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Lord of the Isles (Lord of the Isles #1)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  2,023 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In the "Lord of the Isles," Drake returns to fantasy with an adventure set in an extraordinary world where the elemental forces that empower magic are rising to a thousand-year peak. Into this world, survivors from the last magical peak intrude: Tenoctris, a quiet and scholarly sorceress swept out of the past at the moment of final catastrophe as her civilization sank bene ...more
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Published August 1st 1997 by Bookcassette
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An exciting modern fantasy that is highly original and filled with such spectacular characters.

I was so excited when I discovered magnificent writer David Drake, who appeared within the fantasy genre with a refreshingly new fantasy epic as to rival many top writers. Similarly to stand-out authors like Robert Jordan, who is a master of heroic fantasy, or Terry Goodkind whose phenomenal imagination and power is simply mind-blowing Drake stands equally alongside them. This inspired work of creativi
Jacob Aitken
Drake says he's using Sumerian mythology to build his story. Smart move on his part. There are very few Sumerian-oriented fantasy novels, so Drake is guarranteed to produce something original from this angle. More on that below.

Granted, Drake's thesis is rather cliche: farm boy with a mysterious past goes on a journey and finds out he is secretly the king. Meanwhile, the world is about to suffer cataclysm or some evil wizard, etc. I suppose that's inevitable. One simply can't get around that.

Jay Daze
At one point in Lord of the Isles a character thinks how when weaving you need to have the pattern in mind before you start or else you'll be a poor craftsman. This seems to be a nod to the reader that Drake has carefully planned out his story, has got the pattern straight before he has begun. And indeed the broad outline of this first book in a nine book series is a familiar pattern of characters raised in humble circumstances rising to heroic nobility. The problem with the book is not the fami ...more
I'm tempted to put a new category for my bookshelves: Didn't have anything better to read. But I guess I wouldn't have many books to put there, since I am usually able to put a book down if it's this bad. However, being that I was traveling (and partially that I'm just a bit compulsive about finishing books) I read it all the way through. It's not so easy (or cheap) to get books when traveling in Thailand, especially far from Bangkok. And as I have so many books already, I thought I'd just stick ...more
Lindsay Stares
The world-building seems decent at first glance, but it didn't feel like there was enough to it. You have your generic euro-fantasy peasants and traders and politicians, and a handful of "foreign" cultures. The most inventive part was the various jellyfish-looking monsters, shaped like giant alligators or made out of dead people. I felt that I was supposed to think there was some greater history behind what was shown, but that it was just a facade. The various human cultures didn't quite feel re ...more
Jim Review

David Drake made his name in genre fiction with the Hammer's Slammers series of military science fiction about tough future mercenaries, launched in 1979. A versatile writer, he's also published well-received fantasies. Lord of the Isles opens a massive new saga of clashing swords and spells in an archipelago world. One thousand years beforehand, potent sorcery won a war only for it to backlash and sink the winning island. Now, with magic reaching another millennial peak of po

Colby Lund
(view spoiler) ...more
Took me a year to get through this; partly because I read ebooks slowly (except when traveling; then I read them in great gulps), but largely because it never really grabbed me. Interesting world, some pretty good characters, but too much going on for me to keep straight . . . and in the end, I don't really care all that much about any of it.

Won't be continuing with this series.
This is an excellent, although somewhat confusing, high-fantasy novel. It has a classic theme of good versus evil, which it explores nicely by refusing to say that Dark and Light are evil or good, an interesting magic system which sometimes involves blood sacrifice (it's not fully explored, at least in this book), and several storylines so that it's harder to get tired of one story, especially since it's a 625 page book.

It's true that it's slightly cliched, in its theme of good versus evil and u
Feb 07, 2009 Jake is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Character Driven story with an excellent pace that catches you in the first pages and drags you along with it.
E. Newby
Every once in a while I try to get back into fantasy, and that was my intent on opening this book. Unfortunately, I didn't know it was the foundation of a nine book series, into which the author tried to shove the myths, cultures, ruined civilizations, power players and characters which would be prominent throughout the series. It felt like an action-packed whirl-wind of seemingly random episodes. I'm sure it'll all make sense by the end of the ride, but there wasn't enough cohesion to keep me s ...more
Totally awesome fantasy series.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I gave up after about two hundred pages, the story just couldn't hold my interest. Not sure why--there have been books I've hated with a passion and I could point to this that jarred or that which annoyed. The style was pleasant enough and there were some interesting magical concepts, but the world and the characters somehow never came into focus for me. Other authors have done the cliched riff of ordinary small village boy has special destiny/royal blood etc, which is a fantasy standard, and ye ...more
Joshua Palmatier
I've been meaning to read this series for a LONG time. I have all of the books, in hardcover, I just never got around to picking this first one up and starting it. (I have far, far too many books owned that I have not yet read. Someone should smack me.) In any case, I finally decided to dive right in.

The premise of the book is that a small sheep-herding community on the edge of one of the Isles that make up this world gets disrupted when first a strange woman appears on some flotsam, followed by
Jay Daze
Ilna, one of the four young protagonists, thinks how when weaving you need to have the pattern in mind before you start or else you'd be a poor craftsman. It's a nod to the reader than Drake has carefully planned out his story and has got the pattern straight before he has begun. And indeed the broad outline of this first book in a nine book series is a familiar pattern of characters raised in humble circumstances rising to heroic nobility. The problem with the book is not the familiar archetypi ...more
This was my "waiting in line" and such e-book, so it naturally took longer to read than normal.

I say that to point out that even though it took me a few months to read, it was still a good book.

Why? Let's break it down like I normally do.

Setting: Some island area in a medieval setting. We get to see a few different islands and people from lots of different places on the islands. The prologue starts out a thousand years prior to the events of the main book. It took me awhile to figure out how and
When a old woman is cast up on the beach of the small village of Barca's Hamlet, she is the first of a number of visitors that will bring about huge change to four of the people living there. Sharina's mother has always treated her as something special, so she's only a little surprised when two nobles arrive and annouce that she is a long lost Royal Daughter. Her brother, Garric, joins his best friend, Cashel, on a journey to herd sheep for Benlo and his daughter, Liane, while Ilna, jealous of G ...more

~ Garric sauve une vieille femme de la noyade. Tenoctris est magicienne et dit venir du passé, il y a mille ans exactement. Cette rencontre va changer sa vie, mais aussi celle de sa soeur Sharina, et de ses amis Cashel et Ilna. Tenoctris les prévient d'une menace qui refait surface, et Garric a de plus en plus de visions du roi Carus mort il y a mille ans.

~ Le destin de ces quatre personnages semble aller dans la même direction, cependant ils se retrouvent
This was another book that was slow to start or maybe I wasn't really inerested because I was in the middle of another series. But as I got into it, it got better. Maybe it was just a set up book for the series.

It did have some obvious things that were apparent from the beginning. You just knew that the four friends from the same hamlet would have powers at some point. They go their seperate ways but you knew that their lives were intertwined and that they would be back together again. The usua
M.A. Kropp
It was... ok. To me, it seemed like the author tried to tell a classic good versus evil story, but didn't quite make it. The faults were mainly the characters. There was very little shading to them- the good guys (and girls) were good and nice and right. The bad guys were evil and nasty, and in more than one case, not quite as smart and didn't understand the magic forces they were playing with. The good wizard, of course, did. It was all a little too neat.

I also found it a bit confusing to read
Dec 04, 2014 Clicque marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Il y a mille ans, le chaos a ravag� le royaume des Isles. Aujourd'hui la menace ressurgit. Les forces �l�mentaires de la magie d�ploient toute leur puissance et d�cha�nent une terrible temp�te. Au c?ur du drame, le jeune Garric sauve de la noyade une femme qui se dit magicienne et pr�tend venir du pass�. Le voil� aussit�t hant� par des visions du roi Carus, mort depuis plusieurs si�cles, qui le presse de revendiquer le tr�ne de Seigneur des Isles ! Pour lui, sa s?ur et leurs amis commence un voy ...more
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
I was a bit disappointed. I came to Drake via his military SF, beginning with Redliners, and have read pretty much everything he's written in the genre, as well as the writings of his frequent collaborators David Weber and Eric Flint - the holy trinity of military SF. This book was an enjoyable read, and an original concept, but ultimately not, in my opinion, up to the standards of his SF.

Still, I'll read the next book in the series!
Good enough to read to the end but very similar to other fantasy that incorporate magic and world building. This book's overriding theme is players on a game board. Who is moving who?
Ken Rideout
I admit to having a weakness for sci fi and fantasy. Kind of like eating lots of candy. But sometimes the book is just all sugar, you know? Too much, too fast. I was hoping, against my better judgement, to get sucked into another series of books that I would hide from friends and family like a secret Kit-Kat stash or something...

Alas, one and done for me. Ripping demons apart with your barehands only a few chapters in - it's like those kids who used to play D&D back in the day starting off a
Overall, Lord of the Isles was a fun read. The characters are all pretty likable and the world they live in is a bit different than your normal fantasy fare. However, the way the story goes the confluence of so many seemingly important people in one small little hamlet is pretty inexplicable. Perhaps the fates have as much to do with the characters placement as it did with my stumbling upon the book in a bargin bin a couple years ago. Either way it's an enjoyable and simple read and one I recomm ...more
Lorie Richards
Interesting, but didn't explain a lot of things and it was jumpy
Adam Ross
There was a lot to like here in the first volume of Drake's epic fantasy series, but some limitations as well. Still, the issues I had with it were not enough to stop me from getting invested in the story, so there's not much basis for complaint.
Taylor Franks
I finished this book two nights ago. In our moving process I lost the Tolkien book I was reading, so while in Atlanta I picked up this book at the Book Nook. It was 600 pages of sub par fantasy writing. This may seem harsh but going from Tolkien to Drake is not a enjoyable task. He means well with his writing but after the characters go through battle after battle unharmed it feels unrealistic. It started out strong but half way through I really forced myself to finish it. I'm taking a break fro ...more
It's a fun enough story, but there are too many cardboard cut-out characters, ham-handed themes, and characters who seem to have no control over or interest in the adventures they end up in. Very few choices are made by any of the younger characters. This makes sense thanks to two scenes that explicate (over-explicate) the book, but that doesn't make it any more satisfying. And the author's over- and misuse of the word "minisculely" becomes grating (try "minutely" or "slightly" as alternates.

Rayna Silveus
Eh ive read better but uts ok
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David Drake is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the major authors of the military science fiction genre.
More about David Drake...
Hammer's Slammers (Hammer's Slammers, #0) Lt. Leary, Commanding (Lt. Leary, #2) With the Lightnings (Lt. Leary, #1) An Oblique Approach (Belisarius, #1) The Far Side of the Stars (Lt. Leary, #3)

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