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Karavans (Karavans #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  751 ratings  ·  56 reviews

Audrun and her husband Davyd, along with the others of the land of Sancorra, have been left homeless because of the brutal Hecari. Consulting diviners, they learn that their newest child must be born in the peaceful province of Atalanda. They must now travel close to the sinister woodlands of Alisanos, where darkness awaits. Joining a karavan for safet
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by DAW (first published 2006)
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Aaaand we're back to The Stupid.

This book is extremely slow with no payoff. Densely detailed without any depth and crammed full of characters who take several chapters to sort out from one another only to discover the five-or-six "main" characters all have their own storyline you have to follow even though none of the characters have more than one dimension or are at all interestingly drawn. Most of the people who inhabit this book are painfully dumb. There is not one example of critical thinkin
As a long-time fan and re-reader of both the Tiger&Del series and the Cheysuli books, I had pretty high expectations of the new Karavans series. As such, it took me a long time to get into this book. It is very, very different- and it forced me to let go of any preconceived notions or expectations, and take this book on it's own merits.

Rather than focusing on a character or two, it has a huge ensemble cast of characters, none of whom are given their own limelight to really grow and flourish
The concept of the 'Black Forest' is an old one. Oh, don't go there, people who go in don't come out. The woods are haunted. It eats foolish boys and girls who stray to close. There are monsters there. All of the above are true of Alisanos, the nightmare forest in Karavans.

But what happens when the forest can move?

Worse yet - what if it were alive insofar as having intellect and intent?

Alisanos is a place that eats people and spits out monsters. Those who go into the Deepwood do not come back hu
Brenda ╰☆╮
Okay, I loved this book right from the beginning.
Jennifer Roberson is wonderful inventor...of characters....of worlds...of magic.
Any book that transports me to that world, is a good book. By the end of this first, in a series, I felt, even the weather, as if I was there.

She reveals only as much as you need to know, as if you are another character who does not have 100% of the information.
I love that it keeps you wondering and sometimes thinking you know.

Ha...yes we are still learning about the c
Coloring perfectly within the lines should be rewarded.

Jennifer Roberson isn't attempting to paint a masterpiece with "Karavans." The first of a four-volume series, of which three have been published, "Karavans" isn't huge-scale epic fantasy. But in writing a character-driven, compelling, mostly small-scale story, it's hard to see how she could have done better. Hence, a bump up to four stars.

"Karavans" has a good premise and takes a fairly simple but interesting story and makes us care. Nothing
I found the Shoia/Dioscura thing interesting--that's most of what kept me going through this, feeling that there was something else going on there--though it was kind of frustrating how most of the book consisted of waiting for things to happen, & the ending was sort of a cliffhanger. I'll try the second book to see if the story speeds up.
I quite like Jennifer Roberson, however I was actually unable to finish this book. I felt as though the story was dragging and just couldn't get into it. However being hat she is an author I usually enjoy I might give it another chance.
J L's Bibliomania
When I was a teen, I read and re-read the stories of the Chesuli and Tiger and Del. So, I was happy to discover Jennifer Roberson had released a trilogy that I'd not read.

Switching between multiple viewpoints in quick succession, at times the Karavans feels like this book exists just to set the stage for the later volumes in the trilogy. Much of Karavans is spent waiting for the metaphorical shoe to drop, for the named and personified area of "other" called Alisanos to start to start walking. I
Kaycee Looney
This was a really good read. Entertaining, well-paced and beautifully written.
It may have taken me forever to read this but that wasn't because it was bad it was because it was just a slow read for me, but was still good. But I won't deny that it wasn't perfect by any means I can find flaws. Some of those are flaws in the timeline and it can be alittle conviluted ad broken at parts like your missing a partof the story. But there are a lot of positives to this story,while it can feel like your missing part of the story this isn't really such a bad thing 99% of the time it ...more
I wish there was a way to rate this between 3 and 4 stars. It didn't quite reach 4 stars for me because I've listed some real faves as much but it didn't feel quite as low as just 3 starts... arg!

I did like this and it was quick, fun sort of read. I liked a lot of the characters, most especially the Shoia cousins Rhuan and Brodhi, but also side characters the Bethid and Ilona.

Spoilers may follow below, but I'll try not to give too much away...

I'm very intrigued by the dioscuri and want to know
After re-reading Sword-Dancer and thoroughly enjoying it, I picked up Karavans hoping for more good writing. I didn't find it. One of my criticisms of Sword-Dancer is that there's almost too much action, packed too close together. Karavans has exactly the opposite problem. I turned pages in a desultory sort of way, waiting for the plot to show up, and when I hit page 178, with still no plot in sight, I gave up. The foreshadowing concerning the baby, the Shoia, the mystery surrounding the demons ...more
lynne naranek
Aug 11, 2007 lynne naranek rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of good fantasy
Shelves: 2007
about 1/3 of the way through. an absorbing read. more once i've finished with it.


okay, read it through. Yikes, this is a SCARY tale! Seriously, it had me on the edge of my seat imagining what was going on, especially in the last few chapters what with the moving of Alisanos and all..

Story-wise, we are given only tantalizing hints of who, or what, the Shoia really are; little bits here and there indicating they consort with the demons of Alisanos, they are somehow connected to that deepwood,
As a lot of fantasy novels that are the first book in a new series, there is a lot of world building that goes on. Jennifer Roberson gives us rich detail and alot of character development in this first novel; often to a fault. With so much of the focus on character, the plot is sacrificed. Not much happens in this book. But the exciting conclusion sets up exciting things for the sequel. Be that as it may, I was still complaining "Why didn't this stuff happen 200 pages ago" all the way through th ...more
This book is really well done. I love how she writes - gets right to the point and I respect that. This book is very easy for me to get into because I can attach onto the charactures and story easily. This is much like a mature version of The Enchanted Forrest Chronicles. That meaning, those books are YA and appropiatly so, and these are a bit more The Lord of the Rings/Enchanted Forrest/differant sort of mythology and I love storylines like that. These books also aren't cheesy sci-fi to where ' ...more
The writing was good, but I didn't really get interested in it, despite reading half of it. And I see that the series isn't even finished anyway and may never be.
I finished this book after maxing out my library's renewals. There's a varied cast of characters, none terribly interesting or multi-dimensional; attempts at worldbuilding that never really worked for me (I never really got the feel of the wagon lifestyle, never mind more sweeping aspects of the world); and little gasps of emotion and drama that annoyed me more than anything else.

Its virtue (and the reason why I did bother finishing it) is that it was written just well enough to be readable, but
I liked this book. I would give it 5 stars except the ending was very abrupt like an after thought. Turns out, the second book picked right up at that point. But I believe books should be self contained and not have endings that are setups for part 2. Having said that, Karavans was an interesting and engaging read for me. Ms Roberson really created a believable world that was different enough to keep the imagination going and familiar enough to be comfortable. "There is an immediate or local vil ...more
Made it 50% of the way through. Some ideas were interesting and the writing was smooth enough, but the plotting was excruciatingly slow. Felt like the author was just filling space. I'm sorry I couldn't finish it, but I read to be entertained.
Interesting concept. Not well executed.
Lindsay Scott
I'm going to have to refresh my memory on this book, as I still need to read the final in the trilogy, but I remember being amazed at how much I loved this. I tried Roberson's Cheysuli books first and couldn't make it past the first hundred pages or so, but this one caught my attention very quickly and kept it. Interesting characters, a good plot, and brilliant worldbuilding. Definitely one I want to reread soon.
Once you let go of the ideas of her previous works, you quickly find yourself immersed in the Jennifer Roberson's new world. It's a wonderfully written story that draws you deeply because it immediately has you asking the "who", "what", "where", "when", "why" questions but the answers don't come when expected (ie: at the beginning), instead coming only as the story wants them to. Highly recommended.
Lucy Weston
Somewhat slow at the start, I found myself skipping through the first few chapters trying to establish a connection with the characters.
But towards the end of the book I was feeling immersed by the story and was becoming quite fond of a few of the lead characters...
Now I will have to read the rest of the series to find out what happens next!
Fantasy, but not the same worlds you tend to see over and over. As is usual with this author, the world is fully realized and so easy to picture it is almost like having snapshots. The characters are intriguing, though at first difficult to keep straight. There are still questions about the characters at the end of the book, leaving room for development in the sequel. Can't wait to read the next one!
Aug 26, 2009 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: saw it on the library shelf
While it takes some time to get fully into, once I got to the end I found that I *really* want to start the next one NOW!
It took some time for her to explain what some of the terms meant (I kept hoping for a glossary or something @ the back) but once she explained it I understood why she had to wait. To know any earlier would have given away too much.
I enjoyed the book. It was mysterious enough that I wanted it to continue. Nothing much was resolved at the end. You are left wanting to know more about the characters and to see more action. I want to read the next book so it left me wanting more which is good. I would have liked to see more action and pacing.
This really took me awhile to get into. It's told from several points of view and in the begining it was a little overwhelming trying to keep them all strait. I stuck with it though and I'm glad I had book two to jump into. I do think that these books could easily have been combined into one novel.
I enjoyed the story and the unique protagonists: a pregnant woman, her family, and other people who are drawn into their circle. My only complaint is that the story tended to move slowly at times--the book could have been a little more concise. Onto the next one!
Very well written, I thought... slow, measured pacing... convincing characters and a heck of a cliffhanger at the end of the book. I think the sequel is available in hardcover at the moment... I'm not sure if I'm invested enough in the universe to pick it up, though.
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Jennifer Mitchell Roberson O'Green is an author of fantasy and historical literature. Roberson has lived in Arizona since 1957. She grew up in Phoenix, but in 1999 relocated to Flagstaff. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northern Arizona University. Roberson had spent her final semester in England at the University of London. This enabled her to do indepth research at castles ...more
More about Jennifer Roberson...

Other Books in the Series

Karavans (3 books)
  • Deepwood (Karavans, #2)
  • The Wild Road (Karavans, #3)
Sword-Dancer (Tiger and Del, #1) Sword-Singer (Tiger and Del, #2) Shapechangers (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #1) Sword-Breaker (Tiger and Del, #4) Out of Avalon

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