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Beyond the Pale (The Last Rune, #1)
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Beyond the Pale (The Last Rune #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  822 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Travis Wilder, bar-owner and drifter, is given a mysterious stone by a friend. Grace Beckett, ER doctor, finds a gunshot victim with a heart of iron. Both Travis and Grace must step beyond the pale and enter Eldh, a world where they are caught in a battle between good and evil.
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Published November 1st 1999 by Earthlight (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,492)
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Stephen
3.0 stars. It has been a while since I read this and I actually plan to re-read it as some point. I recall this being a good solid fantasy story that what pretty well written.
Joel Flank
Beyond the Pale starts the Last Rune series, and tells the story of Travis Wilder and Grace Beckett as they are transported from modern day Earth to a fantasy world. The first half of the book detailed their separate and parallel adventures as they learn the lay of the land in a strange world, and adjust to the fact that they're not in Kansas anymore (or in this case, Colorado), and that they both need to immerse themselves in the Dominions in order to make sense of their current situations. Tra ...more
Grace
Beyond the Pale is one of the first fantasy books I've read in a long while. I found that it was quite interesting of the author to start out in modern day Colorado and shift to a different, world called Eldh. While I can't pronounce the name of the world, Anthony does a pretty good job of describing how it is similar, yet different to our familiar Earth and making the reader feel connected to this place.

Characters
The story itself also had intrinsic features of a fantasy novel. Travelling bards
...more
Jason
This is the third reread I had of this novel. This has been one of my favorite fantasy series that I never finished. I love the characters, and the setting. Rune magic is very interseting to me and the magic in this series works well too. These are not heavy action novels, they are more about relationship building, some heavy dialog, and about the bigger quest. I look forward to reading the rest again.
Wise_owl
Beyond the pale has several things going for it, and it's one of those books that I feel like I would have given a higher rating in my younger days, as it spoke to me on many levels of 'nostalgia'.

To start with it's a portal fantasy, something I've always been partial to. That is a fantasy that starts in the 'real' world, with the characters being transported to a fantasy realm. Unlike some such fantasies, it spends a good deal of time detailing the initial 'world' of it's two main heroes, but a
...more
Kelley Ceccato
There's nothing too profound here, nothing thought-provoking, but much that is entertaining. The alternate realm, with the usual fantasy trappings, is in trouble, and two misfits from present-day Earth have the power to save it. Once they are transported into the fantasy realm, Marc Anthony mercifully keeps the "fish out of water" cliched humor to a minimum, and instead shows the two protagonists, Travis and Grace, forced to deal with aspects of themselves they managed to surpress or ignore in t ...more
Bogdan Nicolae Capitanoiu
What's this?
Fits the old style fantasy cannon, of Donaldson :)

Was it nice?
Yeah, good fantasy, with a new-old magic system, some evil entities and some confused maybe if in need of rescue, guys.

What did I love about it(not loved it))?
The beginning where the magical world was sipping in.
In a perfectly believable full of resistance(of change from this real world to a real world with maybe some dark touch to it).e.g. characters were hard to convince that something is strange about.

Would I read the 2
...more
Rosa Aquafire
"I liked it."

This is a really good example of how a book without a single original idea at all can still be really enthralling and enjoyable based solely on the merit of its characters.

I got Beyond the Pale because I am such a huge fan of Mark Anthony's books under his pen name, Galen Beckett. The Wyrdwood trilogy starting with The Magicians and Mrs. Quent may actually be my favourite fantasy novels of the new millenium and represent everything that I love about recent fantasy: new ideas, new se
...more
Joseph
This is the beginning to one of my favorite fantasy series. By "favorite" I don't mean one of the most original and groundbreaking fantasy series out there - Anthony is clearly using many of the hoary old fantasy tropes, so fantasy readers won't be too surprised by most of the plot twists (though a few might take you by surprise), but he uses them well and makes them seem fresher than they really are. It's fairly compelling and readable, and while I think some other fantasy series are objectivel ...more
Inara
Jun 23, 2007 Inara rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Travis Wilder has been living in Castle City for some years when strange things start to happen: a disturbing meeting with an old preacher, mysterious signs on doors, the violent death of his friend Jack, an iron box with a dangerous content.. and at last Travis falls through a billboard into the foreign world Eldh.
Grace Beckett, a doctor at Denver Memorial Hospital is confronted with a medical impossibility: a man with an iron heart coming back from the dead. To rescue others from the murderous
...more
Arshad
I remember reading this series when it was still in progress, and enjoying it a great deal. Someone mentioned it in passing recently, so I thought I would hunt down the books and see how the story ended. In 1999 I must have been a little less critical, because now I find it only average. Some of the reviewers have called it derivative of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant, and I can agree with some of the similarities. It's got a bit of David Eddings in the ...more
Sarah
Aug 27, 2014 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that loves sciecne fiction / fantasy
I love this book and this entire series. To me this is what science fiction / fantasy should be. The characters are well formed and have a well developed story line. The characters intertwine well and the story in mesmerizing. I place this author up there with the likes of Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks. And I love the fact that I own this entire series and can read and reread this over and over.
T.W. Spencer
This is an excellent book! I just had to pull it off the shelf and read it again. It has everything I expect in a book: well written, strong characters, likable protagonist the reader can get behind and cheer-on. I have read reviews that have “claimed” that this series is derivative of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time repetitive monstrosity. Well don’t believe them. These books are actually absorbing and exciting, and have a lot going on in them, whereas – in my humble opinion – Wheel of Time is an ...more
Elizabeth
As much as I liked the premise of this book (and I really, really did - it reminded me a little of War Of The Flowers, which is one of my favorite fantasy novels), I struggled with Beyond The Pale. I found the writing interesting in parts, but too flowery and description heavy to hold my interest for long, so I ended up taking frequent breaks as I read. I also thought the dialogue was stilted and unbelievable, not at all like "real" people speak. I found the main characters irritating, particula ...more
Mnemosyne
Beyond the Pale is competently written but not particularly original, and while I had middling enjoyment reading it, I didn't really connect to any of the characters. Travis is such an annoying manchild I could not believe he wasn't actually a teenager instead of a grown man. He inspired a lot of eye-rolling. On the other hand, at least the story's not tragic. If you just want high fantasy without rending your garments over a doomed romance (which I've been doing far too often lately), this coul ...more
S. L.
This is one of the best fantasy crossing from the modern world to a fantasy world back to the modern world - with a dip into time travel in a later book - that I have read. He has a slight touch of David Eddings with his playful gods and powerful sorcerers. Every character is of interest; every page is exciting.
Willfor
I read this a few weeks ago. Very interested in reading the whole series because I've been told it gets better, and I've seen this author do some great things, so yes.
Sinilin
I really like the slow pace of the story because it gives you time to immerse yourself into the world and its customs, history, legends etc. The characters are interesting with their secrets and quirks. There're many unanswered questions at the end of the story which makes you want to read the second book in the series.
Caroline
A deeply mediocre series in almost every way, and yet I can't help but love its ridiculousness.
Brian
This is a fun, well-imagined fantasy of the "let's take a modern individual and stick them in a historic setting" bent. (Think Landover, Thomas Covenant.) So not unique, but fun all the same. (And unique is really, really rare in fantasy these days.) The writing is well-organized and the story is engaging. The action moves at an appropriate pace. The introduction is hokey, but hey, the book's pointed at the high fantasy crowd. We can take a little hokey. I'm curious to see how the writing holds ...more
Katherine Reida
It doesn't break any new ground, but I found myself entertained nonetheless. I look forward to see how the relationship between Travis and Beltan will develop.
Shawn

Ok, so just about every fantasy idea or setting has been done at this point. But this book does a good job of adding its own flavor to an old idea.

I really liked this book. It swept me off on a journey. I called this "the best book where nothing really happens in 600 pages." Though that is not entirely accurate, there is, was an incredible amount dialogue and set up time before the action kicks in. But, it was GOOD set up.

I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Jennifer
I usually don't like fantasies that are set in modern day Earth, I much prefer the world-building of new worlds. However, I'm glad I decided to give this book a try. From the first page I was drawn in, never quite knowing where the plot was going. Anthony did an amazing job weaving together elements of fantasy, mystery, suspense, horror, and humor throughout. The characters felt real and life-like and I was drawn to their struggles as if they were my own.
Hellions
Mark Anthony's Beyond The Pale is a rather voluminous portal fantasy. While it took a hundred or so pages to get a feel of the two main protagonists (one of them is passive and the other is emotionally disconnected), the characters did eventually click in their own weird style. The plot was a bit contrived and there were a tad too many repetitions but nothing damaging. Anyhow, while this wasn't incredible groundbreaking material, it was fairly good overall.
Batsheva
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chasbhawk
3 stars may be too high. While I was interested in what would eventually happen, this story was much too dull, slow, and lacking in imagination. The two main characters are constantly lost as to what to do and never seem to pull it together. Immediately afterward, I picked up another book by a favorite author and was rewarded with witty dialogue and compelling action. Something this book didn't have. Ugh.
Nick
One of the coolest unknown fantasy series. Found this by accident and decided to read the rest of the series (5 more books) based on the excellence of this one. I can't believe that this series is out of print! The writing is quality, the fantasy world is original, and the characters are interesting and memorable. Great stuff and thoroughly entertaining!
Leah
Lots of fun. I read a review that said it was the same as the wheel of time series, but I really don't see it. Maybe it's been too long since I read wheel of time... Anyway, I found one of the main characters a little whiney in the first half or so of the book, but I loved everybody else. I plan on reading the next one.
Lymsleia
I blame Kitschprinzessin for this reread, oh yes I do. :p *curls up in bed with the book and starts wondering if it's possible to list the book under "read" and "currently-reading" simultaneously*

(Yes, I know this is not a review, but if Goodreads has a "notes" section for individual books, I haven't found it yet.)
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Mark Anthony learned to love both books and mountains during childhood summers spent in a Colorado ghost town.

Later he was trained as a paleoanthropologist but along the way grew interested in a different sort of human evolution—the symbolic progress reflected in myth and the literature of the fantastic. He unde
...more
More about Mark Anthony...

Other Books in the Series

The Last Rune (6 books)
  • The Keep of Fire (The Last Rune, #2)
  • The Dark Remains (The Last Rune, #3)
  • Blood of Mystery (The Last Rune, #4)
  • The Gates of Winter (The Last Rune, #5)
  • The First Stone (The Last Rune, #6)
Kindred Spirits (Dragonlance: Meetings Sextet, #1) Crypt of the Shadowking (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, #6) The Keep of Fire (The Last Rune, #2) The Dark Remains (The Last Rune, #3) Curse of the Shadowmage (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, #11)

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