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Strands of Starlight (Strands #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  544 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Baudino ( Dragonsword ) sets this engrossing fantasy-adventure in a mythical land that replicates the political and religious tensions of 14th-century Europe. The heroine, Miriam, unwillingly gifted with the power to heal, falls victim to a savage Inquisition that condemns her ability as witchcraft, and to a ruthless nobleman who rapes her after she saves his life. Baudino ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 7th 1989 by Roc
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,045)
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Sep 30, 2011 LondonFog rated it it was amazing
First book I've said since I've had the time and mind to read. And it was the perfect one to start with. Highly enlightening. The book takes you into the soul of a bitter battered protagonist, who is then raped and seeks revenge. You ascend by feeling completely justified by her anguish, your emotions shift from left to right as you change and grow with her and eventually meet her Fate. It truly shifted my perspective of the world. And for that, I am grateful. This book gives a gift in itself, t ...more
Angela R.
May 01, 2011 Angela R. rated it really liked it
This was a really good book I read many years ago when I was going through a pagan/Wiccan phase. I remember really enjoying this book, which takes place in a setting resembling medieval Europe. I loved the strong female characters, the earth-based wisdom, and the delightful story of elves and magical creatures hidden in plain sight. I looked forward to the rest of the series, but unfortunately this 1st book turned out to be the best one of the lot. Sigh...
Oct 10, 2012 Dana rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this. It started out with an intriguing concept, but the writing grew repetitive (I'm talking about the exact same descriptive phrases repeated word-for-word throughout the book). Among the few books I couldn't finish.
Dec 16, 2007 Adrienne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who enjoy great fantasy and/or character stories
I have read this book at least 10 times a number of years ago. It's my favourite fantasy book ever... It has great characters, with a great story about rebirth. I totally recommend it and all the other books in this series!
Sep 22, 2008 Somara rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book; of course I read it like 10-15 years ago but I thought it was a good scifi fantasy book especially for females..too bad it's no longer in print..sigh..
Amy Sjoquist
Jun 03, 2010 Amy Sjoquist rated it it was amazing
A favorite book, love how strong the main character is and how she changes. Gives me hope we can all change.
Jul 27, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing
I won't say it's an amazing, well-written book, a classic, anything like that. It's not.

I will say that when I read it when I was young and devouring fantasy books and searching for personal meaning in books and stories, it made a huge impression on me. This is probably my favorite fantasy book from my youth. I re-read it about once a year and I still adore it. It resonated really deeply with me and when I read it now I still get that feeling for a while. That is what I love about this book.
Diane Davis
Apr 23, 2008 Diane Davis rated it really liked it
I have read this book several times and am now reading it again. Even though it is a bit dark and is definitely anti-religion, I find the characters interesting and uplifting. I am one of those people who know that transformation, re-birth if you will, is what our journey in this life is truly all about. This story is about transformation, but is presented in a really original way. No airy-fairy elves in this tale!
Saje Williams
Feb 21, 2010 Saje Williams rated it it was amazing
This was, for the longest time, one of my favorite books. If it had been a stand-alone it would be worth whole universes for its concept of elves alone.

Unfortunately the rest of the series goes downhill from here and isn't much redeemed by the finale.
Sep 12, 2012 Deirdre rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite reads of all times, this is a story of a girl seeking revenge who finds ways towards revenge which weren't necessarily the original path she started on! Elves feature.
Feb 03, 2016 Crystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This was one of those random books I picked up at a bookstore. Never heard of it. I loved it! It's so awesome when that happens right?
Heather A
I received a copy from Netgalley in enhange for an honest review.

This book was not for me. I gave up at 40%. The novel started out quite interesting, I've not read much of this type of epic fantasy before. The blurb on Netgalley sounded good. Though I read the first 20% reasonably quickly, I found I did not like the main character Miriam. I found her cold, bitchy and couldn't relate to her or really feel anything for her. I can understand why she is that way due to the terrible hardships she's b
Mar 01, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
What a lovely cover by Thomas Canty!

Terri Pennock
Aug 19, 2011 Terri Pennock rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I ever read. I love reading it over and over and getting lost in the story.
Feb 02, 2008 Ernie rated it it was amazing
ah, to be 15 (and not know it) and gay in a small town and read these books!
Jun 04, 2011 Rattyfleef rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Actually threw it out the window and left it there. Awful.
Feb 04, 2008 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Urban fantasy with music.
Jul 21, 2013 Wise_owl rated it it was ok
I started this book in general enjoyement, and reaching the end am not entirely certain why I didn't find it more riveting than I did. It does have several good elements. The tale, of a young healer woman set upon by the inquisition who escapes, and finds her destiny interwoven with those of the 'free towns' and the dwindling population of tolkeen-like elves, is plenty interesting. Yet over time it seemed to falter and my interest waned.

The main character goes through a transformation of sorts,
Sep 28, 2007 Lissa rated it it was ok
When I was younger, I was very into Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. Also when I was younger, the one thing that I could always count on my mother to buy for me was a book. As a result, I have a shelf full of unread novels at home, so despite the fact that my tastes have shifted a bit, I still take a few of them back to New York with me every time I am home in the hopes that eventually I’ll make it through them all. I do still enjoy the genre, just not with the same forgiveness I had for it w ...more
Tamra LeValley
A young healer named Miriam has escaped the torture chamber and on the run. Her legs are injured so bad that she can hardly walk when she literally stumbles upon a man who is lying in the street with a broken ankle. She can't just pass him by she MUST stop and heal him because that is what she is.....a healer. The people think she is a witch or an elf and that is why they must capture and kill her.

The author is a wonderful writer. The plot of this novel was also very well sculpted. The characte
Penney Nile
May 06, 2015 Penney Nile rated it it was amazing
I first read Strands of Starlight a number of years ago, and found it to be a well written tale that mixes fantasy with the history of 14th century Europe and the horrors of the Inquisition. It follows the story of Miriam, a young woman who has an innate ability to heal, which is considered by the Inquisition to be a power bestowed by Satan. Miriam manages to escape from confinement in the city of Hypprux and makes her way to the village of St Brigid, where she discovers the existence of elves. ...more
Jul 02, 2015 Dani rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this novel. The characters were interesting, they grew and learned, and I appreciate that in a story. The setting was fun too--14th century Europe. Gotta love when they bring the inquisition--that always adds an element of adventure!
Susan Barchard
Mar 08, 2012 Susan Barchard rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book. If you like fantasy that seems realistic (ie Tolkien) this is a wonderful book. The author obviously knows her history - the real stuff - and weaves it together with a wonderful story about Elves. There is true enlightenment in this book. It is filled with beautiful mental pictures and a truly creative plot. I read alot of fiction about the Fae because I am a Fairy Artist and I like to visit their world to keep me inspired. Gael has done a wonderful job of that. I can't ...more
Rose B
Jan 25, 2016 Rose B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favorite book of all time.

(*Rape scene)
Jan 02, 2015 Courteney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I connected to the main character of this book in more ways than I'm comfortable admitting, which is probably why I loved it as much as I did. This book was written well, though it was rather depressing at times, but it made me think about what was going on. This book also gave a unique and gruesome perspective to the inquisition through the eyes of someone being persecuted as a witch. This book will always hold a special place in my heart and I hope one day soon to read the books that follow it ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2010 Judith rated it liked it
A decent elf story, read btter and read worse. It has a nice moral story behind it and encourages open mindedness and lack of prejudice.
Oct 21, 2009 Tulara marked it as to-read
I am enjoying the book so far. The characters are well defined and draw your interest - because there is more below the surface.
Jan 10, 2012 Caron rated it really liked it
entertaining,quick reading..will read more by this author most likely
May 09, 2012 Andy rated it it was amazing
These are really really good. Dark, and optimistic at the same time.
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