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Rules of Ascension

(Winds of the Forelands #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,829 ratings  ·  71 reviews
For 900 years, since the Qirsi War, the Forelands have enjoyed relative peace. The Qirsi leaders, Weavers whose powerful magic could bend to their will not only the elements but also the thoughts of others, were all killed. The rest of the pale-skinned Qirsi were scattered throughout the realm. They were no longer a threat without their multi-talented leaders.
But though m
Mass Market Paperback, 658 pages
Published May 18th 2003 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,829 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm very happy with this series. Currently reading the second book and no loss of steam power from the author. What I don't get is why more people haven't discovered this book. DOH! Must be that Tor didn't market it as hard compared to more mediocre fantasy novels.

The best way to view the story is to imagine a lot of petty kingdoms with dukes as vassals to these kings. The first book focuses on several of the dukes of one kingdom as well as other characters who come into and out of the tale. Th
This reminds me a bit of Game of Thrones, with the story following many different families and side characters. It's a bit hard to get into and I'm not finding the names of people, places, and historical events as easy to remember as Martin's work, but I've read from other reviewers that perseverance is key.

Overall, I'm glad I stuck it out. Bits of it were a bit burdensome, what with all the strange names, mythology, and traveling, but I found this to be a solid start to a new (to me, at least)
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm just going to put my review for the entirety of the Winds of the Foreland series here, to save time and effort.

This series is definately filed under "Must Read" in my mind. Throughout the series, the political twists and turns are imaginative and fun, the dealings with magic are quite novel and handled much differently than any other fantasy books, and the characters are deep and complex. You get racial tensions between the Eandi, and the Qirsi. The Eandi are the normal and ungifted (magica
Xara Niouraki
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rules of Ascension was an excellent book and I enjoyed it very much.

The story contains everything I love in fantasy, namely intrigue, believable and interesting characters, violence, magic, an interesting and well-thought off world and really good writing.

I hope that more people will read this first book, because I think it is really worth it. If the next books are that good, this series will become one of my favorites.
Nick T. Borrelli
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
David B. Coe has always been a comfort read for me. His books are always solid fantasy stories minus the usual formulaic storyline that is so prevalent in the genre. The first book in his Winds of the Forelands series is no different. Every once in a while I get in the mood to read fantasy, so when I do, it has to be something that is pure escapism with an intriguing plot. This book met both of those requirements and then some. I look forward to reading the second book and the rest of this serie ...more
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great world building sets a nice atmosphere for a complex, epic and sprawling plot.

Read my full review here:
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I hold David B. Coe’s The Winds of the Forelands series in very high regard. I consider it to be one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read; not only do I really enjoy it but I also feel it’s one of the best written. (For the curious: George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire would be first and best of all, of course, with Coe’s WotF and Greg Keyes’s The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone in a toss-up for second.) I’ve read WotF a few times now. Figured it was about time to give these books the ...more
Mar 08, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm not used to reading fantasy that doesn't start right away with a clear protagonist. I think the most parallel storylines I'm used to handling is what happens in the Lord of the Rings Triology. Call me simpleminded, I guess.

So, once I got through the first few chapters, I was able to get more into the story, so if you do read this, make sure you get through the first 4 or 5 chapters at least before giving up on the book.

Lots of political intrigue, enough war and magic to keep my comicbook sen
Chris Pacheco
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ian Irvine and Tad williams fans fans
DavidB. Coe. Fuck. Seriously?
I did not know what i was to expect from this book. I knew that i would like it, but i wasnt aware that it would be the chickens tits.
If Ian Irvine was the king and passed away, David B. Coe would truly be the next to ascend to the throne of fucking awesomeness.
How do i find these authors? Now i have to read the rest of this series. Then read the next series. Then read the one before this. I'm screwed.
At least i know i'll be reading some of the best fantasy out there
M Hamed
Jul 09, 2017 added it
Shelves: abandoned
OK ,it official
any writer uses the term making love instead of fucking for people who have just met,I'm not finishing
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A pretty paint by numbers fantasy novel, with magical races and various kingdoms/duchies that allow for a decent plot to play out. The opening scene is a powerful portent of what's to come. There's great plot twists and double-crosses, but what keeps this from being a 5-star fantasy novel is that the overall plot could have been done much more concisely. Not that there is much in the way of side stories, but that there is a palpable wordiness that doesn't make for a truly compelling read.

This is
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-on-shelf
This read very much like a Jennifer Fallon book so I recommend her books to anyone who has enjoyed this and not read her books.
Overall I enjoyed the tone and exploration of this story. The viewpoints only overlapped when needed, as to not simply retell the story for multiple chapters but instead each page revealed new and exciting information.
I am certainly curious to see where this series goes.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining. Some wandering in the first couple of chapters as the scene was set, but then it became engrossing.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fantasy-2018
Wow, excellent book. I finished this book in a week, couldn't put it down. Plenty of mystery, intrigue and political wrangling. Well written character driven story.
Nico Janow
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
I can't figure out why I ordered the book from the library. I'm tired of books with depressing wars, treachery and darkest intrigue.
Jeff S
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good. Interesting magic, hopefully the magic system gets more explained and fleshed out, or cooler.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a book I read many years ago. I plan to re-read it eventually and I will leave a review at that time.
Fran Santiago
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent story, from beginning to end!!! I would have read it faster, had I not been pre-occupied.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy intrigue. After 40 years of fantasy reading, it's a challenge to find a new author with new concepts. I found this series after reading Thieftaker, which is written by the same author under a different name. I'm surpised the Forelands Series hasn't had more attention. The writing is excellent and the plot line engaging. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015, fantasy
Sometimes we get so caught up in reading and reviewing newly released books that some oldie but goodies get overlooked. These classic fantasy novels tend to be pushed to the back burner because everyone thinks that they should have already read them and know about them.

Every year I try to make an effort to read some of the "older" fantasy and sci-fi novels. I have been reluctant to review them based off of their publication dates, but I want to share my love and enthusiasm for some of these nov
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, fantasy
For years I've passed this book in the store, picked it up, read the back, and put it back—not because it didn't sound interesting, but because I was going through a phase of denying myself books in a failed attempt to control my bookshelves. When I finally broke down and bought it a few weeks ago, I couldn't wait to start reading it and I am so glad it didn't disappoint me. And my expectations were high.

The Rules of Ascension is set mostly in Eibithar, one of many kingdoms in a realm called the
May 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
900 years before the series begins, the Quirsi, a magically-endowed race with distinctive pale skin, white hair and golden eyes, launch an invasion against their northern neighbors, the Eandi—the invasion fails. As the series begins, the races appear to be coexisting peacefully. Several Quirsi serve as advisors to the various nobles in the feudal society of the northlands; close relationships have even developed between some Eandi and Quirsi. Simmering under the surface however is a general Eand ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of the Forgotten Realms books
If you've ever read a book set in the Forgotten Realms fantasy series, you'll find David B. Coe's Rules of Ascension treading familiar stylistic territory. Coe's world is entirely original, of course, but his prose and characterizations have much in common with the style of writing employed by the FR cast of authors.

For example, one-dimensional characters abound - particularly among the ranks of the supporting cast. Even among the major players, though, Coe tends to give all of his characters an
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rules of Ascension by David Coe is the first book in his Winds of Forlands series. This is one of the few political fantasy series I've tried and it absolutely rocks! I thought this author wasn't well known, which would have sadden me even more since he can clearly write but to my surprise, he's actually quite the opposite. Searching for his name on Google, I learned that the Robin Hood NBC adaptation was actually based on his book! Point is, I'm really glad the author is pretty known out there ...more
Tim Pollard
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rather arbitrarily, I decided to read the Winds of the Forelands series simply because I liked the name of the series and because I had never heard of it before and I like to look for hidden gems. I was definitely not disappointed.

Having a similar feel to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, I found it very engaging from the beginning. That isn't to say the scope is the same--I would not really call the Winds of the Forelands series epic fantasy, and there is no huge struggle for
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: George R R Marin fans
Shelves: favorites
I really like this author and the book. The story is seen from multiple characters in diffirent places in the kingdom like GRR Martin does and like him this medival world is very realistic.
The daily life in this book resemblance a lot of the real live in the medieval times and the characters in the different places in the hierarchical ladder are really behaving like it might have been in the medieval times which is a big plus.
Another one is that this author isn't afraid to kill of characters, ev
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by Rules of Ascension, the first volume in David Coe's Winds of the Forelands series. I had read his Lon Tobyn Chronicles trilogy a few years back, and while they were enjoyable, they were also pretty basic and predictable. I took a chance on Rules of Ascension out of sheer boredom, and am glad I did.

This series is significantly better than Coe's previous work. It is smarter, the characters are more compelling, and the plot is much more layered. George R.R. Martin's br
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
The story unfolds at a good pace. Not too fast, not too slow. The characters – and there are many – are… complicated. I rolled my eyes and sighed every time the spoiled, son of a duke, Tavis, made some tactless (if honest) social faux pas. I admired and empathized with his loyal friend and liegeman, Xaver. I found myself enjoying the unraveling mysteries of the Qirsi, Grinsa. The battle scenes and military tactics were exciting. The conspiracy and intrigue were classic.

This story has a little b
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
First, this is not a "light and fluffy" read, it is compacted with info, the type of book that I had to go re-read sections to make sure I understood everything. At close to 700 pages, it still could easily been expanded longer.

The first two chapters were thrown in to give you back story to the world Coe had created, but they leave the reader a bit confused. Once I got into the third chapter and was secure the actual storyline had started, I could not put the book down!

It is not often that a
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Epic fantasy should be just that .. epic. Epic would mean engaging characters and a story that would twist and turn to successfully run across many books while still holding the reader's attention. Rules of Ascension is an epic fantasy.
Mr. Coe has created an epic story that kept me interested and reading until the very end. After the end I really am compelled to read the next book. I really cared about his characters and am anxious to learn of their fates. The mixture of magic and warfare is v
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David B. Coe is an author of fantasy novels and short stories. He lives with his wife, Nancy Berner, and their two daughters on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.
He has begun writing a new historical fantasy series under the pen name D.B. Jackson. The first one is titled Thieftaker, published in 2012.

Other books in the series

Winds of the Forelands (5 books)
  • Seeds of Betrayal (Winds of the Forelands, #2)
  • Bonds of Vengeance (Winds of the Forelands, #3)
  • Shapers of Darkness (Winds of the Forelands, #4)
  • Weavers of War (Winds of the Forelands, #5)