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Darkborn (Anglais) Poche – 4 mai 2010

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The knock on Balthasar's door came as the bell tolled sunrise. For Imogene's Darkborn, it was the hour of criminals and suicides, the hour of violence or desperation. In this civilized city of Minhorne, the ancient law of succor was half forgotten, and many might not have opened the door to an unknown's knock at the brink of dawn.

Balthasar Hearne was not one of those; he hurried to the door and pulled it open, heavy as it was. On the step stood a lone woman muffled in a heavy traveling cloak. He sonned no carriage at her back, no living movement within his range except two cats and a small indistinct fluttering of birds. This close to sunrise the street was quite deserted. "For mercy's sake, "the woman begged breathlessly, "let me in."

He could already feel the sting of imminent daylight on his skin. He stepped back and she stumbled heavily over the threshold, pulling away from his steadying hand and fetching up against the little hall table. "Oh, sweet Imogene." She panted, leaning hard on it with both hands. "I thought I would never reach here in time. I thought I must surely burn."

He shut and locked the door against the day. There was nothing else to do. Left outside, she would burn to ash in an instant at sunrise, as would he. That was the Darkborn's legacy of Archmage Imogene's Curse.

Her heavy cloak had snagged and was dragging one of the ornaments on the table, and Bal reached out and freed it before it fell. It was one of his wife's favorites, a horse with its foal pressed to its flank. He held it cradled in his hands as the woman straightened with an effort and turned to face him. He felt her sonn sweep over him, shaping him for her perception: a plain, slender man a little below average height, decently but not fashionably dressed. Certainly not as befitted the husband of a duke's daughter, if she knew whom she faced. He returned the sonn, delicately, as one must, to respect the modesty of a lady. Her small face was puffy above the fur trimming of her cloak. Her little gloved hand reinforced the clasp. She was still breathing hard. Like most women of the aristocracy, she was unfit for walking any distance, though she seemed unusually distressed. He wondered what had brought her here unaccompanied. It augured not well, for either of them. Her reputation would suffer, and his marriage, if gossip placed them together through the day.

The bell fell silent. In a few minutes, the sun would rise. They were trapped here, together, until nightfall. In the meantime his manners reasserted themselves. "The sitting room is in here." He gestured her toward it.

She did not move. "Don't you remember me, Balthasar?" she said in a clear, sweet voice. "Am I really so much changed?"

He sonned her again, but the voice had already told him, that musical inflection. "Tercelle Amberley," he said flatly.

"Yes," she said, smiling. "Tercelle Amberley. It has been a very long time."

The echoes of his sonn faded, leaving him in the grainy haze of all the reflections of random vibrations around them. He was ashamed of himself for feeling as he did. It was not her fault that he had tried ten years or more to forget his brother and everyone associated with him.

She directed her next splash of sonn at the hallway, a lady gracefully sidestepping awkwardness. "Your home has not changed at all," she said. "Yet you married well."

"My wife and I have a family home elsewhere," he said, trying not to sound curt. His domestic arrangements were none of her business.

She heard the curtness; he heard her take a heavy step forward. "Balthasar ... Balthasar, I would not have imposed on you were I not in desperate need. I truly believe you are the only one who can help me."

The last he had heard of Tercelle Amberley was the announcement of her betrothal a year ago to Ferdenzil Mycene, heir to one of the four major dukedoms, and the hero in the campaign to subdue piracy in the Scallon Isles. Quite a coup for the daughter of a family that had scrambled their way into the nobility a scant three generations ago. The Amberleys had major interests in armaments and shipbuilding, which would attract the heir to the most expansionist of the four major dukedoms even more than the lady's sweet face and social polish. The betrothal, Bal's contemporaries said, was one of the many signs that boded ill for the independence of the Scallon Isles. Bal could hardly imagine how Tercelle would come to need to throw herself on the mercy of an obscure physician-scholar, even one married to the archduke's cousin. Or rather, he could hardly imagine any good reason for her to do so.

Years of training in courtesy prevailed. "Please"—he extended his arm toward the receiving room— "do sit down."

She paused on the threshold, and in the reflections of her sonn he perceived the salon's shabbiness, the best room in a house of impoverished minor nobility. He had another home, true, a fine home to suit the lady he had married, and even though it had been bought and paid for with her inheritance, not his, when she was there, he felt it home. When she was not, when she and the children went to one of her family's estates, he returned here. And no, this house had not changed; if anything, it had become shabbier than when Tercelle knew it. She had made no secret of her disdain then, during her long flirtation with his brother. Bal wondered if Lysander had known how little chance his suit had had, even then. He wondered what he knew now.

She walked into the center of the room and turned with some small effort of balance. "Have you ever heard from Lysander?"

"No," Balthasar said, suppressing his slight disturbance at having his thoughts echoed so deftly: Of course she would be thinking of Lysander, facing his brother. She was no mage.

She sonned him, a delicate lick of vibration." Are you still angry with him?"

"Leaving," Balthasar said, "was the best thing he could have done. For us, his family, and for you."

"How harsh," she said in her breathless lilt. "I never thought you would become so unforgiving a man. You were always so gentle. And you adored Lysander, as I did."

True, he had, once. "Please, Tercelle, why have you come?"

There was a silence, and then a rustle of movement. "I need your help." His sonn caught her as she shrugged the unhooked cloak from her shoulders and let it slide to the ground.

Somehow he was not entirely surprised to know that she was pregnant, though he was disconcerted by how large and low she was carrying. She must be very near her time.

But her fiancé had been gone over a year, harrying the Scallon pirates and conducting diplomatic forays into the neighboring island kingdoms to advance the dukedom of Mycene's claim on the isles, their territory, and their exports of exotic fruit and spices.

"The child is not your intended's," he said, keeping all tone from his voice.

She scowled that he should say it. She reached back and lowered herself awkwardly into a chair he had not offered. "If he learns of this child, the best that will happen is that he and his family will repudiate me. The worst is that he would kill me." She shifted her belly on her lap with a grimace. "I'd rather be dead than cast aside."

"How is it," Balthasar said, "that no one has told him?"

"When I knew I was with child I sought to lose it. I tried all the means I could discover. I even contrived a fall from a horse." He was silent, remembering the aching devastation of Telmaine's one miscarriage. He and Telmaine had walked around the house like souls in purgatory. "It didn't work. But I had the excuse to go away, to live as an invalid until my time came."

She pressed a fist against her abdomen, grimacing. "I ... lay with him but four times. It was the last ..." She could have given him the date, the hour, he knew. He felt compassion for her in her fond folly, despite his dislike of her and the danger in the situation for himself. Ferdenzil would surely believe she had sought the aid of her lover.

"He would tap on the door to give me warning, and then I would tap back and go into the next room and wait, and he would come in ... Sometimes I wanted to lock the door; once I did and then I unlocked it again ... I could not do otherwise. And it was in the day he came, always in the day."

Bal frowned. Ballads and broadsheets told of Lightborn demon lovers, crossing the sunset to seduce Darkborn girls. The stories were absurd, since the Lightborn could no more abide the darkness than the Darkborn the light; such was the nature of Imogene's Curse. Part of his irregular physician's practice was treating people, usually young women, with a dangerous obsession with the Light: Lightsickness, it was called, a delusion that could end in an impulsive, fatal stepping into sunlight. He wondered why Tercelle would tell him a story they both knew was impossible.

She heard the skepticism in his silence. "He came from the Light, I tell you," she cried out. Sonn showed her pulling herself forward in the chair. "That's why I came to you. You have friends among the Lightborn. You can take the child, whatever it is. And if it cannot go back to the Light, then there are places when yet another bastard will hardly pass notice, places you know."

Ah, there was that, if he set all the rest of it aside. The demimonde, the Rivermarch, where fallen women, mages, and criminals gathered to ply their disgraceful trades. The rejected of society gathered there. He had worked at a demimondaine clinic as a student, and still did when Telmaine's aristocratic family left him, and her, in peace—and the physician in him did not like the appearance of Tercelle. He wondered how far she had come on foot. Coach drivers insisted on being under cover before the sunrise bell began to toll. He stood up. "Tercelle, the rest of it can wait. You are here now, and you have had a hard walk for a lady in your condition. You should rest now."


Lady Anarysinde Stott perched on her sister's bed to observe the last of her toilette. "Why must you wear those long gloves, Tellie? They're so unfashionable."

Telmaine Hearne smoothed the silk of her gloves, which reached almost to her shoulders, and groped on her dressing table for a buttonhook. She could not imagine how she could have brought so many bottles and baubles for four days' stay, even one at the archducal summer palace, even for an occasion when everyone who counted in society would be attending. Two months away from her frugal, tidy Balthasar had produced a sad backsliding.

"Bal says that what becomes a beautiful woman is always in fashion," she told Anarys, retrieving the hook at last. She used it to fasten the last of the pearl buttons and settled the full sleeves over the cuffs of the gloves, ran her fingertips along the lace of the neck, higher than fashion now permitted. She turned to her sister, shaking out and spreading her full skirts. The gown was new, expensive—dear Bal would never know how expensive!—and in the splendid height of fashion. "What do you think?"

Her sister's sonn pinged off her. "You're beautiful, and you always will be." Anarys sighed.

Telmaine rustled over to kiss her lightly on the cheek. She remembered being sixteen, the sheer interminableness of the year before she was presented to society, before she could veil her head as a grown woman, before she could be courted—and poor Anarys seemed to be a late bloomer, still flat chested and growing out of her clothes. The gown that so became Telmaine would have hung on her like a sack.

"Give yourself time, my dear. It will come."

She straightened up with the certainty that Anarys planned to creep downstairs later, before the sunrise-bell, when wits were beginning to blur with fatigue and wine, and when the sonn of matrons and chaperones was wearied. She suppressed a sigh, balancing duty against discretion. "You be careful, Any-any," she said, tilting up her sister's chin with her gloved finger. "Have your fun, but remember that reputations are very easy to lose, and very hard to regain, and not all young men can be trusted."

Anarys sulked. "How do you know these things? You weren't perfect, either. You met Balthasar in secret."

"I was lucky," she said. After all, it was luck that Bal's friends had chosen that particular summer night to scramble over the garden wall of her family's city home and join, uninvited, the masquerade held for her seventeenth birthday. "I was lucky that he really is as special as I thought he was when I met him."

Her sister tucked her knees up beneath her, kneeling in a billow of skirts. "Did he really come to your party dressed as a Lightborn?"

"Oh, yes." Remembering that extraordinary figure by the bookshelf, a slight young man in a densely embroidered tunic and woven hose that, but for the length of the tunic, would have been indecent; odd, narrow, ornate shoes; and a huge, wonderfully absurd hat with a bedraggled plume. "I couldn't decide whether he was lurking by the bookcase because he knew how out of place he seemed, or because he was shy. Of course, now I know the attraction was the books."

"And you asked him to dance." Anarys sighed.

"Yes," said Telmaine a little wryly. Her mother and aunts had garrisoned her with a veritable regiment of suitable suitors. Of these, a couple frightened her; some merely bored her; the rest did and would stifle her. So when the musicians started to play the first of the traditional three ladies'-choice dances, she had bolted to the oddity standing by the bookshelves.

"I scared the life out of him, too," she said, smiling.

When he took her hand uncertainly in his to guide it to his shoulder, according to the new—shocking, to her mama—style, his hand was trembling. She had smiled reassuringly at him and placed his hand, quite deliberately letting it brush the bare skin of her shoulder. He started to apologize, and then she pulled him onto the dance floor, understanding for the first time the girls who flaunted their young men like prizes won. She had touched the sweetest, brightest mind she had ever sensed, and she had found the man she would marry, whether he was duke, servant, musician, or mage.

Anarys sighed again.

"Just you be careful," Telmaine said. "Remember the things I've told you about. They don't just happen in the demimonde. They happen among people like us."

Anarys pouted. "Mama would swoon if she knew what you'd told me."

"Mama," Telmaine said, "is a dear woman, and very sheltered. She cannot tell real dangers from minor social inconveniences." She felt a little guilty saying that; her mother did not have her insight into men's intentions. "I've told you things I think every young girl should know."

"They're not nice."

Telmaine settled her veil on her head, securing it with pins and folding it carefully back from her ears, as today's liberal custom allowed. Bal would not have it any other way. "It is the way things are."

There was a crisp rap on the door, and their elder sister bustled in without waiting for permission. Merivan was a tall, perpetually discontented woman of thirty-one who sought an outlet for her abundant energies in childbearing; after six children, she was again with child, though not yet so conspicuously as to have to retire from society.

"Good evening, Merivan," Telmaine said pleasantly. "I trust your digestion has settled?"

Merivan raised a hand. Telmaine braced herself for one of Merivan's pat-slaps, but all her sister did was reach up and tug Telmaine's veil forward. "You sonn like a demimondaine in that dress," Merivan said sharply, while Telmaine sensed her usual mixture of envy and censoriousness through the brush of fingertips. "And your conversation is vulgar."

"I am twice a mother myself, Merivan," Telmaine said peaceably. "I know the way of it."

"And these absurd gloves of yours. Really, Telmaine, if your husband is so expert with disorders of thought, why can he not do something about your phobia about diseases?"

Telmaine's teeth set, but she kept her tone light. "Because it troubles neither myself nor him if I wear unfashionable gloves, and our family has always enjoyed excellent health, perhaps because I am so careful."

"I cannot understand how you can tolerate him working in that clinic. Surely he's in contact with all kinds of disease."

She suffered Merivan to take her arm and steer her from the room, where her sister promptly revealed her real intent. "What have you been saying to Anarys? Some of the things her maid overheard, I scarcely credit."

"She needs to know these things. There are men even in society who will take advantage of innocent girls."

"Oh, Telmaine. You have gone coarse. This is precisely what we feared would happen when you married that—"

Telmaine jerked her arm away. Merivan could say whatever she pleased about Telmaine, but she would not criticize Bal. "I am going to say good night to my little ones."

"You spoil them," Merivan complained. "You should have more; then you would not cling—" She stopped, stifled a burp, and pressed her hand to her stomach.

Telmaine pitied her. Merivan had a fine mind; she could argue Balthasar to a standstill on the need for social rules, conventions, the stifling of individual urges for the common good. As Balthasar said, she had sacrificed herself to her ideals, denied herself any intellectual outlet but marriage, childbearing, and the cultivation of her children's minds and morals. She did not cling to her offspring; she marshaled them like a diminutive army in training.

"Meri," she said mildly but firmly. "Bal and I will raise our children in our own way."

When she entered the nursery, her daughters scrambled away from the muddle of little ones in the ornate playhouse and scampered to her. Six-year-old Florilinde chattered in one ear about the horseless carriages that some of the guests had arrived in—she was fascinated by all things mechanical—and five-year-old Amerdale babbled in the other ear about the birds in the aviary. Telmaine kept one arm loosely around each supple, squirming child while they clutched at her with their little hands, and with each touch on skin, their thoughts ran like clear streams through her mind. Amerdale's were like Balthasar's, open, endlessly curious. Florilinde's were muddied by traces of jealousy, like puffs of mud cast up from the river bottom.

The only time Telmaine had said to her nurse that she knew what people were thinking when she touched them, she had been reduced to tears by the woman's dismay, horror, and fear. Those had made a far more indelible impression on her than Nurse's shocked, "Please, Lady Telmaine, don't ever say something like that. It's not proper. It's ... magic." Magic, she had understood even at Amerdale's age, was wicked. Magic was what had happened eight hundred years ago, when the Darkborn were made unable to live in sunlight. Magic was what happened in the part of the city where girls like her did not go. Magic was what the Lightborn did on the other side of sunrise. Later, from an ill-punched pamphlet of her brother's called "Profane and Ekstatic Magiks"—which she had no business reading or he having—she had learned what she was: a touch-reader, as even the least powerful mageborn were, and learned what men thought a touch-reader could do. And later than that, she had realized that most men thought any woman should be a touch-reader, able to know and satisfy their every whim before they uttered it.

That had embittered her, once. Now it only saddened her. No wonder men held it as an ideal—women too, in their way. They were all so locked up in the prisons of their own thoughts, doomed never to know one another's truths. And at the same time, they were terrified of having their secrets known and revealed, so terrified that magic must be denigrated, denounced, enclosed within the demimonde. Above all, it must never, ever enter the receiving rooms and dance halls of society. Even at five years old, she had understood that no one must know about her.

Revue de presse

"Swift action, broad conspiracies, and monumental life-and-death stakes...grand adventure."
-Sharon Shinn

"A wonderful read, with an intriguing setting populated by appealing and memorable characters."
-Lane Robins

Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 304 pages
  • Editeur : Roc; Édition : Reissue (4 mai 2010)
  • Collection : Darkborn Trilogy
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0451463005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451463005
  • Dimensions du produit: 10,8 x 2,5 x 17,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 317.354 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par M. CELINE le 12 juillet 2010
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Darkborn est un livre dont je n'avais absolument jamais entendu parlé auparavant, et pour cause, puisqu'il n'est même pas encore traduit en français. En fait, ce livre a particulièrement attiré mon attention grâce à la superbe illustration de couverture de Mélanie Delon. Oui, cela malgré le fait que je sache qu'il ne vaut mieux pas juger du contenu d'un livre par son apparence.
Le concept "diviser pour vaincre" est la trame de ce roman. Une personne mal intentionnée ce serait servi de magie pour diviser toute une ville. Il y a les Darkborn, qui ne peuvent supporter le contact de la lumière du jour, sous peine de se transformer en poussière, et il y a les Lightborn qui eux s'évaporent dans le néant dès que la lumière disparaît.
J'ai été agréablement surprise par le style très désuet de l'auteur et par le fait que ce roman ne traite absolument pas de vampirisme, qui semble être au goût du jour ces derniers temps. C'est un peu comme si l'on lisait un livre de Jane Austen avec cependant un ajout de fantasy.
Avec Darkborn, on fait essentiellement connaissance avec les moeurs de ceux qui vivent dans le noir, avec Lightborn je m'apprête à découvrir la vie de ceux pour qui la lumière est essentielle.
Et oui, il y a un deuxième tome et il y en aura certainement un troisième également...
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Lady Lama TOP 500 COMMENTATEURSVOIX VINE le 26 avril 2011
Format: Poche
"Darkborn" est le premier tome d'une série de trois tomes: "Darkborn", "Lightborn" (paru en grande édition l'an dernier et en poche en juin 211) and "Shadowborn"(à paraître en grande édition en juin 2011).

L'écrivain y décrit un monde inédit, plutôt victorien, plein de magie (classique) et de logique (nettement moins courant). Suite à une malédiction il y a 800 ans, les humains se sont divisés en deux races (il y a en bien une troisième, les Shadowborn, mais les deux autres feignent de l'ignorer): les Darkborn qui ne peuvent vivre que dans l'obscurité (la lumière les brûle) et les Lighborn qui à l'inverse ne supportent pas l'obscurité.

L'histoire semble au début raconter l'histoire de personnages ordinaires, juste pourvus d'un trait particulier. Les Darborn, ne pouvant se mouvoir que dans l'obscurité, sont pourvus d'un sonnar leur permettant d'identifier leur environnement.

On commence par faire la connaissance du docteur Balthazar, resté en ville pendant que sa femme est dans sa famille. Une jeune femme arrive pour demander de l'aide, enceinte jusqu'au cou, et refuse de révéler l'identité du père, sinon en disant qu'il est arrivé durant le jour, ce qui semble absurde et impossible puisque aucun Darkborn ne peut évoluer le jour et aucun Lightborn ne peut évoluer dans une maison fermée à la lumière. C'est le début d'une enquête pour comprendre ce qui s'est passé.
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5 commentaires Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Guinea Pig VOIX VINE le 13 avril 2011
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Dans mes lectures de fantasy, mêmes les meilleures, je regrette très souvent le piètre traitement des distorsions existant entre le monde imaginaire du récit et le notre.
L'auteur, bien qu'il ait en général consciencieusement "travaillé" son monde (ou pioché dans des idées classiques) utilise rarement ces variantes d'une façon satisfaisante à mon goût. Dans le meilleur des cas, ces bonnes idées sont sur-utilisées, sur-exposées, pour un résultat dépaysant, mais parfois un peu gauche, ralentissant et alourdissant la lecture. Parfois, l'auteur semble régulièrement oublieux des contraintes inhérentes à ce monde différent, ou pas entièrement conscient de leur impact vraisemblable - réaliste - et là mon intérêt pour le livre s'étiole souvent irrémédiablement (exemple type selon moi: Le cycle des démons, tome 1 : l'homme rune et contre-exemple, un livre où cette distorsion est magnifiquement exploitée : The Way of Kings).

A mes yeux, avec "Darkborn", Alison Sinclair a réussi un exploit : l'intégration de ses choix d'alternatives est tout simplement parfait : convaincant, fluide et envoûtant.

Ce livre est un livre de fantasy complète, sans accroche dans le réel (ni monde parallèle, ni uchronie), dans un monde qui évoque le tout début du 20° siècle en Europe.
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Amazon.com: 25 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This is a fantasy world worth exploring 19 août 2009
Par Mrs. Baumann - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Plot Summary: In this new fantasy series, the Darkborn cannot live in light, and the Lightborn cannot live in darkness. These two races live side by side in the city of Minhorne, separated by the tolling of the sunrise and sunset bells. Dr. Balthasar Hearne accepts a noblewoman's plea for shelter at dawnbreak, and delivers her twin babies. This act of mercy will nearly take Bal's life, when two men arrive days later to beat the information from him. Only the arrival of his wife, Telmaine, and mage Ishmael Strumheller, save Bal from his mortal injuries. Their relief is brief; these men will stop at nothing to get their hands on the twins.

It's been a while since I've read a pure fantasy novel, one without a single toehold in reality, and it felt a bit strange trying to acclimate to this purely imagined landscape. The Darkborn are born blind, and they navigate and `see` by sonning, which I interpreted as some kind of bat-like radar. They live in perpetual dark, and light will turn them to ashes. The Lightborn can see and live in light, they cannot son, and plunging them into darkness will kill them. If I start thinking about the realities behind these limits, I'd probably be tempted to punch a bunch of holes into this construct, so I'll just suspend my disbelief and go with it.

Fortunately, the writing and plotting captured my attention, and the slow start builds to a heart-pumping finale. The Darkborn are prejudiced against magic users, and Ishmael is a covert, low-level mage. When he meets Telmaine at an aristocratic gathering, he immediately suspects her demure shoulder-high gloves hide her ability to read thoughts by touch. Women in the Darkborn society are treated like helpless, brainless, ornaments, and Telmaine is careful to hide her ability, to the point of denying her own powers ruthlessly. When Ishmael and Telmaine come upon Bal's broken body, Ishmael is amazed to find that Telmaine is a magical powerhouse.

A love triangle develops between Bal, Telmaine, and Ishmael, and I can't help feeling bad for them. There's no way it can end happily for everyone concerned, and yet, I like them all equally. I don't know who will be thrown under the bus, but it was left open at the end of book one, so I'm assuming that Alison Sinclair will draw this out over the trilogy. The next books in the series are "Lightborn" (May 2010) and "Shadowborn" (May 2011).
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Well-written fantasy! 20 mai 2009
Par D. M. Domini - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Not sure why everyone so far's giving four stars rather than five; this is an excellent book!

The author takes the idea of "creatures of the dark" burning up in sunlight and expands it to include "creatures of the light" that disolve in darkness, and then takes out all of the flat magic-creature stereotypes that would emerge out of that under the hands of a less talented storyteller and creates some wonderfully human characters. I'm also particularly interested in the way the Darkborn use "sonn" or sonar like bats or dolphins to make their way around, and how the author has expanded on that idea and how such a thing would affect a society's manners, and art, and writing, and living. The story reads more like a light sci-fi than fantasy in some ways, and the little analytical creature in me really enjoyed the thought that went into the creation of the world. It also reads in a historical-fiction way as well as another reviewer pointed out--the "tone" of the narrative sounds like a well-educated lady from an aristocratic society is narrating, although the effect is dampened a bit when the story falls into a male POV. Still, even the males are somewhat polished, but it's fun to read, not fruity or anything at all.

Strong characters, strong world, intriguing plot line that will likely continue into the next book(s). I'm looking forward to the sequal. Go buy this! (I've found the local bookstores in Chicagoland seem to only have one copy hanging around so if you're not getting it from Amazon, run out and snatch your copy up quickly before it's gone.)
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not what I expected (in a good way!) 5 juillet 2009
Par J. Warren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
A page-turning plot about a world inhabited by those who are darkborn - unable to survive light - and lightborn - unable to survive darkness. The story avoids cliches. The darkborn and lightborn are not enemies (though they may hold suspicions, as humans are prone to do with those who are different). While the darkborn and lightborn have different cultures, and even different senses, it is evident from the beginning that both groups are human. Sinclair presents a fascinating world with engaging characters.

I bought this not realizing it was a part of a serial - I usually avoid buying serials, because I am so impatient to find out how a story ends - but I am glad for my mistake, in this case, and hope the next book in the trilogy is worth the wait!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Refresshing Alternative to the "Vampire Romance" 31 juillet 2009
Par Edward K. Lincoln - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Far too many fantasy novels are set in one of a few standard fantasy universes. You have your Tolkien clones set in D&D influenced, Medieval Europe worlds, and you have urban fantasy. This novel is set in a unique and original world.

The world is based on 17th/18th century Europe, but is split into two groups, the "Darkborn" who have sonar instead of eyes, and burst into flame when exposed to direct sunlight. The book has some nice details about how the sonar works, and it's limitations. There are also the Lightborn, who dissolve if not continuously illuminated. (I'm not quite sure how this would work...but hopefully it will be explained in the sequels) These two groups live in the same land, but can never meet face to face.

Having recently read a lot of "vampire romances" with their protagonists who are always described as "strong women", but strike me as looser drama queens, the female protagonist was somewhat refreshing. She was a genuinely strong women operating within the limited context of a sexist society and managing to get around it's limitations without drama. I'm not a romance fan, but the romance aspect actually worked in this novel, even for me. It is rare to read a novel that has a convincing depiction of a genuinely happy marriage. (A lot of novels feature two characters dramatically circling each other and NOT getting together, but a happy couple is apparently more difficult to imagine than orcs or the undead).

If you like sci fi built on world building, 18th century dynastic politics, or if you like Jane Austen novels, you'll like this.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Darkborn, Lightborn, & Shadowborn 11 mai 2009
Par Eleanor Skinner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Hundreds of years ago, the defeated mage Imogene cursed an entire land. The result: half its inhabitants burn in sunlight & half its inhabitants can't stand darkness. The Darkborn are born blind, but with a kind of sonar sense called sonn, which they describe as unheard sound. The Lightborn & Darkborn live in the same city, the same land, but in different societies, depending on the time of day. While the Lightborn accept magic, the Darkborn consider it shameful, and embrace technology. Balthasar Hearne, a Darkborn physician, lets a pregnant woman in at daybreak to save her life. When she gives birth to illegitimate sighted children & flees, Bal doesn't recognize he has been irrevocably thrust into intrigue - until he is beaten almost to death and his daughter kidnapped. His wife, Telmaine the society lady, must learn to accept her mage powers if she is to rescue her daughter from death and save her husband, with the help of the fascinating, scandalous Baron Strumheller, border mage and hunter of Shadowborn monsters.

While the book is not quite as elegantly written as McKillip or Kushner, the sort of stuff I was reading right before Darkborn, it has a fascinating backdrop and compelling plot that speeds up fast. There's a Regency sort of vibe to Darkborn society, even with trains & the occasional primitive automobile, & men can be called out for sonning a noble lady too vigorously & discerning their shape beneath their clothes. I think this would be a good crossover novel for urban fantasy fans wanting to be introduced to high fantasy. It's also a very good adventure with plenty of intrigue, & plenty of mystery involving the Lightborn & Shadowborn.
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