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Child of the Ghosts

(The Ghosts #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,310 ratings  ·  224 reviews
For fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Sword & Sorceress", Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, and Jennifer Roberson, here is a new story of a woman's fight against an ancient evil.

When her life is torn apart by sorcery and murder, young Caina Amalas joins the Ghosts, the legendary spies and assassins of the Emperor of Nighmar. She learns the secrets of disguise and stealth,
Nook, 289 pages
Published May 25th 2011 by Jonathan Moeller
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Keith I've read the first two books and I'd say the story of each can stand alone - each resolves its central conflict at the end.

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3.90  · 
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 ·  2,310 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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**✿❀  Maki ❀✿**
Man, was this a depressing book. I cringed a bit each time the main character was reminded that her ideal peaceful life was completely shattered. And it's mentioned every single time it can possibly be worked into a conversation. Or situation. You'd be reminded of it even when nobody was talking.

I'd say you get reminded of the tragedy that befell Caina almost as often as you do that she shouldn't fight fair, because she's a small woman.

I mean, I understand these sort of books. The story's politi
cEe beE
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Child of the Ghosts was much better than I expected for a free book! It's fortunately also the type of uncomplicated fantasy I prefer reading. The storyline is simple, and the plot follows a familiar tread. Despite that, the world building was rich, and is filled with many great characters. The main heroine, Caina Amalas is both sympathetic and strong. As a child, she was scorned and tormented by her mother, and she sought solace in books in the library with her beloved father. One day, her moth ...more
Christine Myers
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was one of the rare exceptions for me in overlooking mistakes that should have been caught by a copy editor and/or proofreader. Normally, if I see more than one or two errors in the first chapter, I stop reading. In this case, the concept and characters pulled me in enough that I finished reading and intend to read the next in the series.

I was intrigued by the concept of a young heroine transforming form innocent to deadly weapon and how that affected her.

I connected with the supporti
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page.

The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real.

i would highly recommend this author and this book.
Mary Catelli
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy, indie
Caina is a girl of noble birth. Her father loves her and lets her read freely in the library, but her mother had never gotten over being rejected from the study of magic in her fourth year of studies and is cruel to both Caina and her father.

She, in fact, has dealings with renegade sorcerers, and when a scroll falls into her husband's hands, she tries to exploit it. Death and treachery follow, and Caina is long a prisoner of a necromancer who uses her to teach his students.

When she is rescued, a
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it

Review originally over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Child of the Ghosts is the first book of the Ghosts series by Jonathan Moeller and was a book which intrigued me based on the excerpt which I had read. I had requested a review copy from the author who gladly sent one over. The blurb doesn’t give away much about the story which is a bonus of sorts as you don’t know what to expect and then the story surprises you maximally.

The story opens up with a eight year-old Caina Amalas in he
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Q: You're a plucky fantasy heroine at an upper-class ball, working undercover for a super secret assassin society. You're wearing a fancy dress and flirting with a brooding hunk. Then you think you see the super evil necromancer villain of the piece across the room talking to your fellow spy. Do you:

A1: Continue to giggle at the compliments of the brooding hunk while gazing into his intriguing vermilion orbs and checking out his 8-pack. Assume it's nothing and the villain can wait for another da
J.C. Brennan
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is an eleven year old girl to do when her mother, who despises the day she was born, brake the mind of everyone in their home, even the mind of her well educated father with inadequate sorcery? Well, kill her of course—even if it is by accident. However, that is not all Caina would do. Through a series of events that take her in the depths of what one might call hell, she decides to join the Ghost but she doesn’t just decide to become any Ghost—she becomes a Nightfighter. Take a journey wit ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this free ebook. The storyline is very original and I liked that the heroine was so uncompromisingly determined. All the way through, you never feel like she has to rely on anyone to save her. I was also impressed by the fact that the actions in the book had real and permanent consequences - no magic wands to make everything ok.

The slight criticisms I'd make are that there are a couple of paragraphs of description that felt like they might have been
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't know if the writing actually deserves four stars but it's one of the most entertaining books I've read in a while so oh well. I liked the main character, and the supporting characters where fun. (I mean a boisterous middle-age opera singer, awesome) I didn't like that Riogan was killed off, it felt like he could have had more of a role, but overall it was a fast enjoyable read.
Angela H.
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
** Received audiobook copy for a honest review.

The author introduces Caina Amala's fantasy adventure. It is magically graceful and vengeful.

"McLarian" the necromancer permanently damages her life when he drains her blood to create a blood crystal. The necromancer has plans to commit murder of multitude of slaves/people for immortality. Caina is saved by the Ghosts and trained as an assassin. She has a personal vendetta to kill the necromancer and a purpose to save the world she lives in.

The nar
Tony Hisgett
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: review, fantasy
I was attracted to the book because the publicity blurb suggest it was similar to Tamora Pierce’s novels, and I loved her Alanna books. In some ways I could see the similarities, but it lacked something, it felt a bit two-dimensional.
The story was a fairly straightforward, but still quite interesting, however, the characters didn’t inspire me. I thought Caina was OK, but the rest just seemed to drift in and out of the story. Having said that, I quite enjoyed the story and will definitely be try
For a Kindle freebie, this book was fairly good; in the grand scheme of things, that places it squarely in the realm of 'mediocre'. The story is a straightforward trauma-training-revenge arc with pretty much no surprises. Caina is good at everything she's taught; she makes no major errors of judgement in her work; everyone on her side is trustworthy and, to a greater or lesser degree, honorable. The only twists and turns, persay, come from the villain - and even these aren't very twisty, because ...more
Paul Negoescu
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
The book was good but to be honest it falls a bit short of bigger players in the genre.

I found most of the ideas entertaining, the setting fun and the pace good enough. The setting wants to be grand and impressive but it's not epic by any means. It does leave a lot of room for future expansion though.

What was a bit distracting to me was that many of the chapters ended in a "too much information" sentence, a sentence that does not add anything but is kind of like a fade-to-action-music in the mov
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First off, I have to say that I really like the characters in this book. The traumatic stuff that the main character, Caina goes through in the beginning makes her tale all that more interesting. The way the author describes these things made me feel immersed with Caina's thoughts fueling my hatred for the main villain. Her revenge was my revenge. And the people that she met along the way were interesting.

I know some characters were a little rushed, but there are more books in this series. We d
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
The main story about how Caina became a Ghost was well enough told. It certainly had me turning the pages to find out what happened next. However, I didn't think the supporting characters and story weren't as good. Too often it felt to me as if people behaved in certain ways because it was necessary for the plot rather than because it was in character. The behaviour of Caina's lover's wife was one such glaring example. Also, for a secret organisation, an awful lot of people knew about the Ghosts ...more
Eon Beaumont
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This book surprised me it was pretty good. It REALLY could have used some proper editing. There were typos and technical problems on almost every page. A few times the author used the wrong names for characters. And he kept misusing besides almost every time. One person stands beside another. They never stand besides someone.
Content wise the story was pretty engaging and the characters were interesting. Some pretty standard fantasy tropes and not real deep villains but still pretty good. I want
Kim Osborn
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan modeler is now one of my favorite authors, I began with child of ghosts, blew through the series and onto soul of series. Wonderfully written books of a nice length, thank you as I've thanked other authors for taking the time to make the book long as well as riveting.

Kim osborn
Wanda Hartzenberg
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Not bad but not for me. It needs polish and the plot will be served well with a nice content edit. More than all this though...
I am no longer in the mood for this amount of detail which is such an integral part of epic fantasy.

Do get a copy. It is free after all and decide for yourself.
Alice Sabo
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Didn't get very far into it. It just didn't grab me. I felt that it was meant for a fairly young audience.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So good. Yes Caina seemed a bit superheroish but I liked it.
Anna Boyett
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a good and captivating book. The time passing was well done so that it didn't bore you with long details of the time that passed between years, yet still gave you relevant details. The only downside to the book is that towards the end it had me rolling my eyes a lot.

It's completely unnecessary to describe the Blood Crystal 9 times the same way in the book. I understand reiteration once or twice, but every time the particular item comes up, it's unnecessary to reiterate certain facts about
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished the Cloak series so time to read about Ghosts. I feel for Caina and all that she must endure. What a self-centered bitch of a mother. At least her father loved her but probably could have done more to protect her from said mother.

Caina's whole focus seems to be avenging her father's death, although she does take note of the other innocents, especially children, who would be slaughtered if the bad guy achieves his goal.

I thought her being taught and mentored by various experts was i
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The amazing adventure

I have to say that this book is so amazing and interesting that it's hard to put down. This book brings out some ancient style into it that is remarkable. This book is like an amazing adventure that won't end. I hope in some ways it doesn't. This book has some a lot adventures into it. This book was well written and done by the author. I hope to see more of this type of book from the author. Thank you to the author that wrote this book. You have done nice and wonderful done
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must say,I have been on a kind of 'I can't do one more magic book' lately but I totally enjoyed this!It was so well written and flowed wonderfully from beginning to end. Canna is a child of an evil and magical mother and a wonderful father.When her mother finally does the most heineous crime of all Canna is taken and held by a Necromancer.Once rescued she works to find and end his 400 year reign of terror. Hollis McCarthy was a wonderful narrator.Cannas voice as a child was perfect,not the squ ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked this book but felt it was way too long. The story dragged in quite a few spots. If this had been sharpened up and edited from 700+ pages of drawn out, overly descriptive info about architecture, excessive back-history of every little town & big city, repetitive descriptions of knife throwing form; “her foot forward, her arm thrown back, her back arched. Her entire body snapped like a bowstring” (seriously repetitive!) down to 400-500 pages of concise story telling I would give this 4 ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review

This book was basically about a fantasy epic adventure involving a child of tragic early life experience being recruited by an ultra secret group called the Ghosts. The author is careful to illustrate that the process of turning a young child into a trained killer is a long process. The action was decent,suspense tolerable, but to me it was the solving of the general scheme by the protagonist. The characters were well de
Francis Chamberland
Child of the Ghost Review

Dear Jonathan, I should have read this series first instead of Ghost in Exile series: however, I didn't so here I am discovering Caina's early life. I enjoyed reading this book very much and look forward to reading the next book in the Ghost series. As I have started in previous reviews the Ghost series is an adult reading entertainment. I highly recommend reading this book and series to any adult interested in reading a great story. Thanks for the entertainment.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first concern with this book was that the child was way too powerful and resourceful. The writing was good but the main character was not convincing at all. She didn't really show almost any sign of the trauma on the story, I get that author wanted to do a strong character but it was too much. The author sometimes overuse the graphic violence to show how gruesome was the situation happening. Overall, this book was good enough.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
If bad editing, out of place words, missing words and mis-spelled words ruin a books potential for you...


However, the storyline is fast moving and interesting. I was able to ignore the lack of editing with the only the slightest bit of annoyance.

The characters are written out just enough that we know who they are with the barest parts of their personalities. I didn’t mind this either, less complicated.
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Standing over six feet tall, USA Today bestselling author Jonathan Moeller has the piercing blue eyes of a Conan of Cimmeria, the bronze-colored hair of a Visigothic warrior-king, and the stern visage of a captain of men, none of which are useful in his career as a computer repairman, alas.

He has written the DEMONSOULED series of sword-and-sorcery novels, and continues to write THE GHOSTS sequence

Other books in the series

The Ghosts (9 books)
  • Ghost in the Flames (Ghosts, #2)
  • Ghost in the Blood (Ghosts, #3)
  • Ghost in the Storm (Ghosts, #4)
  • Ghost in the Stone (Ghosts, #5)
  • Ghost in the Forge (Ghosts, #6)
  • Ghost in the Ashes (Ghosts, #7)
  • Ghost in the Mask (Ghosts, #8)
  • Ghost in the Surge (Ghost #9)
“Only fools fight fairly. All men have their strengths and their weaknesses. You must pit your strengths against your enemies' weaknesses, always.” 0 likes
“Most people think the Ghosts are only a legend. But they're very real. They are the Emperor's spies, his eyes and ears. And occasionally his assassins.” 0 likes
More quotes…