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To Ride Hell’s Chasm

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,297 ratings  ·  140 reviews
An epic fantasy standalone novel from the author of the stunning Wars of Light and Shadow series.

When Princess Anja fails to appear at her betrothal banquet, the tiny, peaceful kingdom of Sessalie is plunged into intrigue. Two warriors are charged with recovering the distraught king's beloved daughter. Taskin, Commander of the Royal Guard, whose icy competence and impressi
...more
Paperback, 681 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Voyager (HarperCollins) (first published January 1st 2002)
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seak
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
In the land of the 10 volume monster-epics of fantasy, the stand-alone is a much rarer beast, so many preferring to take a concept and bludgeon it to death. Not that I'm complaining, it's just nice to have a book that you know will run its due course in one, single volume.

To Ride Hell's Chasm takes what seems to be a simple concept, but combines it with the Wurts-effect to become a much deeper and resonating piece than I ever imagined it could be.

The princess, Anja, of the remote kingdom of Sess
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mark monday
To Ride Hell's Chasm is a passionate and thoughtful high fantasy about a despised soldier and his assignment to track down a runaway princess on the eve of her nuptials. the novel is roughly split into two parts: the first describes Mykkael's attempts to gather information within the virulently xenophobic city he has made his home while dealing with the constantly shifting relationship with his stiff-necked commanding officer; the second portrays the detailed flight of Mykkael and the surprising ...more
Mayim de Vries
I have wanted to read Janny Wurts forever in my quest to discover all the hidden gems of fantasy. I have discovered a fantasy goddess. Dare I say it: she writes better than Kay, I kid you not! Her plot is exquisite. Her characters more alive than some real people I know.

I have enjoyed every page. If you don't have this book on your TBR, put it there immediately.
FRTC

First sentence: "In the long shadow of the mountain spring twilight, under the glow of a thousand lanterns, Anja, Crown Princess of
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Kaora
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Death has no repeal. It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence. Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well.

Easily my favorite read this year.

This was originally recommended to me by someone who knew of my love of horses. The person who recommended it was not a horse person, but this book stood out in his mind as being one where the author did a great job of portraying the horses as characters.

I have to agree with his assessment that this book does a lovel
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Jim
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 1paper, 2fiction
Wow! Janny told me the story got really exciting during the last half. Wrong! It was really exciting all the way through. If there is any fault at all in the book, it is that the excitement NEVER slacks off & it's really hard to put down. That's not really fair when it is so long - yet seems not long enough. I'd love to read more about this world & its characters.

The plot is beautifully crafted, lovingly revealed & the resolution left me gasping (& a bit teary eyed). The characte
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Alissa
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
2016 reread: This is an enticing, entertaining, thought-provoking and unpredictable adult fantasy story, brought alive with poetic prose and driven by unforgettable characters. This hidden gem, which I discovered thanks to the wonderful Goodreads Community, is also my entry point into the work of Janny Wurts who has fast become my favourite epic fantasist.

Her novels helped me define what kind of story truly resonates with me. I used to equate epic fantasy with Lord of the Rings, which I loved, b
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Stefan
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
At the start of To Ride Hell's Chasm, an outstanding standalone fantasy by Janny Wurts, Princess Anja of the tiny isolated kingdom of Sessalie has gone missing on the eve of the ceremony for her betrothal to the Crown Prince of Devall. Since Anja is beloved by her people, and the alliance with Devall represents potentially big trade increases, it doesn't take long for many people to be involved in the search, from Mykkael, a foreign-born former mercenary now in charge of the city's garrison, to ...more
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

To Ride Hell's Chasm was my first Wurts novel. I actually have a copy of the first book of The Wars of Light and Shadow saga which I started (and liked so far), but I got a bit intimidated by the time commitment (and the fact that WoLaS is unfinished...), so I decided to try this stand-alone first to get a feel for Janny Wurts' style before I leapt into a mega-epic. Along that line, I was also interested to see how she would affect an actual ending, since
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Jon
Sep 05, 2009 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: standalone fantasy lovers
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality October 2009 Selection
Laura
‘Death has no repeal. It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence. Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well.’

This epic fantasy standalone definitely goes on my all-time favourite list!

My entry point into Mrs. Wurts’ work was Daughter of the Empire she wrote with Raymond E. Feist. The beauty of that book made want to explore more of her works and I decided to appease my curiosity with To Ride Hell’s Chasm. And I wasn’t disappointed. To Ride Hell’s Chasm is
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Jeff Salyards
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read the Empire trilogy by Janny Wurts and Raymond Feist ages ago, and loved it. They did a wonderful job collaborating. But for unknown reasons, I didn't dig into a lot of Janny's solo efforts after that. I knew they were out there, and heard plenty of good things, but as happens with so many great books/writers on my TBR pile, they got buried in an avalanche and disappeared from sight.

But I just finished To Ride Hell's Chasm and it was fantastic. For me, good fantasy has compelling characte
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Alissa
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came as a surprise. As always, praise be sung to the Goodreads community for their recommendations. This is the first book I've read by Janny Wurts and I'll surely look for more of her works. in less than one year, I've savored The Wars of Light and Shadow, a stunning epic fantasy series, her other standalones, the The Complete Empire Trilogy co-written with Raymond E. Feist and I'm currently reading The Cycle of Fire.

To Ride Hell's Chasm is uniquely written, and at first I struggled w
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Olivia
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Buddy read over at Fantasy Buddy Reads.

Wurts is the ideal author to buddy read, so many layers, so much to discover. She crafts her plots with so much love and attention to detail, and that love spills from every page. The pieces of the puzzle are revealed in a slow manner alongside wonderful characters. Wurts takes her time, and if you're not a fan of slow, she might not be the writer for you.

Wurts' prose is dense, especially for non native speakers, but I feel like I've learned a lot about wri
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Laura
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE all-time favourite book for me!
RTC
Chris
Though it starts off somewhat slowly, TRHC builds up to a peak and never lets go. This is certainly not a light read, but one that takes time and diligence to properly absorb. Richly told in a beautiful language, the imagery is fantastic. The characters will have readers aching for their plight.

The world is very well detailed, and I really like the connection from demon to sorcerer to minion. The shapeshifters are pretty ominous too.

Don't want to give away too much and spoil, but will say that
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Joseph
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A carefully-crafted and surprisingly intimate standalone epic fantasy.

The kingdom of Sessalie, isolated in the northern mountains, finds itself under stealthy assault from dark forces indeed.

The book breaks neatly into two parts, both primarily focused on southern-born ex-mercenary Mykkael (although the locals keep mispronouncing his name as Mysh-kael). In the first part, Mykkael, currently working as part of the city watch in the capital, is tasked with finding the princess Anja, who has disapp
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Kerry
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, 6, library, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandra
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites, ebook
I'm giving this one four stars instead of five only because I just completed Janny's Mistwraith series and was so enthralled by that story that this one wasn't quite as intense for me. Still, it is beautifully written with a truly unique hero whose character unfolds slowly as the story progresses. The horses in the book are characters unto themselves. Another story that made me cry and also made my heart pound as well as be glad in the end. A very satisfactory ending, a tightly wound plot, a wel ...more
Kristalia
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kristalia by: Alissa
Final rating: 4/5 stars

This is my first experience of reading Janny Wurts's book. To be honest, I believe it was too soon for me to read this book as the first one, because it was too challenging to read. But my friend convinced me to read it and surprisingly, it took me 12 days to finish it. Which, in my book, is not good enough.

I had many problems reading this book because of it's writing style. I have never had any problems reading books on english and I have read around 500 by now. But this
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Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherwood Smith
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I actually read this in May, as my reward for finally finishing something, and the reason why I had to wait to read this, and to reread Kate Elliott's Traitor's Gate is because the voice is so strong, the worldbuilding so complex, and characters so well developed, too much of my mind lingers there when it needs to stay here--"here" being current project.

Briefly, in this world, the kingdom of Sessalie has enjoyed while other more accessible parts of the world have been ripped apart by mage wars.
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Mike
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit snacks, that was awesome. I’m still vibrating with tension from this book, and I finished it hours ago. It’s fairly straightforward Sword and Sorcery, but it does it about as well as can possibly be imagined.

The book wastes no time whatsoever. Within the first few pages, we find out that the Princess has vanished on the eve of her betrothal, and we’re off. The gradual reveal of the intrigues involved, the way that everyone is viewing the protagonist Mykkael, the rapidly building tensio
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Bill
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sf-fantasy
An absolutely excellent standalone fantasy novel. Almost non-stop action with great character development as well. Mykkael, one of the greatest literary warriors ever, and Anja, the princess he will do anything to protect, are two of the best and most realized characters I have ever encountered in a book.
Xeyra
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book hangs around a 3.5 to 4 stars for me; it was strong in a lot of places but suffered from some issues that lowered my scoring and a bit of my enjoyment, but it was overall a book that I'll recommend.

One of the greatest strengths of this book and Janny Wurts as an author, from this one experience, is her writing style... once you get used to it. The prose is lush and vivid and very beautiful, but it also requires you to be paying attention to the words on the page because her sentence s
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Greg (adds 2 TBR list daily) Hersom
This is my favorite stand-alone fantasy novel. I don't think I can add any more than what I said about it than my original review, other than mention that the elements usually associated with a Thriller-suspense novel are much stronger than I gave credit for. Also the magic in this book is a scariest of anything I've read.
This is the perfect fantasy novel.

My original review that I did for FantasyLiterature.com back in OCT 2008:

Due to its remoteness, the kingdom of Sessalie has enjoyed generatio
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Mike (the Paladin)
Okay I finished this and I'll also be discussing it in the Chronicles Group. It was a pretty good story...I'm going 3 stars as a rating. I was very disenchanted with it early on as I really found it a little florid (wordy) for my taste, as I've experienced with other books some of course will disagree. But I think a little more editing might have been a good thing. When we were almost 200 pages in and I stopped to realize we were still in the palace discussing the "plot set up" and what the acti ...more
Mohammed
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mohammed by: Clansman Lochaber Axeman
Shelves: fantasy
Interesting writing at times but the lack of interesting story,characters made me not enjoy this book. I read around half of it and it coulndt hold my interest. One of those books i had to give up on.

I might read more of this author but not a book like this one.
Tani
Janny Wurts is an author that I've been keeping a watchful eye on for a number of years. I'm so glad that I finally got the chance to read something by her! This book was pretty much splendid.

Looking back, this book almost feels like it was two different books entirely. In the first part, we have a mystery: the disappearance of Anja, princess of Sessalie, on the very night that her beloved fiance has arrived for their upcoming wedding. This part combines mystery and politics as the two leaders
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Tanita S.
"When Princess Anja fails to appear at her betrothal banquet, the tiny, peaceful kingdom of Sessalie is plunged into intrigue. Two warriors are charged with recovering the distraught king's beloved daughter. Taskin, Commander of the Royal Guard, whose icy competence and impressive life-term as the Crown's right-hand man command the kingdom's deep-seated respect; and Mykkael, the rough-hewn newcomer who has won the post of Captain of the Garrison - a scarred veteran with a deadly record of field ...more
Phoebe Prince
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I had so many mixed feelings on this book. I loved the writing, liked how the characters fit into the world and enjoyed not getting beat over the head with magic systems. The travel and adventure travel aspect was awesome, too, and made for a powerful second half that contrasted interestingly with the first half, which was a detective noir story set in a medieval city-state. There was something that confused me a lot, and it took me a long time to put my finger on it--the characters didn't have ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: To Ride Hell's Chasm [Sept 17, 2018] 103 43 Dec 31, 2018 12:43PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Q&A with Janny Wurts!! (Hell's Chasm BR) 5 9 Sep 19, 2018 12:26PM  
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Janny Wurts is the author of War of Light and Shadow series, and To Ride Hell's Chasm. Her eighteen published titles include a trilogy in audio, a short story collection, as well as the internationally best selling Empire trilogy, co authored with Raymond E. Feist, with works translated into fifteen languages worldwide. Her latest title in the Wars of Light and Shadow series, Destiny's Conflict, c ...more
“It’s tragic how the lack of imagination so often shapes our defeat.” 3 likes
“An act made in fear is not the same thing as an action taken for necessity.” 3 likes
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