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

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3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  390 Ratings  ·  57 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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Stacey O'Neale
Jun 04, 2011 Stacey O'Neale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Shaun Duke
Aug 24, 2011 Shaun Duke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kerri
Jul 29, 2011 Kerri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Lexie
Apr 17, 2014 Lexie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-once-owned
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
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Michael Cummings
Jun 06, 2011 Michael Cummings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2011 Jon Sprunk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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Alan
May 08, 2013 Alan rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-disliked
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
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Joseph
May 09, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it
High-seas adventure, elemental magic and world-changing events. And gryphons! Did I mention the gryphons?
Sarah Snyder
Sep 19, 2011 Sarah Snyder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Stefan
Jul 15, 2011 Stefan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2012 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Melissa Hayden
Jun 16, 2011 Melissa Hayden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Shannon
Feb 20, 2016 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
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
Jason
Aug 14, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jess
It doesn't deliver anything that I haven't already read a million times in fantasy. Some guy goes on a quest, bones a hot chick, and discovers that he's super special and has awesome powers, and that makes him the chosen one, and he must fulfil the prophecy before evil comes and does its evil things.

Such a shame, because the cover is so pretty, if you ignore the lady who looks like a fantasy cheerleader.
Daniel Palmer
Oct 31, 2013 Daniel Palmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and the world Ms. Hoffman has created. I've already read book 2 and am moving on to book 3 this week.

And kudos for saying what she wanted to say in a reasonable amount of pages. When it is all said and done all three of the books in this series combined will be about the length of a single book in the interminably long Wheel of Time series or the ongoing Game of Thrones series. Nice job getting to the point!
Travis
Nov 12, 2011 Travis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See my full review of high adventure this magic riddled romp takes you on at Writing Ex Libris
Justin Howe
Aug 22, 2013 Justin Howe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable summertime read that reminded me a lot of the enjoyable summertime reads of my youth.
Yvette
Nov 07, 2013 Yvette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-series
Love, love, LOVE this trilogy. I'm going to read the last installment soon.
Gwennie
Jul 05, 2013 Gwennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
liked it - will buy the next two books in the trilogy
Janice (Janicu)
Review originally posted on my book blog (wordpress / livejournal)

I was sold on this one by the promise of fantasy with a touch of romance in it. Also – look at the cover. A guy. A girl. A griffin. It looks a little like a video game poster, but it’s pretty. Sadly, my expectations of romance and a swash-buckling adventure fantasy were not met with this one. Let me tell you why.

The Premise: Captain Vidarian Rulorat, scion of a well-known sea-faring family, is asked by the fire priestesses to tran
...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
Andrea
Apr 17, 2012 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, wizards
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
Christine Ricci
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Griffins, Griffon...: The Chaos Knight Series, by Erin Hoffman 2 5 Oct 26, 2012 04:17AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

The Chaos Knight (3 books)
  • Lance of Earth and Sky (The Chaos Knight, #2)
  • Shield of Sea and Space (The Chaos Knight, #3)

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