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The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles Series #1)

The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles Series #1)

4.7 25
by Melanie Rawn

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A thousand years ago, Mageborns fled prejudice and persecution to colonize the planet Lenfell—pristine, untouched, a perfect refuge for those whose powers were perceived as a threat by people not gifted with magic. But the greater the magic, the greater the peril—and Lenfell was soon devastated by a war between rival Mageborn factions that polluted land,


A thousand years ago, Mageborns fled prejudice and persecution to colonize the planet Lenfell—pristine, untouched, a perfect refuge for those whose powers were perceived as a threat by people not gifted with magic. But the greater the magic, the greater the peril—and Lenfell was soon devastated by a war between rival Mageborn factions that polluted land, sea, and air with Wild Magic and unleashed the hideous specters known as Wraithenbeasts.

Generations after that terrible war, with the land recovered from crippling wounds and the people no longer threatened by genetic damage, Mageborns still practice their craft—but under strict constraints. Yet so long as the rivalry between the Mage Guardians and the Lords of Malerris continues, the threat of another war is ever-present. And someone has been planning just such a war for many long years, the final strike in a generations-old bid for total power….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first volume in Rawn's newest fantasy trilogy, which revolves around a long-standing rivalry between two opposing groups of magicians. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Once ravaged by wars between rival factions of mages, the land of Lenfell now strives to maintain peace through the careful restriction of magic. A conspiracy, however, born of the political aspirations of the now-exiled mage-born Lords of Malerris, threatens to plunge the world into chaos once again. Against this background, the author of the popular "Dragon Prince" and "Dragon Star" trilogies begins a new epic adventure that focuses on the destinies of three sisters of unlimited power. Rawn's talent for lush descriptions and complex characterizations provides a broad range of drama, intrigue, romance, and adventure. Her depiction of Lenfell's unique matriarchal society adds further texture to this densely woven fantasy tapestry. Most libraries should consider multiples of this title.

Product Details

Publication date:
Exiles Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.81(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Melanie Rawn (1954) is an author of fantasy literature. She is most well known for her Dragon Prince Trilogy and Dragon Star Trilogy. She has been nominated for three Locus awards, the first time in 1989 for Dragon Prince, in 1994 for Skybowl and again in 1995 for Ruins of Ambrai .

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The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy this book, particularly the earlier sections. The plot and characters are initially intriguing, but overall fails to excel. While the book holds great promise, it never manages to fulfill it. In previous works, Ms. Rawn demonstrates laudable technical and creative talent, but in this novel the prose gradually devolves from merely verbose to outright bombastic, while the plot becomes overly tortuous and unwieldy. Ruins of Ambrai would have greatly benefited from a competent editor, who could have streamlined this behemoth by 300 pages and 25 superfluous characters. Others issues with the novel include a poorly constructed matriarchal society. While Ms. Rawn attempts to give justification for this inversion, she is clearly neither a sociologist nor an anthropologist, and fails to depict this society as even remotely plausible. Ultimately it comes across as a somewhat ridiculous feminist harangue. Ms. Rawn is certainly entitled to her opinion, and the premise could have been extremely interesting, if only it had been properly done. The primary protagonist, Sarra Liwellan (née Ambrai) is overly idealized, with her imperfections being unreasonably romanticized, such as vulgar language demonstrating her refusal to blindly follow social mores for a Blooded Lady. In contrast, her sister and rival, Glenin, refuses to stoop to such behavior, which somehow demonstrates her moral deficiency. In the course of the novel, Sarra becomes what I believe is colloquially referred to as a `Mary Sue,¿ and in my opinion, severely annoying. Ms. Rawn peppers her cast with trite stock characters, detracting from those who have the ability to become fully inventive, well developed, interesting ones. I did find this to be a pleasant read, I was just disappointed that with her vast talent, Ms. Rawn chose not to develop it into a work of literature. Reading this book was like listening to Beethoven play chopsticks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Melanie Rawn has been one of my favorite authors since the first time I read Dragon Prince. All the proceeding titles in that series enchanted me. I almost enjoyed the two titles in this series as much. However, it doesn't seem like there will another and it saddens me. I looked forward to the next novel and my excitement is a distant memory only recovered upon searching for new titles. However, the Dragon Prince series is still a good read and it does come to an acceptable conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RawnReader More than 1 year ago
A must read. The only problem is that I've been waiting for the final book in the series for LITERALLY more than half my lifetime. If I didn't love this author's stories I would hate her for the wait. Now I just pray she'll eventually write the ending... Melanie, are you reading this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
This is going to be a short review, not because I don't like the book. I actually love this book which is the first in the Exiles Trilogy by Melanie Rawn. The review will be short because I'm not very good at reviewing Epic Fantasy of which this is a beautifully written example of. Epic Fantasy has so much going on with world building and history, magical systems, societal structures, and a cast of hundreds that it's hard for me to seperate in my head in order to talk about it in a blog format. I could discuss this book for hours and touch on maybe half of the relevant points I would want to get across. All I will say is if you like fantasy and enjoy richly developed stories, I would highly urge you to pick this book up and lose yourself in world filled with magic and intrigue.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i like the book it is outstanding, but not for people who don't like putting things together
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is a must read for anyone who would enjoy a story of mages and warriors. the detail in most of the book is amazing as are the characters that you are sure to fall in love with. if you want a place to chat about this book and many others run a web search for a bulletin board dedicated to this author and good books in general
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book. I could not put it down after I started it. The book is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book! the characters are so classic, they're the type of people that jump out and remind you of people you know, or of other characters from movies. And the whole book is like a pun, because the roles of men and women are completely reversed, but the society still makes sense. Anyway, this is definitely worth $7 and carrying around all that weight. :):):P
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great I read it over the summer and have started reading the mage born trator and can't put it down and can't wait for the next book the capitals tower. it was recomened by my friend. If you liked the lord of the rings you will love this. The only problem is that it took a while to get into it, About two hundred pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have one word for this book: Human. The characters were wonderfully believable in themselves. The conflict is less of a story of good and evil, but more of a story of two rival factions, both consider themselves right and could be depending on your own personal beliefs. The characters felt real, they felt like they actually lived. The problem I had with such books as Lord of the Rings is that the characters were unmistakably noble. Too noble, too unreal. In this wonderful book by Ms. Rawn the characters are noble and want to do good, but they still have their flaws and foibles. Wise Gorynel Desse with all his wisdom and power could still make mistakes, could still make the wrong choice, and he did from time to time. Sarra, unmistakably noble still had that impetuous 'bloodedness' about her. She still believed she was better than most people. All characters had their flaws or humanism, which made the book all that more real. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an exceptionally written book. I couldnt put it down, the first, second, and thrid time I read it. When you read this, make sure you have the sequel, 'The Mageborn Traitor' with you. My only warning is, these two books are so addictively wonderful that you might go a little banana's waiting for the 3rd book. I know I can hardly wait.
Guest More than 1 year ago
awsome book. it was one i couldn't put down. i have read it at least 3 times now, and still love it. i also loved the sequal and can't wait for the third one to come out
Guest More than 1 year ago
dudde i read this book last year and i have to say that i think it's one of the best i have ever read! it's just awesome, it's got everything you need: romance, battle, magicks, conspiracies...all the good stuff. the author is also really apt in her descriptions, it's just amazing! i love this book to no end and am in fact reading it again because it was sooo good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't know what fantasy was until I read this. This is a wonderful mix between Magic, Politics, and Love, with a little War added in. Great story line that is fairly easy to follow but still interesting and challenging enough to keep you turning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! It was fantastic and just breath-taking. I have read many other books of this kind but none like The Ruins of Ambrai. It was phenomenal! The Mageborn Traitor is a satisfying second part and I can barely wait for the third and final part of this story! You must read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Usually when I get a book for Christmas... I groan. Considering how usually they are either too small, too shallow, or just not fantasy enough! However. This one met all of my requirements and more. If there's one thing I admire about any author, it's the rare ability to take something totally unreal and unbelievable... and make it real and believable to the reader. This book did that in such an entirety that I was EXTREMELY upset that I didn't have the next book when I was finished. I assume that any other reader will feel the same.