Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts

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Book Information  
AuthorJanny Wurts
TitleCurse of the Mistwraith
SeriesWars of Light and Shadow
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Anonymous 
(Aug 04, 2010)

Janny Wurtz's book, curse of the mist wraith was a book of few ideas. All of which were brilliant, however they were few indeed. the book was inadequately paced and i found that i lost interest in the slow parts. The concept of the reader choosing the hero of this conflict was a spectacle to say the least. This idea has the potential to challenge the reader and give a new perspective on those society has dictated to be heroic and villainous. It was this concept that motivated me to read through this book and through a number of her other novels. I am not a “hard” fantasy reader and as such, what will inspire the imaginations of other readers, because it is truly beautiful writing, just seemed to me as drug use. I give this book a solid three out of five, as i perceive the story line as predictable and of poor pacing, Janny Wurtz still is able to capture my imagination with her spectacular writing and challenging concepts.

Submitted by Chris Darroch 
(Jan 05, 2006)

This book was my introduction to Janny Wurtz and have made it a point to buy anything of hers I have seen since.

This is hard fantasy at its best, in my opinion, superior even to the much-lauded Jordan (of whom I am a fan, as well). Here, Wurtz has created a world whose history reaches back through several eras. The depth and complexity of politics and prophecy, magic and war and all the institutions of society are there to be explored and rendered in intricate detail.

As a "hard" fantasy fan, I particularly appreciated the varieties of sorcery. Each is original and much time spent in outlining how the opposing forces can be used..The most potent force of magic in Athera is that bequeathed by ancient lost races to a fellowship, based on True Names...yet it can accomplish nothing without the permission of its source. Lesser magics, including the elemental magic of the brothers Lysander and Arithon, are potentially more destructive, but also more limited in scale. And this is just one example the finely wrought characteristics Wurtz has imbued in her work.

A word of warning, however. This book, is the first in what appears to be MANY books. In and of itself, it is a great prologue to the story that follows, with almost anything a fantasy fan could hope for.

Except resolution.

As in many detailed worlds (such as those of Robert Jordan, Steven Erikson, George Martin) the sheer scope threatens to overwhelm the forward momentum of the story. By the time you get a few books in, you realize that the hero and villain (I will let you decide which is which) have a VERY long life expectancy and that many forces are at work to keep them from resolving their destinies. With each book, new characters and locales are included, the "quest" widens for each character, and you begin to get bogged down in too many viewpoints, not enough action.

But as I said, that is a problem for the later books. This introduction is a fantastic read. Highly recommened.

BTW - This is definitely a series to re-read before moving onto the next book, especially if there's been any delay between. It's just too vast (and occasionally slow) to remember.

Submitted by Sffallen 
(Jul 21, 2005)

Curse of the Mistwraith is the book with which I discovered Janny Wurts and is probably still my favourite. It is wordy and indeed a slow read in places, but, as in all her works, it is the epitome of artful, thoughtful characterisation. The plot and setting are all backdrop to the central relationship between the two half-brother main characters. If you like concept driven plots typical of hard science-fiction than this one is probably not for you, however, if you like a series that can deeply probe a relationship over six books and still leave you wanting to know what is going to happen next - then this one might be for you. It rates a 5 not because it is perfect (what book is?) but because it would make any shortlist that I could think of making of books that most captured my imagination - and what more can you ask than that?

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