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The Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,253 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms ...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Night Shade Books (first published July 26th 2011)
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Aug 31, 2013 seak rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who want high magic use.
Recommended to seak by: Justin
Shelves: arc-review, 2011
In 2007, a good friend of mine took me to a movie called Into the Wild . You may already know it, but the short version of this true story is that a guy on his way to Harvard and a hugely successful career decides to give up all his money and stuff and make his way to Alaska.

When I walked out, all I wanted to do was go on one big, epic adventure meeting random people, learning how to survive on leaves and grass (hehe) and sky and rainbows.

I think we ended up heading to Vegas a week later on a
Mark Lawrence
woah, I've been reading this book forever! Just as with my last 10 books this is a reflection of my stupidly small amount of free time! I'm now supposed to read 2 books by the 5th of May for a newspaper review - help!

Anyhow, putting the focus back on The Whitefire Crossing: This is an excellent fantasy tale with an original form and interesting setting. The story is told from two points of view, two halves of a developing friendship, one told in the first person and the other in third person. It
Dan Schwent
A smuggler named Dev is hired to escort a young man from Ninavel to Alathia, taking him through the treacherous Whitefire Mountains. But when the young man turns out to be an apprentice Blood Mage with an angry master on his backtrail, Dev gets a lot more than he bargained for...

I had this on my radar for about a year. When the ebook went on sale for $1.99, I knew the time was right.

The Whitefire Crossing is a refreshing change of pace from most fantasy novels on the racks. Gone is the pseudo-me
**I posted my review on Only the Best, while Seak posted his on Bastard Books and other crap.**

You read fantasy and you wish you could become a wizard detective, a clever thief, Superman...but, a rock-climber? That's precisely what I wished to become after I was done with Courtney Schafer's debut novel, The Whitefire Crossing . Not that the book itself was about rock-climbing, but the passages in which it was featured, were quite compelling. I'm scared shitless of heights, so one can dream. It'
Blake Charlton
4.5 stars. an excellent start to what promises to be an lively and epic series. the two PoV characters are likeable, vastly different. the interplay between the two as the cross a vivid mountain scape make the book come alive. in fact, the whitefire mountain range and the surrounding lands place such a vibrant role they become, in effect, as memorable as the characters.

my only qualm is with the magic system, which is to my tastes too soft. to be clear, there is nothing wrong with soft magical s

I always hear the phrase, "write what you know." My reaction has typically been who the hell would want to read a fantasy novel about bodybuilding, basketball, or energy policy? Of course the answer is - my mom. Thankfully for me, and everyone else who will have the pleasure of reading The Whitefire Crossing, Courtney Schafer's knowledge of mountaineering has a much broader appeal.

When I received my advanced copy of Whitefire, I took a minute to read about
Feb 12, 2015 Michael marked it as to-read
I've had this on my to be read pile for some time now, and thanks to being picked by a group I'm in I have a good excuse to move it to the top of the TBR pile. I'm excited to get started.
I finished the novel and while the style flowed well and the book makes you want to turn the pages and see what happens, I ultimately did not care that much about it.

To be honest this is a book I would have taken a look and after the first page said, nice prose but I have 50 or more books of much higher interest and put it down, but Robert's review (my coeditor at FBC) made me curious so i gave it a higher priority. In the end as mentioned I enjoyed it more than i expected but it never rose to t
T. Frohock
First of all, I enjoyed this novel. I wouldn’t be writing like this if I didn’t. I mean, I really, really had a good time reading it, and hey, isn’t that what it’s all about?

So what can you expect from Schafer’s debut? I know we all like to pigeon-hole books into categories. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just so we can have some kind of idea of what to expect. I think the best way to describe The Whitefire Crossing is to use Schafer’s label of an “adventure fantasy.” With a heavy emphasis on advent
Mike (the Paladin)
Here's another I'm going to open with...I'm sorry, but I don't really like it.

I do like fantasy, epic fantasy, urban fantasy. sword and sorcery fantasy....but sometimes I find that even with a fairly well written book, I'm just not the "target audience".

The characters do get well filled out here and the plot while meandering kind of moves along. The first half of the book takes place in crossing the mountains and the varied dangers (both natural and magical) faced. Then the book moves into a sor
Catherine Ford
2.5 stars

This book is very unusual in that it is told from a first person perspective, that of Dev, a smuggler, and a third person point of view, that of Kiran, a stowaway mage.
At first I found this quite jarring. But, I got used to it. However, Kiran was so irritating, I kept wishing for Dev's parts of the chapters.

A lot of this book was extremely boring. Most of the plot twists are already anticipated, so there were hardly any surprises.
As already mentioned I liked Dev, but found Kiran whine
There comes a time in every avid reader's life when their biggest regret about a book is just how long it took them to pick the thing up and open it to the first page. This is how it is with me. The Whitefire Crossing originally looked like it would be an enjoyable novel, but I had other books I wanted to read first. Then when it finally came time for me to read this one, I couldn't believe that I'd put it off for so long.

The Whitefire Crossing is a lovely combination of many traditional fantasy
Jeff Salyards
There are two things I really look for in any fiction: compelling characters that feel fleshed out, full of contradictory impulses, doubts, jealousies, and all the other human foible stuff; and a clever or unique take or treatment, an angle that separates it from everything else out there. The second is especially important in fantasy novels, which has a history almost as long as storytelling itself if you go back to Odysseus and Gilglamesh, so sometimes falls into the unpleasant habit of recycl ...more
This story is told from the points of view of the two main male characters, Dev and Kiran. The unique feature is that Dev's point of view is told in the first person while Kiran's is from the third person. This varying perspective gives you a bit of a double take at first but you quickly settle in to enjoy the tale.

Dev and Kiran were thrown together out of necessity. Dev was an expert mountain guide and Kiran needed a guide to smuggle him out of one city into another in the quickest and most inc
Well, it's official. I have another favourite! I absolutely loved this book. The plot is tight and fast moving and the main characters are engaging and complex. I wished it was longer... I loved the magic system, which reminded me of the old, honest-to-goodness magic that I read in my early fantasy books in my teenage years, but with a very fresh take. How the magic is used or not used is well thought out. One of my favourite moments was the "fight" between Ruslan and Kiran. I also can't wait to ...more
Beside all the stress I finished reading another great fantasy reading.

There is more behind the story as you think at first sight.
Mountain climbing plays an important part in the book. I do not have any experience in this area but Courtney created breathtaking scenes.

I liked the two main characters - Dev and Kiran - more and more after every revelation.

I look forward to read the next book in the series. I hope I will write and finish my full review before the publishing date of the next book.
Dev works as an outrider for caravans crossing the Whitefire mountains, going from the city of Ninavel to the kingdom of Alathia. To pad his income, Dev also does some smuggling on the side. After all, there’s a prohibition on magic in Alathia, so Dev can make a handsome amount of money transporting various magical items from magic-friendly Ninavel across the border. As The Whitefire Crossing starts, Dev is asked by his contact to take along an unusual package: a young man called Kiran. The surp ...more
The Whitefire Crossing, the debut novel of Courtney Schafer, is an exciting adventure fantasy in a unique world. On its surface the plot is a simple one: Dev, a smuggler and talented climber, is in desperate need of cash and so takes on a dangerous mission to smuggle a person out of the city of Ninavel and into the country of Alathia. What makes the tale interesting are the complications surrounding that job and the rich sense of history behind each character.

I’m rather a fan of the working clas

I'm not usually a fan of heavy fantasy (GOT made me sleepy, for some reason), but this book. THIS BOOK.

This book made me want to go spelunking and hiking and mountain-climbing. This book made me wish I was in it. This book practically left my brain electric, and I almost had a seizure after reading THIS. BOOK.

Chris Hawks
The giveaway gods were smiling on me again when I won a copy of Courtney Schafer's fantasy debut from the Staffer's Musings blog. I hadn't previously read any of the reviews in detail, but I got the sense that it had been favorably received overall—plus, I really wanted to find out just what was going on in that cover—so I threw my name in the proverbial hat, and viola! free book! Following some friendly correspondence with Ms. Schafer, a copy of The Whitefire Crossing showed up in my mailbox, c ...more
Fantasy Review Barn

Good Idea: Taking advantage of a free book deal and downloading a book that has received good ratings from all of your friends.

Bad Idea: Not reading the book for over a year because you are scared the “rock climbing elements” will overshadow everything else in the book.

I can’t believe I let this sit on my Kindle without reading it for so long. I truly did put it off because all the talk was about how the author is a rock climber and put it into her book; my brain went meh and
I would actually give 3.5 stars if I could. This is a pretty good book, and a fun read. The premise is unique in a genre that can easily become cliche. I feel like the book can be a bit slow at times, and the writing is good but not excellent. The book is worth a read, but not a must read. If you have room on your to read list I would give it a try, because it is an enjoyable read.
Brandon Zarzyczny
I bought this book after seeing the author's AMA, and I absolutely loved it. All of the characters are really unique and have a great back-story that you learn more about throughout the book, especially the two main characters Dev and Kiran. They both have similar beginnings in life, with Dev being used and abused as a child thief, or a Tainter (some chuckles were had at the usage of this term) where many children born in the city gain telepathic powers from the strong confluence of Earth Energy ...more
I honestly don't even know where to begin with this review. I LOVED this book. And if you look through my review history, you'll know that's a rarity. How do I even write 5-star reviews? I don't get much practice!

The story:

The story presented is a simple enough concept: Dev is a smuggler of magical goods. He crosses the Whitefire Mountains in order to smuggle these goods into a neighboring kingdom. This time, his cargo isn't merely a few trinkets or amulets, but a young man, Kiran. Hijinks ens
This was one of the best, if not the best, fantasies I've read this year. It's a pretty amazing debut.

The basic premise is that a young former thief-turned-mountain-guide is hired to help a young aristocrat (mage) smuggle himself across the border. Of course, nothing is simple, double-crossing and skullduggery ensues, and there's lots of action.

The author did an amazing job of having each of the two point of view characters have distinct voices, knowledge and personalities. You wanted them to u
You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews Courtney Schafer’s 2011 debut novel, the first in the Shattered Sigil adventure fantasy series.

“If I could give out an actual award for best novel of the year,The Whitefire Crossing would be at the top of the list as one of the strongest contenders.” ~The Founding Fields

From all the reading I’ve done so far this year, one thing has become very clear to me: epic fantasy is no longer
I had read several good blurbs about Courtney Schafer's The Whitefire Crossing, so I decided to give it a shot. One thing the blurbs all mentioned was the fact that Schafer is an avid mountain climber, and had added her passion as an important part of the novel.

This sounded like a fun take for a fantasy novel, and as it turns out, it was.

The novel alternates between the points of view of two main characters: Dev, a skilled mountain climber and smuggler, and Kiran, a man who Dev is hired to smugg
Seregil of Rhiminee
I became interested in Courtney Schafer's The Whitefire Crossing a few weeks ago, because it seemed to be a fascinating debut fantasy book. Now that I've read it, I can say that my first impressions were right, because The Whitefire Crossing turned out to be a very good book. To be honest, it's one of the best fantasy books I've read this year and it's an amazingly good and fast-paced debut book (I've always loved good and entertaining fantasy books, so I enjoyed reading this book). I'm already ...more
A.E. Marling
The mountain valleys will run red with blood magic.

Look closely at the cover and you'll see a repentant blood mage drawing power from a tree as he and his guide trek across the mountains to escape the mage's possessive master. In this world, blood magic is Godzilla-with-a-hangover terrifying. Not only are the spell effects powerful, but the mages can gather the life force of anything around them to aid their conquest. For good reason blood mages are reviled by all, but one mountain guide unwitt
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A voracious reader, Courtney Schafer took up writing when she found that fantasy books weren't published fast enough to satisfy her craving for new worlds full of magic and wonder. When not writing, Courtney figure skates, climbs 14,000 foot peaks, squeezes through Utah slot canyons, and skis way too fast through trees. To support her adrenaline-fueled hobbies and writing habit, she received a deg ...more
More about Courtney Schafer...

Other Books in the Series

Shattered Sigil (3 books)
  • The Tainted City (Shattered Sigil, #2)
  • The Labyrinth of Flame (Shattered Sigil, #3)
The Tainted City (Shattered Sigil, #2) The Labyrinth of Flame (Shattered Sigil, #3) Die Chroniken von Ninavel - Stadt der Magier: Roman

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