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(Borderlands #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,965 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Rabbit is a trooper on the Border Guards, just another body in the King's army. But when his patrol encounters a Faena-one of the magical guardians of an uneasy ally-Rabbit is thrust into a political and magical intrigue that could start a war. Because Rabbit isn't just another trooper. He is the son of nobility-and a mage who doesn't know his own power... ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 548 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by Roc
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Fabian Schuster I found this comment on another authors site discussing Freeman (dated March 16th, 2017):

"I managed to make contact with Tod Goldberg via e-mail yeste…more
I found this comment on another authors site discussing Freeman (dated March 16th, 2017):

"I managed to make contact with Tod Goldberg via e-mail yesterday (he was instrumental in assisting Lorna Freeman publish ‘Covenants’) and was utterly delighted to received this response from him:

Tod Goldberg
22:01 (13 hours ago)

I’m afraid I don’t know Lorna’s creative plans, but she’s alive and well!


Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  1,965 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Dirk Grobbelaar
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An absolute gem of a fantasy novel. Criminally overlooked and underrated.

Also, some rather groovy cover art.

I sometimes wish I could shake some sense into people. While everybody busies themselves with high profile, well promoted and, let’s be honest, sometimes inferior books (and series), there are some truly commendable works slipping through the cracks, and into obscurity. This is one such a book.

Covenants is a debut novel and, arguably, comes with a few of the quirks that you might expect as
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] I’d call this a hidden gem.

I went through my entire collection of unread books and combined my highest priorities into a bookshelf on Goodreads. Of them all, Covenants happened to have the highest average rating among my peers. Aka, a perfect place to start.

And I was not disappointed.

This is one of those slow burn classic fantasy reads that focuses on character development and immersing the reader in the world. If you sit down and map out all of the major plot points it wouldn’t ta
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

This was a great fantasy story from a new to me author. Even though it was a long book, it kept moving fairly well and the characters and magic system really held my interest. As I was nearing the end of this book I was feeling glad that I had the next one waiting on my shelf because I did not want to leave this world.
Aug 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Was given this as a Christmas present last year by someone who's opinion I trust.

And this book is a good reason why I trust her opinion. It's a very well done and fresh fantasy novel.

The human kingdom that the action focuses around (there are others on the periphery of the novel) is built on land that not so long ago inhabited by the Faena - basically all sorts of magical creatures. In many senses the setting harkens to a type of fantasy old frontier ca. 1800. The civilized human nation does its
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reading
I absolutely love this book -- I own two dead tree copies as I was afraid I may read the first to death. THis is my comfort series -- I adore it beyond reason.

Full of action, adventure, humor -- with a touch of a regency/historical feel. Cannot recommend it enough. Just wish it would be published as ebook (both books 1&2 -- #3 is on kobo).
previously re-read Feb 2016
previously re-read Mar 4/16
What an excellent coming of age story! Rich imagery, excellent world building ( talking cats!), great cast of characters and fun adventure.

Rabbit is lost.

Having been born and raised in the Borderlands where talking trees, philosophical boars, and dragons as bards are normal neighbors, Rabbit is also very unusual. Decades ago, human-only Iverstarre kingdom ceded the Borderlands to the magicals after a crushing defeat. The Borderland sent in their faena, magical arbitrators, creatures with power e
Rosalind M
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
To think I almost didn't pick this up! It's very difficult to write from first person, but you'd never know it from the ease with which Lorna Freeman lets us see through Rabbit's eyes. Loved it. One of my treasures when I was away from home. ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, elvez, magez, 2015, dragonz
Very good. At first I was not totally engrossed by it. But by around a third of the way in I was solidly hooked.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book a lot, I really did. It started out so promising. But eventually I had to put it down. I got so frustrated with the lack of detail; almost everything is described via the talking of the characters. Most recently I have been reading The Way of KingsThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. His world building is beautiful and immersive and oh so detailed. Going from that to this was just too jarring and frustrating. What was the magic that Rabbit summoned when he almost kil ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I originally picked up this book because I was lead to believe that it included gay main characters.
There are actually none as there is no sex scene at all.

I was not disappointed by the book itself, though.
It is far from spotless and it shows its author's lack of writing experience but it is enjoyable.

The first person POV makes it easier to identify with the endearing main character but it also makes it much more difficult for the author to draw a detailed picture of what happens in such eventfu
Sherwood Smith
Sep 14, 2010 added it
Shelves: fantasy
I really liked the story, and I think I would have loved the way it was told if I'd read it many years ago. Freeman has a vivid imagination--I bet she's a fellow visual writer--and a knack for creating appealing characters. I loved Rabbit, even if he is a bit of a Gary Stu. Freeman makes him so charming that I am totally along for the ride.

My problem is the excessive scaffolding in the sentences, which slow the pace tremendously for me. I know many readers don't notice that, and love the books t
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an excellent debut novel by someone I've never even heard about. And more the pity, because Freeman's book had everything an epic fantasy needs: a talented young man of peasant nobility who runs away to the Army, a magical being who attaches itself (ok, himself) to him, and a war to stop. Add in a large cast of multi-dimensional characters who almost all grow and change over the course of the book, action, magic, mystery, betrayal, and of course the Plutonium Dragon, and you get book on ...more
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
There isn't much that's *new* new to this story, but the way it's done makes it fresh and interesting. It's a cute, enjoyable read. The characters are individual, and fascinating; lots of shades of grey. The pacing is phenomenal, and the author keeps a firmhand on all the plots, subplots and extras, so much so that I rather suspect she has a lot more to say about this world -- which can only be a good thing :-)

Lots of humour, magic, snark, plots, treachery, coming-of-age (or not *g*), elisions o
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: looking for new fantasy
Shelves: book-club
For a first novel it is good. It has a lot of the standard sword and sorcery tropes, but does spice it up with some new elements. Individual characters are all pretty definitively good or evil, but groups (priests, nobles, etc) are morally mixed. The hidden heir comes of age and learns his place in the noble rankings, but wants no part of it. Talking animals who are not cute. I do have an american squick when the tyrant is good and the capitalists are evil (although Terry Pratchett can pull this ...more
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Covenants has great dialogue, tense and intelligent. It also presents horror in a sublime way. It is perfectly organized and memorable. I couldn't put it down and really got into the action, and the ideas (the relationship between the Border and Iversterre, the People and humans). I also love the layers of identity discovered in various characters. Quite a few characters are intriguing, and their interractions keep you on your toes. It has become a book that I prefer to reread instead of picking ...more
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book when it was first released. I admit it was because of the art work. Then I read it, the sarcasm in this book still cracks me up. I found I really liked not only Rabbit but the cast of characters he was surrounded by. I still recommend this book to people who like books like Blue Moon Rising by Simon Green. This is the first book of an ongoing series. There are three books in the series now, with at least one more.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My brother gave me this book to read and told me that I would probably like it...he was right. I found Covenants to be extremely intriguing with many twists and turns that you can lock yourself in. If you like elves, mages and a good dose of main character embarrassment and power, this is the book for you
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who liked Harry Potter
One of my favorite books.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Best fantasy I've read in a long time. I am hoping she will write another book. Please please write another book in the series. ...more
Tobi Dahunsi
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where have you been all my life!!

This was such an incredible read, equal parts humor, sarcasm and all-round awesomeness. If you liked Brandon Sanderson, you'd love this.
Jun 03, 2019 added it
I really like this series but am stuck as the author has disappeared so no 4th book coming.
Jolie Goehl
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A superbly written, can't-put-down fantasy novel. The story is interwoven with complex social structures and lots of political drama, xenophobia, betrayal and double-dealings. In several places I found myself holding my breath during tense moments.

Written in a first person narrative, the characters are very human (with uncertainties and individual idiosyncrasies) and are easy to identify with.

Bryce Jones
May 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
The main plot of the book, at its core, is actually really engaging. Unfortunately, not only is it executed poorly, it's also hidden behind heaps and mounds of tedious stuffing.

The book has a very odd mixture of being both fast-paced and exhaustively humdrum. I'll try to explain what I mean by this. After the first 50 pages (of the 550 page novel,) my first complaint was that events happened way too quickly; without any characterization background or any kind of setup to make events seem organic
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites, fantasy
Lately, I've had horrible results with books from authors I haven't read before and even ones I've been reading for a long time. Covenants was one to break me out of that slump.

I was recommended this book by Goodreads, so, I read an excerpt of it. The first chapter is reminded me of the beginning The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs when Aren met the Hob. However, the main character isn't a women, he's a man or boy... well, male. His name is Rabbit.

Fearsome name for the hero of the story, ri
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Where to start?

Rabbit starts as a soldier on the border in small town. From there a magical creature (faena) emerges, befriend him, and tells him and his troop that he needs his help to stop a war from re-occurring between the border (magical place) and the humans. All because Rabbit's from their homeland...apparently.

The plot quickly thickens and we discover Rabbit possesses many emerging powers. One being, the ability to piss off lots of people. The story then manages to draw out major climax
Kari Chapman
I often have a hard time getting into very long books - the story set-up can take a very long time with very little reward in plot progression. "Covenants" didn't have that problem. We jumped right into the story and took off. The trade off is that instead of a lot of world building at the beginning, we get lots of info dumps as the book progresses. For the most part I didn't mind. It gave the world building in easily digested bits.

The world was a fun one. I enjoyed the flexibility of the magic
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Particulars: High Fantasy,Roc, available both in print and e-book

Why was it in my TBR? Cause I felt the urge to re-read it. This is one of my comfort reads

The Review:

The blurb:

Rabbit is a trooper on the Border Guards, just another body in the King's army. But when his patrol encounters a Faena-one of the magical guardians of an uneasy ally-Rabbit is thrust into a political and magical intrigue that could start a war. Because Rabbit isn't just another trooper. He is the son of nobility-and a
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a 550 page teen power fantasy, which is a story type that long since lost any appeal for me. Our hero, Rabbit, is the specialest of special snowflakes. The fate of nations revolves around him, mostly because of who he was born to be, not because of anything he does. The politics of the novel are clumsy and unbelievable, and the author tries to show that Rabbit is clever by having everyone around him be fairly dense, so that his suggestions seem insightful when they really aren't. And the ...more
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, intriguing, complex, captivating, creative, well written. I gave in and sent away for the paperback. (I don't have space for many more hard-copy books.)There are two more books in this series! Woohoo! I'm going to read this again after I finish the last book available about Rabbit. Most of the good-guy characters have enough depth to make them interesting. The bad guys are one-dimensional making them hard to care about or identify with. There's no love interests for main characters. (Th ...more
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Borderlands (3 books)
  • The King's Own (Borderlands, #2)
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