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Karavans by Jennifer Roberson

Karavans (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Jennifer Roberson

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304536,791 (3.96)17
Authors:Jennifer Roberson
Info:New York : New York : DAW Books ; Distributed by Penguin Group, 2006.
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fantasy, first in series, Alisanos

Work details

Karavans by Jennifer Roberson (2006)

  1. 11
    Shapechangers by Jennifer Roberson (humouress)
    humouress: There are folks with hidden magical powers, who may be descended from godlings in both series. Same series : The Song of Homana, Legacy of the Sword

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The war-torn province of Sancorra has just fallen to the brutal Hecari, and Sancorrans are fleeing to neighbouring provinces.

Audrun and her family have lost their farm to the Hecari, and diviners have told them they must reach Atalanda province before their fifth child is born. They have reached the tent camp that is the jumping-off point for karavans, but as it is so late in the season only Jorda's karavan hasn't yet left - and they may not be allowed to join it.

Alisanos, the deepwood, lies near the border; it is haunted by demons and an alien magic, and parents use it's name to frighten children into good behaviour. No-one goes near Alisanos if they can help it, because it could reach out and take them without warning.

More wretched than the ones taken are the ones that Alisanos returns. One such unfortunate stumbles into the camp, irrevocably altered by the whim of Alisanos.

Ilona the hand reader, one of Jorda's diviners, wakes from a visionary dream - but she never has visions. Though she can't interpret the dream, she does get a presentiment of danger ...

Rhuan, the exotic Shoia guide who works for Jorda, has his own magic and a connection to the land, but he holds close other secrets that Sancorrans couldn't comprehend.

Brodhi, a courier and his kin, would, though; he has similar powers, but the cousins tend to keep clear of each other.

They both know, though, that Alisanos is getting ready to move - and when the deepwood moves, it is best not to be in its way...

I've been a fan of Jennifer Roberson since I read her Cheysuli Chronicles which have been among my all-time favourites for several decades. I was a bit hesitant to pick up Karavans, fearing it would not live up to my expectations; but I found it more than met them. It is superbly written, and the last few chapters build the tension to a height and maintain it there, bombarding us with images from different points of view. I was almost on the edge of my seat at times.

The story is told throughout from the points of view of several key characters. I did find the beginning of the story a little bit disorienting, as we were introduced to these characters; but once we were acquainted, everything flowed smoothly.

There was a touch of Cheysuli familiarity for me, with a race that is a little more than human, but otherwise, the worlds are very different.

I've noticed that fantasy novels of the late twentieth century (including the Cheysuli Chronicles) were limited to 200+ pages, which somewhat curtailed their scope. More recent works can be rather longer, and the additional pages here allow Roberson to enrich Karavans with atmospheric detail.

An engrossing story. Recommended.

( )
  humouress | Jan 21, 2013 |
Unusual story arc. Feels a bit like a screenplay, and has a lot of setup for the next book. The story arc is loose, and character movement and development take precedence over a tidy ending. ( )
  elkym | Jan 14, 2011 |
The Deepwood moves. When people go into it they come out changed, different, unable to deal with those they knew before and they don't tend to survive long. Sancorra has been conquered by the Hecari. Audrun and her husband Davyn and their children join a karavan to somewhere away from the fighting. The Deepwood is on the move and it's heading for the Karavan.

There's layers here that make this a different story and I really do look forward to the next book in the series. There's a lot of politics and a lot of different motives for all the characters. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Oct 1, 2008 |
As the first book in a new series, there's a lot of front-loading and implied information that isn't yet fleshed out. This was always intended to be the launch of something much bigger (Roberson plans big! Look at Cheysuli and Sword Dancer series), so get on board and hold on for a fabulous ride. ( )
  Oakheart | May 25, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Robersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I dedicate this to my uncle and to my aunts, with love,

Sam Hardy
Molly Hardy
Clare Witcomb

and to the memory of my mother

Shera Roberson
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After so much time, his voice, the words, came hard.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756404096, Mass Market Paperback)


Audrun and her husband Davyd, along with the others of the land of Sancorra, have been left homeless because of the brutal Hecari. Consulting diviners, they learn that their newest child must be born in the peaceful province of Atalanda. They must now travel close to the sinister woodlands of Alisanos, where darkness awaits. Joining a karavan for safety, the family moves ever closer to the dangerous, mystical forest. And, as they are all about to discover, Alisanos is moving ever closer to them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When their home is destroyed by the vicious, tribal Hecari, Audrun and her husband Davyn, along with their four children, must join a karavan that will pass the demon-infested deepwood of Alisanos, but luck is on their side when they discover that their fellow passengers are gifted with various forms of magic.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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