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The Ninth Rain

(The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,076 ratings  ·  199 reviews
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces - talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza 'Vintage' de G
Paperback, 544 pages
Published February 23rd 2017 by Headline
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Violetta One of the main character is a lesbian and these is the possible hint of a frisson of a gay relationship in the offing between two other characters,…moreOne of the main character is a lesbian and these is the possible hint of a frisson of a gay relationship in the offing between two other characters, maybe. But neither of these character traits/plot points are major to the story, they are just part of the complete massively imaginative whole, so I wouldn't call it an lgbt novel. Just a bloody good book - read it!(less)

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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,076 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Update: 24 Feb 2018 - Kindle edition is FREE right now on Amazon UK guys - LINK

I LOVE tales like these. There were legendary wars many years ago where good prevailed, but no-one really remembers what really happened and now there are endless mysteries and the possibility of having to face an ancient enemy yet again.

Before you carry on reading, I feel the need to say that I have detailed most of the history leading up to the present day of the story below. I did this for two reasons:

1 - Because
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
🦀 Let's Keep It In The Crustacean Family Father-Daughter Buddy Read (LKIITNFFDBR™) with My Little One 🦀

Actual rating: 6.568765 stars. And a half.

OD on adjectives and superlatives while reading this review you might. Quite welcome you are.

A message from Sarah From The Future (SFTF™): I just finished reading book 2 in this trilogy and kinda sorta feel BRB dead right now. Just so you know.

Okayyyy, there is soooooo much glorious gloriousness in this book I don't know where to start. Oh wait, tha
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of those big, classical style fantasy books that could so easily have been lost to cliche and repetition if not for the skill and direction of the author.

Because it's an engaging read, full of action and humour, the creative and imaginative detail of this world slips so easily into the background that it feels right and natural. I found it amusing that the only thing to pull me somewhat out of the story was the use of modern swearing, not giant flying bats/parasite spirits/worm peop
Review also found at: https://dustoffyourmachalo.wordpress....

Guys, we just read the bestest book ever at the MacHalo group! Jen Williams is fantasy's best-kept secret. Is this woman a millionaire yet? New York Times Bestseller list or whatever the UK version of that is? Surely she must be winning awards left and right because her writing skills and story-telling are so bleeding good, I have no words. This is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Ever.

I would not have even read it h
Stefan Bach
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Ninth Rain is remarkably written book in which Jen Williams was determined to freshen up a bit fantasy worlbuilding as we know it, combining history, archeology, botany and Sci Fi elements, all while playing with - or completely dismissing - usual and existing tropes in this genre.

For thousands and thousands of years the world known as Sarn was plagued with alien invaders, monstrous Jure’lia, worm people.
Upon each invasion, Eborans, immortal, inhuman and impervious race would fight
TS Chan
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly hard to put down and absolutely captivating, The Ninth Rain is classic high fantasy transfigured with a unique voice.

Jen Williams' debut fantasy trilogy, The Copper Cat, was a grand fun-filled adventure with great characters that I've grown to love throughout the three books. In my review of The Silver Tide, I commended the author in crafting a modern high fantasy tale that was her own instead of emulating the increasingly popular grimdark sub-genre. As much as I loved The Copper Cat
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Fantabulous! Such skilled world building, this book is a marvellous mix of great characters, a complex world and with a complex history. The story builds slowly but never bores. The three main characters are all renegades of their type. Vintage, a middle aged independently wealthy female explorer, Tor, a different race, an Ebolan- and Noon, a fell witch. Together and apart, they battle against capture, parasite spirits, and giant worms who munch up the land and leave people and anything in its p ...more
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed here:

Wow. That was amazing. I don't usually go all fangirl, and when I do its never so public, but Holy Shit is this awesome!!

I'd not really heard much about this book, it release was rather 'under the radar'. It was only when a Goodreads friend read and enjoyed it that I was interested. I was lucky enough to be approved for an E-copy from NetGalley. So here we are.

This story begins with prologue split between two different times, on
Laura Hughes
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Writing fantasy fiction is about asking ourselves, ‘What if?’

When writing The Ninth Rain, I imagine Jen Williams asked herself much the same thing. What if Tolkien’s elves began to lose their immortality? What might happen if they realised that drinking human blood could partially restore it? What if they then realised that the blood infected all who drank it with a wasting disease known as the Crimson flux – and that now their species is dying out faster than ever? What if witches were not only
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you, your family, friends and pets.
This book.

This book, friends!

Did you notice how many Goodreaders shelved The Ninth Rain as "favorite" and "best of --"? And what with all those five-stars ratings?! My little black heart & I thought this was a scam for sure, that Williams enlisted family and friends all the way back to kindergarten to drop enthusiastic reviews of the book for her. I mean, what with the unanimous praise? Who does she think could fall for such an obvious scheme?! Not me, surely. *snorts*

That was before I actu
Manuel Antão
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

"’I’m fine,’ she said again, her whole body shaking. She reached out a hand to the plants growing in their neat rows and saw with wonder that she had slumped next to a tomato plant. There were tomatoes growing on it, tight in their skins and perfectly red. After a moment, she reached out a trembling hand and plucked one from its stem, jerking a little as she did so. […]”

In “The Ninth Rain” by Jen Williams.

A tomato?

The great city of Ebo
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review below, review plus custom cocktail available at The Tome and Tankard Inn.

It’s often a tricky thing when an author decides to straddle the line between fantasy and sci-fi, but I think it’s fair to say that this novel is an example of how to do it right. In The Ninth Rain we are first introduced to Ebora, a dying empire that has served as the world’s main defense against the Jure’lia, an ancient and mysterious enemy. The Jure’lia have come in waves many years apart, and each time been
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
"Wait until I tell my sister! She'll shit a brick."


So, sisters, I am telling you - this is a great book. It's big, it's outrageous, it's grand, it's new. I loved the fact that it wasn't some "elf, dwarf and a human walks into the bar" kinda fantasy that you already know how it will end and what adventures the character will have. Everything here is baby bottom shine kind of new. I bet you never heard of Sarn, Fell Witches, Ebora, Jure'lia and winnowfire. Surprisingly it works very well in a bel
Karina Read
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-favourites
I hadn't realised I never posted my review of The Ninth Rain on here when i read it waay back in 2017, so better later than never...

I enjoyed this one so much I was unable to write a decent review when I first read it, so I will try my best to describe why you need to read this book here. The Ninth Rain has everything a fantasy book should have: magic, flawed heroes, vicious villains and a complicated world. Plus witches, war-beasts, behemoths, an ancient god-like race and a life giving tree. In
J.P. Ashman
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm thinking Christmas tree baubles with super awesome surprises inside...

What a world! What characters! What beasties! WHAT A BOOK!

Thoroughly enjoyed this story and narration (Audible). At the start, It took me a little bit to get into the flow, but I had a lot on my mind (revision and then the exam itself) and I blame that, because the story is fantastic, the characters fully developed and well rounded, and the world is full of so much intrigue. And what happened towards the last third? I got
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so much fun!! I loved all the characters and I'm really looking forward to read the next book!!! Soon!

I have a lot of thoughts on why this was so great and will try to write a real review soon!
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Ninth Rain has some interesting elements to it and I have nowhere near managed to give you the full picture of the threads that connect all of our characters in this fabulously imaginative fantasy. Laced with smattering of horror and occasional psychedelic-like descriptions, The Ninth Rain created a truly atmospheric visual and reading experience.

Jen Williams wrote a book that sits among the strongest of them, in my opinion. With a simple plot, complex delivery and solid execution The Ninth
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for fantasy fans! The Ninth Rain is the assured and striking first book in a new trilogy. Like the Copper Cat books, we have a central group of characters who you will be pretty much instantly smitten with: Tor (muscle for hire and brooding hottie from a sick and dying city), Vintage (sarky black lesbian scholar and general badass, her field of fucks is definitely barren) and Noon (fugitive witch) travel together as nightmares of an ancient evil resurfacing plague the land. Full revi ...more
K.J. Charles
Well developed fantasy world, very good Wellsian concept of creepy alien invasion, older lesbian heroine, moral complexity, well written. I don't know why I don't love it but this is the second of the author's books I've tried and I just don't seem to connect with her characters for no reason I can put my finger on. There you go. Completely "it's not you, it's me".
The Book Goblin
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting book with all the right ingredients to make a good fantasy, but it failed to really draw me in. It could lead on to better things in the sequel, but I doubt I'll continue with it.

Fuller video review at

The Book Goblin
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
4.5 stars.

As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

Ebora was once a vast and affluent city, now it is a desolate and unkempt area populated by the few remaining Eborans with the streets stalked by wolves. Eborans are long living with a life span upwards of 500 years, aided in keeping their youth and virulence
Mike Everest Evans
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Review: The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

The Good: A trinity of truly memorable PoV characters, an enemy host that isn’t just another orc variant, a fresh take on a ‘big bad’, and a plot that pulls the rug from beneath you when you think you’ve found your feet.

The Bad: I. Have. Nothing. Bad. To. Say. About. This. Book. Deal with it. (Except for the fact this is a Jen Williams book without Wydrin the Copper Cat and I now want more Copper Cat books. Damn it!)

The Ugly Truth: The Ninth Rain is on
Jen Williams has written a wonderful fantasy book here, with a cast of warm and lively characters.

Lady Vintage is a travelling scholar, researching the remains of what appear to be alien ships that crashed to earth in a failed invasion attempt. She has a strong and kind personality and she doesn't let problems stop her, almost refusing to acknowledge them. Vintage is still mourning the loss of her Eboran friend (lover?) Nanathema who disappeared 20 years ago.

Tormalin is an Eboran who Lady Vinta
S. Naomi Scott
Having thoroughly enjoyed Jen Williams' first trilogy, The Copper Cat, I came to this book fairly sure it was going to be an enjoyable read, and I'm pleased to say I was right about that. This is one hell of a book, and a more than excellent start to a trilogy. Unlike The Copper Cat, which consisted of three more-or-less standalone novels, this is very definitely the first in an ongoing storyline.

The characters are well written, with each having their own easily identifiable voice. Even the seco
Edward Cox
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On the world of Sarn, Noon is a fell-witch. She is forced to live in the Winnowry, where all fell-witches are enslaved. Noon is dangerous because she has the magic of winnow fire inside her which she can barely control; but she’s innocent, guilty of no crime, a prisoner held against her will and she wants out of the Winnowry. Patient, calculating, smart, Noon longs to feel the wind on her face again, the earth beneath her feet, to be free, to be slave to no one. So when she spies her chance, she ...more
S.J. Higbee
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For starters, this isn’t a straight swords and sorcery. The city of Ebora might be a faded version of its former self, driving Tormalin to seek his fortune elsewhere, but it isn’t the only place enduring sustained and catastrophic deterioration. Sarn and the other surrounding countries are still suffering the ravages of the last invasion by the lethal aliens, the Jure’lia. Wildlife and vegetation have been mutated wherever the huge spaceships have crashed, which also attracts the very dangerous ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Le début est un peu long mais l'univers est vraiment sympa !! Hâte de lire le tome 2, surtout avec une fin pareille :p
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon is a force of nature. You get the distinct impression that when she enters a room people know about it. From a wealthy background, Vintage has spent her years exploring the world. Why has the Eboran fallen into such a steep decline? Where have their enemies disappeared to? Williams starts to blend in elements from another genre to the point where reading The Ninth Rain almost feels like you are following a fantastical detective. Vintage is a natural observer, an ...more
Joanne Hall
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: heroic-fantasy
It’s become a bit of an early January tradition round here to beat down the winter blues with a hulking great Jen Williams paperback. There are few finer ways to start the year than with a warm fire, a cuddly dog, a comfy seat on the sofa and 500+ pages of action, sarcasm, drinking and the occasional dragon. What more could you need?

Following on from the barnstorming Copper Cat Trilogy, The Ninth Rain is the opening volume in an entirely new series. The empire of Ebora is fading, her god dead, t
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I really liked about this book was the characters. They're cool ideas that are invested with a lot of energy. They've got strong interplay but are also capable of standing on their own, which is good as the characters do come and go and there's a lot of plot strands in a lot of different places. Normally that approach so early in a trilogy leaves me hissing and spitting like a cat with a plate of butter but here it works. Because of the characters.

The action is pretty cool too. I'm not gene
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SF/F Read Alongs: [May] The Ninth Rain 4 10 Mar 31, 2019 03:29PM  
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Jen Williams, fantasy writer and Lego obsessive, is the author of The Copper Cat Trilogy and The Winnowing Flame series. She is represented by Juliet Mushens, and is partial to mead, if you’re buying.

Other books in the series

The Winnowing Flame Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2)
  • The Poison Song  (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)
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