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The Ninth Rain

(The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,375 ratings  ·  412 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, m…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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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Start your review of The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #1)
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Petrik by: TS Chan
Shelves: favorites
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4.5/5 stars

The Ninth Rain won the Best Fantasy Novel trophy in British Fantasy Awards 2018; this is a totally well-deserved victory.

On Goodreads, you’ll see that I put my co-blogger’s name as the one who recommended this book to me; do know that for the past two years, there were actually many readers who have told/asked me to read and review not only The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, but also William’s debut series: T
Em Lost In Books
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, 2019, 2010-19
It took me sometime to get into this but after a certain point, story didn't let me go. Last 10 chapters were read in a single sitting, so much happening at the same time. Very enjoyable read. RTC. ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
🦇 Giant Pet Bats For The Win Buddy Reread (GPBFTWBR™) with the MacHalos and stuff 🦇

· Previous rating: 6.568765 stars.
· New rating: 7.5 stars. Because reasons.

And the moral of this reread is: any villainous villain who says stuff like we do not make agreements with food when talking to puny humans is Slightly Very Awesome (SVA™), if you ask me.

Yum and stuff.

P.S. Vin + Noon + Tor + Fulcor + Vostok =

· Book 2: The Bitter Twins ★★★★★
· Book 3: The Poison Song ★★★★★

[Original Review]

🦀 Let's Keep It
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
TS Chan
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-owned
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
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
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.39 ***

A very imaginative, passionate and emotive writing, the author bringing us another world of wild nature, fantastic and alien creatures, and the variety of human nature within all of its extremes. I was lost within the story from the beginning, as surprisingly cruel as it was. By the time I got to the end of the story, I had to make sure and purchase the next two books of the trilogy, because I just had to know where the author will take us! Literary life is better with Jen Williams'
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 wou
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
June 2019
I didn’t intend to reread this, but I went to start the Bitter twins and realised I couldn’t remember enough and needed a refresh. Well I’m glad I did because it was just as good as pastime. I want a giant bat like Fulcor!

June 2018
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 middl
Charlotte May
Jul 17, 2019 marked it as library-loans
Library copy available for pick up

Needed some more high fantasy in my life so thought I’d give this one a go 😊
Elena C.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you, your family, friends and pets.
Various friends from the U.S. and Canada told me that for some unfathomable reason this series is hard to get on that side of the world. Which is an utterly deplorable state of affair, really, but we do live in a crazy, nonsensical world. Bullying your local library into buying a copy of this masterpiece might be an excellent idea, and if you've been planning a trip to the Old World, this is the perfect time for it as The Poison Song, the last installment of the trilogy, is just about to be publ ...more
Milda Page Runner
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Remarkably good read. The rewards and praise for this book are certainly deserved.

An unusual blend of fantasy and sci-fi. Original and fascinating world and masterful worldbuilding that I can only compare to Martha’s Wells Raksura books. Mature characters, great characterisation, flowing prose, engaging story with plenty of action and humour. Honestly, I can’t come up with any flaws even when I’m trying to.

Normally I’m not fond of multiple Povs but here all the characters are so interesting
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
Chris Berko
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would like to buy a beer for whatever author first started putting those little clips at the beginnings of chapters that are like letters or diary excerpts that add or fill in background or history to the overall story or explain things, that shit is like literary cocaine injected right into my veins. I love that shit. I bring that up because as I started reading it was those little snippets that made me first fall for this book. I usually lean towards stuff that is a little more on the dark s ...more
Nils | nilsreviewsit
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘Noon felt her heart begin to beat faster in her chest. The ancient city of Ebora, for centuries largely forbidden to humans, was now passing beneath her feet. Here were the homes of the rich and important; pale marble glinted in the peach fire of the sunset, and she saw pieces of richly carved architecture, cracked or covered in ivy. Once armies had marched from this place and swept down across the plains, massacring her people as they went, drinking their blood and worse, according to the stor ...more
Every few hundred years, the Jure’lia, the “worm people,” descend upon the land of Sarn, trying to make it their own. Their tactics are terrifying and horrible: they turn Sarnians into drones that murder and infect their own people; and they lay thick trails of translucent green, impermeable resin which traps everything, and everyone, in its path.

Every time the Jure’lia have come, Sarn has been saved by the Eborans, a long-lived species, some of whose members can recall the previous battles
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
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Listen, OF COURSE I asked Santa for Peace on Earth (and a swift and safe end to this pandemic) but...
could I also ask more retailers/libraries to stop making this series such a pain in the ass to find/track down?
(Also, Audible if you are listening - don’t attempt to pick this up unless you have SOLID talent behind it. Seriously, this series deserves the best.)

So here’s why I’m freaking out about this book:

- The structure is sound, smart and satisfying. Every time I had a question or a plot cur
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
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has everything I want from a fantasy novel: a unique world, with well developed historical and geographical information that adds to the plot; interesting characters; suspense; a bloodthirsty and mysterious enemy force and giant, furry bats. There is also some cool magic that I am keen to learn more about.

Very excited for the next one!

Ratings:- ★★★★
Karina Webster
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
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
The ninth rain is the first book of the new trilogy by Jenn Williams. I had high expectations about this book alas the second half of the book was a big disappointment for me...

The plot of the book was engaging first though a classic one. A world still wounded by the wars from a race... the problem is they don’t know why they were attacked and next to nothing about their attackers.
8 wars all bloodier than the former and every time an ancien race of allies , the Eboran, came to their rescue.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
Loved the start to this series! Jen Williams has such captivating writing and imagination 😍. There is so much going on in this world. We get to know it slowly thoughout the book while we follow a couple of very interesting characters.

One of them is an elflike vampire ish tall Eboran called Tormalin. He is hilariously vain and has some kind of sex diploma 😂😂😂. Anyway he left Ebora cause its people are dying. They lived off the sap of their god in form of a tree. Sadly it died and the Eborans slow
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 be
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Birte by: Petrik
Shelves: owned, favourites

Oh dear, this was amazing! I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about this apart from Petrik, who recommended this to me and more people need to read this. This book has some of my favourite themes, like an explorer and unknown history and a dying race, hopefully not dying in the future. All of the characters are well fleshed-out and lovable and I couldn't choose between any of the main characters in who's my favourite.

Then there's the world and as I said there are some mysteries rega
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
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

Oh hello new favourite!

If, like me, you read From Blood and Ash and enjoyed yourself but objectively knew it wasn't actually very good (for many, many reasons), then may I present to you an alternative, much better option, in The Ninth Rain! To be clear, the only similarities to From Blood and Ash are in the romance dynamic between two characters and the fact that there is a vampire-like element to this world. The rest of the book is much more elevated on every single level: writing, w
David S Meanderings)
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-favorites
4.5 stars rounded up. Wow. That was quite a book and an explosive ending. I loved the 3 main characters. They had such good chemistry and each was very much their own individual. I dont really have a favorite between Noon, Tor, and Vintage.

This is a very unique world. I did not expect this world or this story to be what it turned out to be and that is a great thing. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.
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SF/F Read Alongs: [May] The Ninth Rain 25 26 May 30, 2019 08:17PM  

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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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