To Ride Hell's Chasm

To Ride Hell's Chasm❮EPUB❯ ✽ To Ride Hell's Chasm ✸ Author Janny Wurts – Oaklandjobs.co.uk An epic fantasy standalone novel from the author of the stunning Wars of Light and Shadow seriesWhen Princess Anja fails to appear at her betrothal banquet, the tiny, peaceful kingdom of Sessalie is p An epic fantasy standalone novel from the author of the stunning Wars of Light and Shadow seriesWhen Princess Anja fails to appear at her betrothal banquet, the tiny, peaceful kingdom of Sessalie is plunged into intrigue Two warriors are charged with recovering the distraught king s beloved daughter Taskin, Commander of the Royal Guard, whose icy competence and impressive life term as the Crown s right hand man command the kingdom s deep seated respect and Mykkael, the rough hewn newcomer who has won the post of Captain of the Garrison a scarred veteran with a deadly To Ride PDF \ record of field warfare, whose interesting background and foreign breeding are held in contempt by court societyAs the princess s trail vanishes outside the citadel s gates, anxiety and tension escalate Mykkael s investigations lead him to a radical explanation for the mystery, but he finds himself under suspicion from the court factions Will Commander Taskin s famous fair mindedness be enough to unravel the truth behind the garrison captain s dramatic theory that the resourceful, high spirited princess was not taken by force, but fled the palace to escape a demonic evil. In the land of the 10 volume monster epics of fantasy, the stand alone is a much rarer beast, so many preferring to take a concept and bludgeon it to death Not that I m complaining, it s just nice to have a book that you know will run its due course in one, single volume.To Ride Hell s Chasm takes what seems to be a simple concept, but combines it with the Wurts effect to become a much deeper and resonating piece than I ever imagined it could be.The princess, Anja, of the remote kingdom of Sessalie has disappeared and on the same night as her betrothal banquet Being such a small kingdom, Sessalie rarely if ever succumbs to the problems of the outside world, and such a disappearance is a than momentous occasion The king, in his wisdom or possibly oncoming dementia, tasks his household guard commander, Taskin, with the responsibility of finding her, but additionally puts the new lower gate captain and foreigner, Mykkael, to oath to find her as well Mykkael, having one the rights to his position in the annual tournament takes on the duty, much to the chagrin of the ruling class who have become comfortable in their ways and supremely prejudiced against outsiders.What follows is a story about prejudice and trust, overcoming incalculable odds, and what it really means to be loyal Add sorcery and Mykkael s style of fighting, barqui ino, that s like Jui Jitsu s version of the Gun Kata Equilibrium and you re in for a real treat The passion with which Wurts writes is unprecedented in my reading experience Sessalie is a small place, as has been mentioned, and Wurts plays on the inherent biases that such a place will produce Anything out of the ordinary or different would naturally cause such a sequestered people to feel threatened At the same time, it is completely unwarranted, you know, the usual when it comes to prejudice Mykkael is of a much darker skin tone than those in Sessalie and therefore, an immediate prejudice is built up, but what has he done to deserve such treatment Nothing Without even needing a bad guy, the odds are already stacked up against Mykkael Every ounce of pain, nobility, love, you name it, is felt as you get to know the characters and see their actions I have to admit to wondering at the level of detail at points, especially when the characters interactions were explained to include every minute component of their relationships But in the end, you find that it was well worth it because you glory in their triumphs as much as suffering their pains.What I guess is that I m implying that this book is no walk in the park It s very dense and probably took me twice as long to read as most other books of its size But again, it s well worth it, just make sure you re in the right mood.For a fantasy treat that will stick with you long after you read it and that inhabits the remote and distant country of StandAlone, To Ride Hell s Chasm is one of the best reads I ve had all year.4.5 out of 5 StarsPs I always wondered why this book was called To Ride Hell s Chasm I thought, why not just Hell s Chasm Believe me, it deserves the title it already has, it is fitting than I would ever have guessed in ways than I would have guessed.Pps I don t care what anyone says about Equilibrium, it s the best movie ever created D To Ride Hell s Chasm is a passionate and thoughtful high fantasy about a despised soldier and his assignment to track down a runaway princess on the eve of her nuptials the novel is roughly split into two parts the first describes Mykkael s attempts to gather information within the virulently xenophobic city he has made his home while dealing with the constantly shifting relationship with his stiff necked commanding officer the second portrays the detailed flight of Mykkael and the surprisingly brave princess in question as they run the ferocious, terrifying natural gauntlet known as Hell s Chasm the narrative takes place all during the course of one very intense week.SOME SPOILERS AHEADWurts writes adult fantasy this is not to mean that the book is filled with sex and gore but rather that it is concerned with tackling serious topics in a serious way one that does not pander to the reader this is not a gee whiz adventure full of flights of fancy or bright shiny bits of colorful fun it is a serious novel and Wurts intelligence as a writer is consistently displayed overall i really appreciated the formality of the prose, the seriousness of the themes, the depth of Mykkael s characterization, and especially the empathy towards animals her underlying anger is clear in the depiction of all the extremely unreasonable barriers put up by racist idiots that her hero is forced to surmount watching Mykkael deal accordingly with such loathsome attitudes is one of the joys of the first half the second half is genuinely thrilling Wurts has a firm grasp on how threatening the uncharted wilderness can be, and the passage through Hell s Chasm is very well done i felt like i was there and it was a horrible experience at times the latter parts of the novel were hard to put down because everything was conveyed so viscerally and in such grueling detail the reader gets to feel each and every pang of fear, bout of anxiety, each bruise and cut and stab of pain, every stumble and every panicky rush forward it was gratifying to realize that i was in the hands of a masterful writer during the trek through this nightmare terrain and as far as the ending goes satisfying and well earned.taking everything above into consideration, this would easily be a 4 star novel unfortunately, To Ride Hell s Chasm has some substantial flaws there are some breakdowns in logic soldiers who sass back at their commanding officer like they are teenage girls in a reality tv show a princess who constantly accuses her insanely brave rescuer of cowardice there are some strange missed opportunities a swordfight between two major characters in the middle of swirling magic laced mists, the flight of a king and his retinue through sewers while strapped to wine casks, a bloody fight between society matrons soldiers demonic shapeshifters all described secondhand but the most distancing problem is that this novel is often genuinely overwritten it s perplexing Wurts is a writer with real skills and when she reins herself in, she is capable of creating many stunning and beautiful moments with prose that sings off of the page but the sheer repetitiousness of various phrases is a real turn off hag ridden pops into mind and my God if i never see the word haze again i will be delighted even worse is the feeling that Wurts does not trust her readers to remember key details about her characters almost as if they are children who have to be reminded again and again about various character traits and Important Issues i had the same feeling when reading Cherryh s unfinishable Foreigner what this translates to is 1 when a character is described as sharp and knife like, we will see this description repeated over and over again, ad nauseum sweet Jesus i got it the first time my memory is fine and 2 the aggravating tendency to sum up the feelings or rationale for why a character said or did this or that it may be too late to provide constructive critique because Wurts is a justifiably popular and prolific author, but i really wish in the future that she would put faith in her adult reader s ability to remember things and to understand the logic behind certain words and deeds without being told, over explicitly, what that logic may be.okay enough with the critique, there s positive things that i want to say about this worthy novel.the magic system was exceedingly well done i loved how the reader is forced to figure things out slowly and i loved just how smart the depiction of curses, cold hot magic, lines of magic, shapeshifting, demonic intelligences, shamanism, etc turned out to be kudos Mykkael s fighting style barqui ino was intriguing and his troubled engagement with his own fighting style was layered and compelling kudos Mykkael himself is thoroughly memorable the tragedy of his life is related in bits and pieces, all accumulating to create a flawed yet entirely heroic individual who will stay in my memory and an uplifting character in that he defines all that humans should strive towards without ever coming across as corny or hand wringing kudos the cover art and the interior illustrations are quite nice and i think all done by the author kudos the novel s mythical beasts kerries were phenomenal fascinating, threatening, truly real monsters that felt alive kudos the horses personalities were wonderfully differentiated the death of Fouzette was wrenching and the return of Stormfront was amazing kudos the brilliant yet nauseating way that Mykkael decides to get the princess free of Hell s Chasm was like nothing i ve read before kudos and i loved the ending sometimes a sentimental and emotional ending is just what the doctor ordered especially after so many trials and tribulations kudos I have wanted to read Janny Wurts forever in my quest to discover all the hidden gems of fantasy I have discovered a fantasy goddess Dare I say it she writes better than Kay, I kid you not Her plot is exquisite Her characters alive than some real people I know I have enjoyed every page If you don t have this book on your TBR, put it there immediately.FRTCFirst sentence In the long shadow of the mountain spring twilight, under the glow of a thousand lanterns, Anja, Crown Princess of Sessalie, failed to appear at the banquet to celebrate her official betrothal. Death has no repeal It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well.Easily my favorite read this year.This was originally recommended to me by someone who knew of my love of horses The person who recommended it was not a horse person, but this book stood out in his mind as being one where the author did a great job of portraying the horses as characters.I have to agree with his assessment that this book does a lovely job of showcasing the author s knowledge of horses, and of portraying them as heroic, brave and selfless creatures, something that I know from my own experience to be true.The book focuses on Mykkael, a foreigner in a city that is distrustful of those with dark skin A Captain of the Guard, placed there by winning a tournament, he is a man with a dark and troubled past When the Princess disappears at her betrothal banquet, the King recognizes Mykkael as one of the few who can save her, and he is brought into service to find and protect her.The author s writing is lovely and complex, incredible in its detail, but I found it difficult at first to get into I was forced into reading quite slowly as the author, while writing from third person omniscient following Mykkael, also switches to follow other characters sometimes bouncing back and forth in several paragraphs I had to take great care in order to understand who it was that was the observer, and who they were observing, as characters were also named using details that were used to describe them previously, such as their title, rather than naming them outright often than not.However, as I started getting into it, I found fascinating characters with an incredible amount of depth, reminiscent of another author I adore Robin Hobb Wurts also does a great job of building tension so much so that I found myself unable to put the book down, as the rich world she has created unfolded It does take some work, but it was well worth it. 2016 reread This is an enticing, entertaining, thought provoking and unpredictable adult fantasy story, brought alive with poetic prose and driven by unforgettable characters This hidden gem, which I discovered thanks to the wonderful Goodreads Community, is also my entry point into the work of Janny Wurts who has fast become my favourite epic fantasist.Her novels helped me define what kind of story truly resonates with me I used to equate epic fantasy with Lord of the Rings, which I loved, but I didn t want to invest my time in read alikes and so my preconceptions led me to disregard a great genre Today some of the authors I admire, along with Wurts, are Erikson, Kay, Berg and Martin, all great adult novelists mostly of epic fantasy.I love complex, sweeping stories with both global stakes and personal drama I revel in Machiavellian intrigue and guarded secrets I want engaging plots and believable twists I delight in detailed and realistic battles I like inference and foreshadowing I enjoy witty humor and harrowing choices I want interesting, well rounded and memorable characters I want carefully planned stories which are consistent and layered I want top notch storytelling and a prose that goes beyond decoration I want an immersive experience where the story doesn t lack internal logic and where my assumptions are upended most often than not I want to feel, to think and be surprised, to be challenged and entertained.Yeah, I m an easy reader I like several genres and I love light or tawdry reads as well, but the stories that hit me hard emotionally and intellectually are, invariably, epics with many of the above characteristics Such stories are normally served in series format because slow burning and clever , possibly with quite a number of characters to manage effectively, involves several volumes and a generous time span.However, Anja s, Mykkael s, Taskin s tale and Sessalie s plight prove that all I love in fantasy can also fit a standalone book with a five and one half day plot.One of the first things you notice about To Ride Hell s Chasm is its unique prose You either hate or love Wurts style, which is so her, I would recognize it anywhere She fleshes out her adult novels with depth and scope of language, daring the reader to dive in for an intense emotional rollercoaster of high visual impact.This tale is no exception, and it is there, in every paragraph, in every chosen word that lay all the subtle nuances and clues which bring the story forward so richly The first time I read it my attention was initially divided between understanding and events The second time I simply fell into the rhythm of the storytelling and I became totally caught up in the tale.Diversity, clash of cultures, the conflict between prejudices and effective listening, between principles and personal moral codes are some of the absorbing themes so originally book published in 2002, when you rarely found dark skinned protagonists and seamlessly woven into the story.I appreciated again the world building and the magic system As I followed the two unlikely investigators, I thought about tiny Sessalie s and its citizens reasonable fears, about cooperative efforts and integration I smiled at Jussoud s patient understanding of both the strong headed protagonists I felt frustrated at their stubbornness and at Mykkael s aggravating behavior, noticing how well it bears testament to the worldly experience of a scarred, foreign veteran who had an idea about the dire threat behind a seemingly mundane problem.I liked again the second part of the book, set in the wilderness, action filled and relentless I loved that well developed protagonists with personalities and attitudes don t necessarily need a human like ability to speak.When I reached the powerful denouement, this time I enjoyed it unconditionally because it was so natural, I would not have wanted a different outcome I also came to realize, contrary to my first impression, that while this tale is resolved, the setting has sequel potential.Okay, this is probably part review, part love letter to my favorite literary genre and part shout out to the incredibly eclectic author who triggered and nurtured it all To Ride Hell s Chasm is an innovative and forward thinking book which holds a special place in my heart, the so because by revisiting I recognized resonances and implications which I had missed before While savoring again the events and developments I was better able to piece together the whole picture, and what was love with some minor gripes two years ago, has now turned into awe The planning behind this story is impressive, every dialogue counts and not one member of the cast is willing to break character or compromise individual integrity to cater to the reader.I had fun and knowing where this was going was just an afterthought This, I think, it s the power of a story which gets better every time you read it.Warmly and forever recommended Death has no repeal It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well 5 brilliant starsBecause this isTHE all time favorite book for me It s tragic how the lack of imagination so often shapes our defeat To Ride Hell s Chasm is a story about human beings and our tendency to focus on our own specific viewpoints It clearly points out that no one person has all of the vision needed to answer a question, and no one person is the hero at all moments People tend to do their best on what limited platforms they stand on, but inevitably lack of knowledge, prejudice, and lack of imagination and inability to see past or biases create faults in response during a crisis.This story focuses primarily on how a large scale crisis impacts a small, very isolated, very limited society hit by a big problem that is outside its normal scope how will the people involved respond to the crisis, and how will that play against strengths and shortfalls.The characters are central to it, their plight, their story But intersectional themes pile up very fast and cover a lot of ground.How are outsiders regarded and received and prejudged both for their foreign roots, their race, their alternate education What happens in a society that has little differences when outside points of view become critical and distrust of differences can run rampant What happens when you stand the trope of the arranged marriage on its head because here we don t get the princess being pressured as a political pawn avoiding escape but a coup in progress.What happens when human beings are not the only heroes when reliance on the stamina or the attributes of INDIVIDUAL animals are a factor in saving the day We ve relied, historically, on the gifts of other species, but how often do we acknowledge them as the individual heroes they are How do very fair minded people react when all is on the line In a law and order country, where does the letter of the law compound or even confound the problem at hand And when does the spirit of the law matter Janny Wurts probes this question here, with scorching results.Who is responsible, truly, bottom line the man who gives the orders OR the man who wields the sword This book stabs straight in and stares down the bore hole where lies the ethical truth If we fail to acknowledge the individuality of our animal allies, do we also fail to acknowledge the clean instincts of the predator or do our fears and our prejudices play there, as well When is the human killer innocent, or when is the wild predator innocent or vice versa This novel starts as a complex political intrigue, passing the torch into an all out thriller But the players are all necessary to the end result, and no hero or protagonist every truly stands alone.This is a favorite theme of the author to play diverse view points and experiences off each other and reshuffle opinions Who emerges at what moment as the unlikely savior, and who crumples when a strength becomes a weakness There is no straightforward answer no matter whether we as human beings like to simplify and accept the surface take without troubling to look deeper until we are in crisis and forced to change our established view point.I ve read this book for the first time in a very difficult period of my life and connected with it, at a very deep level It s characters and the themes it focuses on made me get back on my feet and face the troubles head on, with the unflinching courage of a simple man beset by a difficult quandary the less stout hearted must name impossible. Mykkael, who lived as himself, without arrogance, and even with scars and shortfalls in plain view, he was whole.Moment to moment, he surmounted his impaired strength through trained skill, and the unshakable trust of a man who had been put to the extreme test and who had won triumph through the unflagging use of his wits A warrior wracked and riddled by mishap and wounds, and the dross of his unshed tears To Ride Hell s Chasm is one of those rare unforgettable books that will hit you hard and stay with you long after you finished reading So go ahead and give it a try Wow Janny told me the story got really exciting during the last half Wrong It was really exciting all the way through If there is any fault at all in the book, it is that the excitement NEVER slacks off it s really hard to put down That s not really fair when it is so long yet seems not long enough I d love to read about this world its characters.The plot is beautifully crafted, lovingly revealed the resolution left me gasping a bit teary eyed The characters are amazingly human, yet heroic, each in their own way The prose is a bit dense at times Each word was obviously chosen with professional care, so be warned if you like to quickly skim a novel don t do it You might get away with it with this one, but you don t want to The description is too acute, the world perfectly formed a quick read will simply dim it.My highest praise is reserved for her handling of the horses Obviously, she KNOWS horses She knows their strengths, weaknesses personalities Yes, each horse has a personality They re not simply hooved cars They re not cutsey, caricatures, either There is no anthropomorphism here They re every bit as real as the fictionalized humans If you don t know horses, there may be a few terms that could use some definition, but not many Most are well enough described The near side of a horse is the left side, for instance It is a proper equestrian term.Anyway, it s a fantastic read I highly recommend it I ve yet to be disappointed by one of her books this one just raised my esteem for her writing another notch. Death has no repeal It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well This epic fantasy standalone definitely goes on my all time favourite list My entry point into Mrs Wurts work was Daughter of the Empire she wrote with Raymond E Feist The beauty of that book made want to explore of her works and I decided to appease my curiosity with To Ride Hell s Chasm And I wasn t disappointed To Ride Hell s Chasm is a fantastic read It is a little difficult to get into at first, but as the story starts to unfold I found myself not being able to put it down The difficulty lies in the prose, which is unique It is lovely and elegant as well as complex and incredible in its detail The sun, angle shifting, sparkled off the polished glove of a flag spire The slate and lead roofs of the palace precinct dropped in gabled steps downwards, in cool contrast to the terracotta tile of the merchants mansions, crowded in rows like boxed gingerbread above the arched turrets of Middlegate There, the tree lined streets ran like seams in patchwork, jammed by the colors of private house guards helping to search for the princess Their industry seethed past the courtyard gardens, scattered like squares of dropped silk, and stitched with rosettes where the flowering shrubs adorned the pillared gazebos The crossroads market outside the town wall was a noisy, sprawling event that bloomed on a patch of packed earth with each dawn, and melted away every sundown The fading grip of night still cloaked the valley outside the citadel The misted tree limbs shed their burden of dew in a whispering patter of droplets I would compare this writing with that of Guy Gavriel Kay, who can at times mesmerize the reader with his descriptions of places, customs and people I love Kay s writing but find that of Mrs Wurts even better.That may be due to the fact that it is a lot detailed and complex Every paragraph and almost every other word is laden with subtle nuances, meanings and clues that meticulously describe every emotion, every action and every visual detail.This is not a book for those who like to read fast or skim You cannot do any of these with To Ride Hell s Chasm The entire story unfolds over a period of around 5 days with multiple POVs, while only the events of the first 2 days take over the full first quarter of the book So you can imagine the complexity All the characters interactions are detailed to the minute in a beautiful rich prose, the result being an absolutely clear view of all the their experiences And I have to say, despite all this, the story isn t slow at all It is just dense and intense What it is about When Princess Anja fails to appear at her betrothal banquet, the tiny, peaceful kingdom of Sessalie is plunged into intrigue Two warriors are charged with recovering the distraught king s beloved daughter Taskin, Commander of the Royal Guard, whose icy competence and impressive life term as the Crown s right hand man command the kingdom s deep seated respect and Mykkael, the rough hewn newcomer who has won the post of Captain of the Garrison a scarred dark skinned veteran with a deadly record of field warfare, whose interesting background and foreign breeding are held in contempt by court society. The princess and her 2 protectors As the princess s trail vanishes outside the citadel s gates, anxiety and tension escalate Mykkael s investigations lead him to a radical explanation for the mystery, but he finds himself under suspicion from the court factions Will Commander Taskin s famous fair mindedness be enough to unravel the truth behind the garrison captain s dramatic theory that the resourceful, high spirited princess was not taken by force, but fled the palace to escape a demonic evil What follows is a complex sweeping story of overcoming impossible odds with a wild Ride through Hell s Chasm And No one has ever lived through Hell s Chasm With demon spawn, sorcerer s minions and shape shifters hard on their trail and hunted by ravenous winged beasts kerries , a princess with a relentless tough spirit and her scarred warrior have to brave both harsh nature and danger after danger to bring salvation to all they hold dear.Kerries attackAnd the story doesn t stop at that Mrs Wurts masterfully weaves within personal drama, intrigue and guarded secrets, prejudice and moral principles, clash of cultural beliefs, loyalty and trust and sweeps the reader up into an emotional roller coaster.Her characters are all amazingly crafted But if I had to choose a favourite, that would be Mykkael Not as a hero, not as the paid captain of Sessalie s garrison, but as a man beset by a difficult quandary the less stout hearted must name impossible He stood guard for her fate, and his own, without arrogance Even with scars and shortfalls in plain view, he was whole.He lived as himself Moment to moment, he surmounted his impaired strength through trained skill, and the unshakable trust of a man who had been put to the extreme test and who had won triumph through the unflagging use of his wits A warrior wracked and riddled by mishap and wounds, and the dross of his unshed tears And let me not forget the horses It is after all, a RIDE through Hell s Chasm If you re one who loves horses, you re going to love this book Because Mrs Wurts gives us superb horses She describes their individual strengths and weaknesses giving a wonderful insight into the animals character and heart She really knows horses Proper equine terms are used which lets us know the writing was not done without research And she really loves them Her descriptions are an ode to the wonderful character traits of these amazing animals.I am gushing I know Please forgive me But I fell in love with this story, with its characters and with the writing This is one of those rare unforgettable books that will hit you hard and stay with you long after you finished reading ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.To Ride Hell s Chasm was my first Wurts novel I actually have a copy of the first book of The Wars of Light and Shadow saga which I started and liked so far , but I got a bit intimidated by the time commitment and the fact that WoLaS is unfinished , so I decided to try this stand alone first to get a feel for Janny Wurts style before I leapt into a mega epic Along that line, I was also interested to see how she would affect an actual ending, since WoLaS doesn t actually have one yet at least not in print.It took me a while to get used to Ms Wurts style I haven t had a lot of reading time lately, so the last several things I ve chosen to read have purposely been a bitlight Like chocolate mousse Wurts is not light The prose is, in fact, heavy Only small details bespoke the grave trouble slipped in through the well guarded gates Taskin s patrols came and went, double file rows of neat lancers threading through the carriage traffic in the broad avenues above Highgate In the queen s formal gardens, amid lawns like set emeralds, two dozen tiny surcoated figures enacted the midday change of the guard.The sun, angle shifting, sparkled off the polished glove of a flag spire The slate and lead roofs of the palace precinct dropped in gabled steps downwards, in cool contrast to the terracotta tile of the merchants mansions, crowded in rows like boxed gingerbread above the arched turrets of Middlegate There, the tree lined streets ran like seams in patchwork, jammed by the colors of private house guards helping to search for the princess Their industry seethed past the courtyard gardens, scattered like squares of dropped silk, and stitched with rosettes where the flowering shrubs adorned the pillared gazebos.Farthest down, hemmed by the jagged embrasures of stone battlements, the lower town hugged the slope like a rickle of frayed burlap, the roofs there a welter of weathered thatch, and craftsmen s sheds shingled with pine shakes Mykkael s garrison troops kept their watch on the outermost walls, the men reduced as toys, bearing pins and needles for weaponry When I first started reading, I felt like my dainty dish of chocolate mousse had suddenly been replaced by a 20 oz sirloin, and I had some initial trouble digesting it It probably didn t help that I wasn t finding the time to sit down with the book before midnight By the time I got to it, I was about as alert as if I actually had consumed that 20 oz sirloin But, I liked the story and characters immediately, so I started reading earlier in the day, and by the time I was about 1 3 of the way through the book, my pace had picked up significantly By the time I was 1 2 way through, the language was no longer a barrier and the story was so gripping that I actually could stay up past midnight and read In fact, I stayed up reading until 2 am for the last two nights without any trouble at all I actually had to force myself to go to bed At first I thought that as the pace of the story got faster it flies for the second half of the book , Ms Wurts writing had become succinct But, I went back and read some of the first half again to check my theory No It hadn t changed it was me I just got used to the writing style and had learned to appreciate it Ms Wurts is an artist she does her own cover art and maps and she uses words like she uses her paint They put us in the scene they show rather than tell.This book is finely crafted in other respects, too The plot is interesting, original, and tight There are moments of horror, grief, and humor There are no clich s, unbelievable romances, plot holes, stereotyped characters, or deux ex machina The plot is unpredictable, too In fact, there were a few times that I thought how are they going to get out of this mess and I had no clue, and even if I d had a clue, I would have been wrong The ending, also, is unexpected, realistic realistic for a fantasy novel, that is , and satisfying And, importantly, Ms Wurts writes knowledgeably about all those little details of ancient lifestyles that we love to read about in high fantasy sword fighting, horses, war strategies, servants, weird food, boiling laundry, dressing wounds at no time did I suspect that she was bluffing.The system of magic that Janny Wurts creates is unique and fascinating There s an explanation of it at the back of the book that I wish I had seen before I finished the novel And, speaking of the actual physical book, it was well crafted, too There s a glossary and maps, nice cover and interior art, and I found NO spelling or other editorial errors in this edition It s too bad the publisher Meisha Merlin has gone under And too bad I dropped this copy in a puddle when I jumped up to pull my 2 year old out of the pool So, now that I ve finished To Ride Hell s Chasm, I think I have a small idea of what I ve been missing by not reading The Wars of Light and Shadow A long epic by Janny Wurts sounds like a very good thing Read Janny Wurts book reviews at Fantasy literature At the start of To Ride Hell s Chasm, an outstanding standalone fantasy by Janny Wurts, Princess Anja of the tiny isolated kingdom of Sessalie has gone missing on the eve of the ceremony for her betrothal to the Crown Prince of Devall Since Anja is beloved by her people, and the alliance with Devall represents potentially big trade increases, it doesn t take long for many people to be involved in the search, from Mykkael, a foreign born former mercenary now in charge of the city s garrison, to Taskin, the military commander for the kingdom Over 650 pages covering about 5 days, Janny Wurts delivers a story filled with almost non stop action that s at times impossible to put down One of the odd and wonderful things about this novel is the contrast between the tight pacing and the lush language Again, that s 650 pages cover just a handful of days the first day alone takes about 200 pages, because every emotion, every visual detail, every nuance of meaning is hammered down in the most meticulous, rich prose you could hope find in the genre As a result, one moment of realization can be dissected over several paragraphs, but amazingly, there s rarely an unnecessary word in those descriptions It all works together to drive the full experience of the characters home in unmistakable clarity To Ride Hell s Chasm never feels like a slow book just a very intense one.The novel is filled with several fascinating characters, but the most memorable one has to Mykkael, the desert bred foreigner, reviled by many, always placing honor first, and simply unstoppable One of the highest compliments I can give a fantasy character he wouldn t look amiss in one of Guy Gavriel Kay s books From the moment he is first introduced, through the heart pounding conclusion of the adventure, to the emotionally gripping wrap up, this is an unforgettable character.It s hard for me to express accurately how much I enjoyed and admire To Ride Hell s Chasm Standalone fantasies are already a rare beast in this time of endlessly meandering series To read a story so meticulously crafted, contained in one cover, is a real pleasure This novel is easily going on my all time favorite list of fantasy novels.

To Ride Hell's Chasm PDF/EPUB Î To Ride  PDF \
    This guide aims to show you how to download and tension escalate Mykkael s investigations lead him to a radical explanation for the mystery, but he finds himself under suspicion from the court factions Will Commander Taskin s famous fair mindedness be enough to unravel the truth behind the garrison captain s dramatic theory that the resourceful, high spirited princess was not taken by force, but fled the palace to escape a demonic evil. In the land of the 10 volume monster epics of fantasy, the stand alone is a much rarer beast, so many preferring to take a concept and bludgeon it to death Not that I m complaining, it s just nice to have a book that you know will run its due course in one, single volume.To Ride Hell s Chasm takes what seems to be a simple concept, but combines it with the Wurts effect to become a much deeper and resonating piece than I ever imagined it could be.The princess, Anja, of the remote kingdom of Sessalie has disappeared and on the same night as her betrothal banquet Being such a small kingdom, Sessalie rarely if ever succumbs to the problems of the outside world, and such a disappearance is a than momentous occasion The king, in his wisdom or possibly oncoming dementia, tasks his household guard commander, Taskin, with the responsibility of finding her, but additionally puts the new lower gate captain and foreigner, Mykkael, to oath to find her as well Mykkael, having one the rights to his position in the annual tournament takes on the duty, much to the chagrin of the ruling class who have become comfortable in their ways and supremely prejudiced against outsiders.What follows is a story about prejudice and trust, overcoming incalculable odds, and what it really means to be loyal Add sorcery and Mykkael s style of fighting, barqui ino, that s like Jui Jitsu s version of the Gun Kata Equilibrium and you re in for a real treat The passion with which Wurts writes is unprecedented in my reading experience Sessalie is a small place, as has been mentioned, and Wurts plays on the inherent biases that such a place will produce Anything out of the ordinary or different would naturally cause such a sequestered people to feel threatened At the same time, it is completely unwarranted, you know, the usual when it comes to prejudice Mykkael is of a much darker skin tone than those in Sessalie and therefore, an immediate prejudice is built up, but what has he done to deserve such treatment Nothing Without even needing a bad guy, the odds are already stacked up against Mykkael Every ounce of pain, nobility, love, you name it, is felt as you get to know the characters and see their actions I have to admit to wondering at the level of detail at points, especially when the characters interactions were explained to include every minute component of their relationships But in the end, you find that it was well worth it because you glory in their triumphs as much as suffering their pains.What I guess is that I m implying that this book is no walk in the park It s very dense and probably took me twice as long to read as most other books of its size But again, it s well worth it, just make sure you re in the right mood.For a fantasy treat that will stick with you long after you read it and that inhabits the remote and distant country of StandAlone, To Ride Hell s Chasm is one of the best reads I ve had all year.4.5 out of 5 StarsPs I always wondered why this book was called To Ride Hell s Chasm I thought, why not just Hell s Chasm Believe me, it deserves the title it already has, it is fitting than I would ever have guessed in ways than I would have guessed.Pps I don t care what anyone says about Equilibrium, it s the best movie ever created D To Ride Hell s Chasm is a passionate and thoughtful high fantasy about a despised soldier and his assignment to track down a runaway princess on the eve of her nuptials the novel is roughly split into two parts the first describes Mykkael s attempts to gather information within the virulently xenophobic city he has made his home while dealing with the constantly shifting relationship with his stiff necked commanding officer the second portrays the detailed flight of Mykkael and the surprisingly brave princess in question as they run the ferocious, terrifying natural gauntlet known as Hell s Chasm the narrative takes place all during the course of one very intense week.SOME SPOILERS AHEADWurts writes adult fantasy this is not to mean that the book is filled with sex and gore but rather that it is concerned with tackling serious topics in a serious way one that does not pander to the reader this is not a gee whiz adventure full of flights of fancy or bright shiny bits of colorful fun it is a serious novel and Wurts intelligence as a writer is consistently displayed overall i really appreciated the formality of the prose, the seriousness of the themes, the depth of Mykkael s characterization, and especially the empathy towards animals her underlying anger is clear in the depiction of all the extremely unreasonable barriers put up by racist idiots that her hero is forced to surmount watching Mykkael deal accordingly with such loathsome attitudes is one of the joys of the first half the second half is genuinely thrilling Wurts has a firm grasp on how threatening the uncharted wilderness can be, and the passage through Hell s Chasm is very well done i felt like i was there and it was a horrible experience at times the latter parts of the novel were hard to put down because everything was conveyed so viscerally and in such grueling detail the reader gets to feel each and every pang of fear, bout of anxiety, each bruise and cut and stab of pain, every stumble and every panicky rush forward it was gratifying to realize that i was in the hands of a masterful writer during the trek through this nightmare terrain and as far as the ending goes satisfying and well earned.taking everything above into consideration, this would easily be a 4 star novel unfortunately, To Ride Hell s Chasm has some substantial flaws there are some breakdowns in logic soldiers who sass back at their commanding officer like they are teenage girls in a reality tv show a princess who constantly accuses her insanely brave rescuer of cowardice there are some strange missed opportunities a swordfight between two major characters in the middle of swirling magic laced mists, the flight of a king and his retinue through sewers while strapped to wine casks, a bloody fight between society matrons soldiers demonic shapeshifters all described secondhand but the most distancing problem is that this novel is often genuinely overwritten it s perplexing Wurts is a writer with real skills and when she reins herself in, she is capable of creating many stunning and beautiful moments with prose that sings off of the page but the sheer repetitiousness of various phrases is a real turn off hag ridden pops into mind and my God if i never see the word haze again i will be delighted even worse is the feeling that Wurts does not trust her readers to remember key details about her characters almost as if they are children who have to be reminded again and again about various character traits and Important Issues i had the same feeling when reading Cherryh s unfinishable Foreigner what this translates to is 1 when a character is described as sharp and knife like, we will see this description repeated over and over again, ad nauseum sweet Jesus i got it the first time my memory is fine and 2 the aggravating tendency to sum up the feelings or rationale for why a character said or did this or that it may be too late to provide constructive critique because Wurts is a justifiably popular and prolific author, but i really wish in the future that she would put faith in her adult reader s ability to remember things and to understand the logic behind certain words and deeds without being told, over explicitly, what that logic may be.okay enough with the critique, there s positive things that i want to say about this worthy novel.the magic system was exceedingly well done i loved how the reader is forced to figure things out slowly and i loved just how smart the depiction of curses, cold hot magic, lines of magic, shapeshifting, demonic intelligences, shamanism, etc turned out to be kudos Mykkael s fighting style barqui ino was intriguing and his troubled engagement with his own fighting style was layered and compelling kudos Mykkael himself is thoroughly memorable the tragedy of his life is related in bits and pieces, all accumulating to create a flawed yet entirely heroic individual who will stay in my memory and an uplifting character in that he defines all that humans should strive towards without ever coming across as corny or hand wringing kudos the cover art and the interior illustrations are quite nice and i think all done by the author kudos the novel s mythical beasts kerries were phenomenal fascinating, threatening, truly real monsters that felt alive kudos the horses personalities were wonderfully differentiated the death of Fouzette was wrenching and the return of Stormfront was amazing kudos the brilliant yet nauseating way that Mykkael decides to get the princess free of Hell s Chasm was like nothing i ve read before kudos and i loved the ending sometimes a sentimental and emotional ending is just what the doctor ordered especially after so many trials and tribulations kudos I have wanted to read Janny Wurts forever in my quest to discover all the hidden gems of fantasy I have discovered a fantasy goddess Dare I say it she writes better than Kay, I kid you not Her plot is exquisite Her characters alive than some real people I know I have enjoyed every page If you don t have this book on your TBR, put it there immediately.FRTCFirst sentence In the long shadow of the mountain spring twilight, under the glow of a thousand lanterns, Anja, Crown Princess of Sessalie, failed to appear at the banquet to celebrate her official betrothal. Death has no repeal It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well.Easily my favorite read this year.This was originally recommended to me by someone who knew of my love of horses The person who recommended it was not a horse person, but this book stood out in his mind as being one where the author did a great job of portraying the horses as characters.I have to agree with his assessment that this book does a lovely job of showcasing the author s knowledge of horses, and of portraying them as heroic, brave and selfless creatures, something that I know from my own experience to be true.The book focuses on Mykkael, a foreigner in a city that is distrustful of those with dark skin A Captain of the Guard, placed there by winning a tournament, he is a man with a dark and troubled past When the Princess disappears at her betrothal banquet, the King recognizes Mykkael as one of the few who can save her, and he is brought into service to find and protect her.The author s writing is lovely and complex, incredible in its detail, but I found it difficult at first to get into I was forced into reading quite slowly as the author, while writing from third person omniscient following Mykkael, also switches to follow other characters sometimes bouncing back and forth in several paragraphs I had to take great care in order to understand who it was that was the observer, and who they were observing, as characters were also named using details that were used to describe them previously, such as their title, rather than naming them outright often than not.However, as I started getting into it, I found fascinating characters with an incredible amount of depth, reminiscent of another author I adore Robin Hobb Wurts also does a great job of building tension so much so that I found myself unable to put the book down, as the rich world she has created unfolded It does take some work, but it was well worth it. 2016 reread This is an enticing, entertaining, thought provoking and unpredictable adult fantasy story, brought alive with poetic prose and driven by unforgettable characters This hidden gem, which I discovered thanks to the wonderful Goodreads Community, is also my entry point into the work of Janny Wurts who has fast become my favourite epic fantasist.Her novels helped me define what kind of story truly resonates with me I used to equate epic fantasy with Lord of the Rings, which I loved, but I didn t want to invest my time in read alikes and so my preconceptions led me to disregard a great genre Today some of the authors I admire, along with Wurts, are Erikson, Kay, Berg and Martin, all great adult novelists mostly of epic fantasy.I love complex, sweeping stories with both global stakes and personal drama I revel in Machiavellian intrigue and guarded secrets I want engaging plots and believable twists I delight in detailed and realistic battles I like inference and foreshadowing I enjoy witty humor and harrowing choices I want interesting, well rounded and memorable characters I want carefully planned stories which are consistent and layered I want top notch storytelling and a prose that goes beyond decoration I want an immersive experience where the story doesn t lack internal logic and where my assumptions are upended most often than not I want to feel, to think and be surprised, to be challenged and entertained.Yeah, I m an easy reader I like several genres and I love light or tawdry reads as well, but the stories that hit me hard emotionally and intellectually are, invariably, epics with many of the above characteristics Such stories are normally served in series format because slow burning and clever , possibly with quite a number of characters to manage effectively, involves several volumes and a generous time span.However, Anja s, Mykkael s, Taskin s tale and Sessalie s plight prove that all I love in fantasy can also fit a standalone book with a five and one half day plot.One of the first things you notice about To Ride Hell s Chasm is its unique prose You either hate or love Wurts style, which is so her, I would recognize it anywhere She fleshes out her adult novels with depth and scope of language, daring the reader to dive in for an intense emotional rollercoaster of high visual impact.This tale is no exception, and it is there, in every paragraph, in every chosen word that lay all the subtle nuances and clues which bring the story forward so richly The first time I read it my attention was initially divided between understanding and events The second time I simply fell into the rhythm of the storytelling and I became totally caught up in the tale.Diversity, clash of cultures, the conflict between prejudices and effective listening, between principles and personal moral codes are some of the absorbing themes so originally book published in 2002, when you rarely found dark skinned protagonists and seamlessly woven into the story.I appreciated again the world building and the magic system As I followed the two unlikely investigators, I thought about tiny Sessalie s and its citizens reasonable fears, about cooperative efforts and integration I smiled at Jussoud s patient understanding of both the strong headed protagonists I felt frustrated at their stubbornness and at Mykkael s aggravating behavior, noticing how well it bears testament to the worldly experience of a scarred, foreign veteran who had an idea about the dire threat behind a seemingly mundane problem.I liked again the second part of the book, set in the wilderness, action filled and relentless I loved that well developed protagonists with personalities and attitudes don t necessarily need a human like ability to speak.When I reached the powerful denouement, this time I enjoyed it unconditionally because it was so natural, I would not have wanted a different outcome I also came to realize, contrary to my first impression, that while this tale is resolved, the setting has sequel potential.Okay, this is probably part review, part love letter to my favorite literary genre and part shout out to the incredibly eclectic author who triggered and nurtured it all To Ride Hell s Chasm is an innovative and forward thinking book which holds a special place in my heart, the so because by revisiting I recognized resonances and implications which I had missed before While savoring again the events and developments I was better able to piece together the whole picture, and what was love with some minor gripes two years ago, has now turned into awe The planning behind this story is impressive, every dialogue counts and not one member of the cast is willing to break character or compromise individual integrity to cater to the reader.I had fun and knowing where this was going was just an afterthought This, I think, it s the power of a story which gets better every time you read it.Warmly and forever recommended Death has no repeal It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well 5 brilliant starsBecause this isTHE all time favorite book for me It s tragic how the lack of imagination so often shapes our defeat To Ride Hell s Chasm is a story about human beings and our tendency to focus on our own specific viewpoints It clearly points out that no one person has all of the vision needed to answer a question, and no one person is the hero at all moments People tend to do their best on what limited platforms they stand on, but inevitably lack of knowledge, prejudice, and lack of imagination and inability to see past or biases create faults in response during a crisis.This story focuses primarily on how a large scale crisis impacts a small, very isolated, very limited society hit by a big problem that is outside its normal scope how will the people involved respond to the crisis, and how will that play against strengths and shortfalls.The characters are central to it, their plight, their story But intersectional themes pile up very fast and cover a lot of ground.How are outsiders regarded and received and prejudged both for their foreign roots, their race, their alternate education What happens in a society that has little differences when outside points of view become critical and distrust of differences can run rampant What happens when you stand the trope of the arranged marriage on its head because here we don t get the princess being pressured as a political pawn avoiding escape but a coup in progress.What happens when human beings are not the only heroes when reliance on the stamina or the attributes of INDIVIDUAL animals are a factor in saving the day We ve relied, historically, on the gifts of other species, but how often do we acknowledge them as the individual heroes they are How do very fair minded people react when all is on the line In a law and order country, where does the letter of the law compound or even confound the problem at hand And when does the spirit of the law matter Janny Wurts probes this question here, with scorching results.Who is responsible, truly, bottom line the man who gives the orders OR the man who wields the sword This book stabs straight in and stares down the bore hole where lies the ethical truth If we fail to acknowledge the individuality of our animal allies, do we also fail to acknowledge the clean instincts of the predator or do our fears and our prejudices play there, as well When is the human killer innocent, or when is the wild predator innocent or vice versa This novel starts as a complex political intrigue, passing the torch into an all out thriller But the players are all necessary to the end result, and no hero or protagonist every truly stands alone.This is a favorite theme of the author to play diverse view points and experiences off each other and reshuffle opinions Who emerges at what moment as the unlikely savior, and who crumples when a strength becomes a weakness There is no straightforward answer no matter whether we as human beings like to simplify and accept the surface take without troubling to look deeper until we are in crisis and forced to change our established view point.I ve read this book for the first time in a very difficult period of my life and connected with it, at a very deep level It s characters and the themes it focuses on made me get back on my feet and face the troubles head on, with the unflinching courage of a simple man beset by a difficult quandary the less stout hearted must name impossible. Mykkael, who lived as himself, without arrogance, and even with scars and shortfalls in plain view, he was whole.Moment to moment, he surmounted his impaired strength through trained skill, and the unshakable trust of a man who had been put to the extreme test and who had won triumph through the unflagging use of his wits A warrior wracked and riddled by mishap and wounds, and the dross of his unshed tears To Ride Hell s Chasm is one of those rare unforgettable books that will hit you hard and stay with you long after you finished reading So go ahead and give it a try Wow Janny told me the story got really exciting during the last half Wrong It was really exciting all the way through If there is any fault at all in the book, it is that the excitement NEVER slacks off it s really hard to put down That s not really fair when it is so long yet seems not long enough I d love to read about this world its characters.The plot is beautifully crafted, lovingly revealed the resolution left me gasping a bit teary eyed The characters are amazingly human, yet heroic, each in their own way The prose is a bit dense at times Each word was obviously chosen with professional care, so be warned if you like to quickly skim a novel don t do it You might get away with it with this one, but you don t want to The description is too acute, the world perfectly formed a quick read will simply dim it.My highest praise is reserved for her handling of the horses Obviously, she KNOWS horses She knows their strengths, weaknesses personalities Yes, each horse has a personality They re not simply hooved cars They re not cutsey, caricatures, either There is no anthropomorphism here They re every bit as real as the fictionalized humans If you don t know horses, there may be a few terms that could use some definition, but not many Most are well enough described The near side of a horse is the left side, for instance It is a proper equestrian term.Anyway, it s a fantastic read I highly recommend it I ve yet to be disappointed by one of her books this one just raised my esteem for her writing another notch. Death has no repeal It is a brute ending that leaves us the legacy of an inscrutable silence Therefore, I understand the voice of mercy very well This epic fantasy standalone definitely goes on my all time favourite list My entry point into Mrs Wurts work was Daughter of the Empire she wrote with Raymond E Feist The beauty of that book made want to explore of her works and I decided to appease my curiosity with To Ride Hell s Chasm And I wasn t disappointed To Ride Hell s Chasm is a fantastic read It is a little difficult to get into at first, but as the story starts to unfold I found myself not being able to put it down The difficulty lies in the prose, which is unique It is lovely and elegant as well as complex and incredible in its detail The sun, angle shifting, sparkled off the polished glove of a flag spire The slate and lead roofs of the palace precinct dropped in gabled steps downwards, in cool contrast to the terracotta tile of the merchants mansions, crowded in rows like boxed gingerbread above the arched turrets of Middlegate There, the tree lined streets ran like seams in patchwork, jammed by the colors of private house guards helping to search for the princess Their industry seethed past the courtyard gardens, scattered like squares of dropped silk, and stitched with rosettes where the flowering shrubs adorned the pillared gazebos The crossroads market outside the town wall was a noisy, sprawling event that bloomed on a patch of packed earth with each dawn, and melted away every sundown The fading grip of night still cloaked the valley outside the citadel The misted tree limbs shed their burden of dew in a whispering patter of droplets I would compare this writing with that of Guy Gavriel Kay, who can at times mesmerize the reader with his descriptions of places, customs and people I love Kay s writing but find that of Mrs Wurts even better.That may be due to the fact that it is a lot detailed and complex Every paragraph and almost every other word is laden with subtle nuances, meanings and clues that meticulously describe every emotion, every action and every visual detail.This is not a book for those who like to read fast or skim You cannot do any of these with To Ride Hell s Chasm The entire story unfolds over a period of around 5 days with multiple POVs, while only the events of the first 2 days take over the full first quarter of the book So you can imagine the complexity All the characters interactions are detailed to the minute in a beautiful rich prose, the result being an absolutely clear view of all the their experiences And I have to say, despite all this, the story isn t slow at all It is just dense and intense What it is about When Princess Anja fails to appear at her betrothal banquet, the tiny, peaceful kingdom of Sessalie is plunged into intrigue Two warriors are charged with recovering the distraught king s beloved daughter Taskin, Commander of the Royal Guard, whose icy competence and impressive life term as the Crown s right hand man command the kingdom s deep seated respect and Mykkael, the rough hewn newcomer who has won the post of Captain of the Garrison a scarred dark skinned veteran with a deadly record of field warfare, whose interesting background and foreign breeding are held in contempt by court society. The princess and her 2 protectors As the princess s trail vanishes outside the citadel s gates, anxiety and tension escalate Mykkael s investigations lead him to a radical explanation for the mystery, but he finds himself under suspicion from the court factions Will Commander Taskin s famous fair mindedness be enough to unravel the truth behind the garrison captain s dramatic theory that the resourceful, high spirited princess was not taken by force, but fled the palace to escape a demonic evil What follows is a complex sweeping story of overcoming impossible odds with a wild Ride through Hell s Chasm And No one has ever lived through Hell s Chasm With demon spawn, sorcerer s minions and shape shifters hard on their trail and hunted by ravenous winged beasts kerries , a princess with a relentless tough spirit and her scarred warrior have to brave both harsh nature and danger after danger to bring salvation to all they hold dear.Kerries attackAnd the story doesn t stop at that Mrs Wurts masterfully weaves within personal drama, intrigue and guarded secrets, prejudice and moral principles, clash of cultural beliefs, loyalty and trust and sweeps the reader up into an emotional roller coaster.Her characters are all amazingly crafted But if I had to choose a favourite, that would be Mykkael Not as a hero, not as the paid captain of Sessalie s garrison, but as a man beset by a difficult quandary the less stout hearted must name impossible He stood guard for her fate, and his own, without arrogance Even with scars and shortfalls in plain view, he was whole.He lived as himself Moment to moment, he surmounted his impaired strength through trained skill, and the unshakable trust of a man who had been put to the extreme test and who had won triumph through the unflagging use of his wits A warrior wracked and riddled by mishap and wounds, and the dross of his unshed tears And let me not forget the horses It is after all, a RIDE through Hell s Chasm If you re one who loves horses, you re going to love this book Because Mrs Wurts gives us superb horses She describes their individual strengths and weaknesses giving a wonderful insight into the animals character and heart She really knows horses Proper equine terms are used which lets us know the writing was not done without research And she really loves them Her descriptions are an ode to the wonderful character traits of these amazing animals.I am gushing I know Please forgive me But I fell in love with this story, with its characters and with the writing This is one of those rare unforgettable books that will hit you hard and stay with you long after you finished reading ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.To Ride Hell s Chasm was my first Wurts novel I actually have a copy of the first book of The Wars of Light and Shadow saga which I started and liked so far , but I got a bit intimidated by the time commitment and the fact that WoLaS is unfinished , so I decided to try this stand alone first to get a feel for Janny Wurts style before I leapt into a mega epic Along that line, I was also interested to see how she would affect an actual ending, since WoLaS doesn t actually have one yet at least not in print.It took me a while to get used to Ms Wurts style I haven t had a lot of reading time lately, so the last several things I ve chosen to read have purposely been a bitlight Like chocolate mousse Wurts is not light The prose is, in fact, heavy Only small details bespoke the grave trouble slipped in through the well guarded gates Taskin s patrols came and went, double file rows of neat lancers threading through the carriage traffic in the broad avenues above Highgate In the queen s formal gardens, amid lawns like set emeralds, two dozen tiny surcoated figures enacted the midday change of the guard.The sun, angle shifting, sparkled off the polished glove of a flag spire The slate and lead roofs of the palace precinct dropped in gabled steps downwards, in cool contrast to the terracotta tile of the merchants mansions, crowded in rows like boxed gingerbread above the arched turrets of Middlegate There, the tree lined streets ran like seams in patchwork, jammed by the colors of private house guards helping to search for the princess Their industry seethed past the courtyard gardens, scattered like squares of dropped silk, and stitched with rosettes where the flowering shrubs adorned the pillared gazebos.Farthest down, hemmed by the jagged embrasures of stone battlements, the lower town hugged the slope like a rickle of frayed burlap, the roofs there a welter of weathered thatch, and craftsmen s sheds shingled with pine shakes Mykkael s garrison troops kept their watch on the outermost walls, the men reduced as toys, bearing pins and needles for weaponry When I first started reading, I felt like my dainty dish of chocolate mousse had suddenly been replaced by a 20 oz sirloin, and I had some initial trouble digesting it It probably didn t help that I wasn t finding the time to sit down with the book before midnight By the time I got to it, I was about as alert as if I actually had consumed that 20 oz sirloin But, I liked the story and characters immediately, so I started reading earlier in the day, and by the time I was about 1 3 of the way through the book, my pace had picked up significantly By the time I was 1 2 way through, the language was no longer a barrier and the story was so gripping that I actually could stay up past midnight and read In fact, I stayed up reading until 2 am for the last two nights without any trouble at all I actually had to force myself to go to bed At first I thought that as the pace of the story got faster it flies for the second half of the book , Ms Wurts writing had become succinct But, I went back and read some of the first half again to check my theory No It hadn t changed it was me I just got used to the writing style and had learned to appreciate it Ms Wurts is an artist she does her own cover art and maps and she uses words like she uses her paint They put us in the scene they show rather than tell.This book is finely crafted in other respects, too The plot is interesting, original, and tight There are moments of horror, grief, and humor There are no clich s, unbelievable romances, plot holes, stereotyped characters, or deux ex machina The plot is unpredictable, too In fact, there were a few times that I thought how are they going to get out of this mess and I had no clue, and even if I d had a clue, I would have been wrong The ending, also, is unexpected, realistic realistic for a fantasy novel, that is , and satisfying And, importantly, Ms Wurts writes knowledgeably about all those little details of ancient lifestyles that we love to read about in high fantasy sword fighting, horses, war strategies, servants, weird food, boiling laundry, dressing wounds at no time did I suspect that she was bluffing.The system of magic that Janny Wurts creates is unique and fascinating There s an explanation of it at the back of the book that I wish I had seen before I finished the novel And, speaking of the actual physical book, it was well crafted, too There s a glossary and maps, nice cover and interior art, and I found NO spelling or other editorial errors in this edition It s too bad the publisher Meisha Merlin has gone under And too bad I dropped this copy in a puddle when I jumped up to pull my 2 year old out of the pool So, now that I ve finished To Ride Hell s Chasm, I think I have a small idea of what I ve been missing by not reading The Wars of Light and Shadow A long epic by Janny Wurts sounds like a very good thing Read Janny Wurts book reviews at Fantasy literature At the start of To Ride Hell s Chasm, an outstanding standalone fantasy by Janny Wurts, Princess Anja of the tiny isolated kingdom of Sessalie has gone missing on the eve of the ceremony for her betrothal to the Crown Prince of Devall Since Anja is beloved by her people, and the alliance with Devall represents potentially big trade increases, it doesn t take long for many people to be involved in the search, from Mykkael, a foreign born former mercenary now in charge of the city s garrison, to Taskin, the military commander for the kingdom Over 650 pages covering about 5 days, Janny Wurts delivers a story filled with almost non stop action that s at times impossible to put down One of the odd and wonderful things about this novel is the contrast between the tight pacing and the lush language Again, that s 650 pages cover just a handful of days the first day alone takes about 200 pages, because every emotion, every visual detail, every nuance of meaning is hammered down in the most meticulous, rich prose you could hope find in the genre As a result, one moment of realization can be dissected over several paragraphs, but amazingly, there s rarely an unnecessary word in those descriptions It all works together to drive the full experience of the characters home in unmistakable clarity To Ride Hell s Chasm never feels like a slow book just a very intense one.The novel is filled with several fascinating characters, but the most memorable one has to Mykkael, the desert bred foreigner, reviled by many, always placing honor first, and simply unstoppable One of the highest compliments I can give a fantasy character he wouldn t look amiss in one of Guy Gavriel Kay s books From the moment he is first introduced, through the heart pounding conclusion of the adventure, to the emotionally gripping wrap up, this is an unforgettable character.It s hard for me to express accurately how much I enjoyed and admire To Ride Hell s Chasm Standalone fantasies are already a rare beast in this time of endlessly meandering series To read a story so meticulously crafted, contained in one cover, is a real pleasure This novel is easily going on my all time favorite list of fantasy novels. 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  • Hardcover
  • 678 pages
  • To Ride Hell's Chasm
  • Janny Wurts
  • English
  • 23 April 2019
  • 9781592220236