Stranger at the Wedding
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Stranger at the Wedding (Windrose Chronicles)

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  716 ratings  ·  41 reviews
After she has a premonition that her sister will die when she takes her marriage vows, a young wizard attempts to stop the wedding


It’s normal for a young girl to be jealous of her sister’s impending wedding, and Kyra is jealous indeed. A plain looking young magic student whose incipient wizardly abilities have done nothing to attract the attentions of the boys of her tow...more
ebook, 341 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (first published March 2nd 1994)
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Estara
Feb 24, 2012 Estara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fantasy of manners and intrigue fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin (PT)
I'm tempted to call this my favorite...except I'm honest enough to admit that my favorite Hambly books is whichever book I'm reading at the time. Even years after having read this for the first time, I'm always amazed at how clearly I can visualize the scenes of Stranger, and how, though it's a much read book, I can get completely engulfed in its world.

It also holds up well for me being older, hopefully wiser and more experienced than when I first read it (or even any of the many other times);...more
Sbuchler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doris
This book... what to say. There are parts of it that were hard to read from an emotional standpoint. I have a real difficulty with pedophiles, and there was one. I thought his end was vicious, however.

The story ending was well done, and the entire book shrieks that there are other stories to be told about this group.
Mary
Barbara Hambly is good at her craft. This is really barely fantasy; mostly it's a detective story with a little romance thrown in.
Phoenixfalls
This is the first Barbara Hambly novel I have read, and on the strength of it I doubt it will be my last. Her characters are likable, her world well-fleshed out, and the plot builds tension well and set up a fairly good climax and denoument.

However, it felt like there was a lot of chaff mixed in with the wheat of this story. It was told using a rather self-conscious mix of present-day action and flashbacks that advanced the plot -- a device which, while I don't object to it as a rule, is hard to...more
Sineala
This book takes place a couple years after Dog Wizard but is not precisely part of the Windrose Chronicles, as neither Antryg nor Joanna appear (nor are they even mentioned). It takes place entirely in Ferryth, and the main character is Kyra, a wizard mentioned in passing a few times in Dog Wizard. I would suspect that you can read it without having read the other three; the only difference it will make is how much worldbuilding you know beforehand.

I think I've only read this one once -- I would...more
Lindsey Duncan
After Circle of the Moon, Barbara Hambly went on my probation list. After Stranger At The Wedding, she is officially off probation and back in my readerly good graces.

I found this an absorbing, entertaining and suspenseful tale of a sorceress who - expelled from her family six years ago for reasons that slowly unfold and are revealed to be more complex throughout the book - returns upon the eve of her sister's Alix wedding to determine who wants Alix dead. The world is realistic and well portray...more
Theophania Elliott
This book takes place shortly after 'Dog Wizard', the third book in the Windrose Chronicles. However, it is not at all necessary to have read the preceding books; although this book takes place in the same universe and some of the characters are the same, the action centres around Kyra Peldyrin, known as Kyra the Red, who only gets about two lines in the previous books.

Kyra lives in a world where those who are born with the power of sorcery have the choice between a career as a 'dog-wizard' - ba...more
Margaret
This is set in the same universe as The Silent Tower and The Silicon Mage, but has little in common with them otherwise (barring a couple of minor characters). Instead, it has to do with Kyra, a journeyman wizard at the Citadel of Wizards; while practicing for her tests, all of her spells seem to go wrong, and eventually she sees a frightening vision: the death of her younger sister, Alix, on her wedding night. She journeys home to face her family, who disowned her when she became a wizard, and...more
zjakkelien
This was not a very good book. The story is ok (sorceress needs to find out who wants to kill her sister at her wedding night without letting anyone know she's illegally using magic), but Hambly is overdoing it with the descriptions. Mind you, I'm not anti-description. But in this case, things get described that really have nothing to do with the story and that you don't really want to know. I'll give you a very small example:
She waited while Joblin fetched a silver crown and a few silver bits f...more
Jennie
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I hadn't read so many of her other books before this one. I love Barbara Hambly's strong female characters as well as the worlds she builds, and I'm especially a fan of her Darwath and James Asher series as well as Benjamin January's mysteries and the standalone novels Search the Seven Hills and Bride of the Rat God.

Unfortunately, as with so many other authors, it's hard not to telegraph the story when you have a formula that works so well. In this...more
Annie
The first two-thirds of this book are fairly typical for a fantasy novel: a woman with magic returns to the home she has been exiled from to save her sister from an ambiguous doom on her wedding day. Kyra goes through all of the rituals and motions of magic, while trying to hide from a community where it is outlawed. She has a chance to think about what her life would have been like if she had chosen her family over magic, and she finds herself falling in love with her sister's intended groom.

It...more
Jamie
Hambly is always a good read, and this is a nice standalone fantasy story about a witch who makes a surprise visit to her estranged family on the occasion of her sister’s wedding - because she’s had a premonition of tragedy on the wedding night.

What follows is mystery, comedy and romance as the heroine races to uncover a curse before the ridiculously elaborate wedding can take place.

I liked the characters and the world-building, but I was only mildly taken with the romance. Still, an entertainin...more
Hafiza
Now available as an ebook.
Re read this after almost 15 years
ms bookjunkie
Sep 23, 2012 ms bookjunkie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ms bookjunkie by: Jo Walton
Oh. Em. Gee! Excellent read!

It started off slow but promising, continued on with interesting, then began picking up pace and kept on getting more and more intriguing until I couldn't read fast enough to find out who was trying to kill Alix and why, and if the spell could be stopped. It also contains a satisfying surprise romance. Funny, compelling and totally absorbing. Love! Love love love!

This blog post is the reason I put it on my wishlist.
Michelle
Years later, I still remember this book and plan to read it again! (I think I have read it twice already.) I admit, I wasn't expecting the turn the story took toward the middle with her sister. I liked how magic was portrayed and used, and the way the world was setup. It was really cool how Barbara Hambly went into detail on some of the cultural traits, and how they tied into the plot. You don't see that very often.
Kathy Davie
Well, it may be in the same series, but the only old characters mentioned are Salteris and Lady Rosamunde. Instead, we get an in-depth look at the merchant class of Hambly's world.

And, true to form, Hambly writes another excellent read. This particular story revolves around love. Love for one's family, the discovery of romantic love, the security of love, and, chillingly, the love of children.
Michelle Cristiani
A pleasant dose of fantasy. I loved hot the protagonist set up prejudice against the 'mageborn', how brides wear red, and the love interest I wouldn't have expected.

That said, it felt like I came in on something in progress. I often feel this way reading fantasy novels. But the magic use was sound and actually realistic: you can picture all of the spells. It would make for a great movie.
Miriam
Kyra's father disowned her after her scandalous study of magic became public knowledge. After years with no contact with her family, she receives an invitation to her sister's wedding and has a premonition that her sister is in danger.

I loved the characters, but the plot and the structure of the book itself seemed awkward.
Jane
Rereading this for the fifth or sixth time and as always, I'm so taken by the way she can evoke a setting and make me feel cold, hot, terrified, whatever. Her writing is lush and yet precise. Sometimes she falls in love with a description too much and it gets convoluted and purple but it's still gorgeous.
Wealhtheow
Ignore the terrible cover. This is an excellent, sophisticated book.

Kyra's magical studies are interrupted by premonitions of her sister's death. Determined to save her younger sister, Kyra returns to her merchant family's home, even though they killed her teacher and disowned her years before.
Mary Lauer
I really liked this book. I gave it four instead of five stars only because I didn't end up as attached to the main character Spens as I did with Antryg in the previous books. The book was well-written and the characters as well-rounded as all of Barbara Hambly's characters are.
Lara
It's a romantic comedy/mystery set in a fantasy world--it's Georgette Heyer with magic, and the heroine and hero (confirmed by the author) are Hepburn and Tracy. There was never a question of whether I was going to enjoy it, it was only a matter of how much.
Eric Jackson
Great Fantasy romance. Listened to it on Audible in 2014. Great reader. Forgotten just how deep the characters are. I was also informed that this is a side-story for the Witches of Wenshar series. So it's off to the bookstore to read those!
Lila
I adore Hambly's writing style. She addresses some real world subjects in an intriguing way and I enjoy her take on magic. A great read and I highly recommend this if you are not looking for an ordinary fantasy read.
Wendy
I really like this book. It has one scene that is about rape, although it isn't explicit. I wouldn't recommend this for reading out loud to children. Unless you skip over that part :)
Mindy
Great love story. I've read it several times and I love the characters. There is magic and mystery involved. This book is part of the Dog Wizard universe, but it stands alone.
Carolyn
Excellent characters in an intriguing early-industrial-revolution-with-magic world. The romance plots were...a little much, I think, but fun.
Kat
A book set in the same world as the Windrose Chronicles, but no Antryg or Joanna. Kyra, the protagonist, gets a cameo in Dog Wizard though!
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10333
aka Barbara Hamilton

Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.


"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone...more
More about Barbara Hambly...
Children of the Jedi (Star Wars) Dragonsbane (Winterlands #1) The Time of the Dark (Darwath, #1) Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher, #1) The Armies of Daylight (Darwath, #3)

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