Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wit'ch Fire (The Banned and the Banished, #1)” as Want to Read:
Wit'ch Fire (The Banned and the Banished, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wit'ch Fire

(The Banned and the Banished #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  6,337 ratings  ·  323 reviews
From a brilliant new voice in fantasy comes a band of heroes, a world in peril, and an unforgettable heroine whose unexpected gift of magic awakens an ancient, slumbering evil.

On a fateful night five centuries ago, three made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Del Rey (first published 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wit'ch Fire, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cat Bezubiak Definitely depends on the maturity of the reader. I would have read this in high school for sure, but that won't be the case for everyone. There are d…moreDefinitely depends on the maturity of the reader. I would have read this in high school for sure, but that won't be the case for everyone. There are definitely adult themes, but when it comes right down to it it's high fantasy and mostly about that. Generally speaking I would say maybe 16 and up, but again, depends on the reader.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,337 ratings  ·  323 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wit'ch Fire (The Banned and the Banished, #1)
Kate Cornett
This is one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. I was stunned and completely entranced by the introduction of the story. It starts out in such a unique and impacting way, and then get's better and better. It is a page-turner for sure, making it extremely difficult to put down.

The characters are interesting, complex, and well thought-out. They definitely add to the reason why this is such a great book. There are some characters that I will never forget--Such as one of the heroes, Er'ril of
Becka Sutton
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who don't mind formulaic fantasy
This book falls into a very unusual category for me. Books I don't especially like that I manage to finish. Since I only review books I finish this is one of the rare times you'll see a broadly negative review from me.

It took me two attempts. When I first bought it I tried to read it and gave up about a third of the way through. A few months later I uncovered it while tidying up and gave it another shot. This time I finished it, but I still wasn't entirely impressed.

This is Fantasy by the number
Ahmad Sharabiani
Wit'ch Fire (The Banned and the Banished #1), James Clemens

From a brilliant new voice in fantasy comes a band of heroes, a world in peril, and an unforgettable heroine whose unexpected gift of magic awakens an ancient, slumbering evil.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bravo! A good fast read! now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page.

The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real.

i would highly recommend this author and this book.
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
The synopsis said it grabbed you and wouldn't let you go...I didn't find that. I've read a lot of fantasy and I suppose that after a while when you start one there is always a danger that you'll just get the feeling, "ya I've been here before". i suppose that might be what happened here, I'd seen it all before. It just didn't catch my interest.

I was in a pretty stressful time when i opened this book, but I was looking for something to read and ready for a good fantasy, a good epic fantasy as it
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fantasy lover (Senda)
Recommended to Rose by: Senda
Shelves: i-own-it
This is possibly my favorite fantasy series (next to Tad Williams and Tolkien) and it starts out in a captivating manner. The world is entirely original and beautiful and the characters are beyond wonderful and endearing. It's been a while since I read them, but my experience with reading these was phenomenal.
Ariana Fae
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read WIT'CH FIRE when it was first published in 1998 and loved it. I decided to listen to the audio version while on a flight to England, to see if after 20 years if I would feel the same. The answer is a definite yes.

Clemens' spin on witches, dryads, trolls, elves, and the world he created was interesting. One thing I admire Clemens/Rollins for is his ability to create strong and interesting female characters like Elena. Granted Elena doesn't start off as a strong woman but a young girl on
Nicole P
Not my usual type of book but the world and characters were interesting enough to keep my attention till the end.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had to debate a lot between two and three stars, but I'm coming down on the side of two.

Clemens has a pretty beautiful story here, and there are some very interesting races and characters. The plot itself is actually pretty involving, except for the how familiar as it feels to fleeing the shire because of the Nazgul errr I mean fleeing the village because of the Ra'zak errr I mean fleeing the village because of the Skal-tum (Talk about recycled!)

The novel suffers though under two things:

1. An
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I agree with both the positive and negative reviews on this one.
It was captivating, or I wouldn't have bothered finishing it.
I liked several of the characters or at least found them compelling.
I was REALLY bothered by the awkward, stiff dialogue and a few writing-tics the author has, such as needing to emphasize a point by repeating it. ("He found himself completely immobilized. He could not move." Like that. Grrrrrrrrrr!) I will be continuing with the series, though, because I am particularly
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely loved this series. What first caught my attention was not just the vast amount of characters in each novel, but also the wonderful characterization and the beautiful world building. However, if you have a terrible memory with names or if you just have a difficult time remembering what ability each character possesses, then I would move swiftly along.

I give this novel and the series 5/5.
Jun 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
This is not good, and you shouldn't read it. The plot was lacking in originality, but honestly my main problem was with the author's writing. And the bizarre tendency to insert apostrophies in the middle of words in order to make them exotic (that's my best guess, in any case). This series is comparable to a badly written romance series. Fantasy trash.
Apr 13, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
I liked this series, but seem to remember cringing at some prtty sexist plot-lines. (But apparently it wasn't enough to throw me off the series - which is something I am known for doing.) It was a pretty well-paced, original and interesting story.
Dec 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't connect to this book. I am a big fan of James Clemens later series The Godslayer Chronicles and I thought I needed to read his earlier work, but reading this felt like work. Also what is with the apostrophes in the middle of so many just seems weird.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
i did not like this book at all because it did not have a good storyline to it . this is the first book that i have read by this writer . and i do not think that i will be reading anymore by this writer . i wanted to like this book so bad . but i just could not get in to the storyline .
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is part one of a 5 part series called "the Books of the Banned and the Banished". its JRR Tolien's "lord of the Rings" on steroids mixed with acid. Unstoppable fantastic read.
Jo Marjoribanks
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Re-reading my favourite fantasy series for the third time. It's been 10+ years since the last time and I love it just as much.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Unnecessary apostrophes aside, this book is a fun example of fantasy genre fiction. A cast of unique characters unite against a world-threatening evil. Clemens doesn't do anything new, but he treads old ground well.
Shera (Book Whispers)
Mar 20, 2010 rated it did not like it

This book had a really fun beginning. Showing that the book we are about to read is a history of how the old world ended, and that it is nothing but lies. Promising, right? How many fantasy books start off like that? Not many so I was really excited to start out.

Within 20 pages, nothing big really popped out. The reader has read the prologue that gives us some history, and we're rushing on to meet our young heroine. Who is just coming into her powers and is now a hunted girl because of
Apr 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, witches
I'm not a reader of this kind of high fantasy (epic?), the only other series I can link this one to is The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien... it says a lot about my high fantasy culture *lol*. But I truly loved reading it.
Just like in TLR, we have a long and perilous quest to deliver the world of darkness, a bunch of different but allied characters, mythical creatures and of course a young hero/heroine whose destiny is bound with their world's fate.

But Wit'ch Fire has two things that Tolkien's saga
Travis Simmons
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I read this book years ago (so many I don't want to count them) and loved it. I had read the second book as well, but couldn't remember if I got any further than that. I decided to go back and give it a chance again, from the beginning, so that I could read it in its entirety.

I am glad I did. It was still very enjoyable. There were a couple complaints, but not anything to do with the storyline or the writing. Well, a little to do with the writing, but not much. One was description, while it was
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I read this book for the first time 8 years ago. I was new to the Fantasy genre, quite young and loved it absolutely. So much so that I bought the four remaining volumes and read them all back to back. So I was a bit afraid not to love it as much this time. What if I realize it's not good at all? I have so fond memories of this series!

Fortunately, I loved it as much as the first time!

Where to begin?
Maybe with the only "flaw": it's a slow book, at least, it was to me. Everything builds slowly t
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, ebooks, 2010
I struggled through this book. The story was good, but dragged on for so long that I just wanted to give up. I believe the entire story could be amazing if the author would pick up the pace a bit. That being said, I don't see myself perusing this story in the other books, I don't think I could bring myself to drag through another one. It should NEVER take an entire book just to bring the party together to start the story.
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A creative combination of mythical creatures adapted to fit James Clemens Wit'ch Fire. Heartpounding action and suspense keep you hanging onto every last word. I didn't like the way that Clemens jumped from this character to that character especially when something unexpected happens. The gruesome and vivid descriptions allow the readers to become more engaged to the plot.
Jan 26, 2010 rated it liked it
It was good but I'm really tired of getting hold of books that leave off like cliff hangers. I want to read authors who are confident enough in their craft that their readers will pick up book two because they liked one so well...not because they have to read more just to finish an original plot.

Traci Loudin
Feb 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: male-author
After reading some of James Clemens later stuff (Godslayer), I decided to pick up some of his earlier works. Stay away from this book if you were impressed with the Godslayer series and haven't read his earlier stuff. The story seems alright enough at first, but within the first few chapters, it falls flat. I couldn't even get to the end of the first book... glad I didn't buy the series.
Sammy Smith
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This series ranks in my top fantasy books of all time. They're old school fantasy - good vs bad. With a strong female MC and a band of characters who are neither black or white. James Clemens writes characters that are complex, interesting and full of depth. I think this was his first book, and now he writes as James Rollins.
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kass by: Donna
This series is amazing, so easy to slip into the place of the main character and get tangled in the story. When I start reading, I just can't put it down.
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite writers as Rollins. It's okay, but haven't yet gotten to any of his other fantasies.
Mar 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This was a free kindle book, and I obviously liked it enough and the story was compelling enough to purchase the next 4 books in the series.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Automne (Une saison chez les sorcières, #1)
  • Rhapsody: Child of Blood (Symphony of Ages, #1)
  • Le Zoo pétrifié (Les Carnets de Cerise, #1)
  • La Tempête des échos (La Passe-Miroir, #4)
  • Prophecy: Child of Earth (Symphony of Ages, #2)
  • 10 bonnes raisons de te détester
  • Destiny: Child of the Sky (Symphony of Ages, #3)
  • De toutes mes forces (Les 5 Terres, #1)
  • Pauline
  • The Blood King (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #2)
  • The Runaway
  • Faceless
  • Moriarty - Tome 8 (MORIARTY (8))
  • Black Butler - Tome 29 (BLACK BUTLER (29))
  • Porcelaine - Légende du tigre et de la tisseuse
  • Guardians of the Louvre
  • Kariba
  • Horrifikland
See similar books…
James Clemens [Aka James Rollins] was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1961. With his three brothers and three sisters, he was raised in the Midwest and rural Canada. He attended the University of Missouri and graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1985. The lure of ocean, sun, and new horizons eventually drew him to the West Coast, where he established his veterinary practice in Sacrame ...more

Other books in the series

The Banned and the Banished (5 books)
  • Wit'ch Storm (The Banned and the Banished, #2)
  • Wit'ch War (The Banned and the Banished, #3)
  • Wit'ch Gate (The Banned and the Banished, #4)
  • Wit'ch Star (The Banned and the Banished, #5)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
36 likes · 54 comments