Farlander

( 38 )

Overview

The Heart of the World is a land in strife. For fifty years the Holy Empire of Mann, an empire and religion born from a nihilistic urban cult, has been conquering nation after nation. Their leader, Holy Matriarch Sasheen, ruthlessly maintains control through her Diplomats, priests trained as subtle predators.

Ash is a member of an elite group of assassins, the Roshun, who offer protection through the threat of vendetta. Forced by his ailing health to take on an apprentice, he ...

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Farlander

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Overview

The Heart of the World is a land in strife. For fifty years the Holy Empire of Mann, an empire and religion born from a nihilistic urban cult, has been conquering nation after nation. Their leader, Holy Matriarch Sasheen, ruthlessly maintains control through her Diplomats, priests trained as subtle predators.

Ash is a member of an elite group of assassins, the Roshun, who offer protection through the threat of vendetta. Forced by his ailing health to take on an apprentice, he chooses Nico, a young man living in the besieged city of Bar-Khos. At the time, Nico is hungry, desperate, and alone in a city that finds itself teetering on the brink.

When the Holy Matriarch’s son deliberately murders a woman under the protection of the Roshun; he forces the sect to seek his life in retribution. As Ash and his young apprentice set out to fulfill the Roshun orders, their journey takes them into the heart of the conflict between the Empire and the Free Ports…into bloodshed and death.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in an impressively imagined war-ravaged world in which the island of Khos has suffered a decade-long siege, Buchanan's debut focuses on the stories of individuals representing the different sides of war. Ash is a member of the elite Roshun, whose role is to seek vengeance for those who have been murdered. His apprentice, Nico, was raised from living on the streets to the ranks of the Roshun. Kirkus, the indolent heir to the aggressive Mann Empire, is given a thoughtful, well-rounded portrayal even as he murders a priest's daughter who is protected by the Roshun, throwing the world into chaos. The inclusion of gunpowder and airships nod to recent steampunk trends, though many of the standard epic fantasy elements remain. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Something special…Buchanan writes vividly and well, and the story grips from the astonishing opening sequence to the unexpected conclusion.”
—The Times (UK )

Farlander is a manic romp that takes in politics affecting nations at war as well as bringing the people who shape these nations into sharp focus. There’s a little something here for everyone. Farlander kicks off Col Buchanan’s debut series in some style and promises great things for the future.”
—Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

“In Farlander, Col Buchanan weaves a tapestry of characters embodying youthful inexperience, military adventurism, jaded professionalism and wisdom, and the excesses of temporally expressed religious fanaticism into a fast-moving novel that, for all its fantasy elements, explosively addresses the universal questions facing any society.”
—L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Farlander is until the last page a well-done Novel of Education; since the education is that of an assassin, it's an exciting read as well as a thought-provoking one.  Only at the conclusion does Col Buchanan show who was really being educated, which makes this a truly exceptional book.”
Dave Drake, author of The Legions of Fire

Library Journal
The Holy Empire of Mann, a bloody, hedonistic religion worshipping self-indulgence and excess, rules much of the world. Yet when the son of the Holy Matriarch callously murders a young woman, a member of the elite group of assassin-protectors known as the Ro¯shun vows to avenge her death by slaying the murderer. Sent to accomplish the task, an aging veteran and his young apprentice face the wrath of a vicious empire and must make decisions that lead to justice and bloodshed. Buchanan depicts a dark, brooding world in which men and women struggle to live lives of moral integrity in a society that encourages cruelty and nihilistic pleasures. VERDICT Strong storytelling underpins this grim fantasy debut, the beginning of a series that promises more powerful tales set in an unusual world.
Kirkus Reviews

Evil empire vs. saintly assassins, in British author Buchanan's fantasy debut.

Thanks to its superior weaponry, the Holy Empire of Mann has conquered most of the world in its blind desire to spread its appalling, sadomasochistic religion. Among the few holdouts are the Mercian Free Ports, the besieged city of Bar-Khos and the Roshun assassin cult which offers personal protection through the threat of vendetta. Dying assassin Ash takes an apprentice, Nico, a street urchin from the war-torn streets of Bar-Khos. But then Kirkus, the heir to the throne of the Empire, kills a girl under the protection of the Roshun as part of his religion's ghastly rituals. To fulfill this vendetta, Roshun must penetrate to the very heart of the Empire. Predictably, therefore, the first three to be chosen fail the task. So ailing old Ash, his rival assassin Baracha and their respective apprentices Nico and Aléas are selected. Meanwhile Sasheen, the Holy Matriarch, knows that Roshun will come to kill Kirkus, so she prepares a counterstrike against the Roshun monastery itself. This entirely conventional backdrop—evil empire, enigmatic sage, starveling apprentice and so forth—comes across as humdrum or, worse, derivative. Still, the writing is mature, the action sequences gripping and suitably bloodthirsty, and there's a plot twist or two. But the doubt remains: Does Buchanan have a real imagination, or is he merely a skilled embroiderer?

Vivid, impressively detailed work, but readers who find the lack of originality a huge turn-off may not hang around for the rest of the series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765366603
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 686,641
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Col Buchanan lives in Lancaster, England. Farlander is his debut novel, and the first novel in the Heart of the World series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2010

    Very good read!

    Given that this is a debut novel, it is perhaps forgivable that I hadn't heard of Col Buchanan before I read this book. But I'm glad that I have now. Farlander is a fantastic novel, with an incredible storyline, and a completely unexpected twist that, well, was quite a surprise...

    The story starts quickly, in media res, and while the pace varies for the situation, the book never seems rushed, and never too slow. Somehow Buchanan always manages to get it right, and always keeps the plot flow interesting.

    Uniquely, in my reading experience, there was one particular scene that stood out in memory, where Buchanan wrote an explanation for the immoral behaviour of "the bad guys", and constantly questions the morality of "the good guys", although he does explain their reasons too. Despite this, there is still the classic good and evil characterisations, but here it seems a deeper, more realistic blur of morality and conscience.

    As with any good author, Buchanan writes several characters well, and even characters that appear for only a page or two can appear quite rounded. But the best characters were the Roshun. Every one of them (Including the apprentices and a not-really Roshun called Che) were well-written and extremely enjoyable to read.

    In fact, there were only two problems with the book that I encountered, and they are minor. The first is that there was one storyline, that of Bahn, the General's advisor, didn't seem to make a lot of difference to the story, although it was interesting. Given that this is just the first book in the series however, it will be interesting to see where this leads. The other problem was the use of the o character in the word Roshun, but that's mainly because it meant I had to figure out how to write it in notepad for this review.

    In summary, this book was incredible. Buchanan has the potential to become a popular author, and I hope that the publisher, Tor Books, helps him achieve this. Farlander is now one of my favourite books, and I look forwards to the next with anticipation.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Enjoyed well crafted writing world building and characters

    I think this is a good book with thorough world building and very well fleshed out characters. At no point does back story become overwhelming. An all around well crafted and well paced story. The attention paid to some of the side stories may seem wasteful at times but it should be remembered this is a trilogy. Overall it is well paced and especially picks up toward the middle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Very Good Read

    I really liked this book along with its surprise twist towards the end wich for me made the main character much more believable and not just your typical hero or anti-hero. I also loved the fact that Col Buchanon writes about a bit of morality in this book and that every choice has a consequence good and bad. Can't wait for the next one in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Pretty good

    Excellent for the most part and up until the ending I was going to give it 5 stars. It did set things up nicely for future books but it could have wrapped things up a little better IMO. Still, I recommend this book. It is refreshingly original and a great read. I look forward to more books by Col Buchanan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an engaging "historical" that looks closely at the impact of a long war on individuals

    For five decades the theocratic Holy Empire of Mann has conquered the countries on The Heart of the World. Their ruthless dictator, Holy Matriarch Sasheen remains in control of her vast empire due to her specialty trained Diplomat Corps of diabolical vicious priests.

    Ash the Roshun belongs to an assassin group who provide a protection to clients by meting out revenge on anyone who murders one of their customers or a family member. He has been ill lately so has taken on a mentee Nico from the streets of Bar-Khos, an island under a decade old siege by the forces of the Holy Empire of Mann. When Sasheen's heir Kirkus kills the daughter of a priest who has paid for Roshun's protection for himself and his family, the assassin knows he and his apprentice must complete a vendetta against the "sacred".

    This is an engaging "historical" that looks closely at the impact of a long war on individuals representing different groups caught up in the conflict. The intriguing story line is driven by a moral undercurrent as the values of the Holy Empire of Mann and of the Roshun conflict when Kirkus committed murder. Readers will want more tales set in the Col Buchanan's Heart of the World as the author brings to life his realm through a murder requiring contracted retaliation against a protected VIP.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Horse approaches

    Neighs

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Black star

    Bored

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Obsidian

    Waits

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Willow

    Will Black star be ok?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Dont bother

    Fails to capture the reader in any meaningfull way. I wont even finish it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Not recommended

    None of the characters were developed enough for the reader to care about them. There were too many characters and parts of the story as well, overall good idea, but poorly written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted March 30, 2011

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    Posted May 14, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

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