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Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy, #1)
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Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  15,467 Ratings  ·  545 Reviews
The Coldfire trilogy tells a story of discovery and battle against evil on a planet where a force of nature exists that is capable of reshaping the world in response to psychic stimulus. This terrifying force, much like magic, has the power to prey upon the human mind, drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them ...more
Kindle Edition, 595 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by DAW Books (first published 1991)
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mark monday
Black Sun Rising; Or, How Ciani Got Her Groove Back.

two major things to note in this sometimes absorbing, sometimes ridiculous science fantasy novel: a fascinatingly developed magic system and a head-smackingly stupid quest.

regarding the stupidity, let's first clear the air with some extended ranting, so we can later speak on more pleasant things and end on an agreeably positive note. C.S. Friedman seems like an endearing author; her writing style can be lazy but it can also be interestingly qui
...more
Stephen
5.0 to 5.5 stars. C.S. Friedman is one of my favorite authors and I have never read one of her books that I haven't loved. I am in the process of re-reading her books after first reading them many years ago and I started with this one.

The first book of the "Coldfire" trilogy, this book takes place on the planet Erna which was colonized by people from Earth over a thousand years ago. When the colonist first landed on Erna, they discovered the "Fae" which is a natural force that causes the though
...more
Mpauli
With Black Sun Rising, author C.S. Friedman transports us into a world of darkness, where your fears can manifest themselves to haunt and hunt you.

Erna is a planet humans from earth reached via spacship and settled onto. This sounds like SF, but is just a backdrop for a dark fantasy novel.
The society wasn't able to hold up to the level of progress of a spacefaring people. So, the atmosphere is more of a gothic victorian world. Think Bram Stoker's Dracula and you have a good picture.

Eevryday life
...more
Kris43
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Im having a hard time with rating this.

If I were to rate the world building and magic system, I would give it 5 stars, they are absolutely brilliant. This has strong sci-fi elements mixed with fantasy. The whole thing is happening in distant future. Humanity has moved to this planet that is totally different from planet Earth. It has something that at first looks like magic.

It is inhabited by sentiment forces who feed on human emotions/blood/semen and can be tapped to fuel various things. But t
...more
Ivan
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
This was great.

Main plot has been seen many times.Fellowship travels to the hearth of darkness for good cause, in this case to restore hot sorceress power.Their travel will take them across Erna, planet who creatures and natural laws are shaped but it's inhabitants both conscious and subconscious mind.Erna itself is biggest reason for my high rating as it's one of most fascinating setting I came across.While this book is technically sci-fi (Erna is colonized planet) book play mostly plays out li
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Okay...this is another I'd like to give 3.5 as it's got to be above a 3 but I didn't care for it as much as I have many of the books I've given a 4.

It has an interesting "world system". I don't think the term "magic system works well here as it all has to do with the planet or world on which the action takes place. (To say more would of course entail spoilers). This book might be more accurately called "science fantasy" rather than epic or high fantasy as it's built around the assumption of an e
...more
Ben Johnson
Black Sun Rising is a brilliant setting with a mediocre story. A warrior-priest and his companions track a demon in order to restore one of their member’s memories, but are forced into an alliance with perhaps the greatest evil of all: the former Prophet, damned by his own church and driven into a dark pact which brings both power and a vampiric curse. The novel sets up a variety of interesting themes but concludes its bloated story with cliches, a disappointment given the great world-crafting o ...more
†Ðawn†  has reading burn-out.
A re read for me. Read this back in the early '90's and completely forgot everything.

The good:

I liked the writing style in that it is very descriptive and shows more than tells. Tarrant and the priest were well developed and complex characters and I loved them both.

The world building was fantastic..beyond fantastic!

The pace was steady with good conflict and I did not skim.


The bad:

MC Ciani was a useless and underdeveloped charcter. She was not used to her full potential. I cared nothing about he
...more
Sumant
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-completed
Started reading book as it was recommended to me by many people, and also a book club of which I am an member was doing it for this month.

But after almost completing almost 80% of this book, I don't give a damn about the world which the author has created neither the characters, so I am going to stop reading this book and further books in this series.

I am just going to highlight the weak points for this book.

1. The story is all over the place.

The book begins with a certain premise and plot, but
...more
Rob
Executive Summary: I have mixed feelings on this book. Sometimes it was a 2 star, sometimes 4, and in the end I settled on 2.5 rounded up. I wanted to like it more than I actually did.

Audiobook: One of the things that attracted me to doing this book was how much I enjoyed R.C. Bray as the narrator of The Martian. He's quite good here, but at some points he's "too good".

What do I mean by that? Well his voices for some of the characters are so spot on the description as to be jarring, and I'd spe
...more
Pax
May 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finally made it to the end of this awful book, mostly by skipping about eighty pages in the latter half (figured out what I'd missed within five repetitive pages, and no need to slog through) and then skimming the rest.

All in all, this writer had a good idea, some fun character interplay potential and NO EDITING. As in, where was her EDITOR??? This could have been trimmed to less than half its dense, repetitive mass with such greater impact. Apparently this is part one of a trilogy -- the rest
...more
Mary
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
I'm not really sure what I didn't like about this book. The setting was amazing, the plot was interesting, the characters were... well, they weren't horrible, but I've read better. And that, I think, is where it lost me. I liked the characters well enough, but their problems didn't engage me. I wasn't particularly upset when one of the characters died, I wasn't particularly glad when they resolved some of their issues, and I wasn't particularly interested to find out what happened to them in the ...more
*Absorbed in Countless Worlds*
Strong points to this book :
- Excellent, dark atmosphere.
- Rich worldbuilding.

Weak points :
- Character depth.
- Storyline and its execution.

Still a good read!
Chris
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
There were some good elements of story here, and some good world concepts. However, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The prose is choppy, full of adverbs and redundancies. If I had to hear "he smiled grimly" one more time, I was prepared to gouge out my eardrums (I listened to the audio, obviously). The plot drags on and on. And on. And on some more. Events take forever to set up, and then when something does happen, I'm like "what the hell? Where did that come from? Should I rewind? Oh ...more
Lys
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Introvabile nelle nostre librerie, fuori catalogo da non so quanti anni, Il Cavaliere del Sole Nero della Friedman è un autentico capolavoro, di quelli che se per caso la Nord decidesse mai di ripubblicarlo sarei in prima fila per aggiudicarmene una copia.
La Friedman sa scrivere, sa tessere una trama forte e sempre intrigante e, soprattuto, sa creare dei personaggi indimenticabili.
Sono rimasta incollata alle pagine di questo libro fin dal prologo e da quella domanda che trascina subito nel mondo
...more
Chris
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
There is an old episode of Star Trek . . .


Okay, for you born after the 1990s, I'm talking about the really old ones. You know the ones with the Enterprise attached to a string, with Leonard, with Shatner and his ever changing girdle.

Anyway, in this episode, Lt. Uhura, who is very cool, gets her knowledge zapped by some alien in bad make up.


That's this book, sorta.


The book is about power, knowledge, people, and cost. Very few books deal with cost. This is one of them. I enjoyed this book very muc
...more
Evgeny
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A very dark book features one of the best bad/still most interesting guys in fantasy books.
Jonathan

Black Sun Rising is another highly recommended fantasy novel that I took my time to get around to finally reading. Having completed this novel I admit that I am slightly torn about it as an entire experience. On the whole it is not quite as great a read as other novels I have rated four stars, yet at the same time there are large patches of the novel which are five star quality. These patches unfortunately mix with the three and two star patches.

The biggest - issue - I had with Black Sun Rising
...more
Kinga
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can you take such an interesting, excited and complicated world with so many conflict possibilities and write such a crap book about it? It’s rather amazing.

I haven’t read a proper fantasy novel since my early high school days. Back then I used chain-read Andre Norton but I can tell you very little about as it has been mostly eradicated from my memory to make room for all the plotlines of Grey’s Anatomy. Therefore I can’t tell you if C.S Friedman writes badly or whether she is in line with o
...more
Kat  Hooper
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Black Sun Rising is the first novel in C.S. Friedman’s popular COLDFIRE trilogy. I read Dominion, the prequel novella, a couple of years ago after reading (and loving) several of her science fiction novels. I admire Friedman’s worldbuilding and her writing style.

The COLDFIRE trilogy feels like traditional epic fantasy, but it would best be categorized as science fantasy because it takes place in the far future on Erna, a planet colonized by humans looking for a habitable world. When they got to
...more
Blake Charlton
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
five stars for classic science fantasy with wonderful world building. vivid setting and characters, a straight-forward and satisfying story. my only complaint concerned anachronisms in the prose style (e.g. characters from a pseudo-medieval (or maybe pseudo-neogothic) culture using corporate slang like "PR"). but overall, this is a wonderful series and deserves to be revisited in this era of gritty fantasy. i'm looking for the rest of the series.
Zach
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1200 years ago, human colonists landed on the planet Erna, which they quickly discovered was home to an energy field called the force fae, which reacts to the human mind by giving life to people's unconscious fears and desires. This doesn't mix very well with human technology, so what we have here is a kind of post-apocalyptic science fantasy (indeed, the characters stop at an Inn of the New Sun early in the book, hint hint).

With that (very appealing!) background in place, our story proper begin
...more
Neda Stojkovic
I slogged through about half of the book, thinking maybe it will get better - I heard a lot of praises for this trilogy, so I expected something quite different. But I give up. I'm done. No more.
One reason why this book gets two and not one star is the magic system, which is interesting, if confusing - humans can use, consciously or unconsciously, natural forces of the planet Erna (called fae) to, well, do stuff, like materialize fantasies or nightmares, or change reality in accordance to their
...more
Giovanna
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely present from Lys :3

Mmmm. It's kind of difficult to rate this book. I loved some things and I disliked others.

The world-building and the magic system are really original and well-written and the characters are quite complex and well-developed, but sometimes the plot itself bored me. All in all I did like the book but there are some things that bothered me. First of all the book felt really slow. I mean, I get why all these pages were needed, but at the same time I was bored anyway sometim
...more
Kitvaria Sarene
Don't let my low ranking deter you - this is a perfectly fine book, just not my exactly my personal cup of tea.

First off it has kind of a fairytale vibe for me - and I never liked those.

It also starts off with a feel like a secondary world - but after a short while (so no spoiler) we learn that it actually us humans in the future - and I personally HATE mix ups of realworld and secondary worlds. No idea why - it just doesn't click with me.

It is written emotionally - don't get me wrong, it isn't
...more
Lorena
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I found the fantasy world that was created here to be very interesting, and the author certainly does like her anti-heroes, based on this book and the one other I've read by her so far. However, I felt that the backstory and some of the characters could have used more filling out. We've barely been introduced to our main characters when suddenly they are thrust into their Designated Quest, supposedly in part because of the deep feelings two of the characters apparently formed for each other virt ...more
Noelle
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: friedman-c-s
I am almost finished with this book and even though it took me longer than usual to get into the story, i must admit that right now I will have a tough time putting the book down. I want to know what happens.
In this story, I seem to like the bad guy (a/k/a Gerald Tarrant) way better than the "good" guy (a/k/a Damien Vryce). Gerald has this "je ne sais quoi" about him, and I cannot help but like him ... Without wanting to give away the story, Cianni is a character that is necessary to the story,
...more
Blodeuedd Finland
I struggled, oh how I struggled. This was the second time I started this book, the first was a DNF. This time I did get to half the book, but yawn.

The world is fascinating! Scifi mixed with fantasy. Humans came to a planet and settled. They lost their tech ad found magic and a cruel world. Awesome worldbuilding.

But, the characters are flat, the story was not interesting. After 250 pages I started to skim. I just could not bother anymore. At the end I closed the book, and will not read more or ca
...more
Emily (BellaGrace)
Sep 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, a-own-it, dnf
Yet another book I couldn't finish. I gave this one a good try - read up to 176 and then asked myself "why am I forcing myself to read a book that bores me?". The characters are wooden and uninteresting - you learn pretty much nothing about them or even what they look like. The main guy falls in love with the girl in a week and decides to travel to the ends of the planet and face death just to help her. The magic system was not interesting to me and I really dislike the authors writing style. It ...more
Monica
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book, and the concept behind the plot is really intriguing, but there were places where the story line lagged a bit. I also had a bit of trouble connecting with the characters. But there is great imagery in this book, and the setting and descriptions are really awesome. In conclusion there are some things that I loved about this book, and other things that I didn't really like that much.
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Celia S. Friedman is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has also been credited Celia S. Friedman and Celia Friedman.
More about C.S. Friedman...

Other Books in the Series

The Coldfire Trilogy (3 books)
  • When True Night Falls (The Coldfire Trilogy, #2)
  • Crown of Shadows (The Coldfire Trilogy, #3)
“There is no such thing as redemption, my friend. There is right, there is wrong, and there are a million shades of color between the two. Once you've done wrong, it is always with you. You just have to try and be better.” 3 likes
“He’d once had to fight off a pack of ghouls in below-zero weather with nothing on but a pair of socks, and it wasn’t an experience he was anxious to repeat. He” 0 likes
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