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Ghostlight (Light #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,439 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
What is the Truth?

Truth Blackburn’s father thought he knew what it was. Thorne Blackburn and his followers settled at Shadow's Gate, a magnificent old house in upstate New York, and sought the Truth about life through ritual and magic. One night, something went badly wrong during Thorne’s most powerful ceremony. When the chaos had passed, Thorne had vanished, and Katherine
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 15th 1996 by Tor Books (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,417)
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Bradley's "Witch" series is not as good as her Darkover novels. Part of the problem is that most of the books follow the same plot. Girl discovers she has powers, girl sleeps with men, and girl reaches a conclusion about her powers and about her men. This book is one of the worse because the central character, Truth, does not stay in character. She lacks a sense of realness about her. Sadly, the book is not very deep or interesting.
Jun 18, 2011 Tonya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely start a book and not finish it, it’s a compulsion and sometimes a desperate hope the author will redeem himself/herself, unfortunately this book was unredeemable.
Truth Jourdemayne is the main character it this trivial claptrap of a book, she is unlikable in my opinion based on the first 100 pages of her selfish, and whiny inner dialogue not to mention her uncanny ability to not show any intelligence we were led to believe she had. Based on her work compiling statistical information on
Jan 20, 2009 Donna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A woman who uses science to study the paranormal becomes involved with the magical world of her mysterious father.

This book was difficult to finish. The main character was unlikeable and inconsistent, and the story was slow and shallow. Too much attention was paid to insignificant detail, the heavy description of outfits and decor seemed silly in contrast with the light, scattered characterization. The revelations at the end were (with the exception of one small detail) things that I had figure
Trixie Fontaine
After reading Mists of Avalon and loving it I picked this up at the used bookstore and OMG is it ever bad! The weird thing about it, though, is I enjoyed it. And not just enjoyed it, but years later think about it with fondness. Not any of the details which are embarrassing and laughable, but the overall ambiance. I guess I'm just a sucker, but there's something peculiarly special about this crap that makes it seem like you're in a unique, dorky, spooky, magical, woman-created place and I find m ...more
May 21, 2016 Saronai rated it really liked it
After several false starts on this book after checking it out from the library (and only getting a few pages in), three days before it was due, I didn't feel like doing anything at all and had the day off to oblige. I started it early this morning (about 4am) and finished it about two hours ago.

I'm disappointed to see all the pooh-poohing reviews because once I got into it I really liked it quite a bit. I might also be biased though because until last night I'd never read a fantasy fiction novel
May 26, 2009 Jammies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2009 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book (as "Mists of Avalon" by this author is a fave of mine - If you are a fan of Arthurian legends do yourself a favor and read the book, "Mists of Avalon" - then watch the TV adaptation starring Julianna Margulies and Anjelica Huston. It's almost Shakespearean and has an incredible soundtrack)-- But I digress -- this book just did not move me at all. I could not identify with the heroine and her quest to uncover the truth about her father and his 60's occult ceremo ...more
Mar 01, 2009 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Other than The Mists of Avalon, this the only book from the author I have finished. I was disappointed. It felt silly and forced. I like fantasy, but this just didn't hit the mark.
Lana Del Slay
Aug 04, 2015 Lana Del Slay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I know that by the nineties, when this book was published, Bradley was not writing alone anymore. Rumor has it this was actually the work of a Rosemary Edghill -- which explains the feel of the work, very mid-nineties magicksploitation (for lack of a better word). This bears greater resemblance to LJ Smith, who did it better, and Anne Rice, who was about this shoddy, than to any previous Bradley.

I made it halfway through before I skimmed to the end. Won't be looking for the rest of this tripe.
Jul 31, 2013 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ok, well aside from the fact that Bradley did not truly write this series (apparently an author named Rosemary Edghill did), I can find plenty of other faults with it. What should be an interesting look into magick and rituals, instead becomes a drama with weak characters. And considering this is the first book in a series of 4, there's a whole lot of mess to wade through.

Truth is a researcher. She puts everything forward in cold logic, well aside from the fact that she works with the paranormal
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it it was ok
Truth Jourdemayne has always hated her father, although she doesn't remember him. Thorne Blackburn was a celebrated occultist and near-cult leader of the 60's, but one of his rituals ended in the death of Truth's mother, and the disappearance of Thorne himself (one assumes, to escape murder charges). Scandal notwithstanding, Thorne Blackburn, Aleister Crowley-like, still has his followers - who regularly pester Truth for interviews or opinions on her notorious dad. In an effort to stave them off ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Stephany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
**Included are a few itsy bitsy spoilers**

In my opinion, this book suffers for several reasons:

1. The author relied too heavily on the conventions of the gothic literary tradition as more attention was poured into describing the picturesque scenery of the country castle and the characters' appearances than was put into the characters' personalities or into the plot itself.

2. The plot was fueled entirely by the mystery element of Truth's family past, but most of the answers were already there in
Mar 28, 2013 Nienke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

If I look up reviews of this book on the internet, I find a lot negative reactions on the story and it's characters. I must admit that I read the book in my teens for the first time - and I was a bit younger then - but apart from that, I've been re-reading it ever since.

Agreed, the plot is not very strong, and a couple questions remain after the end - was the house haunted? what was up with Elkanah Sheidow? Wat was magick and what was haunting? - but still I do love the build up of the story. T
May 08, 2012 Jacklyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not many people...
I didn't finish this book, but it's not like I don't know how it ends. While on vacation in Maine this previous summer, I realized I had only brought with me school summer reading (which was ok in the end) and nothing really "fun." So we stopped into Sherman's, the Bar Harbor bookstore, and rambled around for a bit. Naturally, I went to the young adult section, looking for that genre that never ceases to entertain me, but my dad came up behind me and told me, "For goodness sake, take a chance fo ...more
Nicole N.
Oct 22, 2015 Nicole N. rated it liked it
I adore Bradley for her fantastic retelling of Arthurian legend and before. I decided to pick up this book because it took place in the modern (90s) world.

At first I thought, "Okay. You can do this. The setting is just different." And yeah, sure, I can read this like I can read any book but to dive into it like I would her other books...not so much.

I almost felt as if some of the characters weren't necessary. As if the main point(s) of the plot could continue without them because they simply bec
Jul 27, 2012 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lowly, and lonely, research scientist named Truth is running statistical studies of tests of psychic powers at an obscure institute and an obscure college. Then she is drawn into her family history of her father's mysterious career as a magician during the 1960's who gathered a cult and conducted occult ceremonies. In the last ceremony, when Truth was only two years only, Truth's mother, lying on the altar for an occult rite, mysteriously died, and her father vanished and is presumed dead. Tru ...more
While not a bad book in all, the writing proved to be so difficult at times that I think this is the longest I have ever taken to complete a book! The beginning was slow and there are a few characters with similar sounding names so you have to pause to remember who they are talking about. Characters seem to slip in and out of the scenes so quickly you wonder why they were mentioned at all. The author also tends to just throw occult terms and history into the book without any support or informati ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Mercurybard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autumn-stories
My favorite of the Truth books, this is the one where Truth discovers her heritage.

This has an almost Gothic feel to it with the autumn setting and the fantastic haunted house of Shadow's Gate. I almost wish we got more of the motley cast of players Julian has assembled to carry out the Blackburn Work, though this isn't their story--it's Truth's.

It isn't until the very, very end that all the pieces fall into place, and you realize what happened to Truth in the prologue that made her so scared o
Angie Lisle
Your typical neo-Gothic romance, with a banal heroine who visits the creepy mansion where her mom died in order to uncover the secrets surrounding her father's disappearance. Includes the two potential lovers - shady characters through most of the story, with one being pronounced "good" & the other as "bad" at the end of the story - and a cast of one-dimensional "filler" characters who exist only to serve the writer's need for a convenient way of conveying information that the heroine (& ...more
This is great reading for that day when you're in bed with a head cold, you feel like reading but nothing too demanding. It's a guilty secrets read, over and done with in one day. The characters' names sound like they are from trashy soap operas - Truth Jourdemayne, Light, Pilgrim, Thorne Blackburn.

The storyline is ok, predictable, trying to be gothic yet not quite pulling it off. A group of people in a haunted house, rituals, dodgy electrical supply, ?murder, lost family members reuniting at va
Jeremy Preacher
I am not sure why I keep rereading this series. I don't even really like it. The main character in Ghostlight, Truth, is one of those irritating people who requires a ridiculous amount of convincing that the it's raining, even when she's getting soaked to the skin. This isn't a fatal flaw in a supporting character, but it drives me a little nuts when I have to hang out in her head for three hundred pages.

That said, I am fascinated by the (comparatively) realistic magic system. The magicians are
I think this is a fantastic series. My favorite book of the set is Ghostlight. Marion Zimmer Bradley is so adept at creating moods and a sense of place in her writing that I always have the most vivid images while reading her books! I am not a big fan of her fantasy series (or really ANY fantasy series like that), so if you're putting off reading this because you don't like those, it's very different and stands on its own! :) The characters, though admittedly odd, are really well-described and f ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Kate rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deanna Drai Turner
I love the Mists of Avalon. I love Marion Zimmer Bradley. And I even love her writing style. I did not however love this particular book. I believe that she wrote a rather perfect story, but there was a different kind of darkness here that I found too uncomfortable and disturbing. I experienced it through the entire book and was relieved when it was over. I still give it high stars in it's rating, she is truly a brilliant storyteller. There was a quality of "too plausible darkness" that this rea ...more
Reagan Long
I enjoyed reading this book, there was enough of a mystery aspect to keep me interested as I read.
Deb Myers
Probably would have only given it 2 stars until the connection to "The Fall of Atlantis" at the end. Not my favorite by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Jun 05, 2016 Connie53 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
Een beetje een tegenvaller. Veel herhalingen en niet al te bijster goed geschreven.
Jun 27, 2008 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a paranormal researcher who confronts her past and her father's ghost. If you've read Mists of Avalon, you will recognize some of the festivals of the old gods. It was a good story and I'd give it 3 stars. I'd have liked to see the characters developed a little more - I had trouble keeping a couple of them (minor ones) straight. My only other complaint was that MZB left a couple of loose ends or things unexplained, and sometimes the protagonist did things that seemed out of c ...more
Connie T.
I remember enjoying this at the time.
Oct 17, 2008 Shannan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the same author of the Mists of Avalon books, which I enjoy, so I tried it out.

I enjoyed the book for the most part. The main character was interesting and easy to identify. The other characters were intriguing and mysterious. Strangely enough, the amount of “technical” magickal language was actually a turn off for me. I am familiar with the basics of ritual and all that and I was lost in parts of this book. Maybe she didn’t make it easy enough for the “lay person” to understand. I thoug
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Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.

Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Ham
More about Marion Zimmer Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Light (4 books)
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