Price: $3.99 USDAdd to your library
Bookmark or share this book:
Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages. For more information, see the Support FAQ.
|Format||Full book||Sample first 13%|
|Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)||Buy||View sample|
|Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)||Buy||Download sample|
|Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)||Buy||Download sample|
|PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)||Buy||No sample available|
|RTF (readable on most word processors)||Buy||No sample available|
|LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)||Buy||Download sample|
|Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)||Buy||Download sample|
|Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)||Buy||No sample available|
|Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)||Buy||No sample available|
on Aug. 08, 2012 :
The book follows the life and adventures of Rick aka Tyverix, who grows up and lives in a heavily corrupt world, swarmed with magic, deadly creatures and injustice. But even in this world it is up to each individual to choose a path of decency and honor. And for the most part that is what Rick does and it was great to read it.
The world the author created was very interesting and original. The notion of everyone born with five lives and resurrecting at a sacred temple after each of the 4 deaths was something I had not read about before. The religion with Gods and Goddesses of Light and Darkness at war with each other and each having his/her own followers that could lead to fanaticism and discord really stayed with me and though not original as an idea, the distinctions and everything were described nicely. I really found myself wondering which deity I would myself follow, especially since observation of a specific religion gave different advantages and drawbacks in terms of abilities and spells.
There was a multitude of spells the people who could use magic, could do and at first it was weird because they were not very elaborate - not in terms of incantations anyways, since they said i.e. "By Tala, I heal your wounds" or "By Bellinger, I burn you with fire".
But I think in the end it made sense if you take into account that it was the Gods themselves that supposedly gave the power for spells and one could recharge in temples.
I really liked the idea of "Rainguns" as a whole. The idea of light cavalry, riding magic horses and able to fight with magic was exciting and a bit "romantic" in its notion.
The idea of magic and what it entailed and how it complicated one's stamina and life in general, was well thought-out and I loved the limitations (there's a nice list of all that at the end of the book, which was thought was really helpful for any clarifications)
Rick was generally a likable character. He had a hard life, growing up with only his mother, knowing his father had died, (had been hanged actually) and carrying this with him his whole life.
His mother worshipped the god of joy, which in essence meant she was always going for the nice and easy things in life and making easy decisions which were not necessarily right or "decent". According to her religion, she could drink and party all the time and consort with whoever man she liked, which she did, filling Rick with disgust. He had so much distaste for his mother's lifestyle that when they were both "kidnapped" and abused by the believers of another religion, he blamed her and her conspicuous behavior and even though his mother tried to save him, he idealized and idolized Terez, the fighter-woman who actually managed to save him, transferring all the love meant for his mother unto her.
I think he had a point in the sense that his mother appeared frivolous, but she had a hard life, she had lost the love of her life and she was weak, but almost nothing she did showed she had no love for him, she was just weak imo. I think he was a bit harsh towards her, not giving her a chance and/or considering "giving her a chance" only when he asked her to do whatever he wanted her to do at the time. Towards the end, we discover that his mother was actually quite compassionate an fair, trying to gather money so that she could help the poor. Yes most of us would first help save the poor we cared about (i.e. Shoshanna and her mother), but his mother was trying to be fair and she didn't have enough money to begin with.
On the other hand, Rick was honorable and just especially in his dealings with his friends, fellow "officers", even the enemies during battle (i.e. when he agrees to do a little ceasefire if the enemy mage healed both his friend and the enemy that wounded him). He didn't maltreat women or slaves and I particularly enjoyed the scene where he tried to help the Elf Slave girl who healed him in gratitude. (lovely scene btw- I was hoping we would see more of her provided she didn't commit suicide or something as it was implied)
There was a lot of "flashbacks", going back and forth in time, but most of the times it was clearly marked by date in the beginning, so I didn't find it hard to follow. I thought it helped keep the plot going and help get an insight in Rick's mind as he was influenced by his past experiences to act as he did. The only time I found it a little confusing was after the wounding/death of Major Belard, when abruptly Rick found himself in a tribunal where he was accused of killing him and stealing his gun to sell it. And well, the very first one where Rick is 4 years old and it seemed to me that he seemed too grown-up for his age...too eloquent and able for that age anyways.
The plot was pretty exciting and as it is typical of a fantasy novel of this sort, the battle scenes were particularly detailed and satisfying, especially towards the end, where they were longed and more detailed and it showed Rick's bond with his friends, especially Kristoph.
One of the tings that surprised me to see, was Rick in love with Shoshanna. I mean we did get a letter in the beginning, but most of the book we saw him first infatuated with a Lisa and the others followed and by the end of the book I had almost completely forgotten about Shoshanna, till she was there in a flashback and then back for good. Don't get me wrong, I like stuff like that - the silly romantic that I am- and it felt realistic and real even, since Shoshanna was far from a damsel in distress that fell in his lap just because he was nice to her (although Rick himself, was a little naive when it came to her which was endearing). Generally, I liked the heroines in this book, they were distinct, strong-willed, fixed in their beliefs and didn't deviate. They were consistent, which is hard to find in novels.
All in all, it was an impressive fantasy novel with original imagery and world-building, interesting supernatural elements, exciting battle scenes, good characterization (since you felt strongly about the heroes), steady flowing plot and it stayed with you.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on May 26, 2012 :
A particular strength of the Raingun Chronicles, a series by "John Blackport", is the way the protagonist finds himself facing moral dilemmas. Tyverix "Rick" Rivoire gets enrolled in the army of Foverre as a "raingun", a light cavalry officer trained in battle magic. He's the kind of man who wants to protect the weak, fighting for good against evil. And he certainly gets the opportunity to fight against evil – but fighting for good turns out to be more problematic.
In Raingun, the first volume, we start learning that Foverre itself is a seriously corrupt society. In Resolution, the second volume, this becomes even clearer, and it turns out that the alternatives don't look good either. Thus he has to fight enemies and monsters of various kinds, to dodge the efforts of the minions of an evil god to eliminate him, and on top of that to figure out what, if anything, is worth fighting for. In addition, the woman he loves has issues that drives her to avoid him.
I liked this novel. Not only is there a good plot that moves along nicely, there are some interesting ideas. People who get killed don't stay dead until the fifth time, they resurrect in a shrine or temple belonging to whatever god they consider theirs. Of course this has intriguing consequences. And there are the smokemares, magical steeds that the rainguns can conjure up. The novel also handles military issues well.
Are there any shortcomings? Well, some minor issues. The sole map in the novel, which covers only Foverre, is nonetheless quite unreadable on my Kindle. It does show adequately on my PC screen in full screen mode, however. And there are a few inappropriate words or awkward phrases, but they are few and far between. They are more than balanced by some good images.
There is a warning that "This book contains graphic violence and some explicit sex. It is intended for adults only." That is no exaggeration. But for adults who like that and are interested in fantasy, I recommend it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Krista D. Ball
on Nov. 22, 2011 :
I'm giving a rather odd review, since I'm reviewing for myself and my 14 year old.
I personally found the book well-written, well-presented, though the Magic system failed for me. It reminded me too much of when I LARP or play D&D. I like my magic with consequences, choices, and physics. Since the fantasy aspect is a key component, I wasn't really able to get past it.
Now, on the flip side, my step son couldn't care less about the consequences, choices, and physics. He wants to read about people doing cool things, saving the world, and doing it in style. For him, the novel was really great. He didn't care how people cast a spell, so long as they did and something cool happened. in that regard, the novel exceeded his expectations.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Nov. 15, 2011 :
When I first read this I was blown away by the unique and stylish approach to magic. John has a really strong voice and the characters are definitely not the sort that form the woodwork. I think this is a fascinating read and definitely one that hardcore fantasy fans will enjoy!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Sep. 21, 2011 :
This is an exciting, fast-paced novel set in a historical fantasy world with a lot of magic and fighting. I like how the hero is conflicted in his desires and loyalties, and how his inner conflict plays out in action.
A small thing I found particularly helpful is that many chapters are prefaced with the place, the year and the hero's age (e.g. "San Bitante, Prosper, 1477 - Ricky Rivoire is four years old"). Normally, when novels jump backwards and forwards in time and place, I get easily confused.These little additions prevented confusion and I was able to immerse myself immediately into each chapter.
(reviewed the day of purchase)