Son of Avonar (The Bridge of D'Arnath, #1)
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Son of Avonar (The Bridge of D'Arnath #1)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,969 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Magic is forbidden throughout the Four Realms. For decades, sorcerers and those associating with them were hunted to near extinction.

But Seri, a Leiran noblewoman living in exile, is no stranger to defying the unjust laws of her land. She is sheltering a wanted fugitive who possesses unusual abilities-a fugitive with the fate of the realms in his hands...

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Mass Market Paperback, 471 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Roc (first published 2004)
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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jemma Gutierrez
This book made me weep as I have never weep in all 16 years of my existence.


For yet another time, I realized what a great talent and a pen could do to twist and weave words until they become as painful and as vivid as reality itself. This book is soo good i want to yell HALLELUIAH!!! everytime it's mentioned.

The Son of Avonar was the reason why I was still awake at dawn, my eyes red and puffy and mountains of used tissue paper lay on the side of my bed. Never have I read greater love and loss...more
Liz
I have to give Carol Berg credit for her female protagonist. Seri is in no way your typical fantasy heroine. She's neither young nor blond, she's not virginal or a doormat. She's a middle-aged widow who's borne a child. She's cynical and she shows her age. I liked her because, unlike too many women in fantasy novels these days who are little more than cardboard cutouts, I could identify with Seri; she was *real*.

But on the other hand, there's D'Natheil. He's nothing more than a childish bully fo...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is the first Carol Berg book I've read, but after finishing this last night I know it won't be the last. First I have to finish this quartet!

The Lady Seriana has exiled herself from all she knows and all she is accustomed to, though with good reason and no hesitation. Her husband Karon was brutally tortured and murdered for being a sorceror, and all their friends too. The only reason she was not also burnt at the stake was because her brother Tomas, the best friend and Champion of King Evar...more
Peggy
When I first picked up Son of Avonar I couldn't put it down, but about halfway through I began to lose interest. There was a lot of unnecessary exposition, and several opportunities where Berg could have chosen to *show* the reader some relevant background information through action instead of just *telling* them, but didn't. Though much of the flashback story is relevant to the ultimate thread of the novel, it is a bit tedious since you learn very early on what is going to happen to the charact...more
Amanda
I can't say how much I loved this book! Carol Berg's writing style is fantastic, and you can't help but fall in love with Seri and Karon. The author establishes the reader's interest in the "present" then cuts back to Seri's past and develops her changes and growth from a young woman, through love and tragedy, intercut with the "present" and the mysterious new sorcerer in her life. Carol Berg cleverly reminds you of the years as they pass through the past, giving a countdown to the inevitable tr...more
Heila
Son of Avonar is an amazing fantasy, written in a Lord of the Rings style but with its own special twist. The descriptions are amazing, and the characters are detailed enough that you want to stay with them for another three or four books. It is a little hard to get into at first, but once you pass the first couple of chapters it's more than worth it. The way Carol Berg combines two storylines about the same person while keeping the reader gripped on both is marvelous, and she flows smoothly fro...more
Catherine Ford
I really enjoyed this book. It was unusual, in that it was a fantasy book written from a first person point of view. I enjoyed the detail and texture that the first person narrator brings to the story. All the characters are rich in personality, revealing many different layers through out the story. I must admit that I did not like the ending, but that I think is personal choice and not a writing flaw.
Sue
Jul 16, 2008 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like non-traditional fantasy (no elves, orks or trolls)
I love well-written fantasy that has it's own twist, and Carol Berg does an excellent job of building believable worlds with people you want to follow through three or four books. The first two are the best in the series, with the third one requiring a bit of commitment to get into it, but ultimately worth the read, as you've come to love the characters. I'm working on the 4th one now.
Tom
Picked this up at my favorite hole-in-the-wall used book story, near my house. I remembered reading Berg's trilogy Rai-Kirah and liking it.

A couple unusual approaches here for the fantasy genre... first perspective, as told by a female protagonist. Also appreciated the sorcerer-as-persecuted-minority here, some parallels to the persecution of Jews or the Gypsies through our own history: attempts to exterminate them, using them as scape-goats for whatever problems the ruling class had.

I lost inte...more
Bridget
Here's the start of another great series by Carol Berg. One thing I like about her is that she is not afraid to make her characters suffer. Their lives are not always nice. Not that these are books that end with you dispirited and unsatisfied. Good things happen to the characters too, but by the time they do, they're really well deserved. Premise in brief: We've got our main lady Seri who was a happily married noblewoman until it was discovered that her much-loved husband was able to use magic,...more
Amber
My favorite thing about Carol Berg's fantasy is her characters. She is wonderful at creating complex, multi-dimensional personalities that never feel fake or forced. They act in ways that make sense with the situations they are in, and while they may not always be likable they are always realistic. The plot of Son of Avonar is intriguing and keeps just the right pace - never a dull moment but never feeling rushed. Berg provides just enough clues in the build-up to lead readers along in big revea...more
Bookwatcher
Apr 12, 2010 Bookwatcher rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci-fi readers
Shelves: witchcraft
This was the second Carol Berg book that I read (I read and commented The Song of the Beast).
Son of Avonar is a great book. Her story is so beautiful and you can fell the love of the main characters leave the pages and reach your heart. I start a fantasy book thinking that was another story of magic and fantastic worlds… well this is a fantasy book, but also a unexpected romantic book.
I’ll certainly read the book 2 of The Bridge of D'Arnath serie.
High point of the book: the journey of Seriana...more
Jolene
One thing that sets this series apart from other fantasy series is how the books are written. Son of Avonar could very well sit as a stand alone book, tragic and heart breaking, but complete if you know nothing about the following books. The story jumps around a bit, chronologically, but it all makes sense is the end. It may not be the conclusion that we *want*, but, it works.

The following books change that by giving us multiple point of view characters throughout the series. We learn that where...more
Petra Eriksson
This book like any other of Carol Berg, has the deep insigt in human emotions that I love her for. The charcters are deep and interesting and the story moves ahead in an amazing speed. She always seems to be able to write things exactly the way I like it. The endings, the realtionships with love in, and now also female main-charatcers. I usully dislike reading from a female point a view for even the strongest females alwasy seems to end up depend on someone och do everything becuase of love or s...more
Dawn
The last 1/3rd of this book really is awesome...the first 2/3rds are a bit torturous to get through. The author sets up this exciting story in the NOW and then has a million flashbacks that are super long and break up the momentum of the plot she set up. Everything is beautifully written don't get me wrong..the flashbacks are great but if they were linear in the plot i think i would be better. I kept wanting to get back to the real story and was really tempted to skim and skip through them. Im g...more
Scycer
The Son of Avonar takes some time to start running , and just when it has you going it will stop and take you back to the start of something new. A different style of writing and really appreciate Carol Berg in introducing me to this kind of POV. I enjoyed the read and suggest it for those who are already couple of books completed under their fantasy belt.
Kim
This book is a long one but I read it straight through in two days--during which I should probably have benn doing something else. Although the plot is pleasingly exciting, the strength of this book is in its characters. Even the villians and minor characters are three-dimensional, and the heroes are very likable but realistically flawed. The world building is very robust as well--the world described in this book feels real, without the author having given a lot of needless details.

The one criti...more
Kristi
Dec 24, 2008 Kristi is currently reading it
I usually am completely in love with Carol Berg, but this book isn't doing it for me. The characters are sharp and interesting, the plot is full of adventure and spicy twists and turns, the setting is full of danger and intrigue....but the story itself starts ten years after a big occurence and then spends more than half of the book explaining the background. It's really awesome that the author spent the time to come up with a detailed history for this world, but I don't necessarily want to read...more
K.
It was such an enjoyable read that I devoured the story in just a couple of days. A definite must read!
Jenn
Not as good as her more recent Lighthouse books, but it was a good solid fantasy with an interesting protagonist. Kept me sufficiently distracted from annoying people on the daily bus commute and from this wretched sniffing sneezing cold. I'll agree with another reviewer that names are a problem in this series; excessive Z's, V's and apostrophes in the foreign names and a typical French root for domestic aristocracy and Italian root for peasantry. Not saying I could come up with anything better,...more
Michael Wilbur
Just interesting enough to keep me reading, not interesting enough to know whether I liked it or not.

Stylistically, the author writes well; complex, visual and evocative. But the story took a long time to get into, and once I got into it, I found it to be somewhat predictable. "Oh, the plot is turning in this direction, I bet that will happen...*20 pages later*...yup...ooh, but another twist, maybe this will happen...yup..."

Generally speaking, a good fantasy novel with a strong, if not overly st...more
Abby Miller
May 19, 2013 Abby Miller rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy Readers
Nice Carol Berg fantasy, a wonderful thick, and political plot, although I thought the magic a bit thin. Her story lines, however never fail to please. Seri is not your typical Fantasy heroine, and I found her a breath of fresh air. She is resourceful, older, and has suffered greatly. She makes mistakes and suffers for them, nothing is easy. Her supporting characters are fully developed, and have pasts that could become novels of their own (I am thinking of Graeme Rowan...or even the boy Paulo.....more
Derek
I'll keep reading the series as I find them, but more because I don't like to quit in the middle than because I am overwhelmed with the first book. Seri (& D'Natheil, really) take turns being phenomenally stupid. I don't mind characters without an unrealistic sense of overarching knowledge, but honestly - if you are being hunted, wouldn't you think of SOMETHING better than hanging out in the market completely undisguised? I think you can have a sense of self-preservation even if you don't kn...more
Lindsay
I needed a break from my usual PNR/ urban fantasy selections and Son of Avonar didn't disappoint. Something that eternally annoys me about UF is that the heroines are always special in someway. They can't just be normal people. Seri is a normalish person that happens upon extraordinary people. I enjoyed the characters and their flaws along with Berg's hopping between past and present writing style. At the time I was annoyed by it because I wanted to find out was was happening between Seri and Ae...more
Gen
This is one of my all time favorite fantasy novels...seriously.
Berg has a way with creating settings--a time and a place--that is completely believable and unique. The whole series, captured my attention from start to finish. I thought that this was the slowest of the four novels, and yet the pace was still dynamic. I read this text in two days I think...I wish I'd stretched it out a little bit more!

There is little in her texts that I find wanting, however, I will say that she does rely a bit he...more
Genessa  KJ
This is one of my all time favorite fantasy novels...seriously.
Berg has a way with creating settings--a time and a place--that is completely believable and unique. The whole series, captured my attention from start to finish. I thought that this was the slowest of the four novels, and yet the pace was still dynamic. I read this text in two days I think...I wish I'd stretched it out a little bit more!

There is little in her texts that I find wanting, however, I will say that she does rely a bit he...more
Kris
Props for the strong female protagonist, someone who's not cut from the typical fantasy novel mold.

Honestly, the way the first half of the book was done annoyed me so much. The remembering, the dreams, the asshat D'whateverhisnameis. And then finally we get to the journey, things are cleared up, and then all is taken care of... or is it?

The book almost ends on a cliffhanger. Almost. I do have the second in the series as well, but I haven't decided if I'm going to read it yet.
Eric Bingham
I read this book because it came highly recommended by a friend. The last 50 pages of the book were quite interesting, but I'm still not sure if it was worth reading 400+ pages to get to that ending. A huge portion of this book is flashbacks, and I felt like the reader has to spend a long time waiting for the story to actually start. As I said, the ending was interesting, and I might read book two with the hope that all of the boring character building is done with now.
Joy
Very neat idea for a magical system in which one gains power through variety of experience. Pretty cool heroine. But overall, I was never surprised by this book. I knew what was going to happen. The final conflict was a bit of a let down, and I didn't like the time-switching structure because there was inevitably one period that I cared a lot less about. I see this book as full of unrealized potential. Lots of good ideas but needed some improvement in execution.
Leah
This book was well written and once I got past the first 100-150 pages, I was hooked. Not only did I enjoy the story, but I enjoyed puzzling out what Carol Berg was trying to accomplish and why she wrote things the way she did. She kept me guessing for much longer than most authors do, which I enjoyed. Not sure what the rest of the series is about, since Book #1 seems pretty self-contained, but maybe I'll check it out and see.
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Carol Berg is the author of the epic fantasy
The Books of the Rai-kirah, The Bridge of D'Arnath Quartet, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winning Lighthouse Duet - Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone - the standalone novel Song of the Beast , and the three novels of the Collegia Magica.

Berg holds a degree in mathematics from Rice University, and a degree in computer science from the University of Col...more
More about Carol Berg...
Transformation (Rai-Kirah, #1) Restoration (Rai-Kirah, #3) Revelation (Rai-Kirah, #2) Flesh and Spirit (Lighthouse, #1) Breath and Bone (Lighthouse, #2)

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