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Shapechangers

(Chronicles of the Cheysuli #1)

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,747 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The story of an ill-fated union between a Homanan princess and a Cheysuli warrior, that brought on a war of annihilation against the Cheysuli race . . . and the daughter of that union, who must accept her place in an ancient prophecy she cannot deny.
mass_market, 224 pages
Published February 7th 1984 by DAW
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,747 ratings  ·  130 reviews


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JG
I can't even finish it! The heroine annoyed the hell out of me. Why can't anyone write a heroine who's as smart as I am! Looking at my grades I'm not asking much so why is it so hard to write a smart heroine now adays!?

I'm soo tired of heroines who find that they have magical powers then started acting like it's a damn curse! The girl can freaking shift into an animal, why can't she be like a normal teenager and start jumping up and down yelling AMEN! but noooo! God forbid a heroine that's actua
...more
Michelle
Aug 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book might have been decent if the protagonist hadn't been such a raging, irritable bitch.
Robin
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is a re-read of the first book in a series I absolutely love. Unfortunately, I do not like this book. I'm not sure if this is Roberson's first book (and subject to the First Novel uneven-ness that can happen) or if I'm just reading it again with older eyes. After all, this book was first published in 1984. I've read many, MANY books since 1984 so I have more to compare it to. A lot of life has been lived between 1984 and now too, so a person's entire frame of reference can switch focus. It ...more
Shaitarn
This was one of the first fantasy books I ever read, so though by today's standards it probably doesn't deserve much of a score, it retains a nostalgic fondness for me. I loved the original cover, which sadly GR doesn't have on its database and as my ability to do anything with my laptop is laughably low, the best I've been able to do is provide a picture of the original 6 books (plus later editions of the last two) in my profile pictures. Go and take a squint if you're curious. They range from ...more
Thomas
Dec 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John
Feb 14, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mir
Jul 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Alix has been raised as an ordinary country girl, but after she coincidentally becomes friends with a prince she is kidnapped by exiled shapeshifters and drawn into their struggle against oppression.

I enjoyed the adventure/magic aspects of the story but had some serious problems with the attitudes toward women and sexuality presented in Roberson's world-building. I couldn't feel too indignant on behalf of the shapechangers expulsion from the kingdom since they themselves were kidnapping women a
...more
Mark Cameron
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy, fantasy
I have been revisiting some of my old favorites and this series was one of them. While re-reading this first book, I remember that the series got much better starting with the second book. This isn't a bad book, but I think that this was the author's first book and it shows. She keeps reminding you of the same things over and over.

If anyone has read this book and found it a bit lackluster, I would suggest that you give the second book a try regardless. This book was written in the period when th
...more
Eve
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
When I was a teenager, I found all four omnibus editions at a used bookstore and snapped ‘em up bc I liked the covers. I loved this series from beginning to end and remembered crying with Alix. God, how embarrassing. This is awful. Alix is a spoiled self-righteous brat who flips allegiances like pancakes. There are all sorts of colloquialisms like “What do you say?” (Whaddaya mean?) and “I have ever loved him.” (I’ve always loved him.) that sound like lines from a bad ren fair scene. Not to ment ...more
Charmy
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the growing storyline. The main female character is overtly selfish but everything else is great. Too few pages to develop a good supporting cast but I hope the rest of the series open the descriptive capabilities.
Aelvana
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Alix is young, naive, and in love---with Carillon, heir to the throne. She's aware that he's destined to marry a princess to forge alliances between nations, and a commoner girl like herself can't hope for more than a position of mistress. Still, she can dream. Until the Cheysuli come, and drag her forcibly into their world. They insist she is one of them and refuse to let her go back to her home. Is she? And what of Carillon, whose uncle has sworn to eradicate every Cheysuli?

The book is, in lar
...more
Welwyn Wilton Katz
I started this book at least three times, and finally gave it up. I felt the writing was awkward, uncertain, and the characters rather unpleasant. Because of this I didn't finish any of the Cheysuli books, though I have them all. What a waste. Sadly, I enjoyed Roberson's Tiger and Del series so much. I have since learned that the Cheysuli books were her first, or at least the first of her books to gain her some prominence. I have a first book; we all do. But I just couldn't find any life in this ...more
Rhi
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The concept of separate peoples torn apart by conflict in a fantasy world is nothing new, nor is the inclusion of a prophesy that demands the mingling of all races into one for the sake of the world. Roberson has taken this formula and shined it up nicely, though. Shapechangers! is a quick read and not overly taxing in terms of complexity or language, but it is thoroughly enjoyable and promises better to come in successive additions to the series. Her characters are not extremely deep, but they ...more
Merilee
The first fantasy series I ever read. I loved them!

Looking back, I see how crudely they were written, Jennifer Roberson has definitely refined her writing style since then; but, all in all, it's a great series!

It's been 15 years since I first read the series... I still remember it fondly.



PG-13 : Overall Rating
PG-13 : Violence
PG-13 : Language
PG-13 : Sexual Content **

** Other potential parental warnings:
- There is premarital sex involved (but not in young teens; in adults)
Eugenia aka Cinnea
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I actually first read this back in the 80's, but never finished the series thanks to no time and no money as a student. So, I'm going back and finally finishing the series.

The basic plot is this: Young farm girl gets kidnapped by a shapechanger (one of the Cheysuli) and then learns that she's one of them, and has all kinds of superduper special powers. The problem is, they Cheysuli are being hunted to extinction by the Homanans (the people in the land where they used to live) and the people who
...more
greeneyes9999
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pure joy and wonderment!

35 years ago I discovered this book in paperback as a freshman in high school as the clerk was putting them onto the shelf for the first time. I returned there many times to the same spot with different clerks waiting to get my hands on the next book in the series!
This book and series enhances you and draws you in so quickly that next thing you know you are on the last page screaming for more!
Strong feminine characters back then were rare but Alix fit the bill and gave g
...more
Ne1
Just. So. Bad.
Stereotypical characters. Stereotypical scenario. No plot development. So many tropes.
She loves him, the prince! No him, the rebel leader! She’s almost, ‘taken’ several times, and the rebel leader’s brother loves her, too.
High school, or junior high, I would’ve loved this shit. (Which is how old the books are, ftr.) It’s WAY past time we moved on.
Honestly, it would be a great outline for a series written today. But that’s all it is. I’m so grateful fantasy has come so far.
Colin
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Another book that has been sitting on my shelf for years waiting its turn to be read.
I enjoyed the premise of the world that Roberson is creating and am looking forward to the continuing stories of the Cheysuli.
My primary issue with this book is the way in which the characters behaviour seems to change drastically so many times (Alix in particular). I understand she is young and doesn't yet understand the world/life into which she is being thrown, but her inability to think ahead and stick with
...more
Alia Tulloch
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The release of the Dark Crystal series on Netflix had me feeling a bit nostalgic for some of the great fantasy books I read as a kid. Sadly, adult me found this one a bit disappointing. If you're also rereading this series out of nostalgia, make sure to pick up book #2 in the series, which has much stronger writing and, for the most part, significantly less rapey romance.
Dawn Meyer
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 as much as I did enjoy the story and plot of this book, there were troubling things in it. If those things were not in this book it would have been so much better. I may continue on with this series.
Lauren
I read this years ago and it was great!
Jill
Nov 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Dnf. Whiny protag, bit too naive. Felt repetitive the little I read, also.
Julie Vina
Mar 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I put aside my hatred of the prose because of my curiosity over what would happen to the characters.
I don't remember a whole lot. I bought an omnibus edition and they had spent a long time building up the enemy, talking about how awful he was? And one of the character's was captured? And his wife(?) Went to get him back but it was the lamest first encounter with an enemy I have ever read. They just talked at each other then the warlord just...let her leave? It's the only time I have literally th
...more
S.L. Saboviec
Dated, especially around how friggin misogynistic the men are. I don't hate it, but I'd much rather read an updated version where women aren't regarded as fluff-heads.
Jenette Skees
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty good start to a series. I enjoyed it very much. Roberson is an excellent story teller.
Becky
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
Much worse than I remembered it.

This did not age well. The treatment of women is especially appalling when you realize the author is a woman. Really hated the incest content.
Laura
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m so happy to return to this series after so many years. I have it on audio now and love being immersed into the Cheysuli world again.
Emily  Kakolewski
One of the best book series ever.
Mark
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
L Pulliam
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I bought this book to have something to read during what I knew would be a lengthy wait for an appointment. The back cover looked intriguing and I had high hopes. They were, unfortunately, dashed within the first chapter.

Now, before anybody thinks all I can do is trash the book, let me explain.

The premise of the book is very interesting. The fallout of a near-genocide, a country fraught with racism, ongoing skirmishes between both sides - and then comes the heroine, Alix, who is so beautiful tha
...more
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Jennifer Roberson has a BS in journalism with extended majors in British history and anthropology.  Hobbies include showing dogs, and creating mosaic artwork and jewelry.  She lives in Arizona with a collection of cats and Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

Other books in the series

Chronicles of the Cheysuli (8 books)
  • The Song Of Homana (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #2)
  • Legacy of the Sword (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #3)
  • Track of the White Wolf (Chronicles of the Cheysuli, #4)
  • A Pride of Princes (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #5)
  • Daughter of the Lion (Chronicles of the Cheysuli, #6)
  • Flight of the Raven (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #7)
  • A Tapestry of Lions (Chronicles of the Cheysuli #8)

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