Read A Man Rides Through by Stephen R. Donaldson Online

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In The Mirror of Her Dreams, the dazzling first volume of Mordant’s Need, New York Times bestselling author Stephen R. Donaldson introduced us to the richly imagined world of Mordant, where mirrors are magical portals into places of beauty and terror. Now, with A Man Rides Through, Donaldson brings the story of Terisa Morgan to an unforgettable conclusion. . . .Aided by thIn The Mirror of Her Dreams, the dazzling first volume of Mordant’s Need, New York Times bestselling author Stephen R. Donaldson introduced us to the richly imagined world of Mordant, where mirrors are magical portals into places of beauty and terror. Now, with A Man Rides Through, Donaldson brings the story of Terisa Morgan to an unforgettable conclusion. . . .Aided by the powerful magic of Vagel, the evil Arch-Imager, the merciless armies are marching against the kingdom of Mordant. In its hour of greatest need, two unlikely champions emerge. One is Geraden, whose inability to master the simplest skills of Imagery has made him a laughingstock. The other is Terisa Morgan, transferred to Mordant from a Manhattan apartment by Geraden’s faulty magic. Together, Geraden and Terisa discover undreamed-of talents within themselves—talents that make them more than a match for any Imager . . . including Vagel himself.Unfortunately, those talents also mark them for death. Branded as traitors, they are forced to flee the castle for their lives. Now, all but defenseless in a war-torn countryside ravaged by the vilest horrors Imagery can spawn, Geraden and Terisa must put aside past failures and find the courage to embrace their powers—and their love—before Vagel can spring his final trap....

Title : A Man Rides Through
Author :
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ISBN : 9780345356512
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Man Rides Through Reviews

  • Ðawn
    2019-04-29 05:36

    ++SPOILERS+++5 StarsPoints I'd like to make:1. You MUST read the first book before this one. This is NOT a stand alone.2. 25 years later I still LOVE this series.3. Some of the best writing I have ever read!4. The POV here does switch to show other characters view not just Terisa's.5. This is written in 3rd person.In short..The first book for the most part is all character, plot and world building and this book is where all the action is.We leave off at the end of book one on a cliffhanger where Geradan goes through the mirror to escape the Castellan after Nyle's "murder" and jump into this one with an assault on Mordant by Prince Kragaen. So right off the bat we have action and it just doesn't stop. Oh yeah there are moments of peace especially when Geraden and Terisa visit the Domne (Geraden's famiy) but that peace is short lived. So much happens that it cannot be explained in a summary, to try to do so is madness. Everything is so complex and layered it would take pages to summarize.So I'll just say this..READ THIS SERIES!!This is definitely one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. We got complex characters, amazing world building, great pace.. betrayal, uncertainty...romance...battles..murder.Just....just READ THESE BOOKS!!SafetyThis is not easy to explain with one word. So I'll summarized the safety.H & h are virgins. They are each others first only and last. They have their ILY's and a marriage. No mention of baby.There is no cheating, but there is no insta love either. Terisa originally falls for the bad guy Eremis, but doesn't have sex with him. She however does allow him some liberties. She eventually falls in love with Geraden who, it seems has loved her from the beginning. There is mention of rape and one character (male) was said to have been tortured and raped but it was not detailed.There is cursing and violence, but IMHO the violence is not terribly detailed and gory. But I have a high tolerance to details of violence. Take that with a grain of salt.There are no OW as for OM - Eremis does keep trying to get at Terisa.. but fails. PS - Sex is not detailed only implied.

  • Lynne
    2019-05-15 02:38

    Terisa has been taken prisoner, Geraden's brother has been taken prisoner (read the book; I promise it will make sense--there are just too many plot threads to do justice to them here). BUT. . . Terisa has discovered she has talent with mirrors too. And she's left behind the strange attraction to power that was her crush on one of the masters of imagery, an attraction which nearly broke her spirit.Romance fans, this is also a love story. Forget Edward Cullen and his sparkly marble perfection (and his control-freakish possessiveness--see my Twilight reviews); Geraden of Domne is one of my literary hero crushes for life. Terisa's other discovery, finally, is her love for Geraden. I told you I wanted to bitch-slap her the entire first half of The Mirror of Her Dreams for many reasons including ignoring the ideal man standing in front of her. Once their story takes off, Donaldson handles this beautifully, never slopping over into mush or sentimentality. He writes their love scenes differently than the other sex scenes in the book, showing the difference between true love and exploitation, between true love and merely "scratching an itch." And Geraden and Terisa's talents and self-confidence seem to grow exponentially as their love for each other grows. Another of my gripes about the Twilight series is that the happy ending was too pat, too easy. You see, I'd read Mordant's Need first, and Meyer's crap "love story" pales in comparison. Bella's use of her "love shield" (what a stupid name--it sounds more like a brand of condom to me) was actually a small factor in the Cullens' victory, the larger one being, once again, intervention by Alice and Jasper. Nobody has grown up by the end of Meyer's 2000 or however many pages she filled with utter ballocks. By contrast, Terisa and Geraden endure hardship and real danger as they race against time. The horrors being translated into Mordant are becoming more frequent and more dangerous; not only do they have to find out who's behind the attacks, they also have to gather support from the leaders of the seven Cares within the kingdom to help them fight these men who are misusing their power. In other words, Terisa and Geraden actually earn their happy ending, and it wasn't through forty mind-numbing pages trying to be the trial in The Merchant of Venice. There is a battle--a real one, with catapults and armor and arrows and soldiers on horseback. And Imagery. And lasers. Yup, lasers. Read the books. Donaldson keeps all the balls in the air in these two novels. Magic, intrigue, politics, danger, sex, power, humor, love. . . it's all there. The other amazing accomplishment here is Donaldson's ability to write from a female perspective. I don't think he could create a cardboard female character if he tried.Donaldson's prose is more spare than in the Thomas Covenant books, so if you tried to read those and gave up, give these a try. The guy's amazing. His "Gap" series was voiced differently than the "Mordant" books, and his series of detective novels were different from any of his fantasy and science fiction. If the Twilight books are Twinkies, full of fluffy creme and artificial ingredients, then the Mordant books are tarte tropezienne, a French pastry crafted in small artisan bakeries in the charming coastal city of St. Tropez, France. As with the much-imitated-but-never-duplicated Harry Potter series, there are at least a dozen vampire series for young adults out there at the moment, trying to cash in on the current Twilight mania, but nobody has tried to imitate any of Donaldson's work. It's just too difficult to write with that amount of precision and care. Most "authors" are just too lazy or not sufficiently dedicated to their craft. Donaldson agonizes over every word. His ideas are original enough that it would be obvious any other writer was stealing from him. He is currently working on the last four books of the Thomas Covenant series. He had the ideas for them back when he finished the second trilogy but didn't feel that his skills as a writer were equal to the story he wanted to tell. So he waited 20 years and wrote two books of short stories and three other series before going back to The Land. In this "make a fast buck and who cares if it's any good as long as it sells" publishing climate, integrity like Donaldson's is rare.

  • Kim
    2019-04-27 06:43

    Read A Man Rides Through ages ago, back when I was still in high school and I loved it. I received it as a Christmas present from one of my closest friends. She'd also given me The Mirror Through Her Dreams as a Christmas present the year before. When I moved to Sweden, I had to leave many of my hardcover books in the US. I ended up donating both books to a local high school library. One day I was in the Science Fiction bookstore in Stockholm's Old Town and I found both books in paperback. I was so happy I bought them immediately. I was a little afraid that I would no longer enjoy the series, but I was sucked in almost immediately. Both books still spoke to me--so much so that I read them both in one weekend, much to my husband's chagrin. I think it may be time to pull them out again and re-read them. I am feeling nostalgic.

  • Julianna
    2019-05-11 10:32

    Reviewed for THC Reviews"4.5 stars" A Man Rides Through was a great wrap-up to the Mordant's Need duet. The first book of the series, The Mirror of Her Dreams, ended on a cliff-hanger, so A Man Rides Through picks up the plot exactly where it left off. It's a complex story rooted in the political intrigues of the medieval-style fantasy realm of Mordant. I would have loved to have a map to refer to while reading the story, and apparently many others fans concurred. I did find a fan-produced one online, which helps immensely in envisioning this land, which is situated between the two enemies of Alend and Cadwal. Years ago, when King Joyse conquered the land, he deliberately placed himself in that position to keep the peace, which had worked well until an unknown enemy rose up against Mordant. (view spoiler)[In order to figure out who the guilty party was, King Joyse made himself look weak so they would attack him first.(hide spoiler)] Now chaos has spread throughout the land as this enemy runs rampant. The primary fantasy element of the story centers around Imagery, a form of magic that relies on mirrors to translate people, objects, or creatures from parallel worlds (or within their own world) that can either help or hinder in the fight. King Joyse tried to make Imagery a force for good in the world, but a few power-hungry Imagers have now allied with Mordant's normal human enemies in an attempt to conquer them once and for all.At the center of all these machinations is a young woman named Terisa. In the first book, she was “accidentally” translated from our world into Mordant by Geraden, a young Apt (apprentice imager) who had a penchant for clumsiness and misfortune. Due to her father's abuse growing up, Terisa suffered from a very low self-esteem and wasn't even certain if she was real. Coming with Geraden to Mordant gave her a new lease on life, but for most of The Mirror of Her Dreams, she was still a very passive character, who kind of allows things to happen around her without taking action. Now in A Man Rides Through, she finally discovers her true talent and really comes into her own. There are times when she still feels helpless, but overall, she becomes a much stronger character who is more proactive. She starts using her bright mind to think for herself and reason things out logically, and she's also willing and even eager at times to lend a hand to Mordant in whatever capacity she can even when she feels like she has little to offer. By the end of the book, she's truly standing up, not only for herself, but also for Geraden and the other characters she's come to care about. It was a lot of fun to watch her grow and change into a better version of herself, while not losing her innate kindness and gentleness. The Terisa of book #1 was a little too passive for my taste, but in book #2, she becomes an even more relatable and admirable heroine.Geraden, too, is a character who comes into his own. In the first book, he was the laughingstock of the Congery, an Apt who had been in that position for ten years, far longer than anyone else, and still hadn't earned his chasuble as an Imager. I had to admire his grit and determination, but everyone else, for the most part, thinks of him as nothing but a bumbling idiot. He never allowed their jeering to harden him, though, and now he finally gets a chance to prove his mettle. We find out exactly why he hasn't made any inroads with the Congery for so long and he discovers a talent he never knew he possessed. He also puts his determination to good use in the fight against Mordant's enemies, and he also never lost faith in their king even when nearly everyone else, including the king's own family did. Geraden proves himself to be a strong and powerful hero, but he never loses the innate sweetness that made me fall in love with him from the beginning.There are a plethora of supporting characters in these stories and many stand-outs, some who ultimately gave their lives for the cause, and others who survived, but all fought valiantly. Throughout most of book #1, the Tor was in a wine-soaked state, grieving the loss of his son and the downfall of his dear friend and king, but in this book, he really steps up to the plate and becomes invaluable. Despite his attempted attack on Orison (the seat of Mordant), Prince Kragan proves himself to be an honorable “enemy.” The king's daughters, Elega, Myste, and Torrent, all do their part. Myste's soft-heartedness in going after the Congery's champion, Darsint, turns out to be a particularly bold move. Geraden's family are a colorful bunch, but none more so than his brother, Artegel, a charmer with a big personality who is also the best swordsman in all of Mordant. Of course, there's also King Joyse himself and crazy Adept Havelock, who's brilliant strategizing actually paid off. The villains, who I shall leave unnamed so as to not give too many spoilers, were dastardly in the extreme, but not nearly as invincible as they thought they were. Oftentimes, I get confused by a large cast of characters like these books have, but somehow I never got lost and always knew who was who. I strongly suspect that's a testament to Stephen Donaldson's ability to draw each character with a distinctive personality that made each of them stand out.Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Man Rides Through (for the second time:-)). It's a fabulous fantasy adventure that keeps the reader guessing pretty well as to what might happen next and how our intrepid heroes and heroines will ever win. The climax is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat, thrill ride, and the epilogue wraps everything up perfectly. While the book certainly isn't a romance, there was just enough of it to satisfy this romance fan. I loved that from the beginning of this book, Terisa realized she loved Geraden and their relationship only grew stronger from there, even though it is secondary to everything else that's going on. There are also a couple of other romances in the background, so that was nice too. The only reason I dropped a half-star was because Stephen Donaldson has a very dense, somewhat wordy writing style that left my mind wandering at times, but at the same time, he also has a way with creating some unique and colorful turns of phrase. So, I'm a little conflicted on how I feel about all that. Otherwise, the two books together are a great story that I highly recommend to fans of fantasy fiction.

  • Lyn
    2019-05-18 08:22

    Became a favorite. About a lonely girl, who feels incredibly insignificant because of her cold parents, she becomes lost in starring at the mirrors that are the only decoration in her apartment. She feels that if she looks at the mirrors that is proof that she exists. When she finds herself in a world where Mirrors are not a source of reflection but of magic. She is mistaken to be a "Champion" that is summoned by the congerers to save their world. She is clumsy and very self concious. She has no faith in herself, but through the telling of her story she gains strength in herself, and in doing becomes the "Champion" that the Congerers were looking for. She overcomes her feeling that she is invisible or insignificant. She has the strength to stand up to her father and leave the comforts of the modern world, to be in a world where she has and knows she has made a difference.

  • Liz Fricke
    2019-05-20 08:39

    The Mordant's Need books still rank among my favorite fantasy books of all time. The plot is complex, the characters vivid and the story is neatly contained within two volumes. Donaldson seems to love creating the anti-hero - and Teresa Mogan is, to me, a more compelling one than his Thomas Covenant. I warn everyone who reads this for the first time to not let themselves get near the end of the first volume without having the second volume nearby.

  • Felicia
    2019-05-25 03:45

    Duology with "Mirror of Her Dreams." I love this duology. In fact, I'd like to read it again.

  • Mark Harrison
    2019-04-25 02:37

    Excellent end to this two book series. Terisa begins to conquer the magic of Imagery as the kingdom crumbles. She and friends must get allies for the King, which includes a displaced space marine, before a huge battle of the various factions settles everything. Superb premise, great characters, tons of action and magic and a giant slug beast. Loved this - must look out for more from this author.

  • Charlie
    2019-05-13 09:20

    First off, read both books of this duology, if you're going to read it at all. There is NO POINT to reading just one.Minor spoiler: Book 1 ends with a MAJOR CLIFF HANGER so you HAVE to read book 2"The Mirror of Her Dreams" (book 1)"A Man Rides Through" (book 2)So with that out of the way, I will review both as a single work.There are so many cool ideas and concepts in this duology. The story in itself has a pretty good pace that chugs along evenly and with good momentum.The writing style is a bit raw and can be a bit clunky here and there, but it doesn't detract or distract from the flow of the story. I didn't feel like I was ever pulled out of the story by the wordsmithing. But then again I don't ever recall being really impressed or find any parts remarkable either.The characters in this series will make reading this book feel like you are wielding a double edged blade without a hilt that you have to hold in your bare hands.It's nice to read a fantasy story where the characters are not flawless, archetypes. Even some of the lead characters are indeed dumb, annoying, and incompetent. So while it's refreshing, original, and probably a bit more realistic, it's also maddeningly frustrating at times.The supporting characters tend to be 2 dimensional, but are serviceable.The world building and the magic in this world featuring mirrors is pretty well drawn, and has several layers of depth. Although there are going to be times where these rules seem to be bent and broken for the convenience of the plot in the second book.The books build and build and build to try and deliver a huge pay-off and while it is definitely action-packed, it's telegraphed so far in advance, and the author did such a good job of writing himself into some inescapable corners, that many of resolutions and closures near the end stink of deus ex machinas, breaking of rules previously established, characters acting out of character, and it just feels really forced.Very contrived and forced is how I would describe the entire second book.There's a lot of fun to be had, but there's also a lot of cringe inducing hackery at the end.Also the story is just steeped in SO MUCH RAPE, it's really not easy to stomach. There are several digressions that go deep into the rape fantasies of some of the older characters that will creep you the fuck out. I guess if the point was to make you loathe these characters then: Mission accomplished. But if it makes you feel kinda skeevy about the author, that is also a side-effect as well. Also the women in this book are portrayed very shabbily.So to conclude. I liked the imaginative world-building, good pacing, and hated the endings and rape imagery.I can't say I can recommend this one.

  • Paige
    2019-05-25 04:33

    Very very enjoyable books to read... but spoiled by inappropriate scenes

  • Alex Andrasik
    2019-05-20 10:22

    A worthy end to Donaldson's somewhat uneven yet enjoyable "Mordant's Need" duology. The story of Terisa, a woman from our world shunted into the midst of a fantastic conflict in another realm, and Geraden, the bumbling but good-hearted young man responsible for her arrival, reveals itself to be a story about coming into one's potential and having the courage to use it for good and not ill.The weaknesses of the previous volume are still evident here, most notably the near incomprehensibility of the magic system of Imagery--the translation of beings between worlds through the medium of mirrors--and Donaldson's strenuous efforts to convey it in writing. Also troubling is the gender situation, which no doubt other critics would find more interesting to pursue. Suffice to say that while there are some powerful females here, Donaldson displays a willingness to treat them with a passivity and brutality that some may find distressing.What's improved over book one, though, is this book's sense of scope. "The Mirror of Her Dreams" suffered from its near uninterrupted lodging in a single setting and its environs, while this volume gets some of our characters out into the Cares around Orison. This broadens the world of Mordant and contributes to the sense that there are greater stakes to this conflict than the mere egos of rulers. While this broadening shunts some of the focus away from our heroes, Terisa and Geraden, most of the additions to the status of central cast are positive ones--I'm a particular fan of the corpulent, suffering, but loyal lord of the Tor.There's a lot to like here, especially if you're a fan of Donaldson's somewhat sententious style (as I am). The gradual crystallization of the novels' morals burst vitally as natural progressions of the characters' victories and losses, and had me drawing comparisons to the best and most interesting of the lessons in "A Song of Ice and Fire." What's more, it all wraps up with one of the finest battles I've read in fantasy literature--it's the most 'military' writing I've seen from Donaldson since Hile Troy's campaign in the magnificent "Illearth War." It's exciting, suspenseful, and gives every surviving character something important to do--no mean feat for a set-piece of such size.

  • Kate
    2019-05-11 08:48

    Definitely one of Donaldson's best series. What I love about these books is that for once they have characters who seem far more human and normal in their motivations, thoughts and behaviours than his characters in the Covenant or Gap books. Terisa and Geradan the main protagonists are just not as extreme, and because of this (being normal people in an abnormal situation) the story is far more human and engaging.The world of Mordant, Cadwal and Alend could be considered to be a quite stereotypical fantasy setting, but what Donaldson chooses to do with the setting is quite unusual. The concept of a Congery of Imagers, men who can control mirrors and "translate" things or beings through them, and yet no-one is able to use a "normal" mirror to look at their own reflections is a brilliant idea, turning normality on its head. This is good, well written engaging fantasy and I thoroughly enjoyed my rereading of it.This second book in the series is even better than the first with motivations becoming clear, villains being unmasked and plenty of action. There is also proper relationship building here. Donaldson finally allows two of his characters to fall in love in an uncomplicated manner and he allows them to have a proper relationship which is utterly marvellous after all the rape and terrorization of women that takes place in some of his other books.The ending of this book is excellent, the villains are put in their places in the most apt way that you could imagine. Yes, humour from Stephen Donaldson of all people!All in all it has been a joy to reread this series.

  • Katie Anne
    2019-05-08 04:44

    A much faster pace than the first book. While still an epic fantasy with a lot of intrigue, this book is the one that finally has battles, struggle, and the heroes secret skills coming to the forefront.Terisa and Geraden finally get together (sorry kids, no sex scenes) although their relationship feels a little too easy for everything happening. Donaldson, nevertheless, is able to create entertaining and distinctive characters both female and male. Are there better series out there? Sure. If you want something less than 2k pages in total and enjoy epic fantasy, this can be a fun read. Buy it used or go to the library for it folks.

  • Angela
    2019-05-22 04:36

    Donaldson's writings are a mass of contradictions; characters you hate, but care about, descriptions and explanations that go on and on but fail to bore you... He's a writer I have an unusual love/hate relationship with because he takes the unlikeliest of heroes (the anti-hero)and drags them thru every awful thing imaginable before he lets the hero justify or redeem himself. By the end, you just want to scream in frustration over all the fumbling and stupidity you've had to suffer thru, only to see the hero finally become a hero in a very small & simple way. I'm amazed by how much I cared about Mordant and all these characters by the end of the story, even though I still didn't really like Terisa or Geraden. I feel entirely satisfied but still unsettled. Incredible. I would give him 5 stars, but he gets marked down for driving me crazy.I had intended to read the Thomas Covenant books from start to finish soon (all 10 books), but I think I'm going to need a rest before that kind of challenge...Audiobook - Again, Scott Brick is probably the best narrator around. He's absolutely amazing!

  • Linda
    2019-05-14 09:36

    I loved the tension between romance and desparation. The author held a fine line between these two emotions -- something often missing in his Thomas Covenant Chronicles.

  • Cindy
    2019-05-16 04:40

    Copyright 1987, my copy is the reissue from 2003. The second book in the series, this one contains part 3 & 4. Well, this is what I remembered loving so much. If you can through the first book, this one more than makes up for the boring parts 1 & 2. This whole story has action galore & we finally get the answers we need. Terisa is in a tough place at the start of part 3. Thrown in the dungeons, awaiting the Castellan's wrath, she starts thinking with her head. Through parts 3 & 4 Terisa becomes the person she's meant to be. After Master Quillon gets her out of the dungeon she uses her talent for mirrors to save herself. In fact, she doesn't need to be saved by anyone after that. She saves HERSELF!

  • Steve Kimmins
    2019-05-07 02:44

    The second pair of fantasy books I read following the Thomas Covenant Trilogy also by Stephen Donaldson.I preferred them to the TC Trilogy, in fact. Imaginative transfer of a modern woman into this fantasy world. Also my first introduction to the potentially magical properties of mirrors between worlds!OK, it’s pre reality fantasy of the GRRM era, so the goodies are pretty nice and the baddie pretty evil, with not a lot of nuance. But it’s a cracking, paced story with an imaginative plot. Maybe in the modern era more a younger adults storyline....

  • Kathleen Kurdziel
    2019-05-14 08:31

    This is my third reading of the series and it has lost none of its appeal for me. I did find that in this reading I still loved Terisa, Geraden, Artagel, Myste, the Tor, and the Castellan as much as ever, But I found myself far less forgiving of King Joyce and his policy than in past readings. Great fairy tale/ fantasy read. I will certainly return for a 4th re-read in the future. Well worth it.

  • Boostamonte Halvorsen
    2019-05-12 02:26

    Man, Donaldson knows how to write, as well as tell a story. So good. Havelock was the shining star in this story. Such a good character. The magic system was fleshed out well and made the whole thing that much better! It is easy to draw parallels to his Covenant saga--and if you like them, you will like this. This was a Fantasy/Mystery series, and it was really well done. Read it!

  • Paula
    2019-05-22 09:28

    The only reason I read this was because I read the first book and it ended mid story. Even though I didn't like it, it was so long and so painful to finish that I didn't want it to be for naught. This one was even worse, in my opinion. It got more and more far fetched and dramatic and I lost all connection to any of the characters and activities.

  • Olivia
    2019-05-07 03:34

    Originally read this series in high school. I liked them a lot more then. This book dragged and I had a difficult time finishing it before it was due back at the library. Some decent action near the end.

  • Kwkslvr
    2019-05-10 05:49

    Great read.

  • Red Tiger
    2019-04-28 04:35

    There were some things in the book that kept me from enjoying it fully as a whole but overall I liked it.

  • Duxcaelo
    2019-05-20 05:33

    1.5/5 stars

  • Janet Slipak
    2019-05-24 06:41

    My love for this series continued with the sequel. For my book review: https://www.mybookabyss.com

  • Tim
    2019-05-20 08:38

    This pair of novels seems to garner less attention than some of Donaldson's other works, but it is no less entertaining. As with the Covenant chronicles, a character from our world (Terisa Morgan) finds herself in another - but in this instance, that other world features the much more traditional fantasy trappings of a feudal land (Mordant) with castles and kings. In Mordant, magic is accomplished through the use of mirrors, through which other worlds (or other places in Mordant) can be seen, and through which people and things can be "translated". Those with the knack for using mirrors are known as imagers.Terisa's adventures with Geraden continue here, with the castle Orison under siege by the Alend army led by proud prince Kragen. Meanwhile the more formidable Cadwal army is known to be making its way through Mordant, opposed by defenders who are overmatched and unsupported by Mordant's senile king Joyse. These are real and understandable threats, but there are others - strange and terrible creatures brought by imagery are attacking the people of Mordant throughout the kingdom. At the beginning of the novel, most of this is in the background. Our characters find themselves not only navigating the complex politics of Orison, but also dealing with attacks directed at them via imagery. A key question is who is responsible for these attacks (within the castle and without), as practically all known imagers are members of the Congery in Orison. Is there a traitor? Maybe more than one?While most of The Mirror of Her Dreams takes place in or near Orison, this time around Terisa and Geraden escape after learning some dangerous information, and travel through several of the Cares (think "Baronies" and you'll be close), witnessing first-hand the aforementioned attacks and meeting some of the people of the land. It's a section of the novel that plays a little slowly, but it's necessary to help us as readers understand what's at stake. Among other things, we learn more of Geraden's family. Eventually they return to Orison armed with information that sets all the pieces in motion towards a satisfying final climax.So if you're not the type to snatch up every title that features kings and castles, why should you care about this one? Well for starters, because of the people. There's a wide array of believable, well-sketched characters, with complex motivations, strengths, and foibles. To describe them as idiosyncratic wouldn't be false, but doesn't do them justice. From Castellan Lebbick, driven nearly mad by his faithfulness to a once-great king who apparently has gone mad himself, to the princesses who couldn't stand to watch their father any longer and both took action (by different means) to try to find other forms of salvation for the kingdom; from the ambitious and confident master Eremis, to the subtler-than-he-appears king himself, (and many more) these are characters to be savored. And I haven't even mentioned our heroine and hero, Terisa and Geraden, who naturally play a critical role, and both of whom grow tremendously over the course of the story.Secondly: If you're put off by these feudal settings because of the role women play, don't be: while Mordant looks at first to be the kind of place where women spend their time buying gowns and having children, that's a disguise: one of the strongest themes is that of female empowerment. Terisa herself has a backstory that makes her incredibly meek when she first enters Mordant, but she unquestionably finds her strength in Mordant's crisis. The actions of the aforementioned princesses are also critical. While one woman uses sex to serve her ambition, there are few if any women in the story that could be described as weak, even when at first they appear to be so. Certainly numerous males in the story display misogyny in different ways, but this is the author's conscious choice, highlighting the theme. We're not reading Conan here.Strangely, the treatment of this theme, while a strength overall, is also a bit flawed. Or perhaps, not so much flawed as dated. We've made some progress in the thirty years since Mordant's Need was published, and by today's standards some of the misogyny seems heavy-handed. Still, as mentioned above, it serves the theme.I'll offer one final reason to care about this story: the most central relationship, that between Terisa and Geraden. We follow them through early respect for each other, challenges and misunderstandings, and first love into a true partnership. It feels more adult than most fantasy; certainly more than any I had previously read when this was first published. (Yes, this is not my first reading; I have come back to an old love.)If you're already a fan of Donaldson's work, rest assured that this diptych stands well among the rest. And if not, know that you're reading a tale that not only avoids the worst cliches of the genre, but offers a fresh story with characters well worth following and cheering for.

  • Derek Barton
    2019-05-01 03:45

    Excellent epic story with fantastic characters, sprawling and breath-taking battles and complex plots! Would love to see this made into a movie. Great conclusion to the Mordant's Need story line.

  • J
    2019-05-13 09:39

    I felt as if this book completely redeemed any level of complaint I had regarding the first book's long line of characters I was driven to hate, coupled with characters I was disappointed in, followed by characters who were entirely depressing. This book picks up immediately following the events of the first book and in fact even carries the current number of the chapters over as if the two were cleft apart from one enormous tome. In that regard if you haven't read the prior book for some time it may be worth a revisit to The Mirror of Her Dreams before you begin on A Man Rides Through.Without giving anything away that occurs, this book is fairly full of action. The pace is never slow even in the moments that world altering events are occurring. Donaldson shows considerable ability to plan out his novels in elaborate detail from the beginning of a work and while some things will seem fairly predictable as they occur it does little to dissuade admiration for his thoughtfulness. There may be a few holes within which don't make sense or aren't clearly revealed in the light of conclusion, but I didn't find these few instances unpalatable against the backdrop of the action and the fruition of the character building that went on in the first book.I gave this book four stars because it is a unique work set in a unique world with interesting and developed characters. Donaldson has never seemed to be one to follow the pack or work on someone else's previously paved roads. Mordant's Need I and II are yet another example of his preference to forge ahead into unknown territory and create his own worlds with their own rules.

  • Brian
    2019-05-22 06:27

    7/15/2004 - 2/10Mordant's Need is about a woman from our world that gets transported to a magical world where mirrors are powerful. The first book didn't start off that bad - it had some nice political and court intrigue. The plotting quickly became rather simplistic, full of holes and obvious as to what was going to happen. I thought all the characters were stupid and did plenty of annoyingly idiotic things. They were all predictable one dimensional caricatures. Character development is limited to a character learning to say 'Oh s**t' and commenting about how much she's grown repeatedly. The dialogue was smarmy and annoying as well, especially the romance subplot. By the second book, it became painful to read. On the plus side, I did get through the whole thing.7/15 - man rides through - 2 - more of same. eremis obivously behind nyle death and 'attack' - no one else realize. why not terisa tell where gerarden went - should be obvious and no harmking makes some sense nowhow eremis know for sure mirror go to houseldon? went to champion once and to houseldon once, could be randompoop kills firecat???inside elega pretty, outside myste - annoying and very repetitivecharacters become predictable caricaturessmarmy (melodramtic, schmatlzy) dialogue, poor plottingbecomes painful to readgeraden and terisaa apologizing and kicking and terisa oh shit is character developmentall reasoning for marching on esmerel is full of gaping holesone-d characters

  • Stuart Lutzenhiser
    2019-05-09 10:27

    Wonderful continuation of the first book. These two books are one continuous story and should not be read separately (or out of order). A continuous narrative for about 1,300 pages, it is entertaining for the entire length. Near the end of what is now the 3rd reading of these books, I did start to nit pick and wonder why certain problems weren't more easily solved with the mirrors. Clearly the characters figured out how to fix some problems with them, but other problems could have easily been solved with the mirrors but then we wouldn't have the crisis in the book. I read an article recently that said it was harder for mystery writers in the age of cell phones as the crimes have to happen outside of cell coverage areas or when the battery on the phone dies - otherwise, it is too easy for some message to get out and then no mystery. Anyway - this book resolves all of the problems set up in the first book. Without too much mystery to it - the work ends with Mordant's Need being met and all the bad guys killed or otherwise rendered powerless and nearly all of the good guys surviving and in a better place. Much like the Covenant books, there is just enough adult action to make these harder to read for tween-agers - but teens could handle it just fine, I suspect.