The Diviner by Melanie Rawn | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Diviner

The Diviner

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by Melanie Rawn
     
 

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Bestselling author Melanie Rawn's triumphant return to high fantasy.

The only survivor of royal treachery that eliminates his entire family, Azzad al-Ma'aliq flees to the desert and dedicates himself to vengeance. With the help of the Shagara, a nomadic tribe of powerful magicians, he will finally be able to take his revenge - but at what cost?

Overview

Bestselling author Melanie Rawn's triumphant return to high fantasy.

The only survivor of royal treachery that eliminates his entire family, Azzad al-Ma'aliq flees to the desert and dedicates himself to vengeance. With the help of the Shagara, a nomadic tribe of powerful magicians, he will finally be able to take his revenge - but at what cost?

Editorial Reviews

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Melanie Rawn is an amazingly talented writer who is capable of some of the most direct and clearest fantasy writing I've had the pleasure of reading in quite some time."
Booklist
"Superb.... This book is a prequel to The Golden Key (1996) yet stands on its own merits and will delight anyone who enjoys reading about chivalry, the Middle East, and a genetic mutation that allows some to harness magic in ways that are carefully guarded."
From the Publisher
"A tale of loyalty, treachery, and love.... The author’s large readership as well as lovers of epic fantasy should enjoy this stand-alone prequel." — Library Journal, Starred Review

"Rawn weaves a rich tapestry of war, magic, and relationships in this historical fantasy prequel to 1996's The Golden Key.... Rawn at her best remains a mesmerizing writer." — Publishers Weekly

"Superb.... This book is a prequel to The Golden Key (1996) yet stands on its own merits and will delight anyone who enjoys reading about chivalry, the Middle East, and a genetic mutation that allows some to harness magic in ways that are carefully guarded." — Booklist

"Melanie Rawn is an amazingly talented writer who is capable of some of the most direct and clearest fantasy writing I've had the pleasure of reading in quite some time." — Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Publishers Weekly
Rawn weaves a rich tapestry of war, magic, and relationships in this historical fantasy prequel to 1996's The Golden Key. The Sheyqa Nizzira, despotic ruler of a Middle East–flavored land in the year 611, has meticulously planned to wipe out a large family of her rivals, murdering them down to the smallest child. When young wastrel Azzad al-Ma'alique misses his date with doom and flees, he sets in motion a complex revenge plot that will change the future of many lands and generations of both families. Gripping events build to a mid-book climax, but tension drops sharply in the second half, with a less clear trajectory and a sometimes bewildering array of characters. Toward the end, both the pace and the clarity pick up, though the developments feel less organic and more calculated. Rawn at her best remains a mesmerizing writer, and there is some of her best here. (Aug.)
Library Journal
As the only survivor of the massacre of his entire family by the ambitious Sheyqa Nizzira, Azzad Al-Ma'aliq flees into the desert, vowing vengeance. Finding favor and protection with a tribe of healers and talisman makers, Azzad defers his ambition in favor of a home and material wealth. When he finally strikes back, all seems accomplished—but the repercussions carry down to another generation, to his son Alessid. Rawn's prequel to 1996's The Golden Key marks her return to the high fantasy of her "Dragon Prince" (Dragon Prince; The Star Scroll; Sunrunner's Fire) and "Dragon Star" (Stronghold; The Dragon Token; Skybowl) series. VERDICT The desert setting and Arabian-Bedouin cultural trappings lend an exotic touch to a tale of loyalty, treachery, and love. The author's large readership as well as lovers of epic fantasy should enjoy this stand-alone prequel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756407414
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
08/07/2012
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
738,475
Product dimensions:
4.37(w) x 6.81(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Melanie Rawn, the author of DAW’s bestselling Dragon Prince trilogy—Dragon Prince, The Star Scroll, and Sunrunner’s Fire—is a second-generation Californian who, after graduating from Scripps College with a B.A. in history, worked as a teacher and editor while writing her first two novels. She lives in a small town outside Los Angeles and keeps cacti as pets. She can be found at melanierawn.com.

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The Diviner 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Beauty_in_Ruins More than 1 year ago
In a sense, The Diviner is really two books, with a rather abrupt change of both plot and pace about halfway through, as Azzad al-Ma'aliq gives way to his son, Alessid. The problem is that the son cannot hold a candle to his father, either in personality or deeds. Azzad is a wonderful character, a man who rises above his flaws to become more than just means of retribution. He develops as he matures, exposing hidden facets of his personality that make him more endearing as the story progresses. I loved him as a hero, as a father, as a husband, and as a warrior. He is, without a doubt, one of Melanie's strongest characters. It's just a shame the book couldn't remain focussed on him. Alessid, by contrast, is entirely unlikable from the start, and what limited development he displays is, unfortunately, in the wrong direction. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at first, understanding where he's come from and what kind of legacy he's inherited, but he was a disappointment. I neither liked nor respected him, and every time he disparaged his father's memory (which is far too often), he simply reminded me of the gulf between the two. In all fairness, Azzad's half of the novel was the far more interesting story, briskly paced, and interspersed with a few moments of reflection. I cared about what was happening, and I found myself anxiously turning pages, desperate to know what would happen next. Alessid's half of the novel was far less interesting, sluggishly paced, and bogged down with far too many marriages, births, and alliances. Instead of being anxious to find out what happens next, I found myself desperately flipping through pages, hoping to pick up a thread of story that would pull me back in. It's a shame Melanie couldn't maintain the magic of the first half, because there's a lot about the story to like. If she could have just given us more of the Sheyqa Nizzira, the truly chilling, scene-chewing villainess behind Azzad's flight into the desert, maybe there would have been no need to dwell on Alessid. Unfortunately, once we get beyond the bloodbath that begins the novel, she ceases to be anything other than a name, a title, a character who exists off-the-page as a focal point for vengeance. She had such promise - I would have really loved to explore her more. Characters and plotting aside, the Middle East flavouring is a nice change of pace from the typical European fantasy setting, and I loved exploring the origins of the magic that made The Golden Key so enthralling. There were some really nice stylistic touches here, and the quality of the writing itself is full of hints and promises of a return to form for Melanie. I'd like to think this was just a contractual obligation she forced herself through, to give her the freedom to do something new. Time will tell, but here's hoping her new trilogy follows through on that promise of a return to form, and once again demonstrates the love for her material that seemed lacking here.
tex1gma More than 1 year ago
Melanie Rawn knows how to tell a story and this one is no exception. Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 611 in the city of Dayira Azreyq during a gala the Glorious Majesty Sheyqa Nizzira has her assassins kill the powerful al Ma'alique family. However, one clan member lives, the profligate Azzad al-Ma'alique who was late due to female issues. He considers his options and concludes fleeing was the best course for now, but vowing revenge when he returns. He eludes the killers sent by Sheyqa as he reaches the desert. There he is fortunate that the enigmatic nomadic Shagara tribe of mages saves his life and provides him shelter. They protect him from the assassins as he begins his plan for avenging his family though he knows needs time to plan and deploy. This is an exhilarating prequel fantasy (see The Golden Key) that takes off from the onset. However, the Diviner feels like two books as just passed the half way point of the book, the story line reaches a climatic conclusion. From there a second story line picks up albeit much slower paced though well written. Still readers will enjoy the cost of vengeance to the avenging angel and the innocent collateral damaged victims. Harriet Klausner