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The Ships of Merior (Wars of Light & Shadow, #2; Arc 2 - The Ships of Merior, #1)
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The Ships of Merior (Wars of Light and Shadow #2)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,720 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Janny Wurts’s epic tale of two half-brothers cursed to life-long enmity continues in this spectacular second volume, now re-released with a striking new cover.

The half-brothers Arithon, Master of Shadow, and Lysaer, Lord of Light, have defeated the Mistwraith and dispersed the fogs that smothered Athera’s skies. But their victory comes at a high price: the Mistwraith has s
Mass Market Paperback, 702 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by HarperCollins (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 10, 2013 seak rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Malazan fans especially
Recommended to seak by: matt pettit
Shelves: 2013
There are a number of rather large fantasy series' which started in the 90's and continued through the last few years. They all started slowly, but have gone on to great popularity. They each defy the logic of the trilogy by doubling and tripling (and almost quintupling in one case) that tried and true number.

The Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. These are some of the biggest names of the fantasy genre. These are commonly grouped together as favorites, espec
Dec 09, 2014 Alissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new amazing journey into the world of Athera featuring returning and new characters, several different factions and interests, powerful world-building and a larger-than-life story expertly woven by the never-ending imagination of Janny Wurts, a master of delivering events presented from new angles, whose facets often revise the reader opinions at every new turn.

This book raises the stakes of the story even higher beyond the layout of The Curse of the Mistwraith and it is seamlessly connected w
Jun 13, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: epic fantasy readers
Arithon apprenticed six years with the Master Bard Halliron. Six years of respite in the War of Light and Shadow forced upon him and his half-brother by the Mistwraith's curse. Circumstances surrounding Dakar's antics converge and conspire against Arithon's studies. The conflagration that resolves the dilemma left me bereft.

I struggled to feel compassion for Lysaer, whose rigid adherence to royal justice borders on the inhumane. To an outside observer, it appears obvious his motivations and act
Jul 22, 2009 Stefan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The Ships of Merior is the first part of Arc 2 of THE WARS OF LIGHT AND SHADOW, the incomparable epic fantasy series by Janny Wurts. The novel was originally released in 1994, and has most recently been re-released by HarperCollins Voyager in a lovely mass market paperback edition, featuring brand new artwork by the author herself. This is the first US paperback edition of the novel in at least 7 years. Further novels in the series will be re-released in late 2009 and throughout 2010, in anticip ...more
Apr 23, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this more than the previous novel in the series, The Curse of the Mistwraith & that's hard to imagine. Part of the reason is that the world & characters are already set, so Janny could spend more time exploring how the curse played out & the characters. The world expanded & the action increased, too.

There were some things I didn't like, but I can't mention them without making a spoiler review, something I hate. I can say, that what I didn't like were necessary to the stor
May 16, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 02, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-high
I find this series is to be strange. Not strange in a bad way, but strange. I'm not sure if the problem I'm having with it is really a problem. (Just bear with me)

Wurts seems to be retelling a story that the history of her wonderfully built world got wrong. She plays, quite well, with the overused conventions and tropes of fantasy. The good guy really isn't a good guy; the bad guy really isn't a bad guy.

My problem is that I find both central male characters to be unlikable for different reasons.
Greg (adds 2 TBR list daily) Hersom
The Ships of Merior flawlessly continues The Wars of Light and Shadow saga. Arithon, the Master of Shadow, is on the run, which is fine by him because his perfect cover is also his heart's desire: working as apprentice to the master-bard Halliron. Lysaer has been far from idle during Arithon's absence. He carries on his plans to become appointed high king, courts Talera, begins the rebuilding of the ruins of Avenor, and wins over the townships to his cause of hunting down Arithon. Meanwhile, the ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Tim rated it liked it
I realize I admire this series more than I enjoy it. That admiration for Janny Wurts' descriptive writing, world-building and risk-taking bumps this up a star, but ultimately I abandoned this series after "Ships of Merior," much as I didn't want to.

The gripes I managed to overlook in "Curse of the Mistwraith" are still there, but a worse problem plagued this one and made me give up despite some really fine qualities: Wurts' inability to leave anything out and her unwillingness to just get on wit
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
The Ships of Merior picks up five years after the end of the first book. It is the first half of the second arc of the story, and in many way seems to serve simply as a long setup of the next book. Epic fantasy, we've moved past the basic world building of the first book and into setting up the greater plot, theme and conflict, although with a little less payoff than might be desired.

For the most part it jumps back and forth between the two princes, with a bit less focus on the Fellowship and ot
May 27, 2012 Drmeow rated it did not like it
Shelves: tried-to-read
I really liked the concept of this series. However, after a book and a half the excessive overuse of metaphor and the obsession with modifiers started driving me nuts. I might have been able to tolerate the sense that any paragraph was only allowed to have 1 sentence in which the verb was not modified by an adverb and the noun was not modified by one or more likely multiple adjectives if the characterizations didn't feel like such caricatures and if the statement in the prologue of the first boo ...more
David Cornelson
Aug 03, 2013 David Cornelson rated it it was amazing
The Ships of Merior is the second volume in the Wars of Light and Shadow and here we see where Janny turns from complex magic systems to simple relationships.

The founding of the love between Arithon and the enchantress Elaira is founded in these pages and it is an extraordinary command of prose that rings every bit of truth from these characters.

There is intrigue all over Athera surrounding the actions of Arithon and Lysaer that eventually leads to a larger conflict, more world building and setu
Re-read September 2016. The five star rating was from reading prior to joining GR in 2012 but still stands. I cry at some of the scenes with Arithon showing his vulnerability (view spoiler)
David Cozens
Aug 07, 2015 David Cozens rated it liked it
Arithon is found by Lysear shipbuilding on the S.E. coast.
L.Y. Levand
Mar 28, 2013 L.Y. Levand rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2014 Cody rated it liked it
Ships of Merior didn't have as much going on as the first book, Curse of the Mistwraith, but it was entertaining nonetheless. The author herself mentioned that Merior and Vastmark are basically one book that was split into two, so I'm willing to be patient and see what the payoff is in the next book.

The writing maintains the same quality as the first entry in the Wars of Light and Shadow series and seems to focus on faction-building and further characterization of Lysaer and Arithon.

That's wher
I didn't like this quite as well as the first book in the series, The Curse of the Mistwraith. That said, it's still a great book. As I've come to expect with my forth Janny Wurts read, I was pleased once more to have the payoff with the final climax. Janny sure knows how to close up a story.

It leads right into Warhose of Vastmark, which I've started already. Not with a cliffhanger, but with a tease/sample of things to come. I should note that these two books were originally published and intend
Nov 19, 2010 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own
Under the geas of the Mistwraight, Arithon and Lysaer are forced into enmity. After the massacre at Tal Quorin in the last book, Arithon goes into hiding, so that even if the geas can not be broken, at the least, it will not have a target. For five years, Arithon has been the apprentice to the Masterbard. Meanwhile, Lysaer has been uniting kingdoms and building armies to defeat him.

I liked the second book much more than the first, and intend to read the third. It was still a slow read, but a goo
Cheryl Vlieg
Mar 04, 2016 Cheryl Vlieg rated it it was amazing
For anyone who enjoys a GREAT read, and loves fantasy with real depth of feeling and meaning I can recommend Janny Wurts series of books, "The Wars of Light and Shadow" (Commencing with "The Curse of the Mistwraith').
I picked the first book up 8 months ago and am now onto book 9, and haven't been able to put them down. I am eagerly awaiting the final two books (yet to be published). Alternatively, you could start with her three e-books, to be found on Janny's website. I haven't read these, but I
Leigh Bain
Mar 15, 2013 Leigh Bain rated it really liked it
Arithon studies to his first love, music, while dakar struggles against arithons attempts to free himself from lysaer's grasp. I really enjoy janny wurts style of prose but I understand that it may be difficult for others so I rated the book at 4 stars fot this reason. Even I had trouble at times, but overall, I find myself struggling to feel compassion for lysaers royal justice. He seems driven entirely by the desh-thiere's (sp) curse. While there is zero threat from arithon except to use the c ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
c1994. So, the publishers went with comments from Diana Gabaldon (another author that I rate highly)ie "Janny Wurts builds beautiful castles in the air..every detail is richly imagined and vividly rendered." Nice and specific and I agree wholeheartedly. This is a book where you have to pay attention to the minutae else you are going to get hopelessly lost. A bit like marmite - you either love it or loathe it.FWFTB: prophecy, defeat, mistwraith, vengeance, enmity FCN: Lysear, Arithon, Dakar, Asan ...more
Jean Hontz
Nov 12, 2012 Jean Hontz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book in the Wars of Light and Shadow. The curse continues and drives Lysaer to found armies to hunt down his cursed half-brother. Arithon, understanding what has happened to both of them, opts to evade and avoid. But events continue to make that difficult. Interference from any number of others complicates and wrecks even the best laid plans.

Complex world-building, intriguing characters, and a plot with twists and turns aplenty made me unwilling to put this down. Highly recommended.
Mandy Andersonn
Jan 01, 2013 Mandy Andersonn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After slogging through the first half of the first book in the series, Curse of the Mistwraith, I was almost dreading the start to this one. But, aside from a few forays into the nonsensical, with over-blown descriptions (repetitive, too. We get it, he's R-O-Y-A-L, right down to his littlest toenail!) and over-blown emotions (seriously, the characters need some valium!) this book was a much more relaxing read, right from the beginning. And honestly, after all the work you put into the first nove ...more
Jenevive Desroches
Jan 26, 2016 Jenevive Desroches rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
This series keeps pulling me back, even as I take breaks between books to read other stories and authors. A compelling and engrossing set of volumes, not to be overlooked by fans of high fantasy. For a more complete (if sadly delayed) review of this book and the next in the series, please visit the link below:

Joshua S Hill
Mar 25, 2009 Joshua S Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wurts is, really, a very different writer. Ignore the fact that this book focuses on music a lot more than others, has a brilliant method to time and travel and a whole lot more. The most compelling thing about Janny Wurts' writing is that she knows words, very well, and she knows which words go with what setting.

I'm already on to book 2, and have books 3-5 waiting for me on my shelf. Can't wait!
This author suffers from Logorrhoea (verbal diarrhea} which she then puts in writing. I can only assume the fans of this series are those who love lots of bloody war, tragic and violent death and a score of hateful people who think they're cause is righteous. This spaced out with long, boring pointless activity, described in detail, by equally boring characters. I'm done, can't bring myself to wade through the rest of the 9 books.
Mar 29, 2011 Yati rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
I enjoyed reading this book, even though at the same time I have some problems with the characters.

Lysaer at times (ok, all the time) makes me want to shake him until his teeth rattles. Arithon angsts too much. The Fellowship sorrows over things, and the Koriani meddles. Dakar just deserves a kick in the butt.

This definitely won't put me off from reading the next book, though. I just hope Lysaer gets a bit more perspective about the whole curse thing.
Jun 28, 2010 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm warming up to the series...I just don't get the time to read such dense writing in a short-enough period of time (for me) and so it feels like the books just d...r...a...g on for too long...

It is well-written, though, even if the style isn't my favorite. I think if you liked the first book, you will like the second book more. Unless you like the namby-pamby "good" brother (whose name escapes me), in which case you might not like the direction this book takes.
Dec 28, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good series, but hard to find in book stores. Most in my collection i've bought online and had shipped.

The entire series is enjoyable, but I do have to say slow moving, and slow to get through, which is the only reason i knock a star.
Oct 25, 2016 Ekmef rated it liked it
This series is slowly growing onto me, I don't know why because still norhing happened, but it was actually an enjoyable read. The only thing I don't get is the Dakar character. Why does everyone put up with his self-destructive behavior? He needs help, not more threats.
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Janny Wurts is the author of War of Light and Shadow series, and To Ride Hell's Chasm. Her eighteen published titles include a trilogy in audio, a short story collection, as well as the internationally best selling Empire trilogy, co authored with Raymond E. Feist, with works translated into fifteen languages worldwide. Her latest title in the Wars of Light and Shadow series, Initiate's Trial, cul ...more
More about Janny Wurts...

Other Books in the Series

Wars of Light and Shadow (10 books)
  • The Curse of the Mistwraith (Wars of Light and Shadow, #1)
  • Warhost of Vastmark (Wars of Light & Shadow, #3; Arc 2 - The Ships of Merior, #2)
  • Fugitive Prince (Wars of Light & Shadow, #4; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #1)
  • Grand Conspiracy (Wars of Light & Shadow #5; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #2)
  • Peril's Gate (Wars of Light and Shadow, #6; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #3)
  • Traitor's Knot (Wars of Light & Shadow #7; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #4)
  • Stormed Fortress (Wars of Light and Shadow, #8; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #5)
  • Initiate's Trial (Wars of Light and Shadow, #9; Arc 4 - Sword of the Canon, #1)
  • Destiny's Conflict (Wars of Light & Shadow #10; Arc 4 - Sword of the Canon, #2)

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“My grandfather was sparing in his praise of apprentices. My grandfather insisted we think for ourselves and achieve for our own satisfaction. Deep study of the mysteries were their own tough path, he always said. To live for the approval of others was a pitfall that begged a false turning.” 3 likes
“Never get old. It's a ridiculously uncomfortable process Ath Creator should be made to find a cure for.” 0 likes
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