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Farlander (Heart of the World #1)

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  1,472 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The Heart of the World is a land in strife.

For fifty 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.

Ash is a member of an elite group of assassins, the Roshun, who of
Hardcover, First US Edition, 388 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Tor (first published 2010)
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Jason ON No, not really. It's a a heavy or deep read, either, so may be appropriate for younger readers.
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 14, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jul 24, 2010 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-books, read-2011
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
Jan 16, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2011 Stefan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jul 21, 2010 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2010-reads

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.
Neal Asher
Feb 24, 2012 Neal Asher rated it really liked it
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
J. Else
Jul 15, 2011 J. Else rated it did not like it
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 ...more
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,
Leo Knight
Jul 20, 2016 Leo Knight rated it did not like it
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
Nov 18, 2010 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Matthew Doucette
Dec 20, 2012 Matthew Doucette rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Jacqie rated it liked it
Shelves: didnt-finish
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
Dec 29, 2012 Dmitry rated it it was ok
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
Not bad but it just somehow didn't satisfy. A world in strife with names that sound like this one and then names that don't and I just had moments where I wanted him to call a smeerp a rabbit or a rabbit a smeerp but be consistent and just do it. This is a bit of a pet peeve and tends to break my suspension of disbelief.

The world is being overrun by the Holy Empire of Mann, which appears to be a religion of excesses and believe in control. It's a story of a farlander called Ash and his apprentic
Nov 27, 2016 Justin rated it really liked it
I'm more than a little picky when it comes to fantasy fiction. I used to read everything, but discovering George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series has pretty much ruined me for the average fantasy series. I still enjoy the genre enough to keep an eye out for promising new fantasy series, which is why I gave Farlander, the debut novel by Col Buchanan a try.

There are a few different storylines going on in Farlander. The main story focuses on Nico, a young man living on the streets until a
Jan 30, 2015 Ivy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

(Note: 2 star rating is actually 1.5)- This book took me a very long, long time to slog through.
Largely due to lopsided writing which pulled me in with the world building and disappointed me with the paper cut out characters.
The author seemed to be aiming for an 'epic' feeling, with machiavellian "grand plans at work" feeling as the back drop, but couldn't quite figure out how to plan "threads" to ravel or tighten so instead it was more of a knot than a plot.
There was inconsistency in the 'telli
Mark Vandervinne
Apr 06, 2012 Mark Vandervinne rated it it was ok
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.
Feb 15, 2014 Freelfe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2015 Jasper rated it really liked it
originally posted at:

Farlander like many books has been on my radar for a long time. I know this book was published somewhere way back in 2010 in the UK, with the release of the third book in the series, The Black Dream, Tor is re-issuing the first two books: Farlander and Stands a Shadow in brand new covers. And allowing me the perfect time to catch up with them!

The story of Farlander might sound familiar to many fantasy readers who have read Epic Fanta
Ranting Dragon
Feb 14, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephan

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
Sep 10, 2010 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason ON
Sep 30, 2016 Jason ON rated it liked it
Just finished this book. I originally picked it up due to all the referrals on the cover: Glen Cook, David Drake, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., etc. It was supposed to be a great book but I just couldn't figure out why. The characters were bland at best. The title character, the Farlander, is not the main POV character, which would be fine if the main POV character, Nico, was interesting at all. Sure, he starts out interesting but quickly falls into boring. In fact, most of the book was boring.

Maybe it's
Mar 09, 2011 sabisteb rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jesse Whitehead
Jun 27, 2012 Jesse Whitehead rated it liked it
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
Mar 17, 2012 Kahlan rated it liked it
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 ...more
May 27, 2016 Shieldmaiden rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2015 Chaos012 rated it it was ok
If there is one word to describe Farlander it would be Bland.

This book about a guild of warriors called the Roshun who, for a fee, agree to avenge their clients. They are given special seals that if someone should kill them they react to there clients deaths. Letting the Roshun know and avenge them.

While billed as "assassins," they aren't really, since they only exact retribution for deaths that might happen, rather than accepting general contracts to kill. When I read that part I thought, Isn
Radi Radev
Dec 03, 2014 Radi Radev rated it it was amazing

В тази книга авторът е създал екстравагантен и автентичен свят. Понякога героите се придвижват с дирижабли и водят сражения в облаците, които напомнят на старовремските пиратски битки с оръдия и гюлета. По-голямата част от фауната и флората носят странни, но донякъде познати названия измислени от Кол Бюканън. Това се отнася за игрите, с които се забавляват героите в романа, а също и за дните на седмицата. Всичко е достоверно, защото описанията са неподражаеми и красиви:
"Младият му глас бе сух ше
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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 about Col Buchanan...

Other Books in the Series

Heart of the World (3 books)
  • Stands a Shadow (The Heart of the World, #2)
  • The Black Dream (Heart of the World #3)

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