Buy 2 get 1 FREE. Terms & Conditions Apply. First US Mass Market Edition May 2008 Consigned item sold "As Is/ Where Is" with no guarantees, warranties, refunds or exchanges. Not for the fussy. bookmemorylane An uneasy truce exists between the thanes of the True Bloods. Now, as another winter approaches, the armies of the Black Road march south, from their exile beyond the Vale of Stones. For some, war will bring a swift and violent death. Others will not hear the clash of swords or see the corpses strewn over the fields. Instead, they will see an opportunity to advance their own ambitions. But soon, all will fall under the shadow that is descending. For while the storm of battle rages, one man is following a path that will awaken a terrible power in him -- and his legacy will be written in blood. Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Scottish author Ruckley's outstanding fantasy debut, the first installment of the Godless World trilogy, introduces a sprawling realm abandoned by the gods after two races united to destroy a third. The peoples left behind struggle with centuries-old prejudices and unresolved conflicts that threaten to destroy them all. The start of winter is traditionally a time of celebration, but when the elflike Kyrinin and religious fanatics called Inkallim interrupt the festivities at Castle Kolglas with a masterfully planned attack, the bloodshed is just the first move in an apocalyptic war that won't end until the world itself is unmade. As Ruckley chronicles the plight of numerous characters through an increasingly chaotic landscape, he develops unsubtle allegories to recent world history and some of humankind's more obvious shortcomings like bigotry, greed and apathy. The author's unapologetically stark yet darkly poetic narrative displays a refreshing lack of stereotypical genre conventions, ensuring a fervent audience of epic fantasy fans looking for something innovative in a genre that can be anything but. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Booklist Scotsman Ruckley's first novel launches a promising trilogy set in the unromanticized medieval Highlands. The gods and their magic have departed, and grim feuds and endless skirmishing prevail as the weather gets ever colder. Chief among feuding clans are the Haigs, and chief among their warriors is a thane in whom some of the old powers may be awakening. This isn't necessarily good news for the Haig clan, for those powers will make their already murderous battles even grislier. But it isn't bad news for readers, since it makes the book much more difficult to put down. Green, Roland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. About the Author Brian Ruckley was born and brought up in Scotland. After studying at Edinburgh and Stirling Universities, he worked for a series of organizations dealing with environmental, nature conservation and youth development issues. He lives in Edinburgh. Find out more about Brian Ruckley at www.brianruckley.com. Top customer reviews 5.0 out of 5 starsAn gripping tale of retribution and the sacrifice of heroes. ByThe Mad Hatteron November 5, 2013 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase Brian Ruckley gives you the start of an exciting and somewhat depressing tale of The Godless World trilogy. The cast of characters are intriguing and easy to relate too as you follow them from event to event, the good and bad, and how they handle their situations to survive. The dynamic of Roth and Orisian, the mystical Inurian, and the mysterious Kyrinin are strong elements for things to come throughout Winterbirth. I really enjoyed this story from the beginning with a defeated people through their long road to retribution. If you are looking for a adventure through war torn lands that show the best and worst of people then this is an excellent story for you. I can truly say that this story gets better as it moves along. More so as you pass through the next 2 books. Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 4.0 out of 5 starsRealistic ByBernardi Francescoon July 3, 2013 Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase I read all three books of this trilogy. I give four stars because I appreciate the courage to handle a fantasy novel in a realistic way. Given the situation at the very beginning, realistically things can get very bad very fast. In many classical fantasy epics, heroes tend to defy all odds and salvage the situation, giving the bad guys no real chance to bring about their schemes. In the Godless World, we stick instead to the grim reality. It is a refreshing way to enjoy our fantasies, albeit at times a little depressing. But you will get hooked nonetheless, thanks to strongly built characters and a different take on magic. I found these reading a perspective changer, and felt enriched by it. Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 5.0 out of 5 starsslow start, but it is excellent fantasy! ByDamon Myerson June 26, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase This series starts a little slow, so be patient. I was bit confused by their character names and titles such as thanes. You figure it out as you go along. The characters are great... although it takes a while for ruckley to build them up. Once the book gets going you should be engrossed and feel glad you kept reading it. There is lots of action, tension, struggle, strife... all what you want out of fantasy. As a fan of Tolkien (he is the king) and Martin, my fantasy standards are high I think. I enjoy this series more than I thought I would. 1 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 5.0 out of 5 starsRealistic about the costs of war ByElizabeth Friedleron October 3, 2010 Format: Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase Unlike many books of this type, Winterbirth does not fall into the trap of preserving characters for a happy ending. This trilogy is about a war - a war between races, between countries, between religions. A war like that should be portrayed as it actually is, as a bloody, vicious conflict between sides that all believe they are right and their foe is irreparably wrong. This book, and its followers, lead the reader through a war where characters that we have been made to love die cold, brutal deaths far from home. Characters change, mature, and sometimes warp. Some rise to the challenges presented, and some flee. This is not a happy tale by any stretch, but neither is it depressing or morose. It has a feel of realism to it, despite its unnatural casing, and that, along with the good writing and multi-dimensional characterization, is what makes this book stand out in a genre that has become far too homogeneous. Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 4.0 out of 5 starsNeeded the first book and bought on Amazon for a great price. So far ByJEon January 19, 2016 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase I found the second volume of the series at a thrift store for a dollar, so I picked it up. Needed the first book and bought on Amazon for a great price. So far, I have completed the first book and have just started the second one. It is slow, but worth the wait. Easy read, enjoyable. Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 4.0 out of 5 starsWhat Swords & Sorcery Used To Be. ByAmazon Customeron January 31, 2008 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase Brian Ruckley writes as if the last 20 years in the fantasy genre never happened. No sitcom "witticisms" here, no anachronistically feisty lasses (yes, there are women warriors here but they're the real deal), no pratfalls or contrived narrative twists. The only contemporary writer who may have influenced him is George R.R. Martin. "Winterbirth" is a blood-and-thunder heroic fantasy with a rich, grittily realized setting comparable to the world of ASOIAF, if not so broad and varied: here, we are basically stuck in the Highlands with a bunch of medieval thugs who only stop fighting each other in order to fight the Kyrinin, an elf-like race. Yet Ruckley imbues his story with a grandeur and moral weight that slowly, steadily cranks up the tension until the whole world seems to be at stake. While it took me about 100 pages to really get into "Winterbirth," I read the last 300 in one sitting. Rucklet's greatest achievement may be his sympathetic characters: with chapters from the point of view of characters on both sides of the True Bloods / Black Road conflict, there's no right side to be on. (Another pleasant echo of GRRM.) Orisian, who's as close to a protagonist as this story has, manages to escape the cliched young-man-with-a-destiny stereotype by being so real: he's just a scared kid who messes up repeatedly and would be dead several times over by the end of the book if not for his faithful shieldman, Rothe, another character who transcends cliche to achieve full humanity. The Kyrinin were not so successful for me, as they seem to be pretty much your standard noble / bloodthirsty forest-dwelling savages, but given Ruckley's gift for breathing new life into the oldest fantasy tropes, I expect to see some interesting depths to them in the sequels. The na'kyrim, a hybrid race with telepathic powers, also hold out the promise of putting the "sorcery" into this stunningly executed instance of the much-maligned swords-and-sorcery subgenre. Ruckley reminds us why S&S thrilled and enthralled us in the first place. Read more Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 3.0 out of 5 starsA good read ByBordeaux Dogueon March 24, 2012 Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase Nothing really new, but the story is well told and well written. this is the first book in a three book series and ends with the usual cliffhanger, prompting the reader to jump into the next installment. I will; not because of the cliffhanger, but because, although not in love with the story and its characters, it has got me interested in the developments. Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse 5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome Story! ByTonnie Smithon November 18, 2014 Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase This srory is haunting and made be buy it and the other two in the series in hardback! It's just that good! https://www.amazon.com/Winterbirth-Godless-World-Brian-Ruckley/dp/0316068063
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