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Banewreaker (The Sundering #1)

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3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  3,313 ratings  ·  205 reviews
"Once the Seven Shapers dwelled in accord. First-born among them was Haomane, Lord-of-Thought - and with his six sibling gods, they Shaped the world to their will. But Haomane was displeased, for he thought that his younger brother, Satoris, was too prideful (and too generous) in his gifts to the race of Men." "Satoris refused to bow to Haomane, and so began the Shapers' W ...more
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Pandem Buckner
Mar 18, 2008 Pandem Buckner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody with a pulse
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
(The date above applies to my most recent reading.)

If you're looking for epic battles, mighty and mysterious powers clashing in a fierce battle for survival, this book is a great place to look for that.

If you're looking for a battle with clear-cut, cleanly defined sides of good and evil. . .walk away. Run away. Fast.

This book and its companion, Godslayer, are the absolute greyest books I've ever read, by which I mean that the characters do not fall into such simple categories as merely "good" an
...more
seak
Another old review from the blog:

Just finished Banewreaker the other night. I honestly didn't think I'd like it this much. The characters are just great and everything's a nice shade of grey. It's really hard not seeing the struggle from both perspectives and thinking, well I don't know who to root for.

Thanks Ms. Carey for a fun read, on to Godslayer.

Full Review Here

When I heard that this book was basically The Lord of the Rings told from the perspective of the losing side, I had to check it o
...more
Jillian Benavidez
Sep 16, 2007 Jillian Benavidez rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy
I picked up this book because I enjoy the author - Jacqueline Carey - and her other series, Kushiel's Dart. She is an extremely talented author and I have not yet read a book by her that has not been wonderful.

This book, of course, is no exception and has not failed the high standards I set when reading Carey for the first time. As far as I am concerned, she is one of the very best fantasy writers. In this book, she has embraced the all-too standard fantasy setting of heroes, magic, dragons, and
...more
kaśyap
A high fantasy novel but an epic tragedy rather than a heroic epic. This is closely based on the events in Tolkien's Silmarillion and the lord of the rings. But simply describing it as the lord of the rings told from Sauron's point of view would be doing it injustice. All the similarities are only superficial as the characters and the emotionally powerful prose add a lot of interesting nuances to the story.
Like in her previous books themes of passion and sexuality play an important part in the
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Becky Koski
The Sundering is basically Jacqueline Carey's retelling of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but from the perspective of what we think of as "the bad guys". It's beautifully written with language that is reminiscent of Tolkien, but without being nearly as long-winded when it comes to descriptions of basic fantasy elements (race, class, politics, etc). Both this book and the sequel (Godslayer) do a marvelous job of blending shades of grey. The characters that should be "evil" are actually very likea ...more
Capella
Reasons I disliked this book:
1. Flagrant ripoff of LOTR plot, themes, and characters. I can appreciate some similarities but it got ridiculous when the Galdalf character was momentarily removed from the plot while trying to save the unsuspected small hero from detection and death (with the obvious implication that he would be back soon). A couple other ones:
- Deity organization of an overarching god (Uru-Alat from Carey and Iluvatar from Tolkien), who made a family circle of under gods (Shapers
...more
Tessa
oh my, it has been a long time since I read something so overwhelmingly pretentious.
Other people have mentioned in their reviews that this was a pastiche of the Lord of the Rings, it's not, it's more like the very old fantasy novels, the ones Tolkien had pretty much stamped out. For a reason.
The very first fantasy novel in print was not the lord of the rings, it was "The Well at the World's End" by William (Wallpaper) Morris from 1896. And his prose was like his wallpaper overwrought and heavy,
...more
Paul
I have to admit that I have (provisionally) decided to put this book down (after reading perhaps 20%, because it is simply too boring.

I can understand that it is a deliberate pastiche of Lord of the Rings, and similar fantasy works, told from the point-of-view of the "evil" characters. However, it simply doesn't have the quality of Jacqueline Carey's other works.

My strong suspicion is that this was her first attempt at writing a novel, which was rejected by publishers, and then picked up again a
...more
Cristy
This is probaly one of the most exciting books I have ever read. I usually skip alot of the descriptive parts, but not this book. I literally read every single word. I could not put this book down. I carried it with me everywhere. It's a highly addictive read if you like paranormal/fantasy. This book, which is book one, is appropriate for teens. There was no sex in this book.
It begins with the way the world came into extistence, followed by shapers who gave the earth and its children, gifts suc
...more
Bronwyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Davytron
This is an awesome twist on typical fantasy fare. I've waited so long to read a novel like this one - I often sympathize with or at least wonder what's going through the minds of "villains" and this book satisfies that curiosity. Now I don't feel so weird wondering why it's "good" to just slaughter millions of orcs just because they are the protagonists' enemies. The scope of this novel is huge (i.e. from creation to the sundering to the present day to the future/perhaps the end of all things); ...more
Christina
i wish i could give this book no stars. i love love LOVE the Kushiel books. Phedre has got to be one of the most amazing female characters in all of literature. The Naamah books didn't click for me in the same way, but i still read them. This book... I couldnt finish it. I could barely start it. Its so overwritten that i wondered if it had the same author. There's so much backstory, its nearly impossible to troll through it to get to the actual plot.

I may decide to try it out again in the future
...more
Obaid Haroon
Great book. She aimed for Tolkienesque and she got it. Amazing characters and storyline. But that's par for the course with JC.

No not that JC the other one.

The Three were amazing and I really really hated the "good" guys. Aracus, Malthus, Ingolin to name a few. Blaise was alright. But he's no Blacksword.

Can't wait to read the next one. And I'll tell you I'll never be able to watch Lord of the Rings again without thinking "Have you tried listening to what Sauron has to say?"
Adriel
Jun 12, 2007 Adriel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to subvert lord of the rings
Shelves: fantasy
This book is not my usual kind of favorite, but I think the author does a brilliant job of telling a story from an unusual perpective. Of course this story is the quintissential lord of the rings group adventure story, but the perspective is from the dark side. She gives this classic epic a great deal of depth and complexity. I love the second one too.
K. Bird
Banewreaker is pure, unadulterated, Epic Fantasy. If you like Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Fionavar, The Belgarion, George RR Martin, etc, you will like this series.

I haven't been an Epic Fantasy fan since junior high. Somehow, after reading the aforementioned take on elves and orcs and dragons, the usual "quest for the magical object" and "politics of race" lack luster; it's all been said before.

And yet...Banewreaker manages to slog around in a swamp of cliches and archetypes and st
...more
Denise
I love and miss Robert Jordan and he recommended reading Jacqueline Carey. I read Banewreaker and Godslayer together and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Seven shapers formed the world, Urulat, named after the world god Uru-alat whose death gave birth to it. Haomane, the Lord-of-Thought was the first born and his children, the Ellylon were shaped "before the final throes of Uru-alat's death and time touched them not... {he} wrought his children of pure thought." Second born Arahila the Fair, Born-of-the
...more
Wise_owl
This book is fantastically interesting, and continues my love affair with the work of Jacqueline Carey. I short, it's a typical 'Epic Fantasy' but told from the perspective of the 'bad guys'. It's Tolkien influence is deeply felt, but here we get a work were the Monstrous creatures of the 'Dark Lord' have feelings, intentions, and a reason for what they do. Where the Dark Lord Himself is less 'bent on controlling the world' and more sees himself as a figure for freedom from his over-bearing 'bro ...more
jD
Honestly, the story was 4 almost 5 stars but because Ms. Carey did not bother to provide an explanation of her strange terminology, I had to go with three. I have googled and binged trying to find out what a "rhios" is and there is no definition anywhere.

I was able to follow the story as long as I did not try to visualize anything beyond dragons, trees, weres, elves, trolls, and rivers. Everything else she went out of her way to make it complicated. She needed to provide two things that would ha
...more
Krystal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Collins
I found this story slow to start, but once I got in a few chapters it picked up and I looked forward to coming home from work to read.

This review may have spoilers for you. Proceed with caution..,

I've read some reviews that said this story was like Lord of Rings from the point of view of the bad guys. Well, I don't know about that as I have no interest in LOTR, but it was a very good story with dragons, sorceresses and sorcerers, gods and immortals, races of men and other creatures shaped by Go
...more
Ron
Feb 16, 2015 Ron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy good developped characters, people who like to think about what they are reading.
Some books hook you from the very first sentence. Other books fail to capture you at all.

And then, there are books like Banewreaker: tales what will coax you subtly, irrevocably, word by word, without you realizing it, until you cannot stop poring over its pages.

I started reading this series because I found an interesting comment by George R.R. Martin in his own website: he said that it was a good read, that it told the story of the Lord of the Rings from the point of view of Sauron's minions.
...more
Jennifer
Classic fantasy and rather derivative, but very strong characters. I really enjoyed that it is written from the point of view of the villain, so to speak. I rated the first book higher because the end (meaning the end of the 2nd book) was not... well, it ended badly for the side I was rooting for. I guess in that sense maybe it maybe reads as more realist than fantasy books generally do.

As reviewed on Amazon, January 2006:
Actually, I thought it was quite different and very compelling
I just fini
...more
Margaret Sankey
Written as a thought experiment, this is essentially Lord of the rings as told from the other side. the Fjeltrolls are minding their own business, working for the living deity who protests them when the faux elves and rowdy, aggressive humans have to go fulfilling prophecies and stirring shit. This lampshaded some pretentious and irritating things about high fantasy (elven women are so beautiful even Orcs want them! Dragons speak with sssssssounds! Names that sound like aspirational gated commun ...more
Grace
Carey, author of the Kushiel series, takes on mythology. In this, the first of a series, a world was sundered years ago during the seven Shapers war. One shaper was left on the world while the others fled to an island. A prophecy that could bring an end to the world is now in the process of being fulfilled.[return][return]Carey does a good job of introducing the characters and storyline – this takes up most of the book. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Sikona
I try to give any book a solid 100 pages before putting it down and giving up. This book was a struggle. I almost didn't made it past the 20-30 page mark, and I found it took 150 pages to finally enjoy it.

The concept of this book is great; a war told from both sides, with no clear cues as to where your sympathies should lie. You're faced with compassionate relatable "evil" characters with clear motives and dark pasts, and cold, distant "good" characters that are unyielding. However, because you
...more
Desiree
IT's actually a 2.5
I really wanted to like this book...the writing is good, the overall plot is interesting but man, the tone she chose to tell it just does not work for me. I see the echoes of what Carey will become in her future books, but she had not found her voice yet.
It is a chorus of voices telling their tale, intertwining and all connected one to another, even the smallest action has some repercussions on the other side of the weave that connects everything, but the very short snippets s
...more
Ginger
This one did NOTHING for me. I'd give it a 2.5 if I could. I'm not a fan of this kind of "epic fantasy" anyway and this one just felt...flat. I had a hard time sympathizing with any of the characters except for the Dreamwalker one. The General was the poster child for domestic violence thus killing any romantic potential. The woman they kidnapped was a shallow bitch. The Gods were sulky brats. The whole stupid but loyal stereotype, I now find offensive and insensitive. And then it was modeled on ...more
Jared
I don’t know if this is a spoiler to mention that the book is essentially a retelling of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but with the perspectives flipped. I’m sure everyone who has read the two series has come to a similar conclusion. In many ways, I found this an interesting angle for a book. After a very clunky prologue, the style became a lot more accessible. I really enjoyed the perspective on the Orcs. There was some legitimate conflict built up as you wondered how the author would reconcil ...more
Silvia
** Here is my complete review for the series, posted on the page for Godslayer **

Very conflicted about giving it four stars, will probably do it in the future.
The book is actually pretty amazing, but I struggled with the writing style until three quarters into the novel. It might just be that English is not my first language and it often takes me some time to get used to an author's style (never quite so long though). The rating is mostly due to that, the story itself could easily be a five. Lot
...more
Geoff
Where Terry Brook's "Sword of Shannara" read like an embarrassing echo of Tolkein, Carey is clearly doing what she is doing with deliberation: Haomane's children are the Elves, the Charred Ones the ignorant-yet-wise hobbits. Sartoris Third-Born is Morgoth, and more. Carey even echoes Tolkein's fascination with layered and complex histories weaving as they do into mythology until it is difficult to truly judge where one ends and the other begins.

I admire greatly Carey's goal. Take "The Lord of th
...more
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9237
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jacqueline Carey (born 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois) is an author and novelist, primarily of fantasy fiction.

She attended Lake Forest College, receiving B.A.'s in psychology and English literature. During college, she spent 6 months working in a bookstore as part of a wo
...more
More about Jacqueline Carey...

Other Books in the Series

The Sundering (2 books)
  • Godslayer (The Sundering, #2)
Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1) Kushiel's Chosen (Phèdre's Trilogy, #2) Kushiel's Avatar (Phèdre's Trilogy #3) Kushiel's Scion (Imriel's Trilogy, #1) Kushiel's Justice (Imriel's Trilogy, #2)

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