Sword of Fire and Sea (The Chaos Knight, #1)
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Sword of Fire and Sea (The Chaos Knight #1)

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3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  271 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Three generations ago Captain Vidarian Rulorat’s great-grandfather gave up an imperial commission to commit social catastrophe by marrying a fire priestess. For love, he unwittingly doomed his family to generations of a rare genetic disease that follows families who cross elemental boundaries. Now Vidarian, the last surviving member of the Rulorat family, struggles to upho...more
Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Pyr (first published January 1st 2011)
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Rae
The summary here seems to be for the series as a whole as very little of what they tell you on the back here has much to do with three quarters of the book. Also, there is no imperial intrigue, everyone seems to know gryphons exist and the gryphons never left the world setting. But as the author probably doesn't have much control over what they put there, let's not hold that against them shall we? Just make a note of it.

While there are some interesting premises in this book, the story suffers fr...more
Stacey O'Neale
This review was completed by Michael Cummings, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide

As readers of epic fantasy, we are spoiled. We've come to expect that anything labeled epic must be epic in all regards. It must require epic feats of strength to carry it; it must be epic in length and effort to read it; it must have an epic length cast. Reading Erin Hoffman's debut novel, "Sword of Fire and Sea," will be a shock to the system for most epic fantasy readers who haven't experienced fantasy from...more
Liviu
This is another fun page turner from Pyr that came unexpectedly two days ago and took over my reading; high magic adventure this time, but the same relentless action, exuberance and occasional over the top scenes that work well here.

Sword of Fire and Sea is also a book that flows well despite that it changes its balance and focus at least twice - so for example the blurb while accurate as it goes is a bit misleading - , the transitions are done so well you really do not notice until you think a...more
Greg
Erin Hoffman enters the epic fantasy
With a strong slim volume during a summer with much anticipated doorstop volumes that may eclipse this well worthy new author. Her world is one that will feel familiar, her story moves fast and characters decisions have effects that are felt now rather then later. The art on the cover implies a but of a Japanese RPG feeling and it does not go much wrong; there is a depth to the world and it's history that will make you hunger for the next volume to see what th...more
Kerri
I picked up this book on whim during one of my adventures to the book store. I was immediately lured in by the artwork on the cover, the title, and the book summary. I was so eager to start reading it that I did so amidst my friends. I really wanted to love it. There were so many interesting ideas put forward! With so much fantasy at work, how could it fail to appeal to my tastes?

Well, sometimes a lot can be too much, as I quite rapidly discovered. Nothing is developed. You have so many ideas an...more
Shaun Duke
Erin Hoffman's debut novel is a traditional high fantasy romp formed from the ashes of a collaborative project. It's origins are a bit unusual in a field of secondary world fantasies created by individuals with Tolkien on the mind, and the effort to move beyond the collaboration shows in the development of the world's magic system, mechanics and all. As a novel, Sword of Fire and Sea leaves something to be desired, but as a fantasy adventure, it hits all the right marks.

Vidarian, a reputable shi...more
Lexie
I am, have always been, a big fan of fantasy. By far my favorite genre, it's also the only genre I am willing to take on the risk of reading a new author with a concept that sounds a little shaky without giving it too much thought. It's how I found some of my current favorites (Brandon Sanderson, Rachel Aaron, Juliet Marillier) and how I'll likely find future favorites. Erin Hoffman included.

Don't let the cover mislead you, this isn't a sweet toothed fantasy with gilded pretty ladies and handsom...more
Michael Cummings
As readers of epic fantasy, we are spoiled. We've come to expect that anything labeled epic must be epic in all regards. It must require epic feats of strength to carry it; it must be epic in length and effort to read it; it must have an epic length cast. Reading Erin Hoffman's debut novel, "Sword of Fire and Sea," will be a shock to the system for most epic fantasy readers who haven't experienced fantasy from the recent batch of new to the scene fantasy authors. Hoffman employs an economy of w...more
Jon Sprunk
Erin Hoffman's debut shows a remarkable deftness in storytelling and beautiful language. Some of her descriptions are so good they actually made me stop and read them again just to appreciate the lilt of the prose. This is an adventure story with heart.
Alan
First I'm gonna start by saying I could not finish this book. The writing wasn't really good enough to make me "feel" for the characters. The writing style was more of a story telling then dialogue driven, and for me that's the best way for an author to endear their characters to me, through good dialogue. On the other hand the author did a very good job discribing the settings and scenery, and I imagine that had I finished the book it would have shown good world building.

One aspect I didn't lik...more
Justin
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com/2...

I have a sneaking suspicion that Sword of Fire and Sea is going to be one of the more polarizing novels of 2011 as a perfect example of form over substance. Erin Hoffman's debut from Pyr has a beautiful voice, and a fully realized, textured world. It has gryphons, pegasus, and elemental magic all of which evoke whimsy and a general sense of romance. Ultimately though, the primary motive force of any novel is its story and there Hoffman falls flat, failing...more
Sarah Snyder
originally posted @ http://thatbookishgirl.blogspot.com/2...

Sword of Fire and Sea by Erin Hoffman was an incredibly exciting and compelling read. Hoffman covers a lot of ground in this debut and the direction changes quite a few times. Yet somehow she manages to keep the story flowing and the reader engaged. You don’t always know where the story is trying to go, but nonetheless, it is still enjoyable. Considering that Sword of Fire and Sea is a relatively short for a fantasy read, Hoffman manage...more
Stefan
At the start of Erin Hoffman’s debut novel Sword of Fire and Sea, Captain Vidarian is tasked by the priestess Endera to transport Ariadel, a young fire priestess, to the safety of a water temple. The journey will be dangerous, because Ariadel is pursued by the telepathic Vkortha, so Vidarian is understandably reluctant to take on the assignment, but when Endera invokes an old pact between his family and the Temple of Kara’zul, he has no choice but to comply....

For many reasons, I rarely give up...more
Alex
This book is like the anti-Game of Thrones, and I mean that in the best way possible. It's a fast-paced and exciting adventure full of magic, a perfect summer read.

One thing I especially appreciated was the number of female characters both major and minor. It took me about halfway through the book to notice, but the "default=male" rule is not in effect here. If anything, it's the opposite. From evil priestesses to the officers on Vidarian's ship, women play roles large and small, and the story i...more
Marty
So far I am enjoying this adventure tale. It has some originality in concept and frankly I like the characters. The story began to drag somewhat, but I am interested in reading the next book in the series.
Natasha Superville
This was an absolutely amazing book. Was not quite sure when I picked it up, but I'm glad I did. Fantastical, magical, emotional, adventuresome. Loved, loved, loved it.
Joseph
High-seas adventure, elemental magic and world-changing events. And gryphons! Did I mention the gryphons?
Melissa Hayden
Vidarian is summoned to meet with the priestess of air, Endera. Endera feels his family history and his ship make him perfect for her task at hand. When Vidarian refuses the job of taking a fire priestess on his wooden ship in the ocean through dangerous waters Endera invokes the commitment made by his grandfather 50 years ago binding Vidarian to the journey. Endera being of good graces will still pay him handsomely though. The fire priestess is being transported because she is being sought afte...more
Blodeuedd Finland
My thoughts:

There is a lot going on in this book and it was different than other fantasy books in a way. Because a lot happened, sure at times I felt like things happened to quickly, but then that might just be because I am used to it taken 4 books just to start a journey.

To break things done. Vidarian is a ship captain who escorts Ariadel to her destination but things go wrong at once. So many will fight against them at the end, or by their side. The imperial forces, pirates, the Priestesses, g...more
Christine Ricci
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachael
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. The description sounded interesting - a fantasy adventure with gryphons and a bit of romance. Along with the pretty cover, it seemed like this would be a book I would enjoy. Unfortunately, I ended up disappointed.

The book is very descriptive but lacks depth. There are many details about how everything looks on the surface, yet we receive few details about anything else. The world was intriguing and the story/plot started off ok, but I soon los...more
Kellani
I got this book with it's Second Installment "Lance of Earth and Sky" in a double giveaway via Goodreads. I'd like to say thank you to those responsible for the giveaway, and for the generosity of a free couple of books to read.

So, with reading this book, I've found that the level of vocabulary within is much higher in it's level of sophistication then what I am used to reading. This, of course, is not a bad thing, it's just interesting to me, to see the clear difference between books in my norm...more
Andrea
Vidarian Rulorat, Captain of the Empress Quest had spent his life on the sea. So it was with some reluctance that he was forced to accept a task presented to him by the High Priestess Endera to transport a young fire priestess to a safe haven far in the south. He had no idea what he was in for...

When I saw this book available through the Goodreads First Reads program I jumped at a chance to win a copy. Magic, goddesses, and most importantly gryphons, an impressivly powerful creature that so rare...more
Kaarina
Is this young adult? because it really felt like it, it didn't say when I bought it on kindle but it definitely had a YA feel about it. The story concept had potential and I picked it up on the desire to read more book involving pirates.

Some of the character development was a bit surprising, the romance was a bit woah- where did that come from? But I loved Ruby's character. Also there was a 'slight' over use of metaphors when describing people. It's okay to say 'blue eyes' sometimes, you know?

E...more
Maria
Fire Priestesses, Chaos Goddesses, shape-shifters, Gryphons, a Starhunter and even pirates… yes… pirates. All of these characters, and more, come together within Hoffman’s debut novel to help create a world unlike any other.

The novel starts off with Captain Vidarian Rulorat being asked to escort a Fire Priestess Ariadel to safety… sounds like a great start, and it was. Unfortunately, the novel then bounces around from one mystical location to another, introducing new and unusual characters, but...more
Jimmit Shah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason
Erin Hoffman has written some influential essays about the game industry, and has always seemed like the voice of reason in IGDA forum posts, but fiction just doesn't seem like her thing.

The recurring theme for me while reading Sword of Fire and Sea was confusion. I was constantly confused about who characters were, how they fit into the story, what their motivations were, and why I was supposed to care about them.

There was virtually no development of characters, which meant there was nothing bu...more
Kaila
Jun 22, 2012 Kaila marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review is also available on my blog, Stumptown Books.

The Wikipedia article on Erin Hoffman is enough to herald the woman as a hero in her own right. You can get the details there, but to sum up, back in 2004, when it first came out that EA Games was treating their programmers like cattle, she wrote a persuasive and inflammatory blog post. Her husband had been working extended hours (like 90 hours a week), along with the rest of the team, but not receiving extra wages. It eventually led to a...more
Alan
Sword of Fire and Sea First I'm gonna start by saying I could not finish this book. The writing wasn't really good enough to make me "feel" for the characters. The writing style was more of a story telling then dialogue driven, and for me that's the best way for an author to endear their characters to me, through good dialogue. On the other hand the author did a very good job discribing the settings and scenery, and I imagine that had I finished the book it would have shown good world building.O...more
Shannon
My first impression was that the prose was very descriptive (i.e. "...The wind that swept ever outward from its alabaster monuments came chill as a lifetime of penance."), and indeed this was true for the entire book. (Although sometimes it does get to be a little excessive and overly fancy.)
The characters did not particularly grab at me at first but I thought it was because it was just the beginning of the book, and decided to give it some time to develop. Develop it did, but after nearly half...more
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Griffins, Griffon...: The Chaos Knight Series, by Erin Hoffman 2 4 Oct 26, 2012 04:17AM  
  • Haven (A Trial of Blood & Steel, #4)
  • Hunter and Fox (Shifted World, #1)
  • City of Ruins (Diving Universe, #2)
  • The Scar-Crow Men (Swords of Albion, #2)
  • The Scroll of Years (Gaunt and Bone, #1)
  • Down to the Bone (Quantum Gravity #5)
  • Blood of Ambrose (Morlock Ambrosius, #1)
  • The Black God's War (Splendor and Ruin, #1)
  • Blackdog
  • The Executioness
  • Midwinter
  • Debris (The Veiled Worlds, #1)
  • Ghosts of War (The Ghost, #2)
  • Elves: Once Walked With Gods (Elves #1)
  • Hearts of Smoke and Steam (The Society of Steam, #2)
  • Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga, #3)
  • Ares Express
  • Blue and Gold
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Erin Hoffman was born in San Diego and now lives in northern California. She started an online writing group at age 15, and at 18 started as an assistant game designer for Simutronics on DragonRealms. Her other game credits include Shadowbane: The Lost Kingdom, GoPets: Vacation Island, Kung Fu Panda World, and FrontierVille. She also serves on the International Game Developers Association’s board...more
More about Erin Hoffman...
Lance of Earth and Sky (The Chaos Knight, #2) Shield of Sea and Space (The Chaos Knight, #3) At the Foot of the Lighthouse Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters Beyond The Sun SF

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