Farlander (The Heart of the World, #1)
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Farlander (Heart of the World #1)

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,019 ratings  ·  102 reviews
The Heart of the World is a land in strife. For 50 years the Holy Empire of Mann, an empire and religion born from a nihilistic urban cult, has been conquering nation after nation. Their leader, Holy Matriarch Sasheen, ruthlessly maintains control through her Diplomats, priests trained as subtle predators.
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published March 5th 2010 by Tor Books (first published 2010)
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Mike (the Paladin)
I was surprise at how much I came to enjoy this book. It opens with an interesting scene that intros us to our protagonist, this world and the order in which our "Old Man" Protagonist exists.

We do then launch into a rather slow progression of viewpoints and stories that set up the story and then the book launches us out on it. We get a thumbnail sketch of the political, religious and geopolitical state of the world. We see rot here, hope there and hopelessness elsewhere. We also see the complete...more
Mark
This debut novel is another in a string of recent debuts. Like the others it is uneven, but there is enough charm for some readers to enjoy.

The setting is typical Fantasy fare. In a land known as The Heart of the World, The Mercian Free Ports are the last holdout from the Holy Empire of Mann. There, the besieged city of Bar-Khos protects the Free Ports from the masses of the Imperial Fourth Army along an isthmus through a series of walled defences. These are continually being knocked down in the...more
Stefan
The Holy Empire of Mann, ruled by the Holy Matriarch Sasheen, is slowly but surely conquering all the lands bordering the Mideres Sea. One of the last areas desperately holding out against the Empire’s onslaught is the island of Khos, and it's on this island that Nico, a teenager living with his mother and a succession of her boyfriends, decides to run away from home and create a better life for himself. But living on the streets turns out to be harder than he expected, especially when his first...more
Christopher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neal Asher
Having attempted to read a couple of fantasy books within the last few months, and having failed, I was beginning to wonder if I was going off fantasy. Those other books felt derivative, laughably serious about what to me seemed plain silly. Maybe I had lost that vital ability to ‘suspend disbelief’ with fantasy? However, reading Col Buchanan’s Farlander I realised that no, I wasn’t going off fantasy, I’d just gone off the stuff that failed to engage me. I would still be able to enjoy something...more
edifanob
Awesome!

For me, Farlander is definitely one of the best debuts in 2010! Exceptionally story telling, comprehensible and enjoyable characters and a story which puts assassins in a new perspective. It promises a lot for the future.

Read my full review.
J. Else
I picked up this book at the library because of the cool cover art. Great marketing there! From that point on, I really tried to read this book. I thought it had potential. The world was given depth and an array of characters but of whom, unfortunately, do not flesh out more than a superficial caricature. The characters are also uninteresting, and they’re all males! There is NO interesting female character in the first half of the book, and there are no other characters intriguing enough to foll...more
Jason
2 Stars

Unlike many other reviewers I found the beginning of this book to be fantastic. The first third was engaging and interesting. The middle third a bore, and finally the ending made the whole thing fall apart. The opening chapters gripped me and thrilled me with their exciting action sequences. The Farlander was someone that I wanted to get to know...

I liked the dark grity world building. Nico and the Farlander were competent protagonists that I did enjoy. A few colorful side kicks in Barach...more
Matthew Doucette
This book was pretty good. It is probably going to one of my favorites for a long time. The story takes place in the Heart of the World. Its a classic fantasy world. There is little magic. Im not sure if calling it magic is correct. Its more of unexplainable phenomenon that is just excepted by the characters. The good thing about it is that it isnt used all the time as a cop out to save people. "OH YOU DIED?!?!? HUZZAH!!! LIFE SPELL SUCKA!!!!" That really made me happy. The tools of this world a...more
Jacqie
I was just hoping for more.

I've been disappointed with my epic fantasy this year- I can't think of much that's really sucked me in, except for "Dragon's Path" by Daniel Abraham. Everything else has been okay but not great, bloated sequels that don't justify the amount of paper used to produce them, or unimaginative writing. Even Peter Beagle's newest short story collection failed to grab me, and that's unheard of.

So there was nothing really wrong with this book, but after 60 pages, instead of re...more
Mike
Farlander by Col Buchanan is yet another one of those titles. I’ve bitched about the publishing of fantasy in the US vs. UK frequently in the past and I’ll note again that Farlander is another title with a surplus of several months of lead time in the overseas market (March 2010 for the UK versus January 2011 from the US). That out of the way it should also be noted that the advent of Book Depository makes this less of an issue and the world is entirely a better place thanks to their presence in...more
Dmitry
While the plot of the book is interesting, it lacks both originality and oomph, either of which makes a book to be hard to put down. Too many events in the book are easily predictable and the action takes too long to gain momentum.

The somewhat hard to read language is further weighted down by side trails that lead to nowhere. Some of the scenes are there and appear to be important, but then are abandoned without any connection to the main plot. The author randomly starts going into too detailed...more
Kris
Nov 18, 2010 Kris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own-it
The Heart of the World (of which this is book one) looks much like the Mediterranean and surrounding areas, though without the long “boot” of Italy. It is an imagined world, though somewhat grounded in ours, with words and names similar enough to be familiar, but foreign enough to be new. The cultures, too, seem vaguely familiar, even to the point of monks who follow the Daoist Way.
But this is not the history of our earth, despite the similarities. In this world, there is a ruling cult, called...more
Leo Knight
It has been a long time since I haven't finished reading a novel. This one broke me.

At first I felt intrigued by the setting. Col Buchanan has created a world similar to Earth, centered on a Mediterranean-like sea. Technology seems set at Renaissance levels, with a few anachronisms like airships. Thus we have a world of swords and armor, cannon and castles, with a bit of mysticism. The sky has two moons. Most of the names are Earthly names (Isle of Skye, etc.) or close analogues.

The Farlander of...more
Freelfe
Malgré cette grosse déception, je tiens à remercier Babelio pour m'avoir envoyé ce livre, ainsi que les EditionsBragelonne pour l'avoir proposé à Masse Critique.

Résumé : Ash est un farlander, un « homme du lointain » venu d'une île où les hommes ont la peau noire. Il appartient à un ordre d'assassins d'élite, les Roshuns, dont l'arme est la vendetta : quiconque menace leurs clients devient leur cible. Nul ne s'y risque, car nul n'échappe aux Roshuns.
Mais Ash est vieux et malade. Le temps est ve...more
Kathy
I think everyone who is a fan of the YA genre should have a try at reading this book, or at least this type of book.

I am referring here to the kind of book that presents multiple situations, experiences of different characters , who by chance happen to interact with each other somehow. It gives us background information on who they are and how they can relate to other characters or to those with whom they meet.

The beginning is especially interesting, whereas the rest of the plot gets somewhat sl...more
Lloyd
1/4th the way = It is one of the best debuts I have read also.
I enjoy it's quick pace and well defined characters. It follows Ash, an older master Ninja/Jedi and his apprentice Nico who I really want him to become a master at the art too. It has me very involved in their world. It also follows a soldier, and of course a bad guy, the opposing side, who has lost his way in life's path.
Ok done, but now that I am I can not wait to get the next one. I very much enjoyed this although the ending was...more
Joe
Prologue. Great action, intrigue, and world building, so in short, I was hooked. even when the crazy old bald killer made the leader of the bad guys (assume) 'loosen his bowels', it was semi humorous, and I moved on

Chapter one. nothing 'happens' except a man that guards a wall and another guard 'loosened his bowels' in fear.

Chapter 2. Following a street urchin whose dog dies (not a spoiler, as it is said on the first page of the chapter) who later breaks into a room and his 'bowels loosen in fea...more
Ben
Farlander is a fantasy book set in an alternate world where a few free cities remain outside the grip of the Empire of Mann. The main character, Ash, is a Roshun. The Roshun are an outfit of assassins who seek vengeance for the untimely deaths of anyone who purchases an amulet from their order. Ash is getting old and is forced to take on an apprentice if he wishes to continue his work as a Roshun. As the story gets rolling, the heir to the Empire of Mann murders a patron of the Roshun and the or...more
SKCircles
Wikipedia nous dit que le buzz, anglicisme de « bourdonnement » d'insecte, est une technique marketing consistant à faire du bruit autour d'un événement, un nouveau produit ou une offre. Le moins que l'on puisse dire, c'est que les éditions Bragelonne ont, l’an dernier, fait le buzz autour de la sortie de ce roman. Col Buchanan était le nouveau prodige du moment, et Farlander un ouvrage digne des plus grands… Forcément, quand on est lecteur, ou lectrice en l’occurrence, l’anticipation générée pa...more
Ruth
c2010. It was a 3 star start, 2 star middle as finally the action mentioned in the blurb actually took place and then a 1 star for the ending! I have mentioned before that I dislike it when the PR department mentions something in the blurb that only happens well into the book - this one was the worst I have experienced in that the incident started to happen on Page 141 out of 388 - 42% of the book- ridiculous. This is not the authors fault but sadly does impact on my enjoyment and thus my rating...more
Ranting Dragon
http://www.rantingdragon.com/farlande...


After some recent deviations from my favorite genre, I was looking forward to finally reading another great and original epic fantasy. Col Buchanan’s debut Farlander, first in his Heart of the World series, was my novel of choice.

A familiar story…
This is a story of a famous and legendary veteran assassin who picks up an unlikely apprentice, a young boy from the streets of a huge city under siege by an even bigger empire. Sound familiar? If you haven’t read...more
Audel
Après avoir lu les extraits fournis avec Neverland par les éditions Bragelone, je n’ai eu qu’une hâte lire le roman dans son intégralité !
L’histoire commence in media res, aussi, faut-il un certain temps d’adaptation pour comprendre la situation et découvrir les personnages et leurs relations les uns par rapport aux autres.
On a tout de suite envie d’en apprendre plus sur ce mystérieux « guerrier » qu’est Ash et on est impatient de voir ce qu’il va ressortir de cette nouvelle équipe qu’il va form...more
Jesse Whitehead
I’ve thought a lot about originality lately. How original does something need to be to be enjoyed, or respected, or loved? I look at Eragon, Harry Potter, Avatar and even Star Wars and think that perhaps it’s not much. Do we, as a culture value originality too highly? Why do I love Star Wars but hate Eragon when they are basically the same story and Star Wars is far from the first to have done it, indeed, not even the first I encountered.

Perhaps originality is a myth anyway. Is it truly original...more
Mark Vandervinne
In some ways, this is a very good book, and deserves four stars. In others, not so much, and deserves only 2-3.

The Good:
An overall enjoyable read. I found the storyline interesting and while I did skim over some of the lengthy descriptions, as a whole I was interested in the tale being told. That's a good thing, and it is probably worth a read, because the book isn't bad and has a lot of potential for future books (which the next one has gotten better reviews).

I liked the characters as a whole....more
Liviu
I liked it a lot - it's a page turner and has lots of interesting stuff going on, but I was quite surprised by the way it went and I am a bit puzzled about its destination, so I need some time truly asses it - the sequel though became a big time asap, no question about it since I definitely want to see what happens next

While the setup (the blurb is ok'sih for it) seems standard and to start at least the villains are the ultra-cliched corrupt, debauched, orgy including killing humans barehanded,...more
FantasyWereld
Het keizerrijk Mann is onder leiding van de Heilige Matriarch Sasheen bezig met een veroveringstocht die zijn weerga niet kent. Rijk na rijk valt onder hun expansiedrift en slechts de eilandenconfederatie van Mercia en de handelsstad Bar-Khos met zijn machtige muren weten zich nog teweer te stellen. Temidden van deze grootschalige oorlog leeft op een voor buitenstaanders onbekende locatie een groep huurmoordenaars met hun eigen idealen. Wanneer de perverse zoon van de Heilige Matriarch op hun do...more
Fred Phillips
I finished “Farlander” with very mixed feelings on the book. While there are some masterful moments from Buchanan throughout the course of the story, the novel as a whole is very uneven. We’re given an intriguing opening in which we meet Ash, overcoming great obstacles, to fulfill a vendetta against a barbarian king. Immediately following that scene, we’re subjected to chapter after chapter of setup, back story and exposition that makes the book drag for a good long while. More than once, I cons...more
Vivianne
Fantasy very special.
The author manages to paint very well the atmosphere, conditions of oppression of a besieged city and the soul of a warrior - indeed a murderess for the professions of others sold - defeated by its own past and to say the least ... anafettivo at least until it has to be a student - which of course he will be devoted, but towards the end of the book - her name is Nico.
However I did not like certain things, such as killing, too hasty in my taste, the villain, then the writer i...more
sabisteb
Als der 16 Jahre alte Nico die wechselnden Liebhaber seiner Mutter Reese nicht mehr erträgt, setzt er sich in die nahegelegene Stadt ab. Diese Stadt jedoch wird seit vielen Jahren vom Heiligen Imperium von Mann belagert. Als er fast verhungert beschießt einen alten Mann zu berauben, nimmt sein Schicksal eine neue Wendung. Der so harmlos wirkende 62 Jahre alte Farbige namens Ash, ist Mitglied des geheimen Ordens der Roshun, ein Assasin und Kriegermönch. Ash erkennt Nikos Potential und rettet ihn...more
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Col Buchanan is an Irish writer who was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, in 1973. From an early age he turned to reading and writing fantastical works to escape his troubles. In school he was the quiet dreamer who always sought out the back of the classroom. Later, in his stretches of work as a copywriter, he would be the quiet dreamer who always sought out the back of the office.

Having strayed...more
More about Col Buchanan...
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