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The Sacrifice (The Fey, #1)
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The Sacrifice (The Fey #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  561 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The Fey have swept across three continents and never faced defeat. But now they have reached Blue Isle, where there dwells a people of simplicity and faith, untainted by war. Yet as they face invasion, the Islanders discover a deadly undreamed-of power of their own. So begins a conflict that must destroy one race or the other--or maybe both.
Paperback, 660 pages
Published December 1st 1995 by Spectra Books
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Community Reviews

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This book is long. It's really, really long. It seems even longer than it really is because so much happens so quickly. It's actually even longer because there are four more books in the series and this first installment doesn't resolve one gosh-darn thing.

I liked the characters and there were some interesting magical aspects to this fantasy. However, it did get pretty repetitious. It was also very predictable because it starts out with a vision that tells you that the Fey warrior princess and
2.5 stars

As another review on this said: "This is a long book. A VERY long book." And, that's true. And, again, "especially seeing as nothing much happened." While I won't say that nothing happened, I will say that the book had a very incomplete feeling to it - a lot of waiting between small amounts of Things Happening. Basically, the book is about drow (not that they're called that) attacking humans and humans realizing "oh my god, we have magic too!" ...and that's about it. Rusch, when she was
Jewel is the grand-daughter of the Black King, the ruler of the Fey. The Fey have conquered half the world and have set their sights on the other half. The only thing standing in their way is Blue Isle - an island known for trade and not warfare. Jewel and her father travel to Blue Isle for what they expect will be a swift victory. But they - and the Islanders - are about to discover a tide-changing secret.

I read this series for the first time more than a decade ago. I remembered enjoying the ba
N.P. Harper
Blue Isle has been impenetrable to the Black Kings forces the whole time the empire grows around it, now he has decided it's time the mysterious island and its people were brought into the fold.
An invasion force lead by the mountain climbers and sea sprits get a foothold and soon the rest of the Fey land ready to take over the little island nation. (This all happens in the first chapter so I'm not ruining anything I promise).
The Fey use magic, they are faerie people, with shape shifters,Wisps, G
Vernon Ray
Long Story Short: Blue Isle has never been conquered and the Fey have rolled over everyone else so far so Rugar the Fey commander/next-in-line-for-the-throne decides it will be a pushover, he's wrong.

This book runs long. I am usually forgiving of that in a fantasy because many fantasies are about spending time in the fantasy world. Unfortunately you reach a point where you have fully explored Blue Isle and the dynamics of the two peoples, and that point is only halfway through the book. From the
Fate's Lady
I am currently 12% of the way through this book and I suddenly realized that I have been listening to this (via text to speech on my Kindle) ALL day and I am still waiting for anything to actually happen. The evil warmongering Fae have landed on the island and seem to be mostly standing around with their thumbs up their butts while a handful of them wander around torturing people for no apparent reason and the rest just basically shout "boo" at shopkeepers and giggle while they flee back inside ...more
Mathew Walls
I haven't enjoyed a fantasy series this much in a long while. There's nothing groundbreaking about this one, but it is well-written and is refreshingly free of Chosen Ones and great evils. Reminds me of Magician in that way, and also in that it focuses on an ensemble cast rather than a central protagonist.

I also liked the way it showed both sides from their own perspective, not making one side the good guys and the others the bad guys (although it does seem a little stacked against the Fey in th
Peter Smith
I really enjoyed Rusch's rendition of the Fey as a conquering race with a complex culture based on what is essentially a caste system. Where you wind up in the Fey hierarchy depends on how your magick manifests.

I've seen complaints that the book is too long and that not enough happens in it. It's hard to debate the second point, but the author uses the technique of devoting each chapter to the viewpoint of a specific character, and her chapters are very short (I lost track somewhere past chapte
It's an interesting story and it's fairly well executed, but there are a few flaws along the way. I didn't like the male protagonist that much, and for a fairly long and involved book, it left me feeling unresolved at the end. I suppose unsurprising, since it's the first in a series, but it just felt unsatisfying. Rusch pursues several threads within the story, and the one that I found most intriguing is pushed off to the side and explored less than I would have enjoyed. I imagine it comes up mo ...more
A really gripping story of warring, magic Fey besieging an apparently non-magic, peaceful island... But the islanders find a powerful and mysterious (even for them) weapon that brings the war to a stall. Some kind of compromise and sacrifice will possibly be necessary to move on. The characters are all interesting, each of them with their own secrets and special abilities. The Feys are of many different types and kinds of powers, or lack of power, and are everything but the dreamy sparkling spec ...more
Sophia Martin
I'm so ambivalent about this book. I've never read a book that's given me such pure genocidal feelings towards a population before. And I don't like feeling like that! But I have to admit, the book is very powerful to be able to do that. It's because of the way the Fey mess with babies. "Kill them all" my mind ruminates as I read their latest foul deed. I've started the second in the series, and the urges have gone from genocidal down to homicidal, but it's not really an improvement to find myse ...more
I was totally intrigued by this book, and found myself thoroughly tagged into wanting more. The characters were enjoyable and felt well-rounded. I do wish there had been more physical description of the characters, I never quite grasped the difference between human and non-human except for the red caps. Magic as well seemed like there was depth but no explanation which left me a little lost occasionally "why didn't that work this time?" type questions. Downside (or upside depending on your POV) ...more
Oct 30, 2010 Betsy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers
Recommended to Betsy by: Free Audible download heard about on Ravelry Audiobook group thread
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I listened to the audio version of this book, read by David DeSantos. It was part of a marketing campaign where offered the first book in a series for free. I was a little reluctant to read this because I thought it would be like the urban fantasy type stories so trendy today. Thank goodness I decided to give it a try. It's sword and sorcery fantasy, and would appeal to readers that like that genre. And Audible did a smart thing, giving away the first book - because they'll definitel ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Roberta rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy
The first in a series. I bought 4 of the 5 books back when I was pregnant with my daughter and found out that the fourth book was out of print, so I didn't read them. 6 years later I found the 4th book on ebay, but I still didn't read it. Now 8 years later, I've started the series.

We have in this book a world not our own with a race called the Fey who are exceedingly war-like and magical. They want to conquer their entire world, and they've already taken over 2/3's of the world when the king's s
WHEW! This was a very long audio book!!! At first, I had a difficult time actually getting into the story. There is a lot of detail about military might and execution, if your into that. I discovered it was rather easy to become distracted, allowing my thoughts to wander while listening and yet had no need to rewind. Normally, when I'm distracted from "listening" to an audiobook, I "must" rewind, because I can't bear to miss out on anything in the story. Not so here. About 2/3 of the way in, the ...more
Summary: Really good fantasy book with a difference, the invaders have magic they know about, the islanders have magic they have no knowledge of ... leading to a stalemate

Plotline: Some really good ideas and plot twists

Premise: Some of the magic is a bit bizarre, but well thought through and on the whole this works.

Writing: Excellent, clear, simple, descriptive

Ending: Ok, a bit predictable but all good

Pace: Never a dull moment
Ian Banks
Long and spends an awful lot of time on setting the reader up for future volumes. Lots of action and even more plotting. A bit saggy around the 2/3 mark but hugely enjoyable and exciting. Predates a lot of recent fantasy in the strength of its worldbuilding and the rigor of its ideas as well as in the large cast, few of whom like or trust one another. Haven't read this in nearly a decade and am glad the Suck Fairy hasn't been by in that time.
I can't really go three stars... although two stars seems somewhat harsh. but this book did not do much to really urge my contributed reading. I finished reading the book only out of sheer will.

The universe the author creates shows potential but very little was really given away about it. chapters are very short but they bounce between many characters.

I doubt I'm going on to the following books.

Un'occasione sprecata, per certi versi. Trama interessante, personaggi con potenzialità, ambientazione a tratti davvero originale, il tutto vanificato da troppa, troppa acqua ad allungare il brodo (in primis).
Le sottotrame si sprecano, i punti morti pure, verso il primo terzo della storia si entra in stato comatoso: l'autrice non sembra in grado di finalizzare alcunché, gira e gira attorno a una soluzione stupidissima - peraltro, lo fa con uno stile che non mi è parso per nulla pesante: è
So far, I'm intrigued by the fantastical creatures and still trying to figure out who's good and who's bad... not very far in it yet.

At first I found this book so strange that I had a hard time getting into it, and even trying to figure out what it's all about. The writer has an interesting way of presenting the story by showing both sides of a conflict (war) from the perspective of all the characters (3rd person omniscient), so that the reader begans to care for and appreciate both sides of the
Krista McCracken
An interesting introduction into the Fey world being created by Rusch. The book focus on the invasion of Blue Isle by the Fey and the resistance of the Isle's inhabitants. The author shifts perspectives between the two sides which allows for two very different cultures to be introduced and explored. A decent introduction to a fantasy world though the book did drag in spots.
I really did enjoy this - this is more a 3.5 than 3. Well written, but not an outstandingly original tale. That said, it was a good story. I'll enjoy reading more of these, but am not necessarily going to run right out and find them.
I probably would never have read this book if it weren't a free download on audible. It took me about 7 or 8 hours of listening before I really got into the story. Partly this is because there are a few gruesome parts in the first couple of hours that are bloody, after that things settle down and the story starts to pick up more. The story as a whole might deserve 4 stars, but because of the rather disturbing magic system of one of the main races and the gruesome parts, I found it harder to feel ...more
Ellen Brandt
Tried this to satisfy a penchant for a good fantasy read. I liked the plot, and there were plenty of philosophical points to ponder - but the book seemed overly long and inconclusive (apparently you have to read the next 4 books) and there were too many characters to keep track of. The many inventive magical elements are interesting, but the overuse of cliches (especially "he let out the breath he didn't know he was holding") becomes distracting. I prefer Rusch's more recent "Retrieval Artist" s ...more
Daniel Muldoon
Read this one a long time ago and it is difficult to find a copy now!

The Fey series was one of my favourites - really great characters and some interesting twists in the story!

The start of this is a bit routine, the handsome young prince who wants to change things, big bad empire wanting to take over the small stand alone kingdom. However, as the story goes on the characters develop well, I particularly liked the perspective of the Redcap who 'runs away'.
Jenn Haxton
I read this series a few years ago and fell in love with the new ideas in a fantasy world. I absolutely love it when an author takes a new spin on an old theme. The Fey aren't as we read about them anywhere else. It takes some time to get into the world, but once you are there, you can't put it down. Readers today are lucky that they are all available in ebook. I had to pay dearly for the 4th book in the series that was out of print when I read it.
Really good storyline, with strong characters and great locations. Pity that the author was way to descriptive. I would say it was like the fantasy version of a Dicken novel.

I got so bored in parts by the "ott" descriptions that it took me forever to get through this book.

I won't be picking up book two, since book one was fairly painful to finish in the end.

It would have won 4* if only it was less descriptive.
I tried convincing myself that I really loved this series a few times--the concept was neat, the covers were attractive, and some of the characters were really interesting. I legitimately enjoyed the first two, but after that I just didn't much care for them. One day I'll probably give them a try, since it's been a very long time since I read them.
Ann Klavano
Good world building. When I first read it I thought it was fairly interesting, but not worth investing the time to finish five volumes of the series (I had misunderstood how many volumes were involved. However, I have found myself wondering about the characters and have since picked up the next two volumes.
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Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an award-winning mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy writer. She has written many novels under various names, including Kristine Grayson for romance, and Kris Nelscott for mystery. Her novels have made the bestseller lists –even in London– and have been published in 14 countries and 13 different languages.

Her awards range from the Ellery Queen Readers Choice Aw
More about Kristine Kathryn Rusch...

Other Books in the Series

The Fey (7 books)
  • The Changeling (The Fey, #2)
  • The Rival (The Fey, #3)
  • The Resistance (The Fey, #4)
  • Victory (The Fey, #5)
  • The Black Queen (Black Throne, #1; The Fey, #6)
  • The Black King (Black Throne, #2; The Fey, #7)
The New Rebellion (Star Wars) The Disappeared (Retrieval Artist, #1) X-Men Diving into the Wreck (Diving Universe, #1) Extremes (Retrieval Artist, #2)

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