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  1. #1 DurzoBlint's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Tacoma, WA/ Seoul, South Korea
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    C.S. Friedman Where to Begin

    I know that some feel Friedman is hit or miss but I am willing to give her a shot. So my question is, where do I begin?

    Should I try my luck with the Coldfire Trilogy or The Magister's Trilogy which I am hearing quite a few good things about. Or should I try something completely different from her.

    Anybody feel like chiming in and telling me their pros and cons?

    I bought Coldfire last year but the puppy discovered them and they became chew toys before I could read them.

    I don't know much about Magister's Trilogy but Pat calls it a sleeper hit.

    I would appreciate some feedback if possible.

  2. #2
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    The Omnibus District
    I have Coldfire, but haven't read it yet. I know that Seak liked it, though. I have some other Friedman around here, but can't remember (or find the right pile), at the moment. Every time I have to pick a new book, or series, I do get stuck on Coldfire. That's a series that will definitely be read sooner, rather than later.

  3. #3
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    May 2004
    I only read Coldfire, for the Magister series I'm trying to be patient and waitt for all the books to be out.
    Coldfire is one of my favorites. I know it has some issues with some slower descriptive passages and a weaker quest type plot in the first volume, but I was really attracted by the basic premise of a world where your nightmares become flesh and hunt you and I consider Gerrald Tarrant one of the best dark characters in an epic. The writing I found also good, and I liked the semi-philosophical debates that turned others off.

  4. #4
    The only Friedman I've read is the first volume of the Coldfire trilogy. I thought it had good characters and good ideas, but poor execution. IMHO it could have been a really good book if Friedman had just turned over the characters, ideas, and plot outline to a better writer so they could polish it up for her. In fact I was kinda upset about the waste....

  5. #5
    I have made multiple attempts at the Coldfire Trilogy, and read the first book of the Magister Trilogy, but could not sustain enough interest to continue. I love character driven stories, and i just did not find any one that interested me in either series.

    But, imho, This Alien Shore is a sci-fi masterpiece.

    EDIT: I also liked Madness Season.
    Last edited by fk1523; June 24th, 2011 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    May 2000
    Near Cows in the Garden State
    I think she's one of the most overlooked genre writers. The Coldfire Trilogy is probably her best known work and as good a place as any to start. The series has a great, dark fantasy atmosphere, but is Science Fictional in its beginnings. I'd start here.[

    The Magister Trilogy is her most recent series and might be just as good as Coldfire

    However, if you want just one book to get a flavor

    This Alien Shore is a terrific SF novel from about a decade ago.

    In Conquest Born is also another moody novel set in the darkness of space.
    Last edited by Rob B; June 26th, 2011 at 06:58 AM.

  7. #7
    I have only read the first book in the Coldfire Trilogy, the _only_ series I have ever started that I havent finished, the ideas behind the book were good, the Hunter is an awesome character, the only downside to the book was that three main characters were so so so so so boring.

    I would give it a go though, see what you think.

  8. #8
    I've read all of her works. I started with the first book of the Coldfire trilogy, that's as good a place as any. She's a bit of an odd author in that she has no bad books, so choose any one that catches your interest.

    Her stories build up slow, but never lose momentum.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Jan 2006
    I read the first 2 books in the ColdFire Trilogy. I thought they were ok at best. There wasnt anything terrible about them but there was also nothing that really set them apart either in my opinion.

    I felt the first one was better than the second./ I had a hard time finding the motivation to finish the series or care what happened.

  10. #10
    The Doctor is in.
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    Jul 2001
    I enjoyed the Coldfire trilogy. Her stand alone sci fi, not so much.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    N. California
    The Coldfire series is the worst series I have ever read. Saying that I always encourage people to make their own decisions. If I never read it I would always wonder about it. The premise and characters are interesting. The author just dropped the ball in my opinion.

  12. #12

    Beware of spoilers, but that's a thread i made about coldfire. The story is riddled with plot holes. The characters are really bland. I agree with a lot said here, the idea could have been really cool. Which is why I started the book. But I could careless about any of the characters. Here's one thing i said.

    "What I liked... The world. The Fae. How humans react to both. I love how species in this world evolve in such a short amount of time. A really good concept, cool world. What seems to be an unlimited potential for power that this Fae can offer. Gerald Tarrant is a cool character. A good idea for a story"

    "Characters are boring. Besides "The Hunter", the rest are meaningless and I could careless if any of them died. The plot to the story is very thin. The plot seems contrived. It's supposed to make you feel bad for a certain character, but it's really just a selfish quest. And half of it makes no sense, and the only reason it's there is to have plot at all. There's also a lot of fluff I've noticed. I know a lot of authors do this. But there's so many paragraphs where they just explain minute details that are meaningless. Call it world or character building, but it helps neither...and just adds to word/page counts.

    I rarely don't finish a series. And I didn't want to read book2 after reading book1. But I gave it another shot. And it failed miserably. I have yet to read book3, and I doubt i'll ever waste my time doing so.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I think she's one of the most overlooked genre writers. The Coldfire Trilogy is probably her best known work and as good a place as any to start. The series has a great, dark fantasy atmosphere, but is Science Fictional in its beginnings. I'd start here.[

    B]The Magister Trilogy[/B] is her most recent series and might be just as good as Coldfire
    I agree wholeheartedly!


  14. #14
    Another vote for bland with boring characters in regards to Coldfire.

  15. #15
    Registered User Crysania's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Resurrecting this thread as I'm almost done with Book 1 of the Magisters trilogy. Reading some of the above comments shocks me. How anyone can think Gerald Tarant is BORING or Bland.... I guess we just have completely contrary taste. I found him to be understated for sure - but that's what made him dangerous and exciting and 3 dimensional to me. I loved the feel of Coldfire and I'm starting to feel the same with Colivar in Magisters. I'm not a big quest action chick. I like character and if you have dialogue that seems AT ALL trite and simple to me, the book will be closed and tossed. I like long descriptives and characters that fit no mold and things that are darker and drawn out. So I'm a huge fan of hers. Just my two cents. Really enjoying Book 1 of Magisters so far....

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