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The Riddler's Gift (Tales of the Lifesong #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  556 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
In a time when the world was ravaged by chaos, one kingdom remains; ordered, isolated, protected. Then Tabitha Serannon awakens an ancient power and the world begins to change.

She is hunted for her talent. The Shadowcasters whisper in her ears as their evil closes around her. Soon the Riddler walks beside her, but is he on her side?

She has a moment to learn the magic befor
Paperback, 643 pages
Published July 31st 2007 (first published June 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,384)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Feb 02, 2011 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) by: The author Greg Hamerton
When I read a really good book, it's hard to write a review, because my words don't measure up to what I have read as an example of good writing. But, I do my best. Let me make it clear that I'm hardly a critical scholar when it comes to fantasy. Before I added this to my epic fantasy shelf, I checked out the definition of epic fantasy. As I read the description of epic fantasy elements, I ticked off a mental checklist, and this book fits all the descriptions of epic fantasy. Of course, as I sai ...more
Nov 29, 2010 Manny rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who like heroic fantasy and aren't too fussy about style
That night, Tabitha had a strange dream. She was on a long, winding road high in the Zunskar Mountains when she came to a little tavern. The inn-keeper welcomed her and gave her good meat and drink, which she was grateful of, for she had travelled far. When she had eaten and drunk her fill, he asked her if she was Tabitha Serannon, the singer.

"I am," she replied shyly. She had still not become used to her new fame.

"Then there is someone here that I think you will want to meet," said the inn-keep
Lu (Sugar & Snark)
Mar 19, 2010 Lu (Sugar & Snark) rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, won
My Rating:


My Take:

I won this book, and I'm so glad I did!

Tabitha Serannon has a hidden power, but to access this she needs to go through many trials and tribulations to discover her inner strength. With the help of an unlikely friend, she has to find her way. Darkness stands in the path she must follow, but so does love.

This book was really gripping and one I did not want to end! It was extremely hard to put down and when I finally did, I could not stop thinking about it!

I cannot wait for t
Feb 12, 2010 Sam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, first-reads
Won this in the GR giveaways and my god I'm glad I did. Hamerton is well on his way to creating a fantasy series that could very well rival Tolkien in it's skill and imagination (and I don't make that comparison lightly, I can tell you). He has the dry wit and humour, moments of heart-warming tenderness and the magic, mystery and that little bit of mayhem that made Tolkien the world's first and greatest fantasy writer, and Hamerton is definitely following in those footsteps.

The story starts in O
Dec 11, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wizards believed in Order but then one defied the rest and brought Chaos, threatening to destroy the world. One sanctuary remains, a safe haven where one special person can develop the magic that might save them. When Tabitha Serannon takes a ring that isn't hers and sings an ancient song, she releases a power that she doesn't understand and cannot control. Will she learn to balance the Light and the Dark before it is too late? Or will the entire realm fall under the rule of the Darkmaster a ...more
Mar 31, 2012 TC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I get lots of requests to review fantasy books and I decline more than I accept, but this one piqued my interest. This is a long book, approximately 650 pages, and could fairly be described as a fantasy epic. The author has created a kingdom with it's own lore and history, and pits the Lightgifters against the Shadowcasters. With the dark on the verge of obtaining the upper hand Tabitha becomes crucial to the survival of Eyri.

While the story is primarily one of good versus evil there is also ro
May 29, 2012 Sally rated it liked it
As I started the book several things jarred, town names like Flowerton just felt a little bit Enid Blyton, the story felt rather a lot like one I had read before (Rhapsody:Child of Blood, by Elizabeth Haydon - a singer who has to always tell the truth and works magic with her music). Also there were times when during reading I would suddenly be told things like the heroine, Tabitha, was lying in snow, but there had been little reference to the snow before, making me feel a bit like I was walking ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it
I'm in two minds about this book. I love the main storyline and how it's set in a world that's on the brink of annihilation. I enjoyed learning about the wizards and their magic, and the evil characters really worked for me. I can't remember the last time I read a book where the evil characters were so good at being bad!

The main let down for me though was Tabitha. Rarely has a main character in a book infuriated me as much or as often as she. It seemed like she just wandered from one situation t
May 02, 2011 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, first-reads
I got this through the goodreads giveaways, oh-so-long-ago. I've been meaning to get round to it for, literally, years. I read a section ages ago, and then never picked it up again, which should perhaps be indicative. So, I'm going to confess: I've never finished reading this, and I don't think I'm going to. I've read enough fantasy in my life that I'm quite cynical about it, and you'll have to give me something newer and fresher than the plot/characters in this book to keep me happy (most of th ...more
Nov 20, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series-to-finish
Wow, what a plot! The main character, Tabitha Serannon is a charming young girl, a tavern singer with an amazing voice and a Truthsayer with aspirations of becoming a Lightgifter and healer like her mother, but then she hears the Lifesong and her whole life changes. Suddenly we are thrown into this magical world of Dark and Light fighting to rule the Kingdom of Eyri. Tabitha has to find the wizard who owns the magical ring she bears as she becomes aware of it's and her own capabilities and the p ...more
Nick Reys
Sep 24, 2010 Nick Reys rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Life isn't fair. When one takes the time to think things over, he can come up with a thousand ways to illustrate this. One of them should be that Greg Hamerton isn't a well known author of fantasy literature, cause he sure deserves to be.
I discovered Hamerton with a little bit of luck. I stumbled upon the Fantasy Book Critic-blog and right around that time, they published a very positive review of his second book. Triggered by that and the positive comments on the first, I purchased both books o
Jul 23, 2014 Liviu rated it it was amazing
Excellent fantasy debut set in an alternate Earthlike domain called Eyri which was isolated and hidden with strong magic from the rest of the planet by a cabal of 8 wizards called the Gyre.

The Gyre is facing the most powerful Chaos wizard ever Ametheus who brought destruction and misery to the rest of the planet, but they are not strong enough to fight him directly.

Setting up Eyri and introducing a magical artifact and an wizard observer/adviser, they hope to nurture new wizard blood away fro
Jan 17, 2010 Taekwondodo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Adults interested in magic
I won this book through a first-reads giveaway.

Although I technically finished it today it would probably be more accurate to say I finished it last night! Damn you Hamerton, I need my sleep! During the final, climactic battle I literally could not put it down. A spellbinding (pun intended) read, if a little sticky at parts. Not one I would have read normally but I'm glad I did.
Lee Dunning
I picked this book up for free quite some time ago, and finally had the time and the urge to read it. It's professional in presentation, and I found few errors, so I was impressed with that. I'm not thrilled with the cover art, but that is more a matter of taste than any failing on quality. This book would look good next to a big six book on the shelf. It's worth paying for, and I'm shocked to see that it is still available for free. So is the sequel. Wow.

First of all, be prepared for a long rea
Jul 02, 2010 Gerhard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
A brilliant read. Greg had me hooked from page one. I love the characters and the near impossible situations he puts them in and then gets them out of again. Can't wait for the next Tale of the LIFESONG to hit the shelves.
Jan 05, 2014 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a LOOONG book. Though it is somewhat entertaining (as I finished all 600+ pages), it was not one that gripped me from beginning to end. Though it was overall enjoyable, it doesn't offer the complexity I enjoy in fantasy books.

I really wanted to like this book. After all it has a riddles! (It reminded me of a childhood favorite: The Riddle-Master of Hed). In many ways, I still enjoyed the book. However, the length when compared to its rather predictable plot lessens its value greatly.

Dec 10, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book. Wish I had part two to dive right into. Luckily, its on its way. Full of everything you want in a book. Perfect!
Viloshani Matadin
Sep 03, 2010 Viloshani Matadin rated it it was amazing
I simply loved the story. My heart really went out to the Sword Masterwho was forced to choose between duty and love. Simply fantastic!
Perfect except for the partical ending. Not a cliffhanger but an ending that desperately needs an epilogue. My only crique.
Nov 08, 2014 Férial rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And so Tabitha finally finds the wizard and fights the Darkmaster.

Well done Mr Hamerton. Well done.
Laura Howard
Feb 20, 2013 Laura Howard rated it really liked it
I really give this 4.5 - there are a lot of "amazing" moments. I have this on my list to get the next book. I don't think I can add much that I haven't already seen in the other reviews, but here are my personal takes:

I felt the book told me enough of a complete story that I didn't feel I had to grab up the next immediately. It wasn't actually until the end that I realized there was a lead-in during the beginning which give me an idea of the bigger story. It went from broad to focused very comfo
Debra Martin
Nov 05, 2013 Debra Martin rated it really liked it
THE RIDDLER'S GIFT is an epic fantasy that will have fans glued to the story. Tabitha Serannon dreams of becoming a Light Gifter like her mother, but when tragedy strikes those dreams are shattered and it sets her on a different path. She finds a magical ring and from the moment she slips it on her finger, she is changed forever. Then she meets the Riddler, Twardy Zarost, and he guides her on a path of discovery like no other. There is an ancient evil gathering in the land and Tabitha is the key ...more
Pauline Ross
At first glance, this is a very traditional fantasy story about a magic ring which slips away from its evil owner at a critical moment, and finds its way into the hands of the most unlikely person imaginable. There’s a benign wizard acting as mentor and guide, there’s an evil wizard spreading darkness over the land, with the help of some evil minions, and there’s a collection of good guys uniting to defeat evil. You might think you’ve read something with a plot not a million miles from this one ...more
Dave Wagner
Jul 17, 2013 Dave Wagner rated it it was amazing
The Riddler's Gift by Greg Hamerton is the most enjoyable fantasy book I've read in the past year.

The Riddler's Gift has many character types and fantasy tropes that one would expect from a (shall we say) "traditional" fantasy tale. A council of wizards, an "apprentice" over her head and swept up in an adventure, a noble master-swordsman, a wandering sage, an evil Lord and his unstable, cruel henchman, bent on world dominion, a magical trinket, and impending doom. Nothing too original here - so
Aug 14, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed on Otherwhere Gazette

If you’ve grown up around the Batman mythos, you’re no doubt used to thinking of The Riddler as a man in a green suit with purple question marks on it, who has a strange compulsion to give Batman clues about his crimes. Author Greg Hamerton offers up another Riddler, this one a person whose motives are unclear until late in the book, which he calls The Riddler’s Gift.

The story he weaves around Tabitha, a prospective wizard who doesn’t realize it, and the
Carrie Kilgore
Sep 17, 2013 Carrie Kilgore rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy of 600+ pages (for those who tire at 300 pages, beware!). Personally, I loved the length, which gives the reader a chance to become immersed in the well-crafted world. Our heroine is a young woman with yearnings suited to her station in life; all too suddenly she is plunged into a nightmare and thereafter is kept off-balance as she struggles to cope with things larger than she ever imagined. The writing is good (almost no copy editing mistakes!), the characters ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Benjamin rated it did not like it
Quit 3/4 of the way through. Shallow storyline, not depth to the characters. Even when a character showed promise to have some depth and make me care about him, the author failed. Its extremley rare for me to low rate a book, just look at my ratings for other books, but this one definitely deserves it. No depth, no characters to care about, and constant feeling of stop this part and lets get on to what happens next.
Jul 26, 2012 Eero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, free-ebook
I am vacillating between 3 and 4 stars. This was a very readable fantasy, even though it started with a long exposition which might not have been necessary. Perhaps it would have been better to start with the characters and then fill in the background in smaller doses.

Also I was sort of hoping it would turn out to be a sort of Clarke's Law type of thing, but it didn't go there, although the magic had a bit of a "scientific" flavour. Maybe that wouldn't have worked anyway. The characters could ha
Tom Coakley
Apr 03, 2012 Tom Coakley rated it really liked it
The author is so word heavy and slow in development that I almost quit the book around 150 pages in. Around 300 pages in I knew I would finish, but figured I would slam it a bit in review. I am so glad I stuck it out as this was a really great concept. The plot is actually a plot within a plot, very creative and thought out.

I do recommend the book, but it really should have been about 150 pages shorter than it is. Rather than just say something lasts a long time the author will actually describ
Mar 08, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it
This one starts slowly but don't give up, it is an adventure. If you enjoy fantasy, wizards, kings and such you will enjoy this book (it is lengthy though). I enjoyed it and am now reading the second book in the series.
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The Free Book Cha...: The Riddler's Gift, by Greg Hamerton 2 16 Nov 08, 2012 06:47PM  
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I'm an outdoor enthusiast and have been an active paraglider pilot since 1992. I find it essential to get away from the office on the weekends, and you can't get much farther away than high above the ground, looking down at the mountain peak beneath your toes.

My primary school was artistic. We made up stories. We painted things. We acted out Norse Mythology. It was great, and it's probably the rea
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Other Books in the Series

Tales of the Lifesong (2 books)
  • Second Sight (Tales of the Lifesong, #2)

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