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Farlander (Heart of the World #1)

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,396 Ratings  ·  129 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 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
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 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
Jan 16, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 foll ...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,
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.
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
Leo Knight
Aug 05, 2014 Leo Knight rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
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 a ...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
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
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
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
Guy Haley
Nov 26, 2015 Guy Haley rated it liked it
Aged assassin takes on an apprentice and his toughest job yet.

Maps. Sometimes it’d be best if they just let us imagine it. Many fantasy maps are geographically unbelievable horrors, poorly adapted from our own world, that undermine the carefully produced word-portrait the author strives for. Farlander suffers from this.

Further to this point: language. Middle-earth grew from Tolkien’s linguistic play, lending it a solidity few others have managed. Farlander co-opts real names and history from all
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
Nov 05, 2014 Gabrielle rated it liked it
So this is one of those books I just happened upon and decided, "Why not?" It does not reach the top tiers by getting five stars. Unfortunately, there were times where I was checking how many pages there were until the end of a chapter or the book. For me, that means my mind is wandering and I am considering returning to my musicology homework. I like books that grab you and keep you engaged, hanging on every word, even the seemingly unimportant articles. This was not one of those.

While it was n
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
Ilaria Tomasini
Si legge piacevolmente, l'ambientazione e i personaggi non sono male, eppure manca qualcosa. Forse perch non si capisce bene che sia il vero protagonista: dovrebbe essere Ash, ma spesso viene lasciato in disparte nella storia e comunque le sue condizioni di salute lo fanno sembrare il classico "maestro che istruisce l'allievo e poi muore", per il 90% del libro sembra che sia Nico, ma alla fine si capisce che ovvio che non pu essere lui, etc etc.
E poi ci sono molti approfondimenti su personaggi
Jun 30, 2015 Bakerstreet rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2014 Kathy rated it it was amazing
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
Nore Em Dine
Jan 24, 2016 Nore Em Dine rated it did not like it
well, to sum it up, this story is astonishing in every meaning the word got. and for me this word is relating to the word "disapointing". while i was thinking that i was so lucky that i found a story that i really like, and i will be thrilled to read the next book. i suddenly get hit by the fact that the actual hero "Roco" is going to die in the end of the book. this was a surprise for me becuase when i like a character in a book, i really don't expect him to die in the beginning of the big stor ...more
Reading the reviews, it looks like people's reaction to this is like a moderate version of marmite; either they really like it, or really dislike it, but not as strong as loving it or hating it.

I for one really enjoyed this. It works as a great introduction to the world the series is set up, introduces a lot of interesting characters, and kept me hooked as I got more deeply attached to them, especially Ash and Nico.

Ash is essentially an assassin, who works for a group that perform vendettas when
Jan 31, 2014 Lloyd rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 25, 2015 Sognatore rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Non mi ha catturato particolarmente, la lettura è sempre rimasta abbastanza superficiale. Lo stile di scrittura è buono, scorrevole, ma la trama non è particolarmente articolata, abbastanza lineare anche se non noiosa, e questo non è compensato né dall'ambientazione né dai personaggi. Inoltre ci sono due trame, quella degli assassini e quella dell'assedio, ma la seconda è praticamente inutile in questo primo libro, spezza il ritmo della storia senza portarla avanti o avere un suo perché. I due p ...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 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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