The Cipher

The Cipher

by Diana Pharaoh Francis

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"An original world, real people, and high-stakes intrigue and adventure. Great fun."

--New York Times Bestselling Author Patricia Briggs

In Crosspointe, surrounded by a dangerous sea, wild majick surges with the tides as do the fortunes of the royal family.

Lucy Trenton's ability to sense majick is one of her most dangerous secrets. But only one.

A blackmailer knows the other.

Suddenly, Lucy is caught in a treasonous plot to destroy the crown, and she's trapped in the tentacles of a desperate, destructive majick. Her only hope is ship captain Marten Thorpe, who--by every account--cannot be trusted. With time running out, Lucy must find a way to win a dangerous game or lose everything she holds dear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611944570
Publisher: BelleBooks Inc.
Publication date: 06/06/2014
Series: A Crosspointe Novel , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 239,619
File size: 10 MB

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The Cipher (Crosspointe Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
As a member of the royal family Lucy Trenton hides her skill from her relatives in order to remain safe. Besides the scandal that would devastate the Rampling even if she is so distant from the throne that she should not matter and the connection seems nebulous she fears she would be a pawn if anyone learned she can detect magical artifacts and mages.----------- Occasionally she errs by using her talent to locate missing magical items, but normally recovers fast enough to conceal what she did. When she finds the missing Cipher, however this time she cannot cover up her activity that may lead to a magical disaster for the royals, the kingdom, and at a minimum her. She must hide the Cipher and herself with her only hope being the assistance of her current suitor, Marten Thorpe, but Lucy does not trust this ship captain as she assumes he has an agenda and if he learns what she harbors he will betray her yet she desperately turns to him.----------------- Lucy as a woman in peril turns this intriguing fantasy into a delightful read. She mentally beats herself up for her error in judgment as she has spent her life hiding her skills to avoid being the center of a scandal. She knows she might become the Butterfly of Chaos Theory. The romance between her and the grumpy Trenton is atypical as his wooing techniques fail, but his seafaring skills make him her only hope to weather the storm and prevent it from turning into a tsunami. Genre fans will enjoy Diana Pharaoh Francis¿ fine character driven saga as Lucy learns any ¿Path¿ she chooses is at best personally disastrous.------------ Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
'There were some days that deserved to be drowned at birth and everyone sent back to bed with a brandy' what a great first line of an intriguing story. I was hooked! The Cipher is somewhere between a victorian romance and a Mercedes Lackey fantasy. It's a seaside adventure in a magical world. The characters in this books are great. Lucy Trenton,an officious customs officer has a hidden talent, is brave idealistic and has a 'smart' mouth, Captain Marten Thorpe is a rather dubious 'human' hero with a weakness for gambling. Keros, an unlicensed majicar with a mysterious past.And of course, the bad guys! Marten's older brother and the mysterious stranger who has haunted Lucy from childhood are truly evil. The plot follows Lucy from personal danger to the imprisonment of her family to devastation of a whole kingdom! very exciting a great literary escape. I am hoping for a sequel .. Lucy must save her family from the cruelties of the slavery in the Jutras empire 'more bad guys' I want to learn more about this world!
DriderQueen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First book of a strange world. I like the idea of this magic coming from the land and it's strange creatures. I loved the world, the way it's build and made. It's different and confusing at first but grows on you. A must read for a different kind of book and fantasy.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best parts about cipher is that he magic is a little bit different then in other fantasy novels, which adds an interesting element for people who read a lot of fantasy. The characters are all flawed, but doing their best so that you really start to invest in the story. I eagerly await the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
World building combined with innovative plot and excellent characters. Next book in series please!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a previous series by this author and overview of the book seemed promising. However, after forcing myself to read the first hundred pages, I just gave up, which is very rare for me. When I first started reading the book, I thought maybe I had missed some explanation or skipped some chapters, there was no explanation of the world and I was left to figure it out several chapters later. All very confusing. It just couldn't hold my interest, very disappointed. Just my opinion, maybe other readers will have better luck.
M_McGraw More than 1 year ago
Welcome to Crosspointe. Where if you don’t control the majick, it may control you… What I liked I think the strongest elements in Francis’ writing are her terrific world-building and her characters. The world-building is rich and complex. Francis uses a lot of her own words within the story, which may sometimes get confusing. But they are well-placed in context. The visual descriptions are very well done. I had no trouble visualizing the scenes—places, people, and action—as I was reading. I particularly liked the complex majick and how it is both used and feared by the society in general and our characters in specific. I genuinely liked the narrative voices of both Lucy and Marten, the two POV characters, despite the fact that these are both flawed people—more antihero than hero. Lucy starts off kind of stand-offish and selfish, although I liked that she was a strong, dedicated professional woman. Marten’s a would-be hero with a gambling addiction that leads to his ruin and contributes to Lucy’s and many other people’s difficulties (even deaths). Francis writes them in such a way that I *wanted* them to overcome their many obstacles. I *wanted* them to succeed in their quest, and I wanted them to work things out together. They both grow throughout their journey. There’s a touching reunion with a friend near the end of the novel that highlights this point. I liked many of the secondary characters as well, and they had enough to do in the story that I felt like I got to know them through the eyes of the main POVs. The villains were sufficiently nasty, if sometimes one-dimensional, and Francis did an excellent job with Marten’s conflicted relationship with his brother. What I didn’t like The storytelling bogged down in places, but never enough to make me really give up. It was a combination of too much description and not enough action or forward momentum. But overall, I enjoyed the narrative language and the storytelling very much. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the ending. Pretty much *everything* happens in the last three or four chapters, so it felt too abrupt at times, after so much struggle to get there. And the actual ending felt limp after the tension of the dramatic action right up to it. I appreciate the circular nature of the beginning and ending, but it made me wrinkle my nose nonetheless. The foreign Jutras were given very vivid physical descriptions, and Lucy even has sympathy for some of them at times. But we don’t get to interact with them at all, to see them as real and complex characters in their own right. Their final scene is pretty horrific, and it will be a challenge for Francis to build any reader connection with them in future books. I hope she will do so, and give us a more fully realized culture to provide a context for their actions in The Cipher. Caveats (potential triggers) There is some sex, some threatening sexual language, and fairly detailed graphic violence. Summary I found this book on NetGalley and requested a review copy. I enjoyed the story very much and plan to continue Francis’ series of Crosspointe novels. I give it four out of five stars.
SadieHunt More than 1 year ago
I’m not generally a fantasy reader, and only picked up The Cipher because it was my first foray into requesting titles from NetGalley and I went a little overboard. That said, it was a huge surprise when this book turned out to be one of my favorites in that entire overly-ambitious bunch! With an intriguing story, a well-drawn fictional world, and deeply flawed yet likeable main characters, The Cipher kept me spellbound from start to finish. I won’t go so far as to say that Diana Pharaoh Francis has turned me into a fantasy fan, but I will definitely pick up the next book in the series. The book isn’t perfect. At first, I had a really hard time getting into the language, feeling that Francis was just trying to hard. But once you get used to the slightly archaic, slightly pretentious prose, you stop noticing the odd verb usage and it becomes part of the texture of the experience. I might have enjoyed a few more lusty bits, but in its place we’re treated to rocky, but real, developing love. Which in the end is so much more satisfying. And I’ve read from few reviewers that they found the characters totally unlikeable. I didn’t feel that way at all – the main characters were both truly flawed, but I always had a sense of their underlying strengths. As Lucy says at the end of the story, “We have changed, but we are not different.” Truth. They have overcome the bad parts of themselves through adversity, and uncovered the best parts of themselves. It’s these best parts that ultimately bring about their triumph. Verdict: My first 5 star review!
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The-Book-Addict More than 1 year ago
I was really dissapointed in this book. When I first started reading it I was quickly interested by the story. However, I felt like the male character (the love interest) was way too flawed and weak. I like my characters to be human with real issues but this guy needed some serious counselling for his gambling problems alone. And the main character (the female) came acrossed as overly dramatic and weak to me also. The ending I really enjoyed but thru most of the book I was annoyed with both the main characters for their weaknesses. I keep most of my books but this is one I won't mind giving away. If you want an EXCELLENT fantasy book read the ones I've recommended. FANTASTIC!
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zzJS More than 1 year ago
Starts slow but builds and is not predictable for a path that weaves and comes back around to grab you.