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Beneath the Vaulted Hills (The River Into Darkness, #1)
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Beneath the Vaulted Hills (The River Into Darkness #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  327 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The last of the world's great mages, the enigmatic Lord Eldrich has dedicated his life to eradicating all remaining vestiges of magic in the world. But the fanatical Tellerites--followers of a long-dead mage-apprentice--oppose Eldrich, desiring the hidden knowledge of the magical arts and with it the coveted key to immortality. Drawn into this conflict against his will is ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by DAW (first published 1997)
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Dietrich Kappe
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Of all of Sean Russell's books, this is perhaps the best one. Alternate historical fantasy, magic in Britain, cooky Oxbridge Dons exploring the world. Most of this story takes place underneath the earth, in a series of caves in a search of a crypt (more powerful magic, etc.). The plot may sound derivative, but the writing is so beautiful, the characters so finely sketched, and Russell is able to immerse you so completely in the fictive dream, that you will descend into this book and not emerge a ...more
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Eldrich is the last mage, and when he dies, magic will die with him. Eldrich himself is determined to see this come to pass, but others aren't so sanguine. A shadowy organization gambles everything on the results of their auguries, while more ordinary men seek to uncover the secrets of the mages. But mages are much like a force of nature: unknowable and unstoppable . . .

I liked several things about this book very much, but I'm on the fence about the book as a whole.

First, the worldbuilding is e
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Oh, finally. I don't know why this book took so long to read, but I blame the font. Too many characters, too many storylines, and the end wasn't even a cliffhanger--almost nothing was resolved. The caving parts were good, but nothing LED anywhere. There's no there there.

Edit: Okay, my understanding is that this is the first half of a two-book cycle. I'm going to read the second one, because the setup was actually really good--I was just pissed at the lack of payoff, like the book stopped in the
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-bestest
I had forgotten the name of this book for a long time, but the imagery of the cave exploration haunted me for years. When I found out the name again, I couldn't wait to re-read it. Nothing about it is standard fantasy, and it is very well written. Also, I hadn't realized that it dovetails with the World Without End/Sea Without a Shore novels, and you must read all four. I'm sure I will re-read this series again.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
borring some times but you can read it
Chris Moriarty
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
More End of the Age of Magic proto-steampunk from Sean Russell, and just as good as the rest of this series.
Brian Darvell
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Moderately fun story which is a much slower paced one than most fantasy novels. Nothing outstanding but still was enjoyable.
Nov 05, 2014 added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I got 100 pages into this book and it is just not holding my interest as the other series by this author did. I am not going to be finishing this one.
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Aka Sean Thomas Russell

Sean Russel has co-written, with Ian Dennis, a mystery series called "Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner". The first volume of the series was published by Bantam under their joint pen name, T.F. Banks.

Sean Russell was born 1952 in Toronto. At the age of three his family moved to the outskirts of the city, where they lived in a cottage at the beach of Lake Ontario. At the age of
More about Sean Russell...

Other Books in the Series

The River Into Darkness (2 books)
  • The Compass of the Soul (The River Into Darkness, #2)

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