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Hidden Stars (The Rune of Unmaking #1)

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
In a world devastated by the cataclysmic war between wizards and mages, the Empress Ouriána seized the throne, proclaiming herself the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon. Appointing twelve priests to perform her rites, she rules with a tight rein of dark sorcery. The priests, once men, became twisted with magic, making them monstrous—mutated. Wherever they ride they ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 23, 2013 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, fantasy
The author's vivid, descriptive style gave me high hopes for this, but my enthusiasm faded when it took so long for things to really get rolling.

The story was buried in barely distinguishable names and places. And while the quest takes some exciting turns, the characters were oddly dry considering how much time we spent watching them circle their internal dilemmas.

Thanks to some strange combination of a broad overall focus and a tendency to delve into unnecessary detail, things eventually taper
Aug 21, 2014 Lowed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high fantasy lovers
Admit it, when reading fantasy books (or any books for that matter), character names are just too important to be left out. On the first few chapters when we are introduced to the main character/s and authors are still trying make you feel at home inside the made-up world s/he has created, we always wanted to have that extra feel of seeing and feeling the ‘cold winds in winter’, ‘the warm breeze in midsummer night’s eve’. Or see the fallen leaves of autumn and smell the flowers bloom in spring. ...more
Jan 02, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: female fantasy freaks
Finally! A book with strong female characters that are NOT Xena wanna-be's or buxom sluts. This author is a very talented story teller that transports you to her fantsy world created after a large battle where magic fractured the land. The hero is a female wizard & the hero she is looking for is a lost princess that has healing powers. The villian is a female queen that has mutated male servants with her power and corruption. There are some good male leads who are very "be still my heart" mi ...more
Rachel Lein
This is a rather typical fantasy novel, though that isn't altogether bad. The story is similar to other books of this genre, but there's something about it that made me feel compelled to go on anyway, despite that. The book suffers from quite a number of fantasy cliches and can be quite predictable, but it's still actually rather good, even with those handicaps.

The narrative flows well and the plot moves at a steady pace. I never felt bored, or that things were getting stretched too long, or eve
I read this book while on a train, and thought it was decently entertaining. It felt like this was a story that has been told before, but I'll considering following up on the sequels if anybody else recommends them to me. For now though, I'm leaving it behind in a hostel and swapping it out for something new. In my opinion, leaving the story off at the climax without resolving any of the plot justifies losing interest anyway.
Jul 30, 2014 Vanessa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t a very good book either. It definitely had potential, but mostly, it lacked depth. The characters, the places and cultures, everything was just very superficial and didn’t catch my interest at all. I was mildly entertained and that was all. But the concept of the story was actually pretty good (albeit in a super typical high fantasy plot kinda way) but it wasn’t really developed enough, which is a shame.

Also, there were several issues that made the reading
T.I.M. James
Jan 14, 2014 T.I.M. James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right firstly, me being me, I did not like some of the names in this story. The author draws heavily on celtic names and my mind goes blank when I try to rponounce them. But this is just a little thing, and it is not all of the names, a couple of them are really superb.

More seriously the story itself is a typical fantasy set up, with a dark force beginning to move against the world and the desperate main characters oing their best to save the world. Of course this a pattern that a lot of books f
Oct 18, 2009 Deirdre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Many years ago there was a war, a war that ended in mutual destruction for both parties. This was a magical war. Now those who survived live with the aftermath. One of the new powers is the Empress Ouriana, proclaiming herself the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon, using black magic to control her people and trying to control more and more of the world.

There's a prophesied one, who may be a young girl, who it is hoped will defeat the empress, but the empress knows about the prophecy and
Jun 18, 2015 T J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A champion is needed and all signs and portents hint of young girl hidden and talented. It is race against time whether the heroes finds her first or the monsters who want to use her for dark goddess. It started up slow but had a strong finish with great characters and adventures. On to book two: A Dark Sacrifice.
Oct 10, 2009 Trishy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael A. Chabolla
Aug 02, 2008 Michael A. Chabolla rated it liked it
An archetypal fantasy story, complete with impossible-to-pronounce names and even more confusing world geography. We have the forces of good battling evil in an almost hopeless scenario where it seems at every turn evil will triumph. The story and plot seem almost Tolkenesque; with a group of travelers sojourning through hostile lands, chased by dark agents of a supreme evil in search of a hidden weapon... In spite of a story we've seen before, Howard manages to put her own spin on it. If you're ...more
Jun 07, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book that I well enjoyed, with interesting characters and a solid-feeling world... but it feels as if only have a tale has been told! The book began many stories and resolved none of them, leaving the reader hungry for more of the trilogy, which is good, but unsatisfied with this book in and of itself, which is a bit frustrating.

As I imagine this might be a pattern that's will make the second book similarly unsatisfying, I would hold off on beginning this series until Madeline Howar
Feb 16, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ready for next one
Not a bad read, you can tell the author spent a lot of time developing and intricate layout of the land and history of the characters prior to writing the book. It would have helped if they included the map with the book instead of needing to search the web for it. Wasn't much for the ending, it was a mad rush to get to the end and didn't make a lot of sense. I am looking for book two and am in hopes of some progress on reuniting the lost princess with the "good guys" and battling the evil queen ...more
Jul 30, 2013 scarlettraces rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ebooks
i gave this a decent go (90+ pages) as i have a fondness for Edgerton's The Goblin Moon & its sequel - earlyish exemplars of fantasy not featuring elves, castles or polysyllablebabble names. sadly this one does feature all three and although i was willing to suspend disbelief for a while, there were just too many umlauts for me.
Brandy *Ahviel*
It actually took me a two days to read this book. I liked it but I found that it was jumping around too much. Just after a few pages I was thrown into another characters story. Which it turned out in the end to be okay but becuase there were so many things to follow this book could be considered difficult to follow
Dec 18, 2014 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Well written, but just couldn't get into it. It was hard to finish
Nov 04, 2009 Jkay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
well, i just finished this book today. I like how it's going to different makes it more interesting. Unfortunately i got this at a bookstore that sells random now I have to try to find the other 2. It's amazing and full of hope.
Susie Bradley
Sep 14, 2011 Susie Bradley rated it liked it
I'm not really sure if I liked this book or not. It does have strong female characters, but the book jumps around quite a bit and it's a little hard to follow.
I didn't like it enough to want to search out the other books in the series.
got halfway through the book and they were *still* traveling so I stopped reading alas. Was hoping for more since I love good protagonists! sadface.
gave up on this one, I don't think I even got halfway through, just clearing it out of the "currently reading" bin
I loved this book right from the first and couldn't put it down till the last page!
Sep 11, 2008 Valerie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Valerie by: free
Not so great that I want to read the next one, and not so awful that I put it down.
Sep 29, 2014 R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
will this or won't this ever end
Apr 19, 2008 Jake rated it liked it
basic genre fantasy, nothing special
Kirsten marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2016
Michael McCormick
Michael McCormick marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2016
Zappster marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2016
Niki Hawkes
Niki Hawkes marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2016
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Madeline Howard is the pseudonym of Teresa Edgerton, the author of many fantasy novels including the new series, The Rune of Unmaking.

Teresa's site is full of information, so if you're looking for Absolutely Everything, please visit
More about Madeline Howard...

Other Books in the Series

The Rune of Unmaking (2 books)
  • A Dark Sacrifice (Rune of Unmaking #2)

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