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Bringer of Light [Hardcover]

Jaine Fenn

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Book Description

Oct. 4 2011
Jarek Reen is trying to save a lost world. He discovered the primitive theocracy of Serenein by accident, and now he wants it to take its place in human-space. To do this he needs a shiftspace beacon - without it, there is no way to find the planet again. The beacons were made by the Sidhe, the race that originally gave humanity access to the stars - and dominated human-space for millennia, before a coalition of human rebels and Sidhe males brought the evil Sidhe females down.
Most people think the Sidhe are long dead, but Jarek knows better: a renegade female Sidhe is one of his companions, and a male Sidhe gave her and her lover the special powers that made them Angels, very unusual trained assassins.
Jarek's only hope is to find Aleph, the hidden system where the last Sidhe males are rumoured to live. But even if he can persuade these eccentric, introspective beings to put aside their interminable internal squabbles, he still has to persuade Serenein that joining the rest of humankind is a good thing . . . for the price of progress is likely to be high. Can he stop it turning into tragedy?

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575096942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575096943
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 15.8 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g

Product Description


"Vividly depicted characters and an intriguing plot make this a standout purchase, especially for the postcyberpunk crowd. Highly recommended."  —School Library Journal starred review of Principles of Angels

"A fabulous setting for a sprawling series of old-fashioned adventure novels. There is a similarity here to the oeuvre of Neal Asher. . . . Good light entertainment, which continues to build a platform on which Jaine Fenn can grow her empire and her audience."  —Strange Horizons on Guardians of Paradise
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jaine Fenn studied Linguistics and Astronomy at university before embarking on a career as an IT consultant. She is the author of the Hidden Empire books. She lives with her husband in Hampshire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The series continues to improve, but has yet to reach its full potential. Sept. 23 2012
By A. Whitehead - Published on
Jarek, Taro and Nual's attempts to expose and defeat the machinations of the alien Sidhe continue. In alliance with the Minister of Vellern, their latest mission takes them to Aleph, the refuge of the male Sidhe after the devastating war with the females. However, the trio's assumption that the enemy of their enemy is their friend is soon shown to be hopelessly naive. Meanwhile, on the primitive world of Serenein, other allies against the Sidhe find their attempts to keep their people safe may soon be tested...

Bringer of Light is the fourth novel in Jaine Fenn's Hidden Empire sequence, which currently stands at five books. The series so far as been varied in quality, with great ideas often battling against so-so prose and a mixed bag of characterisation (our protagonists are well-drawn, but everyone else is sketchier). The previous book ended with a left-field revelation about a threat to humanity that dwarfs the Sidhe in magnitude that was fairly horrific and executed with deft skill. Whilst that threat is not much expanded upon in Bringer of Light, the upturn in writing quality that delivered it does at least continue through this volume.

The story is bigger this time, with Fenn juggling multiple storylines featuring established characters (Jarek, Taro and Nual visiting Aleph, Urien and Kerin on Serenein) and some newcomers as well. Ifanna's storyline on Serenein is an interesting addition to the mix, less of an antagonist than a well-meaning person drawn into cross-purposes against Kerin's goals (and from Ifanna's POV, fully understandably). All of this results in a somewhat longer book than the previous ones in the series (though at 400 pages it's hardly Peter F. Hamilton territory) and Fenn does a good job of handling the larger scope.

The previous problems in the series do remain, if less prevalently. There's too much use of modern colloquialism in the language and dialogue, which doesn't really sell the idea of the story being set seven millennia hence. There's a certain casual lightness to the story that makes it feel slight, despite some of the ideas and concepts being presented being fairly dark and disturbing. However, these issues are reduced in stature. In particular, Ifanna's story has some fairly unexpected twists and a disturbing - and somewhat tragic - ending that is a step above what we've seen previously. There's also an excellent twist at the end of the book that leaves things in a very interesting place for the following volumes.

Bringer of Light (***) is a stronger volume in the series than what has come before, continuing to show the author's talents and confidence growing. That said, the feeling remains that the series has yet to hit its full potential. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars with Space Elves Aug. 23 2011
By - Published on
Hope Jaine forgives me for that headline. I mean that in the best way possible.

Reading an ongoing book series is a change of pace from everyday life. One year between episodes would not go down well on television (my other interest) but it does when reading. You still want it earlier but the gap between books in a series let you re-read the ones you already have and good books are like really good friends, they are always there when you need them so I often do.

The Hidden Empire series by Jaine Fenn is one such. Principles of Angels, Consorts of Heaven and Guardians of Heaven has been good company while waiting on Bringer of Light. The two first are standalone to establish the characters and the third brings them together.

The series is basically about the fight against the Sidhe (the space-elf) females that rule the galaxy from behind the scenes. They once upon a time enslaved humanity but were killed off with the help of the male elves. Or at least that is what the galaxy at large believes.

Now Jarek seeks to bring the hidden world Serenein back into galactic civilization again. But he needs the help of the secretive Sidhe males to make that happen but they have their own agenda as he soon discovers. He is accompanied by the two assassins Taro and Nual, the later a rebel Sidhe female, the ancient enemies of the Sidhe males which complicate things.

But meanwhile things on Serenein heats up, the place is the Sidhes' source of jump kernels and they won't give that up without a fight. When not fighting off Sidhe incursions Kerin impersonates the old Sidhe ruler to keep the priesthood from getting suspicious.

It feels good to rekindle my friendship with these great characters. Jaine writes characters that are well-developed and easy to love. Especially Kerin and Taro step forward in this novel. Did I mention that Nual and Taro is in love and Jarek is married to Kerin? Love makes things more interesting.

This is still something of a journey of discovery (a thing I like). We learn more about the Sidhe males. Talk about learning making you want to learn more. Wonder what kind of evolution lead to their behavior, especially their reaction to females of the specie. Such a screwed up situation must have been developed at a RND department. That is my guess - where I work? In RND but we never screw up that much.

Jaine Fenn has done it again. Bringer of Light is an action adventure in the tradition Star Wars where a small group strikes back at the mighty Empire. Who is Leia and who is Luke? That is the question? There are no light-sabers but a lot of mental powers. Jokes aside you should read the other books in the series before this one it is not as standalone as the first two. Another warm recommendation from me. The next book Queen of Nowhere will be out next year.

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