Transformation (Rai-kirah Series #1)

Transformation (Rai-kirah Series #1)

by Carol Berg

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451457950
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/2000
Series: Rai-kirah Series , #1
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,244,899
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carol Berg is the national bestselling author of multiple fantasy novels, including Dust and LightBreath and BoneFlesh and SpiritThe Daemon PrismThe Soul Mirror, and The Spirit Lens. She is a former software engineer. She lives in Colorado with her family.

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What People are Saying About This

Lynn Flewelling

A wonderful debut novel.
—(Lynn Flewelling, author Stalking Darkness)

Customer Reviews

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Transformation (Rai-kirah Series #1) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
PhoenixFalls More than 1 year ago
This is a book the likes of which I have not come across in some time. It grabbed me within the first few pages and did not let go until I finished it. It hasn't quite let go of me yet, actually -- it was almost physically painful to stop myself from immediately picking up the next book in the series to instead come to the computer and write this review. It was such an all-encompassing experience, as a matter of fact, that it's hard for me to summon up the distance to write a good review. Trying to think about it objectively, I don't think it was anywhere near a perfect book. The pacing was uneven, and the ancillary characters were no more than cardboard cutouts moving the plot along. Some of the more important ancillary characters' motivations were terribly unclear, and I didn't buy the small romance subplots for either Seyonne or Aleksander. But none of that matters to me, because the heart and soul of the novel is Seyonne and Aleksander's relationship, and that is realized pitch-perfectly. They are both complex men with everything in the world working against any potential relationship they might develop and the fate of the world resting on the fact that they must learn to trust each other and work together. And wonderfully, they manage to do this, with neither useless angst nor unrealistic protestations of affection. Berg summoned some significant magic into this novel, and I am greatly looking forward to reading its sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Transformation' is a stunning fantasy novel-- a truly original creation. From the very first pages I was drawn into the story, and couldn't put it down. The characters of Seyonne and Alexander are fascinating, as is the world the author has created for them. The book is filled with images of great beauty and heartstopping cruelty, ultimately leading to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended-- you don't want to miss this one.
sleo More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, the story of a slave and a prince who slowly learn to honor and care for one another.
lost_in_pages More than 1 year ago
This wonderful story stands up well to reread. It also stands alone very well, so if, like me, you tend to be frustrated by everything being a series, you will be able to enjoy this book without feeling locked in to reading several before the plot comes together. Transformation was a lucky find in the paperbacks for me. It's such a beloved book to me that I bought a copy for my Nook. It has a deeply satisfying story with well-drawn characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If psychology were a form of magic this would be it. A great story in which your inner demons are exactly that...demons
vEiLeDhApPiNeSs More than 1 year ago
Wow I have found my new vice! I couldn't stop reading I had to force myself to bed in the middle, woke up thinking about it, spent the day trying to sneek off to get a little more. I felt every emotion the characters did from deep despair to soaring joy, frustration and horror, comforted and relieved, don' let your guard down this book keeps you addicted all the way to the end. And just when you get a moment of respite and sit back to exhale, just as you become comfortable you are plunged back into the soul crushing terror of....... only to be....... you'd better read it to understand, i'd hate spoil it for you.
KasHagen More than 1 year ago
Ms. Berg's characters feel realistic and the world they live in equally so. It's refreshing to read a fantasy novel that is set in a world which doesn't follow the ever-popular Generic Medieval Europe theme but rather occupies deserts and an empire that rose out of nomadic tribes. The relationship between the slave-narrator, Seyonne, and Prince Aleksander drives the narrative rather than the plot determining what happens. Something I always appreciate about Ms. Berg's writing is that bad things happen to her characters and no magic wand is waved to make everything bright and shiny afterwards; wounds take a normal amount of time to heal and the dead stay dead. It adds a layer of realism by not ignoring the harsh realities of the type of world she has created. For me, the book is very hard to put down and keeps me up well past bed time. I first read it in 2003 and recently decided I needed to purchase a copy and reread it. Worth the money and the time to reread, in my opinion.
cgirl98 More than 1 year ago
I was bored and suffering from insomnia one night and picked this up to past the time. I started it at 10pm and did not put it down till I finished it a 7am...needless to say, I liked it very much. I twas all due not due to the plot...which while good was not too far off fro mmost fantasy plots, but due to the great and fully realized characters. They lived and breathed and you felt like you were going through everything with them, and standing right besides them. The writer has great skill in this department. If you love good, character driven stories...this is a good one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Not once did I feel bored with it, the characters were excellent, and the twists spectacular. Truly brilliant and very stirring, I could hardly put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Out of the tons of books I've had the chance to stumble across, this is without a doubt the best that I have ever read. The character developement and growth throughout Transformation is absolutely amazing and completely captivating. As a reader I felt myself grow and change with each page and every experience Seyonne and Alexsander went through. Carol Berg is definitely a true inspiration for aspiring writers. I couldn't put this book down.
Lymsleia on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Note: Even though Transformation is the first book of a trilogy, it also works extremely well as a standalone. If I hadn't known before that it's part of a series, I probably wouldn't have gone looking for sequels. (As it is, I've already ordered Revelation, even if that means I'll have to carry another book with me when I'll go back home in two weeks. Heh.)We begin our story, and please don't roll your eyes or run away yet, when our protagonist Seyonne is sold as a slave to our other protagonist, Aleksander, prince of the mighty Derzhi Empire. Zander is what you might expect: A spoiled, arrogant brat who doesn't value Seyonne as anything more than a tool bought mainly for one purpose: To write.The Derzhi are a warrior race who consider writing beneath them, who say it's a thing done only by barbarians or slaves (or ideally barbarian slaves). Doesn't mean that a scribe isn't useful every once in a while, and so Seyonne soon hears more about the going-ons in the realm than he wishes to know.Which isn't terribly difficult, one might add, because Seyonne is determined not to think beyond the moment, afraid of the ruins of his life that he might see if he does: He's been a slave for sixteen years - half his life - and it has damn near broken him. Robbed of his magic as well as his freedom and knowing his people dead or in chains, he has little reason left to live. Until...And you just knew there would be an "until". I don't want to go into any more detail, so let me just add that it's Aleksander whose life is suddenly endangered by something he doesn't even believe in, and there is but one person in the entire empire who has once held the power to save him. No, you're still not allowed to roll your eyes or run. I know it might sound clichéd and not as if this story has terribly much to offer. But it has.For one, the book offers one of the best uses of a first-person narrator (Seyonne) that I've ever seen: He has a way of imprinting his view of the world on the reader without us realising it until much later, and he is not always right. (No first-person narrator should be, of course, but I mention it here because in far too many books, everything such a narrator tells us is treated as fact by the rest of the story when it should be the most subjective kind of narration.) It also helps a lot that Seyonne, even as a severely abused slave, is never a character written to be pitied. We feel for him, sure, and cringe at what's being done to him, but it never comes across as authorial manipulation (like "The poor, poor character, he suffers so much and therefore you must love him!"); he has other characteristics that make him grow on the reader.The development of the major characters is extremely well-done: We know right from the start that Aleksander has a lot to learn, but so has Seyonne, and don't you forget that. The plot goes in quite a different direction after a while and could be divided into three "parts", but saying more would obviously be running straight into spoiler territory and I am trying to get you read the book yourself. ^.~Other strengths of the book include the worldbuilding (the two cultures that we hear most about, the Derzhi and the Ezzarians, are well done and believable, even if it takes a while to see that due to our obviously not terribly reliable (or impartial) narrator), the pacing and the language (Seyonne's narrative voice is quite distinctive).If I have to find something I disliked, well... There are "demons" (the titular Rai-Kirah) in this book who stay very one-dimensional, though I hear that gets better in later books. However, they do serve their purpose here and it never distracted me from the main plot: The story of two remarkable men and the transformations, both literally and figuratively speaking, they undergo to save themselves - and maybe more than that.
Roylin on LibraryThing 23 days ago
I was bored and suffering from insomnia one night and picked this up to past the time. I started it at 10pm and did not put it down till I finished it a 7am...needless to say, I liked it very much. I twas all due not due to the plot...which while good was not too far off from most fantasy plots, but due to the great and fully realized characters. They lived and breathed and you felt like you were going through everything with them, and standing right besides them. The writer has great skill in this department. If you love good, character driven stories...this is a good one.
MuseofIre on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Got interested in Berg through her shared site DeepGenre. Was rewarded with this thoughtful fantasy about culture conflict and the unlikeliest of friendships. Convincing characterization and well-drawn cultures. A bit disappointing that, after the kickass magical battle, the climactic physical battle takes place offstage while one of the heroes is recovering.
surreality on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Plot: Nice two-part plot that puts a new spin on some old standard fare. Good overall pacing, but some momentum is lost in the last third. Characters: Character development is mostly done for the central pair; the rest is given outlines which are not always filled in. What didn't work for me was the characterization of one of the races - there are some mindsets that simply don't work, not even in fantasy, and there was a bit too much noble-sacrifice attitude to still keep it realistic.Style: Suitable; a good amount of description, and dialogue that sounds natural. The worldbuilding could have used some more attention - mixing Alexander the Great with Russian czars is a nice idea, but relying on it to carry the world development isn't the best thing to do.Plus: Good story with a central relationship that works out in interesting ways.Minus: This should have stayed a stand-alone book. Awful cover art.Summary: A good, solid read, with small flaws.
pastapril on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The best book of this series by far. I read it in one day and found the relationship between Alexsander and Seyonne to be the most intriguing relationship (romantic or not, as this one was) I've ever read about.
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