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Cephrael's Hand (A Pattern of Shadow & Light #1)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  1,110 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
"All things are composed of patterns..." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross: In Alorin three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three ...more
Paperback, 654 pages
Published September 22nd 2010 by Outskirts Press
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Brittany I would consider there to be romance between some of the characters in this series. A lot of love and not just the typical romantic kinds. Some…moreI would consider there to be romance between some of the characters in this series. A lot of love and not just the typical romantic kinds. Some characters form unbreakable bonds and have love for one another outside the romantic capacity as well. I binge read the first 3 books of the series so sometimes the line blurs from where one ends to the next's beginning but I'm pretty sure the romantic relationships become more developed after the first book of the series. When the romance gets going though, the characters are 100% invested in their love stories for sure! Even some steamy romance in there too ;)
Sorry I have not read the Sword of Truth series so I cannot compare it to that for you! Great series!!!(less)
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Donald Beaver
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Raina {The LUV'NV}

Find the full review on The LUV'NV blog, here.

I am inspired and yet don't know where to start. Rarely do I come across a book that fills me with such zeal and I'm convinced the whole world needs to read it. I can count four. After reading Cephrael's Hand—no, after reading Cephrael's Hand and The Dagger of Adendigaeth , the first two books of A Pattern of Shadow & Light series, I can count six. Shocking, since I'm rather picky about Epic Fantasy.

Melissa McPhail created a world unlike any ot
Mark Halse
Aug 12, 2016 Mark Halse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well if this wasn't a well written and entertaining epic fantasy story I just don't know what is. I've been reading a lot of indie fantasy books as of late and Cephreal's Hand is the crowning jewel of these.

Excellent world building, magic system, characters and story. This book is everything an epic fantasy book should be and well over 600 enjoyable pages!

There does seem to be way too many POV characters at times though and it can be a trifle overwhelming. There are three main POVs, six to nine
Apr 19, 2013 Ron rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, maps, ebook
Good world building and story telling, but I never really cared about the main characters. Too much detail about too many minor characters. Also too many modern American cliches--knocks the reader out of the classical mood of the story. Not to mention the many arched eye brows and bit lower lips.

map in ebook edition useless.
Brandon Lindsay
Apr 16, 2012 Brandon Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read quite a bit and normally I read several books at once. When I started reading Cephrael's Hand, however, I had to put everything else aside until I found out how it all wrapped up.

Cephrael's Hand is a big book that takes place in big world, but it isn't overwhelming like certain other fantasy doorstoppers. Each character is likable and interesting, and each plot thread is connected to all the others--and thus actually matters. There are no wasted words or filler scenes. Even though it is a
Mar 20, 2015 Brent rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book, and in the beginning, I really did. And I suppose, I liked it more than I disliked it. The story had so much potential in the beginning, but ultimately, it succumbed to too many "deus ex machina" moments. These moments seemed to be added simply to have an "action" sequence. Examples include sudden evil lords of cities intervening for reasons that didn't serve the plot. A little over half-way through, the main characters (whose story lines all came together, for the ...more
Sep 13, 2014 ♥♥Mari♥♥ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
(Reviewer's Note: I received a paperback copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is an incredibly detailed tapestry of characters and events, laid out in a book of truly epic proportions. The various plots are like strands of elae, McPhail's name for the magical energy underlying the universe in her novel, and a totally unique concept in the fantasy genre.

Like a wielder of this energy, McPhail weaves these plots together to create a multi-faceted, yet unifi
Dec 12, 2012 TheCosyDragon rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

I was upset that I was reading a ebook copy, as although I dutifully read the table at the beginning that detailed all of the characters and the various terms, I couldn't keep them all straight in my head when I started reading. Had this been a hard copy, I could have easily flicked back and forth. Nevertheless, the novel was very enjoyable - alt
Charline Ratcliff
Jul 07, 2014 Charline Ratcliff rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy reading a good fantasy and even though my “free” time is limited and this book is a whopping six hundred and thirty-four pages I decided to read it. Just to let you know, “Cephrael’s Hand” is the first in the “A Pattern of Shadow & Light” series. In other words don’t expect this book and its tale to finish together and don’t expect to read it in one sitting…

So, there are three major parts interwoven throughout “Cephrael’s Hand.” First is the realm of Alorin. Alorin, and its Ad
Nov 23, 2016 Slick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really not much for reviews but i felt like i ad to for this book..

Wow. One of the best reads of the year.

The story mainly focus's on Prince Ean returning home then embarking on his quest for vengeance against those who murdered is Friend/Brother, (Tedious) Trell of the Tides, who is adventuring all over trying to piece back together his forgotten past.

I honestly don't know where to start. This book has been sitting on my 'To Read' for ages,
i finally got around to reading it and suffered one
Katie Doyle
Jan 10, 2013 Katie Doyle rated it really liked it
Originally, I was going to do this review as an interview with one of the characters, but life got in the way and there is no way I have time to do so. Which leaves the basic type of review. It’s just as fun though, especially when talking about this book!

First, a warning. It’s long. It’s about 654 pages long. BUT – and this is key – you don’t know it. Here’s a scenario:

You’re sitting in your favorite spot, warm and cozy with your pajamas on and a book in your hand. You read. And you read. And r
Jasmine Woods
Dec 17, 2014 Jasmine Woods rated it did not like it
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for some promotion, which you can see over here --> http://sauteedpotatoesandonions.blogs... I couldn't actually finish the novel though. In the prologue the author mentions someone has dark blue eyes multiple times in TWO pages, which is a bit ridiculous. Then she quickly kills off someone who seems like they would have been a supporting character, probably to prove the book is, you know, gritty (bleaurgh....) or that the enemy are ruthless, but it ...more
Lukas Ott
Apr 26, 2012 Lukas Ott rated it it was amazing
Favorite book I've read. Hands down-no questions asked. The story is intricately woven and yet never boring, it is exciting and fast-paced and keeps you glued to the pages as. This book is written for anyone who loves a good read but if you find that you enjoy a carefully, intelligently written story this is a book for you!:)
Aug 19, 2011 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. That's all I can say.
Apr 27, 2011 Gin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great fantasy book! Can't wait for the next book to come out!
Nov 23, 2012 Goblin rated it it was amazing
Posted originally at: Once Upon A Book

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Hello all, and welcome to my review of Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail. This has to be a close first for me, as this book has most certainly earned 5 stars. Absolutely, without question it has to be one of the best fantasy books I have read.

McPhail’s work can be likened to the classic works of Tolkien, or Jordan an epic universe with fantastic detail and obvious thought
Melissa Haggerty
Aug 20, 2012 Melissa Haggerty rated it it was amazing
I enjoy reading so many kinds of books. Epic Fantasies usually only make up a small part of my reading. I don't venture into that genre often. Still I was very interested to read Cephrael's Hand when I was asked. I like to branch out, and the synopsis of this book is intriguing. I was not disappointed at all.

Melissa McPhail has a gorgeous writing style that flows easily. She easily told this story from many points of view without it becoming confusing to the reader. She did an amazing job of tyi
S.M. Blooding
May 16, 2013 S.M. Blooding rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
There were a lot of really GREAT things going on in this book! Seriously!

The setting, for me who absolutely LOVES setting, was spectacular!! I literally felt as though I’d been transported to this other world. There’s just so much political intrigue was in depth and fascinating. I love, love, loooooved the fact that it wasn’t written for easy reading. You really had to pay attention to what was going on in order to keep up with the happenings! There was so much lovely, lovely potential in this b
Linda Fast
Jun 11, 2012 Linda Fast rated it it was amazing
I received Cephrael's Hand for free through Goodreads First Reads and when the book arrived I was overwhelmed by the size of it. As I started to read, I thought to myself how am I ever going to get through this. I went back to the beginning of the book and reread the glossery of terms and the list of explanation of the people and where they fit in. I then continued to read and I still had my doubts and then the book seem to take a magical hold on my mind and I had to force myself to stop reading ...more
Teressa Morris
Nov 02, 2012 Teressa Morris rated it it was amazing
Cephrael's Hand is an epic fantasy of the highest order. I can't even imagine how long it took for Melissa McPhail to invent a language, a world and multiple races of people. She does it all masterfully, with description so vivid I could imagine myself in the opulent tents of the sun-drenched desert, or having high tea with the royal women at Calgaryn Palace.

The story lines of the three main characters interweave seamlessly as the story turns from kidnapping to dark magic to amnesia, betrayal an
Oct 01, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing
"May we meet again in the Returning"

This is one of the best books I've read in a while and I can't wait for the sequel! The characters are engaging and you find yourself rooting for them. The author does a fantastic job of character development as well. Her descriptions are vibrant and thankfully she doesn't take 5 pages to describe a tree or a flowing river (SO ANNOYING). This book kept me up at night, and that's a good thing. I'm anxious to find out what awaits Trell, Ean, and Tanis. Read this
Donna Parker
Jun 06, 2012 Donna Parker rated it really liked it
When I won this from The Goodreads First Read program and saw the size of it I admit, I was daunted. Then I started reading and was taken away to a fantastical land full of many interesting characters, places, and events. The journey is sweeping and not dumbed down, but don't let that intimidate you, it is worth learning all the names, places, etc. This does what great epic tomes do, take you away and make you like it. I can't wait for book two, I'm ready to go back.
Claire Luana
Aug 27, 2014 Claire Luana rated it it was amazing
Really loved this book. It was unique, and the different story threads were woven together very well. Fascinating magic system and some great characters!
Anthony Sementilli
May 06, 2012 Anthony Sementilli rated it it was amazing
Kristy (Book Frivolity)
Oct 10, 2014 Kristy (Book Frivolity) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
So, I will admit that after reading the Authors Note (in which McPhail tries to explain to the reader how to read the book and made me wince) and the Forward (which talked a lot about eye colour, yes they are blue, I get it. And a slinky woman awaiting the Lord’s ‘needs’ made me cringe), I was slightly apprehensive on embarking on this journey. However as soon as the first chapter began, it was like McPhail had tapped a whole new keg of ale and this one, instead of being flat and slightly stale, ...more
Masquerade Crew
Sep 21, 2013 Masquerade Crew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy



Cephrael's Hand is the name of a constellation. Some people worry about it when it appears. Prince Ean almost gets killed when he gets back to his father's land. His brothers died under these stars. A Shade, and later a Zanthyr, save Ean. While in another country a man known as Trell of the Tides sets off on a journey to discover the past he's forgotten.

As the glossary explains, a Zanthyr is "an elusive adept of the fifth strand of elae", and a Shade is "a formida
First things first: I intend to keep this review spoiler-free.

I originally bought Cephrael's Hand for my Kindle because it was advertised as "for fans of Brandon Sanderson", and I looooove Brandon Sanderson. I was somewhat disappointed. This book is comparable in length to one of Brandon's Mistborn books, that is, close to 600 pages. However, by the time I finished reading, I didn't really feel that the length was justified, because the plot seemed to drag at times. The story starts explosively
Jan 05, 2013 Evelynne rated it really liked it
I am reviewing the free copy of Cephrael's Hand I was provided as part of the Novel Publicity Blog Tour in which I am taking part.

The copy I was given starts with a multiple page glossary explaining the world of Cephrael's Hand and its inhabitants. The fantasy geek within me started clapping her hands with glee at this; such a glossary usually means extensive and detailed world building, such as that of the Wheel of Time of A Song of Ice and Fire, and Cephrael's Hand didn't disappoint.

What I li
Nov 04, 2012 Gaele rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, reviewed
Fantasy reads are an interesting genre to review: so many elements are integral to a fantasy that “works” versus one that is just good. Tolkien and Martin both are masters of the genre, creating worlds that are different yet similar, with language and characters who share motivations with humans: love, greed, anger, self-preservation. What separates those masters from this author is their attention to detail throughout the entire work. After a rather slow and muddled start, Melissa McPhail found ...more
Melissa Storm
Cephrael's Hand is a fantastical journey in which the familiar story of good versus evil is so refreshing convuluted that you may have trouble figuring out who's who. From tales of lost pasts and political intrigue to piracy and magical discovery, Melissa McPhail weaves strands of character journeys into a rich tapestry of wonder.

Trell--a man of noble heart with a missing memory--ventures to rediscover his origins. Prince Ean survives a gruesome assault and must uncover the shadowy plot to destr
Aug 11, 2015 Zylene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was suggested to me by Facebook which compared it to wheel of time and sword of truth and that in itself grabbed my interest but the lack of reviews made me hesitant after downloading it on my kindle for super cheap I was surprised to find it was a longer book than I expected. (Like 14k pages on my phone) **which was a good thing as I was bored of all the small 500 page fantasies** It took me a while to adjust to the long names and different older style of fantasy and world... But ...more
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Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid fantasy reader. A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations. Melissa loves sailing, skiing and discussing books and philosophy—not necessarily in that order.

The first two novels in Melissa's fantasy ser
More about Melissa McPhail...

Other Books in the Series

A Pattern of Shadow & Light (4 books)
  • The Dagger of Adendigaeth (A Pattern of Shadow & Light, #2)
  • Paths of Alir (A Pattern of Shadow & Light, # 3)
  • Kingdom Blades, A Pattern of Shadow and Light Book Four

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“Fear was the worst evil ever to plague a man, for with it came hesitation and with that, inaction, failure, death.” 10 likes
“In every waking moment, it is our next choice that makes us who we are.” 7 likes
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