands. But when everyone's worst fears and more come to pass, she is forced to flee with a band of knights and Gereint.

Gereint is a farmboy, but not so plain and simple. He has magic of an unknown nature running through his veins. His mother, in a misguided effort to protect him, has forbidden him from seeking out the knights for training. He slips away one day to follow the knights and find his destiny. It takes him far from home where he meets Averil. When Averil is forced to run from the invaders, he goes with.

Their journey takes them to places that are made of myth and legend, and dark secrets are revealed and discovered. As they try to find safety and a return to their old ways, it dawns on them that much has been forgotten, and to win they must remember and learn.

A fantasy tale with a touch of christian story mixed with magic, I loved the characters. They were incredibly dynamic. Tere were many I loved and the ones I hated, I loved to hate. Their fourney is a fantastic one that kept the pages turning. The only draw back was that at times the point was driven home a little too hard. There is much to say for subtlety and at times it was lacking.

3/5 ( )
  jasmyn9 | Aug 23, 2011 |
I thought the story was interesting, and I enjoyed the character development. However, I thought the overall plot was lacking in this novel. There was no strong conflict that was resolved. I understand that it's part of a trilogy, but this portion was very anti-climatic.The mythology of the book combines Christianity with magic, which was a little weird to me. The author jumps right into the story, and the mythology isn't explained until later, so I felt a little like I had been just dropped in to a foreign country when I first started reading. I had no idea what was going on.After I got into it, it was an easy read, and I'll probably give the next one in the series a try. ( )
  wholewatermelon | Jan 4, 2011 |
In the olden days, there was an epic struggle in the Kingdom of Lys. The Young God battled with the Serpent and imprisoned him with the help of the Knights of the Rose and the Ladies of the Isle. Now almost a thousand years later, a king who is a traitor to the religion threatens to destroy all that the Young God accomplished and bring the Serpent back to the world. It appears that the only people who are able to stop him are an heir to a duchy and a fatherless son of a peasant farmer. With the help of wild magic that seems inherent in them both, they stand together to use their power to stand against him and the minions of the Serpent.

This is a classic fantasy at it's basic. This is however a new version of an old formula, made more exciting than the original. While it is old school style to have evil that has been locked away in the world come back and have only a chosen few defend the world against it; this story allows for something different to come to the forefront. The characters of Gereint and Averil are both quite confused and very intuitive of each other.

More than likely this would not be someone's first choice of a novel to read. Too much other high fantasy is like it. I would however, recommend this book to those first starting out in the genre, who are tired of the same Arthurian legends replayed over and over again. This story's real focus is the coming into power at a dangerous time. The sensitivity that is given to both sides of this magic, as well as the urgency is also felt though out the novel. All can enjoy this as a classic.
  Archivus | Aug 25, 2008 |
This was a good fast read. Pretty short. A little contrived at times, and somewhat overt in its lifting from the Judeo-Christian theology. But overall well written. I liked the main characters, enough that sometimes I felt like throttling them for their actions. There's magic aplenty, if not quite explained. The concept of using glass to store magic is interesting. There is contact with gods, almost-understandable evil, suitable creepiness, and unrequited love. Something will happen to these characters to completely wrench them apart or draw them so close that none can sunder it.

I'd recommend this. I was a little put out to see it's actually copyrighted to Judith Tarr...who is not a bad author by any stretch, I like her quite a bit, really...but I thought it might be a new author. Eh. It's very obviously the first in a series. It moves along at quite a clip...there's not so much action, per se, but a good amount of tension and some mystery.

(from my site: http://etoiline.vox.com/library/post/serpent-and-the-rose.html) ( )
  etoiline | Jan 17, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathleen Bryanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the Duc de Berry and the artists of the Sainte-Chapelle, without whom this book could not exist.
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Prelude: The chapel was made of light.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765313286, Paperback)

The beautiful Averil is heir to the Duchy of Quitaine, in the Kingdom of Lys.  She is a powerful mage, trained by the Ladies of the Isle, but when her father calls her home to take up her duties, she must leave that life behind.  In her city of Fontevrai, she meets Gereint, raised as a common villager but greatly gifted in magic, a novice of the magical order of the Knights of the Rose.
The Knights and their sister order, the Ladies of the Isle, defend a great secret: the means and location of the Serpent's imprisonment a thousand years ago by the Young God in whose name their order was founded.
Quitaine is under subtle attack by the King of Lys, who has secretly become an adept of the hidden order of the Serpent, and he will let nothing and no one stand in the way of his quest to discover how to free his God.  But the Knights of the Rose, and the Ladies of the Isle believe that if the Serpent is freed, the world will be enslaved to chaos:  humanity will destroy itself, and all that man has made will be corrupted.  
The War of the Rose and Serpent has begun again, after a thousand years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:56 -0400)

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"In the Kingdom of Lys, where magic is worked in the form of jeweled glass, the Knights of the Rose and the Ladies of the Isle guard the world against an ancient enemy. Long ago, the Serpent was imprisoned by the Young God, and the Orders still keep the secret of that prison a thousand years later. But now a traitor king is conspiring to destroy the heart and soul of his kingdom. Only Averil, heir to the duchy of Quitaine, and Gereint, the fatherless son of a peasant farmer, have the power to stand against him."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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