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

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  968 Ratings  ·  56 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.
Published November 1st 1999 by Earthlight (first published 1998)
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Alex I don't know if there is any M/M in this book, but I highly recommend the Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat. Go read some of the reviews, you'll be…moreI don't know if there is any M/M in this book, but I highly recommend the Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat. Go read some of the reviews, you'll be convinced! (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,883)
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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.
Mar 17, 2015 Inara rated it liked it  ·  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
Joel Flank
Jun 29, 2014 Joel Flank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rosu Aquabutts
"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
Apr 11, 2012 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun, fiction, fantasy
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.

The story itself also had intrinsic features of a fantasy novel. Travelling bards
Jan 16, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
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.
Paan Chhaya
Jan 10, 2016 Paan Chhaya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's realistically a 3* novel, but I just couldn't bring myself to give it less than four. Many people remarked upon two things about this novel: Using the most classical of fantasy tropes (character and story wise) and it having surprisingly warm characters that grow on you. I found both to be true. First off, I should mention I'm a big fan of "portal fantasy" and I never minded cliches or classical tropes if they were done right. I really can't put my finger on what it is about this series (I' ...more
Christopher Hernandez
It was a bit of a slow start for me to get into Beyond the Pale. I appreciated the author allowing transitions into two different worlds, but only became drawn in when the main characters entered into the world of Eldh. However, I recognize this is merely my preference of reading as an escape from our contemporary world.

Part of what inhibited my pull into the story was the author’s description heavy writing style. Normally, I appreciate a lot of detail for my imaginary story canvas. I think the
A deeply mediocre series in almost every way, and yet I can't help but love its ridiculousness.
Andrew Maddox
Two books finished in two days... I'm on a roll!

First of all I'm giving this book 3.5 out of 5. It was a long slog getting through this book but ultimately it was worth it.

It started off slow and as a result it didn't hold my interest much. It put it down a few times, vowing not to continue but something kept bringing me back and ultimately i'm glad I did. The plot was definitely a slow burner but about half way through it really kicked in and from that point I became hooked on the story of Trav
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
Kelley Ceccato
Feb 21, 2014 Kelley Ceccato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 27, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  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
Feb 08, 2015 T.W. Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-again
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
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
Sep 28, 2010 Mnemosyne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
Apr 09, 2016 Mj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting into it. Partly as I didn't get to read it all at once and partly as it took just a tad too long to bring the storylines together. It had a pretty good story, good characters and once I got into it, was a good read.
S. L.
Jun 18, 2014 S. L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jan 18, 2014 Sinilin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chris Donnelly
The first few are okay but these books get to being terrible.
Jul 31, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 30, 2009 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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.
Feb 15, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
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.
Mar 18, 2012 Hellions rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 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)

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