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Cephrael's Hand

(A Pattern of Shadow & Light #1)

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,285 ratings  ·  238 reviews
"All things are formed of patterns..." And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross: In Alorin... three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centu ...more
Paperback, 654 pages
Published September 22nd 2010 by Outskirts Press
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Todd Pund This series is very much based on love and friendship of all kinds. This first book has the first inklings of romance, but doesn't really cross into…moreThis series is very much based on love and friendship of all kinds. This first book has the first inklings of romance, but doesn't really cross into romance territory. Once deeper into the series though, not only does it have romance, but a particular romance becomes one of the primary plotlines.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tony It's not stated in the book. I think it simply refers to the idea that Ean and Creighton are childhood friends and trust and love each other as much…moreIt's not stated in the book. I think it simply refers to the idea that Ean and Creighton are childhood friends and trust and love each other as much as they would trust their own family members.

Also, there is a very strong possibility that Creighton would some way be indentured to Ean as his prince.(less)

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Kaitlin
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid read that I picked up purely based on the audible recommendation and one or two people mentioning it was good. It's a self-published read, but it feels well paced and although it starts off slow the drama and intensity builds once you know who's who.

This is the story of three vastly different people and what happens when their paths cross.

There is the old ancient race of the Adepts who are a slowly dying race with just Bjorn as the man who may somehow save them. Led by Raine, we are att
...more
Brent
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book, and in the beginning, I really did. And I suppose, I liked it more than I disliked it. The story had so much potential in the beginning, but ultimately, it succumbed to too many "deus ex machina" moments. These moments seemed to be added simply to have an "action" sequence. Examples include sudden evil lords of cities intervening for reasons that didn't serve the plot. A little over half-way through, the main characters (whose story lines all came together, for the mo ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
3.5*'s.

I generally hate when an ad for a book begins, fan of WOT, GOT, Stormlight Archives..........will love this book. Usually they're nothing like said iconic book of the genre. In this case however I think you like Wheel of Time you'll like this and if you don't then don't bother. Alyneri provides the braid pulling female you want to throttle.

The book has similarities to WOT but isn't in lockstep with it and definitely has a desert/Middle Eastern feel which I really liked. I also enjoyed s
...more
Raina {The LUV'NV}


Find the full review on The LUV'NV blog, here.

I am inspired and yet don't know where to start. Rarely do I come across a book that fills me with such zeal and I'm convinced the whole world needs to read it. I can count four. After reading Cephrael's Hand—no, after reading Cephrael's Hand and The Dagger of Adendigaeth , the first two books of A Pattern of Shadow & Light series, I can count six. Shocking, since I'm rather picky about Epic Fantasy.

Melissa McPhail created a world unlike any ot
...more
Mark Halse
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well if this wasn't a well written and entertaining epic fantasy story I just don't know what is. I've been reading a lot of indie fantasy books as of late and Cephreal's Hand is the crowning jewel of these.

Excellent world building, magic system, characters and story. This book is everything an epic fantasy book should be and well over 600 enjoyable pages!

There does seem to be way too many POV characters at times though and it can be a trifle overwhelming. There are three main POVs, six to nine
...more
Ron
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, fantasy, maps
Good world building and story telling, but I never really cared about the main characters. Too much detail about too many minor characters. Also too many modern American cliches--knocks the reader out of the classical mood of the story. Not to mention the many arched eye brows and bit lower lips.

map in ebook edition useless.
Brandon Lindsay
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read quite a bit and normally I read several books at once. When I started reading Cephrael's Hand, however, I had to put everything else aside until I found out how it all wrapped up.

Cephrael's Hand is a big book that takes place in big world, but it isn't overwhelming like certain other fantasy doorstoppers. Each character is likable and interesting, and each plot thread is connected to all the others--and thus actually matters. There are no wasted words or filler scenes. Even though it is a
...more
Geoffery Crescent
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for some promotion, which you can see over here --> http://sauteedpotatoesandonions.blogs... I couldn't actually finish the novel though. In the prologue the author mentions someone has dark blue eyes multiple times in TWO pages, which is a bit ridiculous. Then she quickly kills off someone who seems like they would have been a supporting character, probably to prove the book is, you know, gritty (bleaurgh....) or that the enemy are ruthless, but it ...more
Erin O'Roark
DNF @ 30%.

Sorry, you guys. I just couldn't get into it.
 ♥♥Mari♥♥
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
(Reviewer's Note: I received a paperback copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is an incredibly detailed tapestry of characters and events, laid out in a book of truly epic proportions. The various plots are like strands of elae, McPhail's name for the magical energy underlying the universe in her novel, and a totally unique concept in the fantasy genre.

Like a wielder of this energy, McPhail weaves these plots together to create a multi-faceted, yet unifi
...more
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
This series has a lot of potential (which I don't think it quite lived up to in the first book). The ending was solid and interesting, but I had a hard time getting through the middle. This mostly felt like the setup for a (potentially) great series.
Charline Ratcliff
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy reading a good fantasy and even though my “free” time is limited and this book is a whopping six hundred and thirty-four pages I decided to read it. Just to let you know, “Cephrael’s Hand” is the first in the “A Pattern of Shadow & Light” series. In other words don’t expect this book and its tale to finish together and don’t expect to read it in one sitting…

So, there are three major parts interwoven throughout “Cephrael’s Hand.” First is the realm of Alorin. Alorin, and its Ad
...more
Chip
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WARNING:
I'm adding this warning as I read book 3 in the series as the series has taken a much darker tone than it began with. Do not get hooked on this series if reading scenes of torture / sexual violence are not something you are comfortable reading. It is not worse than what you would read in Game of Thrones. In retrospect, this series has moved much closer to George RR Martin with a touch of Michael J Sullivan.

Characters: 5*
Universe/World Building: 4.8*
Plot: 4.9*

Before I read this book, I ha
...more
TheCosyDragon
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

I was upset that I was reading a ebook copy, as although I dutifully read the table at the beginning that detailed all of the characters and the various terms, I couldn't keep them all straight in my head when I started reading. Had this been a hard copy, I could have easily flicked back and forth. Nevertheless, the novel was very enjoyable - alt
...more
Katie Doyle
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally, I was going to do this review as an interview with one of the characters, but life got in the way and there is no way I have time to do so. Which leaves the basic type of review. It’s just as fun though, especially when talking about this book!

First, a warning. It’s long. It’s about 654 pages long. BUT – and this is key – you don’t know it. Here’s a scenario:

You’re sitting in your favorite spot, warm and cozy with your pajamas on and a book in your hand. You read. And you read. And r
...more
S.M. Blooding
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
There were a lot of really GREAT things going on in this book! Seriously!

The setting, for me who absolutely LOVES setting, was spectacular!! I literally felt as though I’d been transported to this other world. There’s just so much political intrigue was in depth and fascinating. I love, love, loooooved the fact that it wasn’t written for easy reading. You really had to pay attention to what was going on in order to keep up with the happenings! There was so much lovely, lovely potential in this b
...more
Jean-maxime
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
While I did enjoy the read, I was extremely disappointed in this book. To be fair, it was mainly because I had huge expectations.

My main criticism is the seemingly forced epicness of the story. Most of the plot is meaningless. You could cut whole plot lines and not miss much at all. One plot line that has no baring on the story, and last the whole book, is Trell's. It's a shame, because Trell was by far my favorite character. Yet, the story would be exactly the same if he was cut altogether from
...more
Lukas Ott
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Favorite book I've read. Hands down-no questions asked. The story is intricately woven and yet never boring, it is exciting and fast-paced and keeps you glued to the pages as. This book is written for anyone who loves a good read but if you find that you enjoy a carefully, intelligently written story this is a book for you!:)
Sean
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. That's all I can say.
Noelle
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was good! No, it was better than good. As a matter of fact it was SUPERB! .... I cannot wait to start reading book 2 .... I am positive it will certainly not disappoint me.
Gin
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great fantasy book! Can't wait for the next book to come out!
Ryan
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
so much arched eyebrow and biting of lower lip! like every other sentence. cool book worth reading. needs an editor who cares.
Goblin
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Posted originally at: Once Upon A Book

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Hello all, and welcome to my review of Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail. This has to be a close first for me, as this book has most certainly earned 5 stars. Absolutely, without question it has to be one of the best fantasy books I have read.

McPhail’s work can be likened to the classic works of Tolkien, or Jordan an epic universe with fantastic detail and obvious thought
...more
Melissa Haggerty
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy reading so many kinds of books. Epic Fantasies usually only make up a small part of my reading. I don't venture into that genre often. Still I was very interested to read Cephrael's Hand when I was asked. I like to branch out, and the synopsis of this book is intriguing. I was not disappointed at all.

Melissa McPhail has a gorgeous writing style that flows easily. She easily told this story from many points of view without it becoming confusing to the reader. She did an amazing job of tyi
...more
Slick
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm really not much for reviews but i felt like i ad to for this book..

Wow. One of the best reads of the year.

The story mainly focus's on Prince Ean returning home then embarking on his quest for vengeance against those who murdered is Friend/Brother, (Tedious) Trell of the Tides, who is adventuring all over trying to piece back together his forgotten past.

I honestly don't know where to start. This book has been sitting on my 'To Read' for ages,
i finally got around to reading it and suffered one
...more
Linda Fast
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received Cephrael's Hand for free through Goodreads First Reads and when the book arrived I was overwhelmed by the size of it. As I started to read, I thought to myself how am I ever going to get through this. I went back to the beginning of the book and reread the glossery of terms and the list of explanation of the people and where they fit in. I then continued to read and I still had my doubts and then the book seem to take a magical hold on my mind and I had to force myself to stop reading ...more
Rhianna Sulock
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Found this book by happenstance and a happy find it was. It's been a long time since I've been so engaged in such a rich and detailed world as the one created by McPhail. One of the things that tickled me as I read through the book was the homage, given two decades of wonderful creations by other fantasy authors, in the use of their characters names in new and interesting ways. It was a wonderful inside joke that pleased me to no end.

This is the story of two royal brothers, two Kingdom Blades,
...more
Teressa Morris
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cephrael's Hand is an epic fantasy of the highest order. I can't even imagine how long it took for Melissa McPhail to invent a language, a world and multiple races of people. She does it all masterfully, with description so vivid I could imagine myself in the opulent tents of the sun-drenched desert, or having high tea with the royal women at Calgaryn Palace.

The story lines of the three main characters interweave seamlessly as the story turns from kidnapping to dark magic to amnesia, betrayal an
...more
Tracy
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"May we meet again in the Returning"

This is one of the best books I've read in a while and I can't wait for the sequel! The characters are engaging and you find yourself rooting for them. The author does a fantastic job of character development as well. Her descriptions are vibrant and thankfully she doesn't take 5 pages to describe a tree or a flowing river (SO ANNOYING). This book kept me up at night, and that's a good thing. I'm anxious to find out what awaits Trell, Ean, and Tanis. Read this
...more
Donna Parker
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I won this from The Goodreads First Read program and saw the size of it I admit, I was daunted. Then I started reading and was taken away to a fantastical land full of many interesting characters, places, and events. The journey is sweeping and not dumbed down, but don't let that intimidate you, it is worth learning all the names, places, etc. This does what great epic tomes do, take you away and make you like it. I can't wait for book two, I'm ready to go back.
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Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid fantasy reader. A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations. Melissa loves sailing, skiing and discussing books and philosophy—not necessarily in that order.

Melissa's fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow
...more

Other books in the series

A Pattern of Shadow & Light (4 books)
  • The Dagger of Adendigaeth (A Pattern of Shadow & Light, #2)
  • Paths of Alir (A Pattern of Shadow & Light, # 3)
  • Kingdom Blades (A Pattern of Shadow and Light, #4)
“Fear was the worst evil ever to plague a man, for with it came hesitation and with that, inaction, failure, death.” 17 likes
“In every waking moment, it is our next choice that makes us who we are.” 10 likes
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