The Seven Towers
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The Seven Towers

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  796 ratings  ·  65 reviews
They are seven players in a game of deadly magic— Eltiron, Prince of Sevarin; Crystalorn, Princess of Barinash; Ranlyn, the desert rider; Jermain, the outlaw; Vandaris, the soldier; Carachel, the Wizard-King; and Amberglas, the sorceress. Each of them has a secret, and each fights his or her part in the thrilling battle that has put seven kingdoms on the very edge of destr...more
Published July 15th 1984 by Ace (first published 1984)
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I really liked Wrede's Enchanted Forest and Lyra books (especially the Raven Ring), but here it feels like Wrede couldn't quite make up her mind whether to make this a humorous fantasy novel, like the Enchanted Forest, or a more somber fantasy novel, like the Lyra books. So, there are these serious murders/betrayals/setups for genocide right next to cutesy insults of "squash head!", and it doesn't quite work for me. Serious evil needs some serious swearing in order to be taken seriously.
I also...more
Let's see here. Has it got...

...a worrywart prince investigating political intrigue? Check!
...a new royal advisor whose presence causes the king to act strangely? Check!
...and absent-minded sorceress who is actually extremely powerful? Check!
...a beautiful princess stressing over being betrothed to a man she's never met? Check!
...a tough-talking but soft-hearted soldier? Check! honor-obsessed desert nomad who speaks exclusively in awkward, desert-themed metaphors? Check!
...a nebulous, "unde...more
An Odd1
Willowy Amberglass is "the Dowager Duchess of Denver .. cross-wired with Chrestomanci .. one of my all-time favorite characters" (author, inner back cover), and mine. Quotes included to enjoy. From her first encounter with the wounded Jermain, sorceress Amberglass encourages him to reveal his innermost secrets. She sounds polite, kind, respectful, caring, skilled, blathery, independent, confident, roundabout, vague, clever, dippy, astute, insightful, wise...more
Amanda McCrina
2.5 stars. An OK book that could have been much better if the author had slowed the pace and developed the characters more. Some of them are likable characters, but we never get to know them very well. We're told their emotions, rather than shown: a reconciliation that should have been particularly moving, towards the end of the book, is bland and emotionless, as are the deaths of two major characters. Much of the action, too, is told rather than shown; important events are skimmed over so quick...more
Hazel West
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I've been a fan of Patricia C Wrede since I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and this book is just as good as those in my opinion. It had a really awesome story line, one with a bunch of twists I wasn't expecting at all, and also a great cast of characters that I always look for in her books. I really enjoyed this one a lot.

Cover--Yea or Nay: The cover's okay. It's not the best cover in the world, but it's attention-grabbing, and you can tell it's a fantasy. I...more
I enjoyed this book very much. It begins with Amberglas, a character that owes much of dialog style, I thought, to the Princess Eilonwy. However, in reading the afterward, Patricia Wrede says the character came to her as equal parts the dowager Duchess of Denver from Busman's Honeymoon and Chrestomanci of Diana Wynne Jones's books. Either way, she's a lot of fun, once you get in to the pattern of her speech and thoughts, and it's fascinating watching other characters interact with her. Who under...more
Mar 29, 2011 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers aged ten and up
Shelves: own
There is something dreadfully wrong in the kingdom of Sevairn. The king has exiled his head advisor for supposed treason, has arranged a sudden marriage for his son with a princess he has never met, and is completely ignoring the looming danger of an impending invasion. Prince Eltiron, with the help of his aunt Vendaris, a mercenary, does not believe that the Jermain, the exiled advisor, is guilty, but there is little that they can do. Jermain, who has been forced to flee for his life, is rescue...more
I had a hard time getting into this book, which was strange for me as I usually enjoy Wrede's work. The story basically follows seven characters, who inhabit seven kingdoms and who are all facing the same poorly understood threat as the nomad tribes of the south prepare to come north and the matholych (some kind of fearsome monster) follows them. I think part of my difficulty came from the fact that there were so many characters, and the point of view switched back and forth every chapter or so...more
I liked it well enough but some of the main characters could have a been a little more interesting, it was not all that exciting and the ending was anti-climatic. There are seven characters that really come in play and the book is narrated by two of them. I enjoyed Eltiron's narration far better than Jermain's. Between all these characters and a few more thrown in, the characters must deduce and take risks in who they can trust. The greater enemy than those humans that cause minor annoyances is...more
Though this was another quick read (as in, I read it quickly), I didn't like it as much as I've liked her other books. I finished it with the feeling of there being plot holes, even though everything had been resolved by the end--possibly because it took so long for everything to come together. Also, possibly because the varying pieces did not seem to fit together really well, so even with the resolutions and everything coming together, it felt disjointed. I have to say, though, that I loved Amb...more
I expected better from Wrede. I loved the Enchanted Forest Chronicles when I was younger and still do. Reading the back of this book I expected more of the same type of story here. It looked like it would be in the same class of story as a Terry Pratchett novel, but it wasn't.

The tone of the story flip-flops too much for my liking. It can't decided whether it is going for a more satirical approach or if it is actually trying to take itself seriously. As a humour book it falls flat. As a serious...more
I must confess there were a few false starts for this one. But once I stuck around, I was pleased with the plot and character development. In many ways it reminded me of Graceling - different, of course, but I think those that liked Graceling might turn to this one when looking for something else to read.
I will say that the biggest reason it took me a while to get into it was the sheer number of characters. I kept thinking of my creative writing instructor and how he'd tell us not to introduce s...more
Sandra Strange
This novel is classic fantasy: out of control wizards, a marauding horde threatening multiple nations, a mysterious magic that devours all magic and life in its path. The novel offers lots of jeopardy, attractive characters who are varied and fun. Above all--lots of magical adventure.
This was the last book in my string of Patricia C. Wrede's works. It is classic fantasy, complete with evil wizards, warring countries and a shapeless evil. The plot revolves around seven characters who must either band together or fight to their death. While Eltiron (the prince) and Carachel (the wizard-king) are fully drawn and develop through the work, others are more one-dimensional. Amberglass, as the absent-minded sorceress is a humorous addition but feels over-played at times. The story-l...more
I loved some of the characters better than others, and parts of the plot were a bit strange (as in a bit of a stretch), but it was well written.
This fantasy novel had an intriguing and twisting plot, but at times it felt like it was too convoluted and confusing. It is also confused by figuring out how magic works in the land this takes place in since magic is an important piece of this story.

The characters were enjoyable. I cared what became of them. One character, Amberglas, was incredibly likeable, but sometimes mind-numbing to hear her speak. This is how many of the characters responded to her, so it helped you feel a part of the sto...more
Decent fantasy novel. Plot held together pretty well, except for a few moments where the characters somehow failed to pick up on something that was obvious to the reader.

One of the characters had an odd speech pattern, and I was hoping it would turn out to be something awesome, like she was cursed to never say anything even slightly false, so she always had to qualify all her statements. But we never saw an explanation, and my current suspicion is she was just doing it to be annoying.
Wrede seems to have two different styles: one that is a "fun read" style and one that is a "serious fantasy" style. This book, like the Lyra books, fits into the "serious fantasy" style more than the "fun read" (eg., the dragon books and her "magician" books). Because of this, it takes a couple of chapters to figure out what is going on. I really liked the story line and the characters--especially the unexpected twists.
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Seven people are involved to try to save the kingdoms from the magical power of the matholych. It devours people to increase in size and magic.

Each of the seven have an important role to perform, for either good or ill. (But with the best intentions) The matholych must be stopped or it will overtake and kill all in its path.

I struggled between a 3 and a 4 rating. It probably is a 3 1/2.
Mandi Ellsworth
I love P.C.W. She is so much fun to read. This book is a stand-alone, which I like, since it's not a big time commitment. Ir's about a group of people who all eventually get together. They're fighting off the same "bad guy", but which one is the bad guy? It's so fun and the Amberglass is awesome. If I had magic, I'd want to be just like her. Sort of. But I couldn't pull it off.
Eltiron, prince of Sevairn, must deal with a father who is demanding, belittling and controlled by the wrong adviser; magic in a kingdom with little magic left; an arranged marriage; threat of war; a sorceress who talks around what she wants you to hear; and an evil force moving into the Seven Kingdoms that threatens to destroy them all.
I didn't realize this was a standalone; there were some elements that made it feel like part of a series. Sort of like a few things were missing, or it was building up to something without giving a real resolution. I liked it, and I'm not complaining (I generally prefer standalones), but I do think it didn't feel quite complete.
Ms. Wrede really knows how to weave a story together filled with magic and uncertainty. Really liked this book, it kept me guessing until the very end about what was going to happen to all of the characters. Lots of misunderstanding between characters, and a few loose ends at the end of the story but all in all very satisfying.
I don't think the author could decide whether she wanted to write a serious fantasy novel or a more playful work for all ages. As it was, it felt like both, or perhaps I should say neither. Her later works (the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) are much more enjoyable to read, being firmly in the latter camp and making no bones about it.
Maureen E
Meh. I felt generally underwhelmed by this one, which is unfortunate. I suppose if I were younger I would probably have liked it. As it was, I liked it but felt like there were whole huge problems and reactions that just got skipped over (my major example is very spoilery, so I won’t say what it is). [Mar. 2010]
As a big fan of her other series "The Enchanted Forest" and of her novel "Raven Ring," I had high hopes for this novel. The beginning was interesting. The middle was deathly boring and the ending slightly redeemed itself. Definitely not re-reading or continuing with the supposed series that this sets up to be.
I loved this book just as much as love all of Patricia C. Wrede's other books. It is the perfect YA fantasy novel (the only thing missing is the dragons.) A prince and princess, a banished advisor, a scatter-brained sorceress, a cranky king, and 7 towers scatter through the realm, all make this book awesome.
4.5 - as always, great plot and characters. There's a lot going on, and a large number of characters around, but they're easy to keep track of. However, some of the characters, while interesting, seem a bit more forced, especially Amberglas and Vandaris in their speech patterns.
Elizabeth S
For some reason, I had a hard time keeping the various characters straight at first. But I did get it, and it was worth it. Great story, and awesome characters. I like it when you have a good-guy who likes stirring the pot of one of the bad-guys, and it just drives the bad-guys nuts.
Lisa Thompson
At first this started out slow and I was tempted to put it down, but I am glad I did not. It would have been interesting to see if there was a growing relationship between Amberglas and Jermain. It seemed to hint there was one. All in all it was a pretty good book.
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Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2) Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3) Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4) Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)

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