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Lion of Senet (Second Sons #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,463 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
On the world Ranadon there is no night as both suns shine brightly. The intervention of Belagren, High Priestess of the Shadowdancers, and the sacrifice of a child of royal blood, has banished the Age of Shadows from the skies. Belagren's position is unquestioned . . . until circumstances begin to tip political rivalries into a deadlier game altogether.

A volcanic eruption
Paperback, 558 pages
Published 2004 by Spectra Books
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Community Reviews

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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This is one of those books that's fun to read, but has little else going for it. If you're a hardcore fantasy fan looking to kill some time, you could do worse, but in general I would not recommend.

Lion of Senet is an unusual epic fantasy in that not only is it decidedly not a Tolkien knock-off--no orcs or elves in sight--but there's no magic, no drawn-out journeys and no epic battles. Instead, the plot is driven by political manuevering (perhaps better termed "interpersonal manipulation"), and
Jan 11, 2011 Ithlilian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Lion of Senet has been recommended to me a few times, and has glowing reviews here, so I decided to pick it up. I do not mind a fantasy book without magic one bit, so I had no trepidations about reading this book. The novel started off nicely introducing us to some teenagers throughout the world and the major power players on the story. I could tell that their paths were converging ever so slowly, and things were looking good. At around page 200 my annoyances with the book really started to ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Re-posted from

It pleases me to see that Australian author Jennifer Fallon is slowly starting to receive some well deserved international attention. Her recent ‘Tide Lords’ quartet garnered a couple of positive reviews, and I’ve seen some blogs posting about her latest series ‘The Undivided.’

But I want to talk now about one of her older, less known, set of books; The Second Sons trilogy, comprising of 'The Lion of Senet,' 'Eye of the Labyrinth,' and 'Lord of t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it
I bought this book on a whim one day. For the first half of the book I kept asking myself why the hell I was reading it. By the end of the book, I wasn't really sure exactly how I felt about it. The book certainly picked up after the half-way point, but I certainly wasn't overwhelmed. I decided that I really didn't care enough to finish the series. However, in the coming days I kept thinking about the characters. I kept wanting to know what the hell happened to them next. I'm profoundly glad I d ...more
Jul 31, 2014 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of the best fantasy series that I have ever read. I thought - and could swear that I did - write a review for both this and the second in the series. But, for some reason, they aren't there.

When I re-read this again, I will write a re-view worthy of such a great piece of fiction: just read my review for third one if you want to see how much if effected me.

Until then, just know it is one of the best books in this genre.
Bridgett McDonald
Apr 30, 2014 Bridgett McDonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Second Sons Trilogy is a story centralised on Dirk Provin, the second son of a regional lord, and cousin to heirs of two ruling families. Set on Ranadon, the series is set after the Age of Shadows, a time when the second sun (incidentally, a clever double meaning to the book's title) disappeared from Ranadon and created widespread famine and disarray. The end of this event was uncovered using mathematical knowledge of the orbit of suns, discovered by Neris Veran, a genius-level researcher wh ...more
Jennifer Jacobs
Feb 08, 2011 Jennifer Jacobs rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes political, fantasy thrillers, also anyone who loves Code Geass.
This is the first of an excellent trilogy full of twists and turns as the second generation born to main players of an old war are forced to take up the fight that their parents could not finish. The main character is a young man named Dirk Provin, who has his entire life turned upside down by the revelation that his father is not truly his father, and that he's actually the son of a diposed king who has been labeled a villian and traitor.

Their world of Ranadon is ruled under the satin-gloved, i
Apr 07, 2015 Candice rated it it was amazing
Details at my blog

A brilliant mathematician calculated when the second sun would disappear, vital information for keeping the religious establishment in power. In the midst of war, he vanished without telling anyone when the Age of Darkness would begin. But High Priestess Belagren has found another gifted mathematician in seventeen-year-old Dirk Provin, and even though his mother is a political dissident who hates the High Priestess and everything she represents, Belagren's determined to have hi
Lyn Lowe
Jul 13, 2012 Lyn Lowe rated it really liked it
This was my second read-through. Normally, that's when I take my time and really sort out what works and what doesn't for me; where I find all those special lines and fantastic scenes that really grab me.

Not so, with this book.

I started out good, working slowly through the beginning with my usual care. Then, and I can't tell you exactly when, I found myself sucked back in. Just like the first time. Exactly like the first time.

"Oh no! Something bad happened! How is Dirk going to get through this
Jun 20, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans, Robin Hobb fans
Recommended to Eric by: Nick Bozenko
Shelves: fantasy
This book caught my attention when I opened the cover flap and saw praise for it from one of my favorite fantasy authors, Robin Hobb. One of the reasons I really like Hobb is that her style is cerebral, with the focus being on the political intrigue and emotional relationships between the characters, rather than hacking and slashing of an evil horde of underdeveloped minions.

Jennifer Fallon's Lion of Senet fit that style and pushed it even further. Where most fantasy involves magic spells, myth
May 06, 2009 Glitterfairy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like politics-driven fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
I guess this is 'fantasy' but it's not your classic myth and magic story - fairly grounded in politics and reality, actually. And this is where this trilogy truly shines.

This isn't Fallon's best trilogy - I feel that ball lies well in the Hythrun Chronicles court - but in terms of plotting and "oh my god, you know what? I really have no idea what's going to happen next" it's unbelievably good. In terms of morality and fate it's also a bit bleaker and harder than the Hythrun and Medalon - more Ho
There was no adrenaline-charged action in this book, but there was enough suspense to keep me interested. The characters are engaging, and I was drawn into the story very quickly. Fallon is great at writing natural-sounding dialogue (and there's quite a bit of humour in the dialogue, which I loved) and the book focuses just enough on the politics to make it intriguing rather than boring. And, while the main conflict tends to boil down to faith vs science, it didn't come across as being preachy.

Jul 13, 2009 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
I'm classifying this as science fiction but it has a Pern like twist, if you know what I mean. I'll say more about it when I'm finished!

Okay, finished and completely in love with the twists and turns Fallon took me on while reading this book. I cannot wait to see where it is all going and I know I will find satisfaction in the various twisting intrigues.. or at least I hope I will.

I hope to see the fall of the Shadowdancers and the High Priestess in the books to come! As well as the downfall of
Apr 30, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
This book was a lot better than I thought. The only reason why I did not give this book 5 stars, is because the characters annoyed the holy hell out of me! I honestly thought that one of the characters was supposed to be a lot younger than what he actually is. Like I said, for these characters were so annoying, I wanted to punch them in the face LOL other than that, pretty good book. It definitely shows what people are willing to do and who are they willing to kill, and destroy for power. Even t ...more
Lukas Lovas
May 26, 2014 Lukas Lovas rated it really liked it
So....this hooked me pretty soon, which surprised me considering how many POV characters there are. And it hooked me enough to enjoy it and look forward to reading it. But it wasn't quite perfect.
The story is good, the political machinations complex, but not hard to keep track of and I liked the characters. However, the conflicts among them seemed a bit too artificial at times...the emotions were too strong. She loves him too much, he is smitten by someone else to the point of idiocy
Mar 09, 2009 Lis rated it it was ok
I'm really rather puzzled why this book didn't grab me; from the reviews it seemed like exactly my sort of fantasy. I didn't hate it, but when I saw that I'd reached 176 pages with only mild curiosity and no real desire to find out what happens, I decided it was time to stop. It's a case of too many books, too little time, and not enough bloody interest.
Oct 21, 2009 Kai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
This is a fabulous read. Political intrigue, religious morality and bringing it all together, a wonderful array of great characters that just draw you in immediately.

Another book that I wanted to last just a little longer... drawing out the suspense.
Benjamin Kahn
Dec 30, 2015 Benjamin Kahn rated it it was ok
I got just over a hundred pages into this book when I decided I didn't want to read it anymore. The story began interestingly enough, but we seemed to be moving away from the adult characters and focussing on the teenagers and which gave it a fell of a young adult novel. There is nothing wrong with YA novels, they're just not to my tastes. There's a certain lack of complexity that goes into one and I felt that was the direction the novel was starting to take. The plot, after getting off to a fai ...more
Nov 13, 2014 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads recommended this at me, so I thought I should confirm its taste: I love this series. It's quick and easy, but also smart and different fantasy, full of believable, real, understandable characters who make their own decisions. And it's also one of the finest examples of the brutal demands of being the only person who can save the world. I love the twists, I love the ruthlessness, I love the way the characters pull me this way and that, and I love its hard edges and accessible telling. I ...more
Hugh Mullan
Jul 26, 2015 Hugh Mullan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this was a fairly good book. I would class this series as 'political fantasy'. There's no magic system or mythical creatures; it's simply a fantasy equivalent of medieval earth where different people, factions and countries wrestle for power.
There are many positives: the premise is very intriguing. The planet is orbited by two suns, so there's no night. However one day, one of the suns disappears and plunges the world into chaos. When it returns, the question is: was this due to religi
Jul 24, 2015 Contrarius rated it really liked it
I just finished this. Enjoyed it very much. The writing was quite clear and concise, and though it was generally a "cool" sort of style -- it concentrated on politics and actions rather than wallowing in emotion -- I still spent most of the last third of the book biting my nails. And having just read The Three-Body Problem, I was rather amused at the two-sun world and how they had to deal with the ages of darkness which were posited so self-consciously in the three-body book.

Some aspects were v
I’m absolutely over the moon with this book. It’s absolutely fantastic—the kind of fantasy I adore, well-written, engaging storyline, emotionally arresting, wonderful characters, on and on and on. I’m completely impressed with Jennifer Fallon and the world she’s introduced readers to in Lion of Senet. Absolutely amazing.

Lion of Senet is not epic fantasy with battles and wizards and dragons. The story is instead focused on court intrigue, politics, schemes, conspiracies, and religion. I love book
Dec 07, 2014 Katharine_ann rated it really liked it
My favourite part about the book by far is the world that Fallon created. I was actually convinced that there was a whole other series I should read first, because the characters had such complex connections and histories at the beginning of the book. While at first I was a little lost in how this world came to be the way it is, I had to trust in the narrative that it would eventually reveal the information I needed (which it did). I was quite impressed with how well the world was established th ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Peter rated it liked it
Recommended by a friend when we were talking great saga's... OK, I'll give it a go, but I was dutifully skeptical having been recently let down by a much anticipated series about dwarves. Perhaps sometimes entering a new saga being a little jaded with the genre hinders one a touch, as it took me a while to get to grips with the writing style, but as I turned page after page I was forgetting to sleep, eat and at times breathe. I suddenly realised I hadn't slept and the sun was up and it was time ...more
Hariharan Gopalakrishnan
May 13, 2015 Hariharan Gopalakrishnan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I am reviewing the entire series together as I read all the books in a couple of long sittings. The 'Genius protagonist' trope has been beaten to death across various media ( from procedural cop shows to fantasy novels), but Jennifer Fallon proves that all it takes is some well developed characters and an intricately plotted story line to breathe life into the cliche.Most of the important characters are well constructed and believable, with Dirk Provin joins elite club ( with members such as Cor ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a regular critic or anything, I just enjoyed this series so much I had to leave a comment.

I randomly picked up the second book in this trilogy "The Eye of the Labyrinth" mostly because I was getting it at a bargain price. The author does an amazing job of pulling you into the story. I didn't really know what was going on (because I hadn't read the first book) but that didn't matter because the story and the way it was told was quite compelling for me. The suspense kept you on edge. Even
Dec 29, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it
Fantasy novels of this type often get off to a slow start as the foundation is built, the world established and the characters introduced. The world Jennifer Fallon has created in this novel is dark and oppressive. Religion is being used to exert power over the people and those who wield it are desperate to hold onto it.

I liked Dirk, our young hero, instantly. He is a smart and kindhearted boy forced to grow up fast. He is put in very difficult situations, his will and moral character tested. Ti
Shari  Mulluane
Sep 26, 2013 Shari Mulluane rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story filled with wonderful characters and a well crafted world. Religious manipulation and political intrigue fill the pages along with villains you can't help but hate and victims you can't help but sympathize with. Dirk, second son of the Duke of Elcast finds himself caught up in events that started well before he was born. The main focus of this tale is on him and the development of his character as he comes to grip with one surprise after another. There is a long list of ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Micaela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, scifi, quotable
Possibly the best book I have ever read and definitely one of my favorites! The Lion of Senet is science fiction cleverly disguised as fantasy by the premodern setting. It offers one of the greatest very smart protagonists (Dirk Provin) in fiction and a satisfying story of the quest for enlightenment the hard and sneaky way. The characters are quirky and believable, and the story virtually flawless.
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Fallon is the author of 17 full-length bestselling novels and a number of published short stories in genres ranging from horror to science fiction.

In addition to 4 complete fantasy series - The Demon Child trilogy, The Hythrun Chronicles, the Second Sons Trilogy,The Tide Lords Quadrilogy and the Rift Runners series - Fallon has written both a tie-novel and short fiction for the TV series, Stargat
More about Jennifer Fallon...

Other Books in the Series

Second Sons (3 books)
  • Eye of the Labyrinth (Second Sons, #2)
  • Lord of the Shadows (Second Sons, #3)

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“And try to stay out of trouble with the ladies. Remember, they all have fathers and brothers and some of them have armies. ” 26 likes
“It was almost as if he enjoyed the fact that the more agitated his opponent was, the more serene he became. Belagren's thoughts about Antonov in The Lion of Senet” 4 likes
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