A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle

October 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Twilight Books

A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle

  • ISBN13: 9780756405366
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

The breathtaking first novel in a brilliant new fantasy series

A masterwork of fantasy, The Nessantico Cycle is the epic tale of an empire at its height, yet poised on the brink of what could be a devastating descent into ruin. Told from the viewpoints of numerous characters, it is a sweeping saga of murder and magic (portrayed both as a powerful religion and a forbidden art), of deception and betrayal, of Machiavellian politics, star-crossed lovers, and a realm facing war on every front.

Rating: (out of 15 reviews)

List Price: $ 7.99

Price: $ 3.95

Twilight’s Serenade (Song of Alaska Series, Book 3)

  • ISBN13: 9780764201530
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Britta Lindquist left Sitka six years ago in an attempt to distance herself from the love of her life, Yuri Belikov. Upon her return, she finds Yuri absent and his wife about to deliver a child. When tragic circumstances ensue, Britta suddenly finds herself caring for Yuri’s children–and her life intertwining with the man she’s tried so hard to forget. But Britta’s other great love is for the violin, and her talent is recognized by Brenton Maltese, a conductor from England. He proposes

Rating: (out of 7 reviews)

List Price: $ 14.99

Price: $ 5.25

  • Winsor Pilates


10 Responses to “A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle”
  1. Brandon Peterson says:

    Review by Brandon Peterson for A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle
    Let me first address some of the above reviews whose writers have apparently been deeply offended by this book. It is true that, for most people, this book is not a “leisure” book. That is, it’s not one of the quarterly, mass-produced formula books that we now expect from such writers as Mercedes Lackey, Robert Jordan, et al. Most of the reviewers above appear to have gotten halfway through ‘Magic of Twilight’ before realizing that this book was not what they wanted. However, if any potential reader bothers to peruse the book before purchasing or reading, they will notice a foreword describing the various cultures and languages that influenced the setting, as well as an appendix with a glossary explaining all the names and places that are supposedly unpronounceable (unless, of course, you know anything about any European languages (and why do so many people seem to be bothered about the pronounceable-ness of a word that they don’t actually have to say out-loud?)).

    Anyhow, my point here is that if you look before you leap into a book, you’re much less likely to be overwhelmed or caught off-guard. If you do find yourself in the position of the above reviewers, it’s more helpful if you say “I was expecting X, but discovered Y” instead “God this sucked and it was boring and I can’t be bothered with nomenclature!”

    Now, on to the actual review:

    Simply put, I loved this book. As has been said before, it is not a Tolkeinesque fantasy world of elves and dwarves, but instead one populated entirely by humans. What I really loved about it (and other people seemed to hate, I suppose) is that the world was well thought out and detailed. While I was reading this book, it felt like I was traveling to another country. The various European influences, in nomenclature as well as cultural affections, theology, architecture and more, are easily seen and masterfully woven to give the reader a real sense of what it means to be a part of this society.

    The author facilitates this by presenting each chapter through the viewpoint of a different character. Of course, the main characters receive several chapters while more minor characters receive only one or two chapters. This mechanism does wonders for the “tourist” effect of the book, ensuring that you get a chance to compose your own viewpoint of the world from various elements of each character’s view.

    This technique also facilitates the twisting of the plot. It’s exhilarating to turn the page to the next chapter and find that it’s “told” by a character who has so far appeared to be antagonistic, inscrutable, evasive, or otherwise intriguing. Farrell also uses this to good effect by establishing the motives or allegiances of characters that would otherwise be questionable, and therefore harm the integrity of the story.

    One of the things I liked best about the book was the main locale, the city of Nessantico. Reading the book, you can tell that Farrell has put a lot of effort into making the city feel like a living entity, almost in the way that Joss Whedon envisioned the spaceship Serenity as “the 10th character” on the much-mourned Firefly television series. Reviewers who complain that the main character, Ana, is boring and uninspiring are really just missing the point: Nessantico is the main character, not Ana, nor anyone else.

    ‘Magic of Twilight’ brings in enough magic and fantastical elements to fulfill my appetite for escapism, but not so much as to make the suspension of disbelief a chore. It focuses on theo-political intrigue to really engage me mentally, while including just enough of the life-or-death adventure and action to make it viscerally appealing. This whole well-balanced system is set in a world that is lovingly detailed and thought out, making it a solid, cohesive story. In this way, at least, Farrell is like Tolkien, who knew much more about his world than could be written before he even wrote about it. Nothing contradicts, and everything is believable within the setting.

    ‘Magic of Twilight’ is like the love child of a political intrigue novel and a history textbook, whose nursemaid was a fantasy adventure. I mean that in the best possible way. It combines all my favorite elements from each of these sources.

    One last thing that I imagine turned off more than one reader, however, was the sense that the story was incomplete. Of course. The story of a history is never finished, and this installment leaves the reader on the cusp of a breakdown of Nessantico’s long rule over the surrounding region. There is so much about the world that we don’t yet know.

    Luckily, there are more Nessantico books coming. I can’t wait.

  2. not4prophet says:

    Review by not4prophet for A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle
    Back in the day, “formula fantasy” meant something quite predictable. It meant dwarves, elves, wizards, orcs, and dark lords bent on world domination. It meant magic swords and rings, heroic quests, swordfights, narrow escapes and the like. An expert fantasy reader could guess the major events in any novel with extreme precision. Chapter 3? This is when the quest will start. One third of the way in? Time for the princess to be kidnapped. Half way through? This is when the wizard will appear to be killed, only to reappear later with more powers.

    That was then. Now we’re seeing a new formula emerge, modeled on George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)Dwarves, elves, and orcs are out while human beings are in. Quests and sword-fights are out, while politics and intrigue are in. But while the formula is different, it remains a formula. The astute reader can see the punches coming just as easily.

    S. L. Farrell’s “A Magic of Twilight” may well be the prime example of the new formula fantasy. It has all the characters: the elderly monarch, the arrogant prince, the rebellious lord, the young girl caught up in palace intrigue, and the foreigner who pulls the strings for his own mysterious ends. Specific plot events come down the line at specific times. For instance, we expect the old queen to die about a third of the way through. She goes right on schedule.

    I won’t bother with a plot summary. There are a bunch of factions, lots of maneuvering, some fighting, blah, blah blah. The problem with this novel is that it seems organized around the goal of imitating every other fantasy novel. For instance we get lots of torture, for no apparent reason except that everyone else is writing torture. We need a scene in a classy whorehouse because everyone has that, too. Political marriages, prison breaks, the young girl getting framed for a crime, backstabbing, it’s all there.

    S. L. Farrell is a perfectly competent author. His prose is crisp, his dialogue is steady and realistic, and is descriptions are decent. What’s lacking in this novel is any special zing. George R. R. Martin brings his books to life by making everything distinctive. Every person, every place, and every event stands out as something special. In “A Magic of Twilight”, by contrast, everything just blends together. It’s a struggle to remember which character is which. This problem is exacerbated by the names, which are packed with apostrophes and impossible to pronounce.

    So to summarize, the problem in this book is not with the little things but with the big things. Fantasy is supposed to be fantastic, ground-breaking, invigorating. It should explore new world and new ways of life. Too many authors, however, are getting stuck in a rut, writing the same old stuff over and over again. We do not need yet another run through the standard maneuvers in a quasi-medieval world. We need authors who are willing to break the mold, but we’re not going to get that here.

  3. Geant says:

    Review by Geant for A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle
    The book is decent. The story has a great premise and it does have its shining moments.

    It also has its cons, The writer insisted in creating new titles and ranks for EVERYTHING. Once you get used to these ranks it becomes easier except that throughout the book everyones title rank and name is constantly repeated. Instead of calling the main character Ana (her first name) it is constantly written O’teni Cu’serante which can be confusing since there are multiple people with similar ranks and surnames (o’teni,e’teni,cu’,ca’, ce’ and the list goes on). IT also makes scenes with multiple family members extremely confusing because they are all addressed with the same name. The last thing I found aggravating is that the main character is boring and uninteresting, It’s obvious the writer wanted her like that since characters are constantly mentioning it.

    Overall it was a decent book that I can see people becoming big fans of, unfortunately I don’t see myself as one of those big fans but I do plan on reading the rest of the series when I get the chance after Its release

  4. Couch says:

    Review by Couch for A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle
    You know…I consider myself somewhat of a Fantasy Afficianado…and yes…in capital letters, mind you! And I cannot believe that ANYONE would take Not4Prophet’s review seriously once I heard you’re a fan of Terry Pratchett books. Are you above the age of 12? Because that’s about how old you need to be to :”appreciate” the “genius” of Terry Pratchett…OMG!!

    That being said…I’m enjoying this book in a way that I’ve not enjoyed books for some time. Granted, I’ve not finished it…so my mind may change…but I enjoy a book that’s NOT what I consider typical forumlaic tripe… The young boy becomes unstoppable hero despite self-doubts and goes on to destroy the hideous Nameless Storm Witch who dwell on top of the Mountain overlooking the fair city that just so happens to be our young boy’s true birthright…blah blah blah..

    George R.R. Martin DID write great books…up until Feast For Crows..which I couldn’t even finish because it became obvious he has NO IDEA where the hell he’s going with the story…(Robert Jordan anyone??)

    Besides….everyone ALWAYS says this book is crap…that book is crap…you people MUST READ George R.R. Martin…or another of my favs….Steven Erikson. However…Erikson is NOT for everyone…and what are you supposed to do once you HAVE read Martin? Start reading the Wild Card crappy books from the 80s…that he only EDITS?? Please!!

    But, what really made me realize that you have no idea what you’re talking about is the same thing that I’ve heard from EVERY SINGLE NEGATIVE review about this book. “The names are too hard to remember…too many apostrophes..blah blah blah!” Are you freakin’ serious?? Are you THAT lazy that something a bit different is too much to be bothered with. You remind me of people in America 100 or more years ago that made fun of people with accents or with names that sound different than their names do (without realizing that American names sound funny as hell to the rest of the world!)…but oh wait! That’s NOT 100 years or more ago…THAT’S NOW…because your prejudice is shining brightly and it’s shameful and amazing that you don’t even notice it for what it is….

    For anyone else who doesn’t have hang-ups about “funny sounding names” I heartily suggest trying this book out. I like it…and you might as well. And you can always do what I do when a book becomes a tad bit slow. Put it down for awhile…read something else…and go back to it. Since when is it written that EVERY book must be read in 3 sleepless nights or less?? The only books that happens with anymore are the poorly written, large font, one syllable word atrociously told tales like Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. You know WHY people read those so fast? Because they’ve already read the story 100 times before…or in Dan Brown’s case…at least twice before!

    Please give it a shot… It’s a shame that the Product Descriptions for both this book and the next (A Magic Of Nightfall) are so limited. It’s no wonder that nobody has given this book it’s due. From the Product Description, you wouldn’t think to read it… but it’s a wonderful book!!

  5. Johnny P says:

    Review by Johnny P for A Magic of Twilight: Book One of the Nessantico Cycle
    This is a decent fantasy book. But its strength lies in dealing with religion and supernaturalism in a modern and political manner. The author reflects real world tensions between science and dogma, belief and unbelief, with a deft touch.

    I liked it, and look forward to the next one. More fantasies should be this poignant.

  6. Kimberly says:

    Review by Kimberly for Twilight’s Serenade (Song of Alaska Series, Book 3)
    Twilight’s Serenade is the final book of the Song of Alaska series by Tracie Peterson. It was my favorite of the three books in this series.

    Britta Lindquist left Alaska 6 years ago to try to forget about the love of her life, Yuri. When she returns, she finds Yuri missing and his wife about to give birth to another child. However, tragedy strikes and Britta finds herself the caretaker of Yuri’s children (Laura and Darya). Meanwhile, Yuri turns his life around and returns home to find things have changed. Britta must come face-to-face with him and a hard decision she must make. Brenton Maltese, her violin teacher has offered her the coveted position of first-chair violinist for his new orchestra in England. Between Yuri’s return and the orchestra, Britta must make a decision on what she wants most in her life…

    This book was my favorite out of the three. Yuri’s change of heart seemed rather quick however since it happened near the beginning of the book. That is understandable though since it was needed to drive the plot. I liked the addition of Marston Gray near the end of the story. It sort of tied all 3 books together since it seemed the Gray family were the “villians” of this series. Again, descriptions of scenery and life in Alaska were detailed. I really enjoyed this series…I wish it could continue on and dwelve into the lives of Laura and the other grandchildren of Lydia. Looking forward to Tracie Peterson’s next series though.

  7. Deborah says:

    Review by Deborah for Twilight’s Serenade (Song of Alaska Series, Book 3)
    Before I begin this review, I would like to note that I only just now realized that I have not read the second book this series. I have no idea how I did this, as I normally try to read all books in a series before reviewing the newest addition. As such, this makes a lot of sense when I look back on this story as to why I was totally confused as to who characters were and why in the world so much had time had passed since the first book. Therefore I will soon need to go back and read the second book in this series to read about what I have missed.

    Even with that out of the way, I unfortunately did not really enjoy reading this book. This is sad because normally I really enjoy reading Tracie Peterson’s novels. I have read about 95% of all her books, and believe me she’s written A LOT of books. However, this one just did not really fit with me. For starters, the synopsis that is on the back of the book is NOTHING about what this story is about. I’m not spoiling anything by saying this but that synopsis pretty much ties itself up in the first quarter of the book. I’m not kidding. It’s over and is never brought up again for the rest of the book. This I felt to be very misleading as I thought that was going to be main conflict of the book and it was over before it barely began! The storyline is also very predictable and I could see things happening long before they actually came true. The characters are rather cookie cutter and not a lot happens with them to make them grow and change.

    I also felt this book to be extremely preachy. Now with Christian fiction I can expect there to be some talk about God and being saved to a point in the book. This book however, pretty much was just filled with it. I’m sorry but I would not want to give this book to someone who wasn’t a Christian because I think they would either get confused by all the lingo or annoyed at being preached at constantly. It’s one thing to see how having strong faith influences a character but it’s quite a different matter for it to get thrown in your face on every page. Also there is a character that is a recovering alcoholic and gets over his alcoholism simply by praying. While this can be part of the recovery process, it is very unrealistic for it to be the only way, and also especially after just one time of going cold turkey.

    Now there were things I did find interesting about the story. SIDS is brought up and even though they didn’t know much about it during the time period, it is still interesting at how it is handled. Also I found it quite interesting that the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake is mentioned and talked about even though most of the story takes place in Alaska. I liked the historical aspect of that as it made the book more historical at that point instead of being just a historical romance.

    However, it’s not enough to save the book, and sadly I cannot recommend it. The first book in the series I did enjoy. I will have to go back and read the second book to catch up on what I missed. I’m hoping that future books by Peterson will find more favor with me.

  8. Janna R. Ryan says:

    Review by Janna R. Ryan for Twilight’s Serenade (Song of Alaska Series, Book 3)
    Tracie Peterson is a master of historical fiction and this book is a great addition to her library of writing. I read the first book in this series and somehow missed the second book, I was pleased to see that the third book isn’t reliant on the previous books but can stand on its on feet if necessary. Much time has passed since the first book, the infant in book one is now a dad with children of his own. Now his younger sister is the main character in this book and she is returning home after being gone on tour with her violin for years. She is trying to figure out what she wants for her future when her future lands in her lap. Can she really reconcile her past with her present and her future. Can it really involve Yuri and his girls or when she fell in love with him at age 7 was it just a crush.

    I really liked the conclusion to this series and I thank Tracie Peterson for renewing my faith in historical romance. She is a true master.

  9. P. Anderson says:

    Review by P. Anderson for Twilight’s Serenade (Song of Alaska Series, Book 3)
    This was a very good book, its just as good as the first two were, I wasn’t disappointed. I love reading books about Alaska, I hope to go there someday. I would recommend this book to everyone who likes reading Christian Historical Fiction from a very inspired author.

  10. Christina Lockstein says:

    Review by Christina Lockstein for Twilight’s Serenade (Song of Alaska Series, Book 3)
    Twilight’s Serenade by Tracie Peterson is the third book in the Songs of Alaska series. Britta Lindquist has returned home to Sitka, Alaska, after spending six years on tour playing her violin around the world. She has a difficult choice to make: marry Brenton Maltese and accept his invitation to be first chair in a new orchestra in London, or stay home with her large family and try to get over her life-long love for Yuri Belikov. When she arrives home, she quickly finds herself helping Yuri’s wife give birth to their second child, but tragedy strikes, and Yuri and Britta find their lives entwined in ways that neither of them ever expected. For the most part, Peterson does a terrific job getting first time readers up to speed on the history, although Lydia’s coldness toward Marston was a bit hard to swallow without knowing more about their backstory. Britta is a terrific heroine, fierce in her love, devoted to her family, and with an enormous amount of heart. Peterson throws in a devastating twist that will break readers’ hearts. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a epic story about the Lindquist family that ends with everyone happily ever after.

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