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The White Tribunal

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In a land pockmarked with the grim relics of a long-ago war live a people consumed by the fear of magic. Those suspected of sorcery die at the hands of the infamous White Tribunal. And death and terror will reign until a young man pawns his soul for the temporary power to destroy his murdered father's false accusers.

Now, disguised as a foreigner and with his time measured
Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 3rd 1998 by Bantam USA (first published 1997)
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Standard formula for Paula Volsky books: 1) Choose a major historical event, 2) Change the name of the country that event occurred in to something vaguely fantasy-sounding, 3) insert one each of two dimensional major female and male characters, 4) add some sort of "deity" or quasi-mystical sorcery of some sort so she can say she's written something original.

That was the way the first few books went and while they were readable, they weren't anything worth looking at twice. This book is different
Emily Snyder
The first time around, all I wanted was another "Illusion." This is Volsky's version of "The Count of Monte Christo," and once one embraces that, this book proves to be a gripping, terrifying, and mind-boggling read. The beginning is a little slow, but give it time: it's all fascinating and very bittersweet if satisfying. More, Ms. Volsky! More!
A deliciously fun and quick read, which happily reminded me of that same author's book ILLUSION, which my friend Merren made me read some time ago. This one is not about a revolution, but tells a story of the White Tribunal which exactly matches our own history's Inquisition. Instead of heretics, this Tribunal "Disinfects" supposed sorcerers. Like any type of witch hunt, most of the Disinfected folk are innocent. Certain parts of it had me quite angry, knowing such occurrences exist over and ove ...more
The sources which inspired Volsky are pretty obvious. Volsky is not a bad writer, and her sources of inspiration interest me, so I actually enjoyed the book despite its predictability.
This novel is more or less a revenge story, in a context that is essentially the Spanish Inquisition and witchcraft trials transplanted to a fantasy setting resembling Renaissance Germany (sans Protestant Reformation). It's all pretty straightforward. I feel that Volsky missed some opportunities for a deeper exploration of the nature of retribution, vengeance versus justice, and how much benefit the wronged party can truly get from any of them. I liked her novel The Grand Ellipse better.
In a single torturous chapter, young nobleman Tradain liMarchborg loses his family, wealth and freedom. He is sentenced to a lifetime in a hellish prison. By chance, he escapes after growing up in the prison, and devotes the remainder of his life to revenge. This was a gripping book, but Tradain’s methods of vengeance are ridiculously intricate and convoluted.
If you like Volsky's style, this should work for you. It been so long I don't remember many of the salient details, but I remember reading all through the night to finish it.
This is a fabulous book which is a blending of The Crucible and Count of Monte Cristo, witch hunts and revenge combine to make this a can't-put-down read.
The first half of the book moved along nicely, if slowly. Then the end just sort of went 'thud' and lay there like a dead fish.
great book about revenge, and it not really making you feel that much better.
The White Tribunal (Bantam Spectra Book) by Paula Volsky (1997)
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Paula Volsky is an American fantasy author. Born in Fanwood, New Jersey, she majored in English literature at liberal arts college Vassar in New York State. At the University of Birmingham, England, she received an M.A. in Shakespearian studies. Before writing fantasy, she sold real estate and also worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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