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The Compass Rose

(One Rose Trilogy #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,073 ratings  ·  58 reviews
The legends of the Godstruck were just that -- legends. Until, in an attempt to defend her people, Captain Kallista Varyl called on the One for aid and was granted abilities such as no one had seen in centuries. Now Kallista has been charged with a new destiny as one of the most powerful women in the land -- but her power is useless if it cannot be controlled. Mastering he ...more
Paperback, 458 pages
Published February 15th 2005 by Luna
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,073 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Jan 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
Nice try, but de-evolves into magic orgies.
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, ebooks, fantasy, 8, 10, 2010, 2005
ORIGINAL READ: 10/10 (8 October 2005 - 10 October 2005)

[Copied across from Library Thing; 16 October 2012]

REREAD #1: 8/10 (finished 15 January 2010)

Originally published in 2005, The Compass Rose was one of the early books in Harlequin's Luna range. The idea was to publish fantasy novels with a light touch of romance and I rather enjoyed the early days of the line, including this one. Its sequel, The Barbed Rose, came out a year later and I enjoyed that one too. Unfortunately, at that point Luna
Aug 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
This book started out wonderfully. the first two characters to be introduced were interesting and complex, the world was well-put together, The author threw in an interesting supernatural twist....and then it flopped. It was as though she simply couldn't get from point a to point b and keep things intersting. It became WAY too much about sex and WAY too much about Kalista. She was already egotistical and the story in the book just encouraged her. Everything revolved around Kalista. Blich.
This au
Jennifer Wardrip
May 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that immediately wrapped you up in its magic and refused to let you go? That's what happened to me with Gail Dayton's THE COMPASS ROSE, the first in the One Rose Trilogy. From amazing characterizations to a world unlike any you've read about before, this book takes you straight into the heart of the story and makes you a part of the action, the mystery, the romance, and the unimaginable magic that is the nation of Adara.

Kallista Varyl is a Captain in the Adaran army, a
Anna Suave
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ahh! At last I found the kind of smut I've been looking for in a book. Very much in the fantasy/alternate universe genre. Romantic without being unduly insulting to the reader's intelligence. Plenty of sex (the language is more romantic than graphic) and an adventure at it's core.

AND as an added bonus - it contains NO vampires!! (Hooray!)

The book features polyamory, multiple-marriage, group sex, and some very very mild elements of same-gender sex and bondage. I should say that if you're looking
Bookish Ames
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
First read: October 2011

So I only had vague memories of reading this book and I'm so glad I went back and re-read it. I'm seven years wiser (lol) and am reading the story with different eyes. I paid more attention to the relationship dynamics and I have to say I enjoyed this story more the second time around. I plan on reading the rest of the trilogy soon - I want to see how things progress and what further threat is out there.
Action wise - I loved the magic and the bonding and how chosen ones
Amy Qualls
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Liked the book overall, but the writing just wasn't very tight in places. She had a really good opportunity to explore the concept of ilian, and just didn't - she opted for titillation over world-building. I'm not sure she really know where she wanted to take the book. I read the two follow-ups and was a bit disappointed; she had a fantastic idea but the story just got away from her. It would have benefited by being twice as long and twice as detailed. Oh well. ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guilty-pleasure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was enthralled with this book from the first chapter, and read through it in barely two days. The characters, the world-building, and the relationships they build were riveting.

Kallista is a practitioner of magic which she uses to defend her mainly matriarchal kingdom as part of the army.
When defending against an invading army she calls upon a divine power to aid her and becomes Godstruck, chosen for a greater purpose. From there we have wandering ghosts, a matriarchal society, a power most
May 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An interesting introduction to the complex society that governs the country of Adara which has a military system that includes women in positions of power and wielders of magic called naitans along with their respective bodyguards challenged by other countries such as Tibre which disdains magic use in favor of mechanical and scientific methods and consider women to be incapable of holding positions of authority. Various denizens of each country discover that they have to shed their preconceived ...more
Morgan Maria
Mar 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'd almost forgotten about this book until I saw it again while scanning a romance shelf. I kind of wish it were forgotten still.

While it's been a few years, I still remember a lot of what I felt about this book. It started well; the drama of the war, the conflict of Kalista's emerging powers, and the friction between her and her companions were all interesting and compelling...

...and then it all just fell apart.

The plot was lost in the wake of Kalista's numerous romantic interests. The world b
May 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Read the first few chapters and loved the world she was building, until it took an unexpected twist into orgies and just plain ridiculousness. Uhm, no thank you.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Fantasy with silly romance aspects and some hilarious moments. But it's nice to see the harem be populated by men for once. ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good story that keeps you wanting to read more and not put it down! Well worth the trouble of finding the book and reading it.
Tessa Hamberlin
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked how unique this story was. I did feel that some bits were a bit rushed and I wasn’t overly impressed with the characters. I also thought the ending was way too easy.
Bridgette Redman
Feb 01, 2012 rated it liked it
If you like your fantasies hot with eroticism and tingling with mysterious magic, then you’ll want to delve into Gail Dayton’s fantasy debut.

The author of two previous romance titles, Dayton has penned the start of a fantasy trilogy replete with clashing societies, powerful magic, frightful enemies, and spooky dreams. And did I mention sex? Yes, lots and lots of sex. And talking about sex. And thinking about sex. But we’ve already established this is a romantic fantasy, right? So none of us can
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those Interested in Alternate Societies and Lifestyles in Fantasy
This novel was first published by Luna, a Harlequin imprint marketed toward fantasy readers that drew from both romance and fantasy writers. I generally felt most of their books were too romance aisle and not strong fantasies. The Compass Rose is actually one of the exceptions in that respect among the Luna books that I liked with some creative world-building.

I thought the world Dayton created was intriguing: Adara, a matriarchal society, practices group marriage requiring at least four members
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
high 2s.

INSUFFICIENT WORLD BUILDING: an interesting world, but superficially so. the author's lack of detail made this feel like a promising cartoon sketch rather than a rich, vibrant, layered, i don't know, oil painting, let's say. for example, i got the feeling that she didn't KNOW what her protagonists did day in and day out and what it would have meant to survive in the world she was trying to fashion. certain things were too vague or too deus ex machina-y for comfort. for example, before a
Dec 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-have-in-ebook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Km249 Merrell
Apr 22, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a story about a magician/sorceress who, in the midst of battle, finds herself given extraordinary ability. The last person to have received this gift happened over 1000 years previously, long ago enough that all that is known about her is discounted as myth.

Kallista finds other God-chosen people to help her in her quest, and finds out what is happening to her and what she is supposed to do.

I really liked the characters, and I felt that the world was pretty well constructed. I really enjo
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
Kallista Varyl is a solider in the army of Adara, though of higher rank than a footsolider since she possesses a great deal of magic. When fighting a force of invading barbarians, Kallista calls on The One (a Goddess figure and central to Adaran religion) to "do something" to save Adara. Connecting with The One leaves Kallista "godmarked" and with a special destiny to gather other godmarked individuals and set out on a quest to save Adara.

Why I picked it up:
This was a re-read and I enjoy
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia Leslie
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this story. It's certainly received a mixed bag of reviews, but overall I think the writing flows well and takes the readers into an interesting world where the usual stereotypes are reduced somewhat. I enjoyed a world where women weren't just pretty love interests or strong characters looking for love... I gave this four stars because I didn't want to put it down. I didn't give it five because there were still some stereotypes I was a little disappointed with - the main character may be ...more
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Nice book. I loved the beginning. Had it stayed between Kallista and Torchay (or something like that) I think it would have been a five star. I didn't mind the addition of the other characters, but they got a little lost in the story. They didn't get the fleshing out that the first two did. I liked the concept of the Ilian. I disagree with the comments of the book being an erotica. It was not sexually explicit IMO. I think this idea stems from the Ilian. I just didn't see it. Anyway, it seemed a ...more
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just reread. For all those into 50 shades... This is infinitely better. It has much better writing, a better plot and if it is a touch Mormon in the wedding beliefs, well, it makes it a bit interesting, right? I'm not sure about the excess of..hmm.. adult content. If I had bought this copy in a store it should have been covered in a brown cover, but then I'm a bit prudish. I had to repurchase because I loaned my copy to my Aunt and never got it back. But that's okay it was worth buying twice! ...more
Stephanie Jobe
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Maybe it is because of my years in the theatre world, but I love a good ensemble. Kallista may have begun as the heroine, but part of the theme of the book is sharing. Mostly this one was just a fun read. A friend saw it and read the back and thought it sounded like one I would like. Dayton creates an intriguing magical universe that at times can be complicated but is quite elegant and unique. There is a little bit of battle, friendship, love, family, sex and of course saving the world. An engro ...more
Mar 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-again
The magic system starts out interesting, but then it's all just...magical orgies? I really can't describe how much of a let down this was, since it seemed to have a plot at the beginning and then just failed to continue to have a plot beyond "sex! for magical reasons! with everyone!" which I guess is fine if that's what you're looking for (although even then I'm not sure this is the book for you, since it wasn't really compelling even for /that/ reason), but you sort of have to advertise for tha ...more
Nov 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kim by: anyone who loves good fantasy with strong women.
This reminded me of the style of Tamora Pierce and her "Imortals". This is the first book of 3 and it is SO GOOD! Kallista is a captain, a woman, and a naitan, what would be called a mage or witch. She is put into a journey not of her making when she is chosen by the One, the deity that her land worships. She gathers friends and lovers along the way that are also chosen by the One. Book also includes a who's who list and a glossary of terms. ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Love/Hate??? I loved the "idea" of the book...and hated that I didn't really like it...It started slow... got a little better, then it just couldn't keep my attention. I think what hurt this book for me was I never connected with any of the characters. They all seemed really bored with no personalities. I normally enjoy series like these (C.L. Wilson; just to name one)but not this time. ...more
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What's the Name o...: Adult high fantasy romantic adventure [s] 3 47 Jun 27, 2015 08:41AM  
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I've been a fan of fantasy, science fiction, fairy tales and other "books of wonder" since I was young enough, I still thought kissing was icky. Then I grew up and decided I liked a strong dose of romance in the mix.

I live on the Texas coast with my fella of 30-plus years, our youngest son (who should be graduating college this semester) and the granddog Dolly, a princess wussy pitbull mix who le

Other books in the series

One Rose Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Barbed Rose (One Rose Trilogy, #2)
  • The Eternal Rose (One Rose Trilogy, #3)

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“Kallista nodded. “Come, Torchay. Seems we should pack.” They sailed upriver with the dawn. “What’s wrong with you?” Someone had hold of Stone’s hair, shaking his head as if it were a sackful of kittens to be drowned.” 0 likes
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