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The Witches of Eileanan (The Witches of Eileanan #1)

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,560 ratings  ·  127 reviews
In the Celtic land of Eileanan, witches and magic have been outlawed, and those caught for practicing witchcraft are put to death! It is a land ruled by an evil Queen, where sea-dwelling Fairgean stir, and children vanish in the night. But in a valley deep in the mountains, young Isabeau grows to womanhood under the guidance of an elderly witch, and must set out on a quest...more
Mass Market Paperback, 411 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Roc (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kate Forsyth
Feb 12, 2010 Kate Forsyth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: fantasy
I wrote it, so I have to say it was amazing! Besides, it changed my life. I went from starving wanna-be-writer to internationally bestselling author practically overnight. You've got to find that amazing!
Doc Opp
A nice epic fantasy series. As usual for this genre, the first book is the best, and the quality wanes slowly over the course of the series. But the initial few are very good reads with lots of interesting ideas mixed in with the classic fantasy archetypes. (And they'll get you intrigued enough in the world that you'll probably want to read the last few as well, even though they're not as good).

The main characters can be grating and annoying at times but the support cast is full of lively and m...more
Hack
this was an interesting world set up. i HATED reading the dialect. WHY??? there was no point to the dialect aside from me trying to figure out what "fairn" meant. and why drop the "t" at the end of "not"? it drove me nuts. i thought the plot was intriguing, but a bit slow moving. i also hate it when books don't end. even if it's a series, there should be some kind of resolution. this was a total cliffhanger. so while i enjoyed it, it had some hitches.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
I received my signed copy of Dragonclaw: Book One of the Witches of Eileanan in a competition being run on author Kate Forsyth's website earlier this year.

I absolutely adored her novel Bitter Greens and thoroughly enjoyed The Wild Girl, and so came to Dragonclaw (the author's first published novel) with high expectations.

I knew before turning the first page that Dragonclaw is a YA fantasy novel, however in the very beginning when two witches are discussing the events of the land in front of an o...more
Alkira
Originally posted on Under The Rafters on the 25th August 2012.


The first installment to one of my all time favourite series, The Witches Of Eileanan, is Dragonclaw.

With witchcraft and witch cunning being outlawed for sixteen years now and the Banrigh (the Eileanan version of the Queen) decreeing all magical creatures as uile-bheistean (monsters) and the need for them to be captured and executed, all the witches and witch-lovers of the land are growing restless. They wish for the old days to be b...more
Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)
Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on July 9, 2012 as part of the Discover Australian Fantasy feature.

Written in the grand tradition of Epic Fantasy, Dragonclaw is the first in Kate Forsyth’s series about the Witches of Eileanan.

Witchcraft has been outlawed for sixteen years now, and the new Queen, or Banrigh, has decreed that all magical creatures be killed or captured. Many of the original Coven of Witches died at the time of the Day of Reckoning but there are a few remaining, stok...more
Jessica
The storytelling of this high fantasy novel is first class. A spectacular debut novel from this poet turned author (who this month published her 25th novel!).
Dragon Claw introduces us to the world of Eileanan, Megan of the Beasts and her apprentice Isabeau, and to the havoc caused by Maya The Ensourcellor.
If you loved Lord of the Rings, but wished there were more strong female characters, this is a book for you.
History buffs will revel in the medieval politics of the series and wish that humans,...more
Nita
This had a slow start and was sometimes all over the place with the character POV's which is why I'm giving it 3.5 stars but not rounding.
If you like Celtic mythology, dragons and witchery - this book is for you.
Alloychar
i loved this book XD i love the idea of witchcraft and sorcery and evil sea dwelling peoples XD tho i feel sorry for isabeau and her hand :(
Ithlilian
Sep 27, 2012 Ithlilian marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: fantasy
Irritating characters, repetitive dialogue, and a very slow pace combine to make this novel painful to read. It starts out interestingly enough with the main character Isabeau taking tests and learning of the imminent danger the world is facing. The witches present at her testing part ways and we get to meet some unfriendly dragons. After that it's self centered, headstrong, do-no-wrong Isabeau walking through the forest encountering characters for a few pages, and then walking through the woods...more
Tammy
All magical creatures of Eileanan are persecuted by decree of Maya the Ensorcellor. Witches have gone into hiding, but a resistance exists, building their forces in secret. Isabeau, a young witch in training, knows very little of this. She is raised in the quiet wilderness by Megan, a old hermit witch, and despite her natural talent, taught only the rudimentary basics of witchcraft. After an attack on their home and sanctuary, they no longer can remain removed from the world. Alone and far from...more
Elle
Not too bad a read. I did find myself irritated by being told everything instead of shown, but that is a common problem in fantasy books and I'm rather used to it. My enjoyment otherwise was sadly overshadowed by the fact that every single facet of the Scottish accent which every single character has was written out in EVERY SINGLE THING THEY SAID. We get it! They're Scottish! If everyone has the same accent, the accent is no longer a point of differentiation. I don't mind the odd Scottish word...more
Bonnie Barnes
Forsyth has created this incredibly imaginative world full of a multitude of characters you can't help but connect with. If you're a gal looking for a book with strong female characters, look no further. If you're a man looking for an action packed fantasy series, you've found it. If you're looking to immerse yourself in a world full of witchcraft, magical creatures, corrupt kingdoms, epic battles, gut-wrenching loss, and tales of love that will leave you short of breath...BUY THIS BOOK!

* the d...more
Megan
Okay ... so I couldn't finish reading this book because I became very uninterested in it - almost right from the beginning. I usually wait until the first 100-200 pages to determine if a book is "worth the read" or not, & I made my decision shortly after 50 pages. I hate reading books that are difficult to read - either because of the dialogue or the author's writing style. In this case, it was mainly the dialogue between the characters, which was in a Scottish language ... I'm sorry but if...more
Chani
I loved, loved the beginning of this book. Secret hide-away in a hidden forest, tree home with nestled rooms. Witches, and magic, and lessons! I was a bit sad when this gave way to a bigger chase and more details. But I enjoyed the additional characters so this was fine. This is a rare book that was able to bounce me from character to character without me developing favorites and growing resentful when I was not allowed to finish their story. I loved the creativity and original ideas and new cre...more
Phrynne
My first book by this author and I was delighted to see she lives in Sydney like me! This is book one of a fairly long series - five or six books I believe - and I am sure I will be reading all of them. Dragonclaw introduces us to the history of Eileanan and its magical creatures including witches, dragons and a variety of fairies and monsters. In the course of the story we travel with several different main characters in their quest to overturn the ruler and return to the old ways. The story mo...more
Amanda Botten
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and the series it belongs to. The characters had a gorgeous flow as they developed throughout the stroy. The scenery was described beautifully and I always found myself in the story and seeing the characters. There are elements of surprise, where you aren't sure how all of it will piece together, but when it starts clicking you find yourself wanting to see more and more. It is highly possible to enjoy one part of the story more then others as it does split...more
Solemn
Really?
If you read this terrible book that's all you will find yourself saying. Honestly this is a book for kids and the mentally retarded. At first I thought that it was interesting and worth reading. That was until I got to Isbeah's second POV, After leaving her blind old warlock companion she goes into the woods and somehow finds a super rare tree girl. She and the tree girl who is probably going to end up on Law and order SVU become best freinds and Isbeah nieve as fuck tells her, her entire...more
Erinn
It took me most of the book to get into the story. I also wish that the author had done a prologue about the humans opening a gate in Scotland and moving to a new planet. I spent the first few chapters being annoyed at the use of plaid and the brogue until they finally slipped that little jewel in. It's just one of my pet peeves when that sort of thing isn't explained out right in the very beginning.
Amber
really like this series as i found it light and easy to read because it is interesting and different and not heavy and hard going like a lot of fantasy books are where the authors get too tangled up in inventing as weird as possible and hard to read names and place names. i loved the cahracters and cant wait to get into the second series.
Jody
I hadn't read a fantasy book in ten years, when I came across this while browsing in the library. I couldn't put it down and was already looking for the second novel in the series before I was halfway through this one. I found the third and fourth novels in the series hardwork to get through, but really enjoyed the second, fifth & sixth.
Adam
Im not one for heroine lead characters, its just never sits right with me when I visualise sword swinging neck breaking female characters… however, much to my trepidation I found this first book absolutely thrilling and engaging. I have become an instant fan of Kate and look forward to seeing what unfolds in the next hopeful page-turner.
Raye
Love,love,love,love Very well written. they all have realistic human ways to where I even got really mad at some of the good guys lol. I read and reread this series all the time. When I first got into it I had to actually hunt for some of the books to various book stores.But at last I found all of them and was able finish the series.
Elaine
Good series - strong female leads and heroes with flaws and villians with redeeming qualities. This is a magical world struggling to survive. The whole series is an entertaining read - although at points it drags on needlessely on detail and the dialogue had me grinding my teech by the end "obh Obh Obh ...I ken"
Cherie Barton
I was actually dubious about starting to read this series, mainly because I hadn't read any Kate Forsyth before, and now I'm addicted, although I found the story line a little slow in some parts this first book laid a solid foundation for the following books and really grabbed me the the more i read.
Lacey
This book was alright. It was certainly slow in some parts, and there was a lot of history introduced through dialogue, which could get tiresome to read. But once the story began to pick up, I was decently intrigued. It's a good fantasy story, and different than others I've read.
Tabitha Tomala
The beginning had a slow start, and the writing style was a little too novice, however as I read more I could tell the author was really starting to get into the story. Her style improved dramatically and the characters had more depth to them.
Aly Linderer
Witches? Celtic-inspired lands? Magic? Female protagonist? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. This is a great book, not the best, but enjoyable nonetheless. A good read for people that are veterans to epic fantasy, but I wouldn't recommend this to newcomers.
Elisabeth
This book took a little while to get into, due to the dialect, but once I got used to it I couldn't put it down. The same holds true for the entire series.

It is an engrossing tale of magic and politics in the fictional Eileanan.
Jessica
First "adult" book I've read in a while. Thanks to the co-worker who convinced me to read it! Really good high fantasy. I think I liked it better than Goodkind's Sword of Truth but maybe not more than Jordan's Wheel of Time.
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Trying to remmeber a Fantasy series [s] 4 46 May 02, 2014 11:01PM  
  • Harshini (Hythrun Chronicles: Demon Child Trilogy, #3)
  • The House of Gaian (Tir Alainn, #3)
  • The Dark Age (The Ancient Future, #1)
  • The Last Dragonlord (Dragonlord, #1)
  • Path of Fate (Path, #1)
  • Myrren's Gift (The Quickening, #1)
  • The Aware (The Isles of Glory, #1)
  • Darkfall (The Legendsong, #1)
  • The Ill-Made Mute (The Bitterbynde, #1)
  • Threshold
  • Aurian (Artefacts of Power, #1)
16143
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the award-winning & internationally bestselling author of more than 20 books for both adults and children.

Her books for adults include 'The Wild Girl', the love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world's most famous fairy tales; 'Bitter Greens', a retelling of the Rapunzel fairyt...more
More about Kate Forsyth...
The Pool of Two Moons (The Witches of Eileanan, #2) The Cursed Towers (The Witches of Eileanan, #3) The Tower of Ravens (Rhiannon's Ride, #1) The Fathomless Caves (The Witches of Eileanan, #6) The Skull of the World (The Witches of Eileanan, #5)

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