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1. Prince of Fire and Ashes: Book
2. A Tremor in the Bitter Earth:
3. Wind from a Foreign Sky (The Tielmaran
4. The Wanderer (Rulers of Hylor)
5. Second Nature
6. Contemporary Authors: Biography
7. The Poison Belt: Being an Account
8. Im Herzen des Feindes. Die Tielmark-
9. Wind from a Foreign Sky, Book
11. A Tremor in the Bitter Earth
12. Prince of Fire and Ashes
13. Wind From A Foreign Sky
14. Die Tielmark- Chroniken 01. Die
15. Wind from a Foreign Sky (Tielmaran
16. Wind From a Foreign Sky :Tielmaran
17. A Tremor in the Bitter Earth (No.
19. The Wanderer (Rulers of Hylor)

1. Prince of Fire and Ashes: Book 3 of the Tielmaran Chronicles
by Katya Reimann
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (2003-09-15)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812549368
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Magic, gods, and history build to a stunning climax in Katya Reimann's Tielmaran Chronicles.

Tielmark's free prince sits imperiled by the relentless conspiracies of the neighboring Bissanty Empire. Sorceress Gaultry Blas, blessed by Tielmaran's goddess-twins, returns to her homeland yearning for peace, but instead discovers a conspiracy of evil magics. The coven of witches sworn to defend the prince's crown have gathered to attend the dying Duchess of Melaudiere, who protects their throne's unborn heir. They also have an unpleasant truth: In years past, the witches failed their oath to Tielmark. If they fail again, their lives and those of their descendants will be lost.

Forest-born Gaultry, tuned more to action than politics, navigates tricky court intrigue and is determined to work with the Common Brood witches to break the ancient Bissanty claims.

But Gaultry is stalked by a hidden Tielmaran-born enemy who is bent on shattering Bissanty chains at any cost. This enemy has waited fifty years for the alignment of the stars that will allow Tielmark's prince ascent to a kingly throne. She will not let Gaultry get in her way-for this enemy has been planning from before Gaultry's birth how to stop her.

From the intricate infighting of Tielmark's court to the barren sun-bleached battlegrounds at Tielmark's farthest border, Gaultry must call on her magic, courage, and spirit to overcome the obstacles to her realm's rightful kingship.

When the great treachery is finally exposed in a brutal endgame played out under Tielmark's towering border mountains, Gaultry and members of the Common Brood will call upon their deepest powers to crown a king-or kill the hopes of their kingless realm.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a riveting conclusion!
Though I did enjoy _A Tremor in the Bitter Earth_ more, I certainly had a hard time putting this book down! I just wanted to know how it was all going to end! For such a long book it was a very fast read, but I must admit that I was a little disappointed at the rather rapid conclusion. Tullier was my favorite character in this series, and I did want to learn more about him even after the last page ended. I guess the ending overall felt a bit rushed to me (there were some surprise appearances at the end). My other bit of disappointment was that for a series involving identical twins, there was very little of Mervion in the actual book... I would have liked to see her play a larger role. I sincerely hope that Reimann returns to this detailed world and delightful characters some day in the future - I know I will be keeping an eye out for her!

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid, fantastic, rich, and full--even for a new reader
This book kept me up into the wee hours before I had to admit defeat and turn out the light.The characters were engaging, and the world is vividly drawn.This is old-style fantasy in the sense that the author has created a world that I'd like to visit, and people that I'd like to know.

It's also old-style fantasy in the fact that Reimann's world is completely suffused with magic--every doorpost seems to have its own charm or fetish or burnt offering to the gods.But the gods and their influence on human affairs are not overdrawn.Their motives and the extent of their actual influence remain mysterious--in a good way.

An enjoyable read.I'm still thinking about the characters a couple of weeks after I put the book down--always a good sign.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic fantasy
The Arleon Forest witch Gaultry Bas captures Tullier of the Bissanty Empire before he can assassinate Prince Benet of Tielmark.Gaultry returns to Tielmark accompanied by Tullier while praying to the Twin Goddesses that her country will finally thrive in peace and domestic tranquillity.However, she also believes that for this to happen, Prince Benet must become crowned king.

The Common Brood witch coven disagrees as they conclude that the time is right to begin the final phase of a deadly and ancient plot.Though she prefers otherwise, Gaultry knows she must fight for freedom for her people as the Bissanty Empire once again threatens the sovereignty of Tielmark.To succeed she must ally with an apparent enemy, The Common Brood.

PRINCE OF FIRE AND ASHES, the final chapter in Katya Reimann's epic fantasy Tielmaran Chronicles, is a tremendous tale.The novel closes the subplots left behind from the previous two tales (WIND FROM A FOREIGN SKY and A TREMOR IN THE BITTER EARTH) yet manages to keep the prime story line of this book interesting and moving, enabling this novel to be a stand alone tale too.That well executed exciting combo is what fans will marvel about as much as the maturing of Ms. Reimann into a monster force within the genre.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars Reimann's Best Yet!
Have you read, and loved, Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion, anything by Steven Brust, or some early Robin Hobb? Then read this book. Or, if you've read Reimann's first two Tielmaran novels, you won't need any convincing. This is easily the best of the three -- the only problem was how long it took to write it! Return readers will get some things they expect -- fast action, powerful magic, and a beautiful sense for wild, rugged terrain -- and some things they may not -- new, ah, developments between Gaultry and Martin, and some great new characters (the Climens family, Agrat and Elizabeth, were my favorites). And of course, this book ties up the other two to end the series (for the moment anyway). Good that Reimann resisted the temptation to milk these great settings and characters dry for a hundred books, but I still hope she'll come back to them. There's plenty of magic and adventure left in this vivid world.Maybe some more stories about Agrat and her children? We can only hope... anyway, great book! ... Read more

2. A Tremor in the Bitter Earth: Book 2 of the Tielmaran Chronicles (The Tielmaran Chronicles, Book 2)
by Katya Reimann
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (1999-03-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812549341
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
It is a time for celebration in Tielmark, at long last free from the age-old rule of the decadent but powerful Bissanty empire. Yet as the young glamour witch Gaultry Blas travels to witness the sacred rites which will renew her prince's magical bond to the land and its twin goddesses, she had no idea of the trials that await her and all Tielmark. Foiling an attempt by Bissanty assassins to taint the prince with dark, poisonous magic, she finds herself thrown into the midst of a sinister and dangerous plot. With one of the assassins as her unlikely ally, she must journey deep into the heart of Bissanty-where it will take all her skill and magic to uncover the last hidden ties that bind Tielmark's destiny to that of its depraved former masters...
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Strong Sequel - better than the first book!
Though a much darker book than the first (as is so often the case in trilogies), I enjoyed this book a lot more than _Wind From A Foreign Sky_. From its rather horrific first scene to its lip-biting conclusion, it just felt like a much stronger novel. I particularly enjoyed the introduction of Tullier's character - a fascinating addition! And Gaultry's often cranky character-traits made her seem even more realistic than before. There are still a lot of gaps that I hope to see closed in the last installment of these books, and I am really looking forward to seeing how it all ends. Reimann is a very talented writer, and I disappointed that this trio is all I can find. The world that she created here has a lot of depth and detail and could surely have been able to sustain more than one trilogy! Still, it is a strong series and I hope that the conclusion is as satisfying as this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Brooding Dark Fantasy
An amazing, fresh, sf-fantasy novel, with a gut-wrenching beginning. Lots of terrific creative new ideas such as the "Sha Muira" assassin that figures so prominently in the story. I really enjoyed the tension between Gaultry during the slow transformation of the young assassin. I enjoyed this book the first time I read it and I am now re-reading it once again. It is just as good on the second reading, although, the surprise element is gone. Now I look forward to reading the earlier book in this series, as well as the newer sequels to this excellent book.

4-0 out of 5 stars rich storyline and character development
This book is not as exciting as the first, typical for a trilogy. I don't really like how much if focuses on Gaultry because I always wanted to hear more about Mervion. Maybe that will be in the third book. Sometimes I don't like reading about drama after drama and this book does have a lot of fighting and violence but overall it is very interesting and definetely well written.Just don't expect easy paced or light hearted!

5-0 out of 5 stars Witches & spells!!
An engaging story, the heroin is strong & magical. The story is original & light. This book follows Gaultry -the Glamour/Witch- in her fight to free Teilmark from The Bissanty Empire's clutches. You get to know more about Bissanty & the way the people live & feel. I was intrigued by the religion they follow. I still want to know more about Mervion, Gaultry's sister & Martin.
My only remark is that sometimes Ms. Reimaan writing is a little distracting, like she is trying a little too hard to convey a thought or describe a scene.
All in all a very good story. Thank you Ms. Reimann. Can't wait to read the 3rd book.
Get it & READ IT!(...)

4-0 out of 5 stars Loved the book, just waiting for the third
I greatly enjoyed reading the adventures of Gaultry and her companions.... once i had finished the two books in the series i just wanted to read more- there are so many questions i have about the characters.Katya really brought life to her book, to her story but i urge her to write the third book- i'm waiting with others to find out how Gaulrty lives the rest ofher life ... Read more

3. Wind from a Foreign Sky (The Tielmaran Chronicles, Book 1)
by Katya Reimann
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1997-04-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$37.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812549333
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Gaultry enjoyed the simple, pastoral life of a hedge witch, where her most daunting task was to travel to the nearby village to purchase supplies. But her peaceful life is shattered when it becomes entangled in an ancient prohpesy--a prophecy which names her and her headstrong twin sister, Mervion, as their nation's salvation...or its destruction.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

2-0 out of 5 stars Decent ideas and images, poor execution
Gaultry is a young, beautiful, spirited huntress, who has been raised by her great-aunt, a hedge-witch, on the border of Tielmaran.One day, the outer world cruelly ends her idyllic life, as a squadron of soldiers seeks to abduct her, and she finds herself a key figure in a prophecy that will bless or curse the entire realm.

Ms. Reimann creates, for the most part, a well-imagined world with some fresh touches.However, the kindest thing I can say about her telling of the story is that, this being her first novel, she shows glimmers of potential.To identify the major problems: First, the story begins, for the sake of excitement, as Gaultry and the prophecy are about to collide; consequently, the plot is over-burdened with flashbacks and info-dumps about the history of Tielmaran--information that could have been much more gracefully integrated via an earlier starting point.Second, the magic 'system' involves drawing power from the realm's gods (yet spells are called spells, not prayers), and its workings are never defined well enough to bear the crushing burden of the book's climax, which also spins out of control from Ms. Reimann's inexperienced quill.(An unfortunate example from p. 374: "There was a weird short-circuited merry-go-round through all the bodies in the circle, an unpleasantly long dance, before the Glamour-spirits were properly settled."Note that neither circuits nor merry-go-rounds are otherwise known to exist in Tielmaran.)Finally, several plot-threads are left dangling, presumably for the second and third installments.

Overall, this is worthy of a (cheap) used purchase or a library loan for undemanding fans of escapist fantasy.(Books like Green Rider by Kristen Britain and The Sword by Deborah Chester came to mind as I read this one.)However, I would certainly recommend above all of those, if one can tolerate more vivid descriptions of violence and sexual content, A Game of Thrones by George Martin; The Briar King by Greg Keyes; Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb; Rules of Ascension by David Coe; or anything by Guy Gavriel Kay (especially A Song for Arbonne and Tigana).Two stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
It took a while for me to get through this book, but it was worth it! It is slow going in a few spots, but for the most part is pure action/adventure with a dash of romance! I must say, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy(?). Gaultry was a likable character, once you got used to her, and very realistic. Martin was very interesting - I didn't feel like I got to know him well enough to decide whether I liked him or not. Hopefully he will feature more in the next book. The plot of the book was good and plausible (well, as plausible as you can get in fantasy) with one country, Tielmark, having split from Bissanty. Bissanty obviously wants it back and the perfect opportunity is coming - the three hundred year anniversary. Gaultry and her sister Mervion, plus the unfathomable Martin, must intervene with the evil chancellor's plans and save Tielmark before it is too late!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good is good, but the baddies are TOO bad
I was ~100 pages into this book when I decided to order the other 2 books in this outstanding trilogy.

The 2 lead characters (a hedgewitch & a swordsman) are very believable. 3-dimensional. Fascinating relationship between them. Dialogues so vivid that they often strike sparks. The heroine's introspective analysis of how & when to work her magic is superbly interesting. There are mysteries & foreboding & foreshadows a plenty.

It was a 5-star book all the way, until (in final 100 pages or so) the heroine and the evil twosome finally meet face to face, magic to magic.

Sadly, the 2 bad guys are so bad that I found it hard to take them seriously. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. They lack personality. They clobber fair maidens, break victims' ribs & teeth, snarl, skulk, & cackle with such extreme, poorly motivated cruelty that they mostly resemble the bad guys in a cartoon.

The climax was good, and the concluding scenes were grrreat - very satisfying.

I definitely want to read the 2 remaining books in this trilogy. This author knows how to weave a tale, no doubt about that. I just hope the bad guys mellow out a bit so I can rightfully disdain/hate them rather than find them pitiful & amusing.

5-0 out of 5 stars lady gentry's bane?
Many years ago, one of my favorite fantasy series was Stephen R. Donaldson's "Lord Foul's Bane" and sequels.

Around the same time, I was in college playing D&D with a group that eventually included the author of this book, Katya Reimann.

So I'm not at all surprised to have come across her books years later and find a vivid fantasy world and writing that really draws in the reader.I tore through the first book and regretted not ordering the others at the same time.(OK, I thought there was -some- risk I might not actually like it.)

As I read the book, it reminded me of the Donaldson books in the sense of a hero(ine) who evolves a power, and is faced with various moral dilemmas along the way.But the similarity pretty much ends there.The point is, if you liked Donaldson, I think you'll like this even more.If you didn't (and I know his writing has drawn some criticism), I hope you'll still give this a shot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read, couldn't put it down
I'm not quite sure what drew me to this book -- I skimmed a few pages of it before buying it.

It was a little slow to get into, but once I was able to get into it, the story drew me in, and held me fast.I admire Ms. Reimann's ability to tell a compelling, and entertaining story.I have to say that I found myself gasping at times, as the plot twisted and turned.

Great read; highly recommended. ... Read more

4. The Wanderer (Rulers of Hylor)
by Cherry Wilder, Katya Reimann
Hardcover: 400 Pages (2004-05-01)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000H2N6U2
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Cherry Wilder's The Rulers of Hylor series established a detailed and intricate fantasy world. Katya Riemann completed this last Hylor novel, a tale of warring kingdoms, treacherous advisers and generational conflicts, set in a world of rich physical beauty, vibrant life and a realism leavened with occasional and startling magic. Gael Maddoc, the child of struggling peasants, leaps at the chance when she is offered training as a mounted soldier. She wins glory bringing her charges home safe across a huge desert, seeking aid from the Shee. But the Shee-the dwindling Fair Folk-then recruit her for their own purposes. Her nascent magical talents and her resourcefulness show her to be the Wanderer, a legendary figure for whom they've been waiting. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Wanderer
I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, and am always looking for something interesting.I picked this book up at the library recently, without knowing anything about Cherry Wilder.Now I am hooked.This book is very good, and balances the use of magic and physical combat in an interesting way.The main character, Gael, uses her head to overcome adversaries far more often than not.But she is a skilled soldier who will plunge into a fight when necessary.

I had a feeling this book was part of a larger set, and that turned out to be true as there is a whole Hylor series.The author(s)' depiction of Hylor and its competing kingdoms is detailed and very interesting.The theme is typical fantasy fare, featuring key interactions with a departing elf-like people (why are they never arriving?) but I always forgive that kind of thing and keep reading.

The best part of this book, in my opinion, is the depiction of the kedran, a whole class of female cavalry that serves in multiple kingdoms, and how Gael obtains respect due to her leadership and soldier skills.

The book is a fast, good read and I plan to read the other Hylor books.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Faint Echo
Readers of Cherry Wilder's "Rulers of Hylor" will return to a world familiar to them from the pages of _A Princess of the Chameln_, _Yorath the Wolf_, and _The Summer King_, but Reimann cannot match the graceful prose style and light-handed touch that made Wilder a master fantasist.

This reader can easily tell where Wilder's plot-notes end and Reimann's authorship begins. For fantasy fans not already familiar with Wilder's tales may find this a satisfying read, but those who have appreciated the subtlety with which Wilder weaves magic into her stories will find _The Wanderer_ to be blunt and heavy-handed by comparison.

For those eager for a bit more of Wilder's Hylor, and curious to know "what happened after", this book does carry the overall story further and will not disappoint. For those who miss Wilder's elegant prose and slowly unfolded plots, this book cannot supply the lack.

5-0 out of 5 stars fabulous fantasy
Growing up in an impoverished peasant croft family in the Chyrian lands of Mel?Nir, Gael Maddoc has no hope to escape from farm life.She detests toiling the land, finding it boring and costly especially when she looks at her parents and two older siblings.She sees nothing positive in her future though she dreams of adventure.

That changes when Gael turns seventeen as the priest Druda Strawn sees something in her especially after she gave to him last year the ancient map parchment she found.He arranges for her to train with the Summer Riders as a true battlemaid while her family?s back taxes are paid.Gael leaps at the opportunity to train as a mounted soldier and easily adapts to the military regiment with her background helping her with a stoic acceptance.

The Shee Fair Folk also notice something special about Gael as they believe she is the legend, the Wanderer, "the chosen servant of the light folk".They begin guiding her for she is the hope to save the realm.

Though the great Cherry Wilder died two years ago, readers will agree that THE WANDERER is wonderful homage to her terrific fantasy series, ?The Rulers of Hylor?.Fans will not be able to delineate between Ms. Wilder and Katya Reimann who apparently completed this tale.The story line is fast-paced from the moment Gael becomes a soldier in training and never slows down as The Wanderer tries to make things right.Without any gimmicks, readers obtain a realm scarred by war and betrayal with a pinch of magic as a flavoring.This is a fitting tribute.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

5. Second Nature
by Cherry & Reimann, Katya Wilder
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1986-01-01)

Asin: B002NKOW22
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Melding of SF and fantasy succeeds at neither
On an unnamed planet near the star Delta Pavonis, the descendents of a Federation starship that crash-landed nearly 3 centuries ago have created a society centered on agriculture and fishing. Steam power represents the most advanced form of technology, but the people hope that some day another starship will chance upon their planet and bring them into alliance with the Federation.

Maxim Bro is a `dator', or glorified notary public, in the main city of Rhomary. When his uncle Urbain gets word that people in the hinterlands have witnessed the passage of what appear to be `meteors' across the night skies, it seems that yet another hapless starship has encountered difficulties in its transit by Delta Pavonis. Bro eagerly travels to the town of Gann Station, located near the Western Sea, where a sea captain has recovered what appears to be a fragment of a starship.

But the possible advent of contact with the Federation invokes feelings of alarm among some residents, particularly those adhering to a messianic religious cult, and if there are any survivors of a crash, they may not get an entirely felicitous welcome....

`Second Nature' represents an ambitious, but ultimately unsuccessful, melding of SF and fantasy by author Wilder. Her prose style is often ornate, as might be expected of a fantasy novel, and the society of the transplanted Terrans is heavily infused with a complex psychology that has come to regard the idea of a galactic civilization as a legend.

Unfortunately, many of the main features of the narrative are disclosed to the reader in an elliptical manner, leaving he or she to try and infer what is taking place from obliquely written descriptive passages and dialogue. I found myself barraged with too many invented proper nouns accompanied by too little exposition; much of the main narrative accordingly unfolded in a confusing manner.

Sub-plots dealing with a trio of aristocrats who may not be what they appear, and a quasi-religious longing for contact with a race of large aquatic creatures (the `Vail') who migrated away from the human settlements decades ago, are woven into the storyline but really fail to impart much momentum to the narrative. I finished the book with the feeling that, had the author decided to place more emphasis on the travails of the crashed starship crew, the novel would have been much more engaging.

I suspect SF fans will probably find `Second Nature' too slow-moving and devoid of inherent drama to be very appealing. I also suspect that readers seeking an offbeat sort of fantasy novel will find that in 'Second Nature' the fantasy elements are too understatedto be very rewarding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine writing and characterization, engaging plot.
Humans descended from an emergency landing on a planet of Delta Pavonisand out of contact with humanity ever since are transfixed by the crash ofanother human ship 250 years later.This is great stuff.Wilder (apseudonym for Cherry Barbara Grimm) is a fine writer, almost poetic attimes, and does an excellent job of characterization, development ofbelievable aliens, and plotting.I was reminded of the Hugo-award-winningauthor C. J. Cherryh, so much so that I thought this was a book by her(it's not--her real name is Caroline Cherry).A nice surprise from anauthor I had not heard of, but will definitely search for in the future. ... Read more

6. Contemporary Authors: Biography - Reimann, Katya (1965-)
Digital: 2 Pages
list price: US$1.50 -- used & new: US$1.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SI1K6
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document, covering the life and work of Katya Reimann, is an entry from Contemporary Authors, a reference volume published by Thomson Gale. The length of the entry is 559 words. The page length listed above is based on a typical 300-word page. Although the exact content of each entry from this volume can vary, typical entries include the following information:

  • Place and date of birth and death (if deceased)
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Professional associations and honors
  • Employment
  • Writings, including books and periodicals
  • A description of the author's work
  • References to further readings about the author
... Read more

7. The Poison Belt: Being an Account of Another Amazing Adventure of Professor Challenger (Bison Frontiers of Imagination)
by Arthur Conan Doyle Sir
Paperback: 93 Pages (2001-09-01)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803266340
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

"Nothing could be done. The thing was universal and beyond our human knowledge or control. It was death for young and old, for weak and strong, for rich and poor, without hope or possibility of escape."
Just returned from his famous adventure in the Lost World, the resourceful Professor George Challenger faces his greatest danger yet: Earth will pass through a belt of poisonous ether, and mankind might not survive. As the poison enters the atmosphere, terror and madness sweep the globe. Cities are wracked by riots, societies crumble, and soon all communication ceases. Professor Challenger and his friends, barricaded in a sealed room, can only watch their planet die.
The Poison Belt stands as one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's finest stories. A first-rate sequel to The Lost World, this novel continues the adventures of one of the most memorable characters in speculative fiction. Brilliant, witty, insufferable, and blessed with a booming voice and a huge black beard, Professor George Challenger is an eccentric and able champion of the human race.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Opportunity II
Sir Arthur's most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, is a character so realistic, so true to life, so three-dimensional that dozens of novels, hundreds of short stories, and thousands of articles have been written and tens of thousands of people have gathered themselves together in fan clubs under the premise that Sherlock Holmes was a real person. If it weren't for Sherlock Holmes, no one would ever have tried to make a similar leap over this two-dimensional piece of pure cardboard, Professor Challenger.

Part of the problem is that Sir Arthur pretty clearly had an agenda in mind, an idea he wanted to push, an argument he wanted to win behind each story. Now that isn't necessarily bad, science fiction has become rather known for a healthy tradition of didactic polemics, but the good ones never forget that the story MUST come first. Too often Sir Arthur forgot that, and it doesn't help that he invariably got the science wrong.

The Lost World (1912) is the first and the best, the one I can recommend without hesitation as a fine story, a classic Boy's Own Adventure that introduces the irascible Professor Challenger and his memorable companions: the boyish and naive journalist Ned Malone, the phlegmatic and imperturbable hunter Lord Roxton, and the if anything even more irascible Professor Summerlee who together live the ultimate adventure of finding a lost world, populated with extinct monsters and peoples. The plot is so familiar it barely needs describing: scientist claims to have discovered lost world; scientist leads expedition back to prove he's not lying; expedition finds lost world, is trapped in lost world, survives great dangers in lost world, and escapes from lost world; scientist sics pterodactyl on disbelievers. Sir Arthur's not so hidden agenda? Well, accusations of support for imperialism or racism seem a bit extreme, but he is clearly advocating Evolution here, which is somewhat ironic in light of current evolutionary theory on the extinction of the dinosaurs. Suffice it to say that the discovery of living dinosaurs today would have Creation scientists doing handstands and Evolution scientists racing back to the drawing board.

After this rollicking adventure The Poison Belt (1913) is quite a disappointment. In a more egregious bit of bad science, Professor Challenger correctly predicts that the Earth has moved into a belt of poisonous "ether", presumably inspired by the equally laughable fears resulting from Earth passing through the tail of Halley's Comet in 1910. Challenger's brilliant solution? He has the old crew bring oxygen tanks and gather at his house along with his wife to watch the world come to an end... and die a few hours after everybody else. Frankly this struck me as something less than a solution. It also results in a very talky, actionless novel as our heroes sit on their rears and discuss the Meaning of Life and Man's Existence, from which I conclude that the author didn't have that firm a grasp on it either. Finally oxygen running out, our heroes face the End like Englishmen should, but the End does not come -- the poison is gone. At this point the novel finally starts to move as our heroes explore and contemplate the dead world. As you might gather from the fact that three more Challenger stories follow, there is a surprise "never mind" ending.

One of the best things about the Bison Press Frontiers of the Imagination edition, for which I awarded it a fourth star, is the introduction by Katya Reimann, which constitutes a spirited defense of this all but forgotten sequel.Unfortunately IMHO, she lets her enthusiam carry her away in a number of areas.

She blames its neglect by movie makers on the lesser visual appeal of invisible poison gas versus dinosaurs when a better reason is that most of the novel consists of our heroes sitting on their rumps contemplating their navels and the end of the world.She (correctly IMHO) defends the novel against charges of Spiritualist claptrap by reminding us that it was written BEFORE WWI, whose tragic consequences for his own family arguably pushed Sir Arthur around the bend into the cultish idiocy that infected so much of his later writings and utterly ruined the next Professor Challenger novel The Land of Mists, a book so awful that today it is only available in digital format or as part of a Complete Adventures of Professor Challenger.

Ms. Reimann correctly credits this novel for its then quite modern, arguably atheistic view of the insignificance of Man, and it is not Sir Arthur's fault that this idea has been nearly done to death by endless repetition ever since.However, she is pretty far off base IMHO when she tries to credit Sir Arthur with foreseeing the geopolitical doom Europe was on the verge of descending into in August 1914 and trying to warn his readers about it.Just as Sir Arthur has been given too much blame for his entirely conventional attitudes towards British Imperialism in his earlier works, he is now being given too much credit for a prescience about its end he never exhibited (Sir Arthur arguably came closest in his two cautionary tales "The Last Galley" and "Danger!", but in both cases he was issuing warnings about specific risks that needed addressing by improving military readiness, not pronouncing doom on the concept of Imperialism itself).

As his descent into Spiritualism indicates, Sir Arthur was completely lost in trying to understand how the world he grew up in had changed so drastically and arguably had a poorer grasp on both spirituality and reality by the end than the phlegmatic British Christians who prayed to the same God after the war that they had prayed to before.

Then again as this titillating tidbit from the introduction suggests, perhaps Sir Arthur was starting to come unglued even BEFORE the war:

"He (Sir Arthur) posed for publicity photos dressed as Challenger, and his wife had the greatest of difficulties in dissuading him from wearing his Challenger costume to bed."

5-0 out of 5 stars What an imagination!
I still wonder how the author can think out the idea that the Earth would pass a Poison Belt, and can think out its consequence. A writer must see or imagine something amazing from the simplest fact to plot a book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Doyle's contribution to "post-apocalyptic" literature!
While Professor George Edward Challenger, a short, stocky, hirsute bull of a man is physically the complete opposite of Doyle's more well known protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, the same cannot be said of his pomposity, arrogance and mental dexterity. In that regard, he could well have been Sherlock's and Mycroft's long lost sibling.

As a scientist of the first order, comfortable in his astute, complex analysis of "the blurring of Frauenhofer's lines in the spectra both of the planets and of the fixed stars," Challenger concluded there had been a fundamental change in the ether that would "involve the ultimate welfare of every man, woman, and child upon this planet." In fact, his private prognostications were that the end of the world was at hand and, on the basis of that certainty, he issued a peremptory summons to his friends and colleagues from the "lost world" expedition - young Edward Malone, the reporter for the Daily Gazette; Professor Summerlee, a fellow scientist; and Lord John Roxton, gentleman adventurer and sportsman - to join him and his beloved wife as witness to the world's final hours!

Having only recently completed Conan Doyle's "The Lost World", I expected "The Poison Belt" to be a garment cut of the same cloth - a swashbuckling Victorian adventure tale of the exploits of heroic men's men! Not even close ... instead Doyle served up an optimistic, post-apocalyptic tale of a world given a taste of Armageddon and an unexpected second chance. Doyle's philosophical musings, disclosed through the conversations of the last five people to remain on the face of a dying earth, touched upon such tender ideas as love and friendship in the face of death. While Doyle might not have recognized it by the more modern label, his musings even wandered into what a modern cosmological philosopher would label the "anthropic principle".

A modern reader of "The Poison Belt" will know that the notion of an all-encompassing ether in the universe has long since been debunked. But that single failing detracted not one whit from the quality of the story. That same modern reader, I expect, will also be unlikely to share Doyle's optimism regarding the world's reaction to a second chance at life. But, for myself, when I finished the story, I smiled and silently prayed that Doyle was right and I was wrong!


Paul Weiss

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written and quite exciting!
Professor Challenger is still throwing his bulk, and his vast intellect, around, making enemies and inevitably being proved right. And so, when reporter Ed Malone receives an emergency telegram from him, demanding that he bring oxygen at once, Malone hastens out and gets the oxygen! It seems that Challenger has learned that the Earth is moving towards a poisonous section of space, and has figured out a way that he can save a few members of the human race - the last people left on Earth.

Professor George Edward Challenger is the lesser known creation of Sherlock Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). Unlike the cool and calculating Homes, Challenger is irascible, domineering and extremely outspoken. In short, he is a lot of fun to read. However, unlike Holmes, Professor Challenger never caught on and as such only five Challenger stories were ever written, and this was the second of the five (written in 1913).

Although more than a little dated, scientifically, I found this story to be well written and quite exciting. It reflects a world that is now gone, but is quite interesting to read about. If you like adventure stories, then you will like this one. Read this book, and learn about A.C. Doyle's other hero!
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8. Im Herzen des Feindes. Die Tielmark- Chroniken 02.
by Katya Reimann
Paperback: 507 Pages (2002-02-01)

Isbn: 3442241308
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9. Wind from a Foreign Sky, Book 1 of the Tielmaran Chronicles
by Katya Reimann
 Hardcover: Pages (1996)

Asin: B000HK2Y0W
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10. A TREMOR IN THE BITTER EARTH - The Tielmaran Chronicles Book (2) Two
by Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (1998)

Asin: B0015RPCR8
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11. A Tremor in the Bitter Earth
by Katya Reimann
Paperback: Pages (1999-01-01)

Asin: B002GXG6NY
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12. Prince of Fire and Ashes
by Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (2002)
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Asin: B0021ZD3CY
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13. Wind From A Foreign Sky
by Katya Reimann
 Hardcover: Pages (1986)

Asin: B000MVP03O
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14. Die Tielmark- Chroniken 01. Die göttlichen Schwestern.
by Katya Reimann
Paperback: 441 Pages (2001-05-01)

Isbn: 3442241294
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15. Wind from a Foreign Sky (Tielmaran Chronicles, Bk. 1)
by Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (1996)

Asin: B000OTPJ1C
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16. Wind From a Foreign Sky :Tielmaran 1
by Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (1997)

Asin: B000SF53CC
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17. A Tremor in the Bitter Earth (No. 2) (Tielmaran Chronicles Ser.)
by Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (1998)

Asin: B000OTU58Y
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by Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (2002-01-01)

Asin: B0028QASL0
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19. The Wanderer (Rulers of Hylor)
by Cherry Wilder; Katya Reimann
 Paperback: Pages (2005-01-01)

Asin: B002CKDEOK
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