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To Light a Candle [Library Binding]

Mercedes Lackey , James Mallory
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Library Binding, April 18 2008 --  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.89  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged CDN $32.12  

Book Description

April 18 2008 Obsidian Trilogy
To his own surprise, young Kellen, once the disappointing son of the great Mage who leads the City's Mage Council, has become a powerful Knight-Mage. Valued for his bravery and his skills as both wizard and warrior, Kellen joins the Elves' war councils. Yet he cannot convince the City of his birth that it is in terrible danger.

Kellen's sister Idalia, a Wild Mage with great healing ability, has pledged her heart to Jermayan, a proud Elven warrior. Someday Idalia will pay a tragic price for a world-saving work of Wild Magic, but until then, she will claim any joy life can offer her.

Jermayan, who has learned much fighting at Kellen's side and loving the human Idalia, finds that everything changes when he bonds with a dragon while rescuing the Elf Prince and becomes the first Elven Mage in a thousand years.

Furious at her enemies' success with the dragon, the Demon Queen attacks in force. Light struggles against Dark, like flickering candle flames buried deep in the shadow of Obsidian Mountain.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Review

"In the captivating world conjured by veteran Lackey and classical scholar Mallory in this first of a high fantasy trilogy, there are three types of magic, each of which has its own rules, limits and variables. Kellen sets down a road he never expected to take, on a journey of dire importance to both humans and nonhumans (the latter including elves, unicorns, and other enchanting creatures). The narrative speeds to the end, avoiding a jarring halt while leaving the reader satisfied and wanting to know more."
--Publishers Weekly on The Outstretched Shadow

"Once Kellen realizes there is a world full of wonders, diversity, and people who think and live differently, he cannot return to the oppressive sameness of City life. When he refuses to give up the books, his father banishes him forever from the City and to a horrific death prearranged by the mages. The Wild Magic has another agenda for him, however, involving an acerbic unicorn and a woman-heavens!-to learn the Wild (but not sex) Magic from. Delightful."
--Booklist on The Outstretched Shadow


"Lackey and Mallory join forcers to create an epic fantasy filled with sorcery and swordplay set in a world on the verge of a Demon war. For most fantasy collections."
--Library Journal on The Outstretched Shadow
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author or coauthor of close to 100 books, including the Halfblood Chronicles, the Dragon Jousters series, and the bestselling novels of Valdemar.

James Mallory is the bestselling author of the Merlin Trilogy and coauthor of the Obsidian Trilogy.

Susan Ericksen, an Audie Award and AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has recorded many audiobooks, including Naked in Death by J. D. Robb. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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First Sentence
KELLEN TAVADON COULD never have imagined fighting a battle so one-sided as this, but he no longer had the energy to spare for despair. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To Light A Candle Sept. 11 2010
By cheryl
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought this was the best one of the series. They introduced new characters, plus the old and true.

I love the unicorns and was extremely sad when the escort they were a part of got ambushed on the way to a safe house.

However, not all had died and one unicorn was able to get away and warn Kellen, Jermayan and his love, Idalia, a Wildmage and Healer.

She also knows magic carries a price to pay and she has already pledged her life.

Kellen also has magic, however, his is Knight-mage magic which is a little different.

You know what really bugs me is that they do not have normal names like, oh Authur and Merlin are examples, instead of Vestakia or Elven cities like Ondoladeshiron.

I've seen the characters grow as they face adversity (The Endarkened). Especially Kellen who is only around 17(?) as the story starts.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  72 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This 'middle child' is not one to be forgotten! Dec 27 2004
By Andrea Acailawen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The middle book in many trilogies often seems to lack *something* in comparison to the first and last installments, but that is not the case with this second installment of the Obsidian Trilogy.

It took me much of the first book, "The Outstretched Shadow," to really get to know the characters, and it wasn't until the latter half of the book that I really became invested in the story. But Lackey and Mallory have managed to keep that investment from waning even a bit with this book. It starts out where the last left off, and doesn't slow down for a moment. It kept me glued to the story from cover to cover and left me wanting for more. I'm ready for the third book, now!

In "To Light a Candle," the characters I've come to know and care about in the fist book of this trilogy evolve a great deal, as does the overall plot. Kellen finally comes into his own, his sister and best-friend unite, and the Endarkened's plot to destroy human-kind continues to fester at a rapid pace, aided by Armathelia's continued blindness. Add to this some new intriguing characters and well-timed surprises along the way, and I found this book more difficult to put down the first.

Along with "The Outstretched Shadow," "To Light a Candle" makes the Obsidian trilogy a must-read series for anyone who enjoys a solid fantasy epic. I definitely recommend it.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning middle book in the trilogy Nov. 2 2004
By Grant Stephenson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A lot of times the middle book in a series will be considered lame, i.e. horrible. With this one, I was much surprised as the somewhat dull parts of the first book (i.e. overly long/verbose descriptions) were kept to a minimum, as the authors assumed we remembered the locales and didn't need to rehash it for us. I really appreciated that, as I hate when authors regurgitate a lot of previous materials to get the reader up to speed.

Kellen's personal development has come a long ways from where he started. In these books the authors portray the elves as having slightly different mannerisms than humans, which causes a lot of awkward social circumstances. What is neat, however, is that while Kellen causes what seems to be a lot of mishaps, when he is finally confronted with a situation in which he knows more of elvish customs than another, he has suddenly gone from knowing nothing to being uncannily like an elf himself in some aspects.

The plot of the book didn't seem like it was dragging or there were a lot of things that happened in the 2nd book that we wouldn't see resolved until the end. The crises in the 2nd book served to advance the plot without making it seem like it was just filler material for the last book. There was also a lot more combat, and the combat sequences were artfully written.

I enjoyed the character of Kellen the most, but I would have to say that compared to the first book Jermayan & Edalia (the first an elf & the second his sister) seem to have taken on a one-dimensional aspect. Previously, they each seemed to have their own strong personalities, while in this one Jermayan has more or less become a love-besotted fool and Edalia has turned into the stereotypical woman/sister. It largely seems like her independence, which was what made her so appealing and strong, has been taken away since her love of Jermayan has been realized.

Basically, this was really a good book. Even if the women characters were weak (including that half demon girl), the rest of the plot & the other characters really balanced it out. All in all, this book is a great read, I suggest if it has been a while since you read #1, you get a refresher and read it again so you can recall the City of Bells, etc. Enjoy!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first April 12 2005
By Pedram Agharokh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I would say that if you read the first book of the Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory and thought it was an ok read, you will like this book much more. I found the first book to be a really good read and I absolutely could not put down this book. In the first book there was a bit of a learning curve in which you had to really get used to the world that the authors were portraying. You have to get to know how the characters interact, the systems of magic, what the social structures are and all of the fun little details that bring the world to life. Towards the end of the first book, the pace increases and the book really captures your attention.

This book does that from the very beginning. I immediately began reading this book after completing the first and was done with it in under five days. This is not becuase I am a speed reader, just becuase I honestly didn't want to stop reading.

In this book the development of the main characters grows and the plot really thickens, there are a lot of twists and turns that are very cool and unique. I found myself really drawn into the story, at times feeling like I was reading a well done account of events presented by master storytellers.

To Light A Candle is engaging, thought provoking and really overall a wonderful highly recommended read. The only thing that makes me sad is waiting for the next installment...

So to those who have read the first book of the Obsidian Trilogy, I am sure you will like this one, those who have not... pick up the two books read them through but get ready for a great adventure! Cheers!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read... Oct. 29 2004
By Seanettle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I wasn't sure during the first of the series if this was going to be a trilogy for me(a bit hard to get into and slow in the beginging, but it did pick up). To light a candle, continued that fast action-packed ending and hardly let me catch my breath....couldn't put it down! I am eagerly waiting for the next instalment. Great new world and new vigor in old fantasy standards(Elves, dragons, and magic). Kellen is a hero with a story that you want to follow!!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Very Steep Cliffhangers March 28 2005
By JoT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If I had not read the first book of the Obsidian Trilogy, it would be very difficult to avoid being critical of this second book in the trilogy. To Light A Candle is less a sequel than it is an opening and a collection of cliffhangers for the final book in the trilogy. It contains so many open-ended introductions of new characters, new threats, new powers, and new applications of ancient powers, that I can't see any way for Lackey to tie up all the loose ends within a single book, but I guess that's why she's writing the books and I'm just puttering around filling up pages with reviews.

I am somewhat surprised at the minimal conflict of opinions over this novel demonstrated by the reviews present here at Amazon. From my reading of other book reviews, I have come to believe that there is a large group of people who are immediately opposed to any use of clichéd fantasy elements, almost all of which Lackey has used in this trilogy (Please read my review of The Outstretched Shadow for a description of those elements). However, the cliché present is minimized by her over-arching world and character-building focus, particularly referring to Kellen's internal, personal doubt and the world's extremely well defined systems of magic.

Two things make To Light A Candle stand out as an engaging book. The first bit deals with Lackey providing us with a different perspective of Kellen and the changes he has gone through since being kicked out of his old home. One of the newly introduced characters was a star student and classmate of Kellen's in their former home. This high-magic practitioner, an interesting addition to the motley crew of elves, dragon, assorted wild-mages, and centaurs, was banished from Kellen's old home-land, much in the way Kellen was, and from this newcomer's eyes we gain this new perspective of Kellen and how much he differs from the frequently whining and indecisive whelp that was kicked out of his home-city for practicing a banned system of magic.

The second interesting element of this particular installment of The Obsidian Trilogy, in my opinion, is the demonstration, occurring near the end of the book, of how the two seemingly disparate types of magical systems, "High" and "Wild" magic, can be combined to deal frighteningly powerful blows to the insanely powerful "Endarkened". Also, the continued growth of Kellen's power, or at least his use and understanding of that power, is fascinating, as the power Lackey grants to her "knight-mage" is not a direction taken very often in most formulaic fantasy novels. Its entire nature is internal, more akin to having a second, more knowledgeable and far-seeing mind bolstering Kellen's own, than to any fire and acid slinging mage from other recent fantasy books. This kind of internal magic isn't seen as often in formulaic fantasy as it is in other types of adventure fiction (I can't think of anything else as similar to Kellen's magic as is Peter Parker's "spidey sense").

All in all, To Light A Candle is a fun read, with engaging battles, interesting new characters, new twists on old characters, and new threats seen in every shadow. I do recommend it, but only after you have read and enjoyed The Outstretched Shadow. As I said earlier, To Light A Candle seems to be primarily dedicated to establishing a stage for high drama and great action in the third and final book of the Obsidian Trilogy. All that remains to make this a trilogy I want to keep on my shelves to read again is a stunning final act.
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