Read Amberlight by Sylvia Kelso Online


Tellurith, the head of a great ruling House in Amberlight, inexplicably finds a battered outlander left for dead in the streets of the legendary city -- and an oracle reveals that he must not die. The man, although stripped of his memory, may know of a threat to Amberlight's unique possession: the motherlodes of the qherrique, the pearl-rock that gives their world its mostTellurith, the head of a great ruling House in Amberlight, inexplicably finds a battered outlander left for dead in the streets of the legendary city -- and an oracle reveals that he must not die. The man, although stripped of his memory, may know of a threat to Amberlight's unique possession: the motherlodes of the qherrique, the pearl-rock that gives their world its most powerful tool. Tangled in intrigue, insurrection and brutal warfare, it will take a cataclysmic upheaval for Tellurith and the stranger to begin to grasp the more-than-human mystery that brought them together....

Title : Amberlight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780809572052
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 260 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Amberlight Reviews

  • new_user
    2019-05-09 02:46

    As other readers will tell you, Amberlight is a very unique, very interesting read-- most unique for Sylvia Kelso's writing style. I've never seen anything like it. Kelso's prose reads like modern poetry in the literal sense. Every word is strong and chosen with an eye for imagery and effect. In fact, the imagery is brilliant:"High moon over Amberlight, commanding the zenith, radiant, imperial, the city's fretted-ink porticoes and balconies gnawing that torrent of aerial snow."The phrases are so economic as to be fragments rather than whole sentences, sometimes doing away with useless helping verbs, sometimes pronouns or articles. I've since learned that this style is called "sprung-rhythm." I never knew there was a tradition behind this technique."Then the lips set. 'I'll do it, you know.' Ice-cold now. 'There are ways. Even like this...'Wrench on the restraints. A fresh view of wiry but muscular body that she remembers surprisingly well."The active scenes speed along like this, even with the extra time necessary to discern who's speaking when, remembering this person or that one. Reading Amberlight requires care, that's for sure. This is not a fast read. This short book is packed, and with the exception of the hero's eyes, Kelso rarely repeats herself. Either pay attention or fall behind to confusion. I could have kissed the author. Repetition kills me. There is a question that slowly, exquisitely unfolds during the novel. Kelso drops tantalizing hints as the heroine unravels the mystery of the hero's threat or asset to her people. Part I reads like a subtle romance and dance between two intelligent enemies. If you like your spy stories or intrigues, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this. Part II, which I enjoyed more, was action-packed. (Maybe my French teacher was right. I'm bloodthirsty.) The tone is consistently tense and exciting throughout but especially here, when the angst and dashing drama are worthy of Shakespeare himself. Rooted in intrigue to their cores, Tellurith and Alkhes never do anything by halves. Even their love is complicated.I was worried that like Anne Bishop's Black Jewel series, Kelso's girl-power world would simply be wish fulfillment, but even though some signs seemed to point to Female Fantasy, the power between the two main characters is always in flux, always questioning, and by the end, there's no clear winner. Now that I can get on-board with. My only complaint is about the second to last scene or thereabouts when we're launched into an apparently aimless coffeehouse discussion on the origins of an element of Amberlight city that is a character unto itself. It was absolutely unnecessary in my opinion and stalled a train of a narrative. I also didn't enjoy the heroine asking the same question again and again. "No, but really, why [insert Q here]..." I think the author thought this would be cute, but it was mostly just irritatingly silly and reminded me of the little kid in class going, "But why?" Because they have wings, Timmy. "Why?" Thankfully, this scene is brief and doesn't detract from the rest of the book for me, all 200 some pages of it.So, if you have a love for poetic, high language, as engrossing as it seems daunting, and you think you can keep up with a challenging narrative that slows for no one, I highly recommend this. Romance, intrigue and adventure to spare. Riversend is the sequel.If you have an account, you can also check out the Washington Post review.

  • SabrinaBrawley
    2019-05-21 09:27

    Sylvia Kelso's Amberlight features one of the most detailed fantasy worlds of the genre. Comprised of thirteen Houses, the walled city of Amberlight guards precious stores of querrique. The city developed around the "moon stone," allowing an industry of Crafters to thrive and class separation to unfold. With querrique enabling the House-heads to assert order, constant vigilance is required to maintain the customs and traditions that form their society.At the core of these customs is reverence of women, forcing men into subserviance. Men are simplistic breeders, pampered and trivialized as the weaker sex, while women work, fight and rule as the dominant force. Rather than representing this reversal as ideal, Kelso illustrates the conflicts that arise when any parcel of society is driven to exclusion.The story surrounds Tellurith, House-head of Telluir. As she trolls for an apprentice shaper one evening, likely cavorting among the slums of River Quarter, Tellurith and her crew discover an injured man who was beaten, raped, and left for dead on the streets. As they hastily decide if the man can be helped and how they should handle the situation, an oracle tells Tellurith that their charge must not die. With this information, she has no choice but to deliver him to the safety of Telluir House and ensure his recovery.Through Telluir's physician's expert care, the man they calls Alkhes gradually regains his strength, but remembers little of his past. While Tellurith prods for information that might indicate his origins, Alkhes' placement is the source of controversy among the Thirteen, as he could simultaneously pose a threat and hold valuable information about opposing empires. Discovering who the dark-eyed man is and why his life is valuable is imperative to Amberlight's existence.The setting, plot, and characters of Amberlight are entrancing, but the dialogue becomes a bit confusing at times, lacking reference to which person is speaking. Much of the narrative is written in sentence fragments, which works for some novels, but in this story, it manages to convolute an already intricate story design. At times it becomes difficult to correlate all of the details together to form a complete picture. Maps of the territory featured at the beginning of the book will aid the reader in understanding locale and placement. It is not a light read and will require some effort, but it is well-worth the exertion.Structure aside, Amberlight is imaginative and original. It embodies many genuine societal ills within a fictional capacity one can observe from a safe distance. It offers both romantic escape and intellectual stimulation. With time to concentrate on the details, it makes an enjoyable read. The sequel to Amberlight, which is titled Riversend, will be released in 2008. Kelso is the author of Everran's Bane and The Moving Water.

  • Kaila
    2019-05-02 09:27

    Actions were sometimes obfuscated behind clever words which made it difficult to follow. The love story was completely predictable, but I really liked the gender reversal. The fantasy politics were too complicated to follow - there were 13 houses and 13 househeads, all with complicated fantasy names -and I never entirely got why the war started in the first place. It was a nice change of pace to have a self-contained story within just 250 pages, though.EDIT: Oh shit, it's a series. Not sure I'll continue it.

  • Haralambi Markov
    2019-05-12 02:29

    “Amberlight” is a really light book as you all can see with its 272 pages and people can be deceived by its length, thinking that this is a quick read. Well I say that this book is everything but a quick read. The novel is political fantasy and a well crafted one as well, intertwining politics and customs of all types to create a complexity to the plot.The story itself is quite simple. Upon returning from a House wedding, Telluirith, Head of Telluir house, finds a dying man on her way home. He seems to be an outlander with a severe case of memory loss, but it’s clear enough that he is a strong man with possible military background. Telluirith takes care of this man and shows him the customs and deepest secrets of Amerlight and the qherrique, also referred to as pearl-rock with mystical properties. The fact that an outlander is taken care of in one of the 13 Houses of Amberlight causes quite a stir among the community. In the process of restoring his memory, Alkhes as the outlander is named, both fall in love with each other, Amberlight is in a crisis and he escapes twice, the second time causing Amberlight to war with its neighbors and resurfacing as the enemy general. The cause and object of the war is the precious pearl-rock, which in the ultimate end explodes and destroys the city, since it can only be cut by women and tends to explode touched by men.Sylvia Kelso is a very talented and erudite author, who utilizes some of the more overlooked, yet beautiful words in the English dictionary. I personally had a very, tough time adapting to her style and sentence structure, which continued towards the 100th page I think. From then I was quite able to follow the author’s thoughts. If anybody is looking for brain candy literature, this isn’t it. The novel itself is written through the 3rd deep POV of Telluirith and in present simple tense, which automatically transports to the action at hand. I have so far never read a novel quite like this and I am glad I did. Another aspect is the great tension between the characters as the love relationship between Telluirith and Alkhes is superbly built and opposing them as enemies puts their love to the test. A brilliant performance.The world of Amberlight is matriarchal, totally matriarchal and it works perfectly. Women are the ones; chosen by the pearl-rock to cut them as the stone is sentient in nature, thus they rule society and can use its powers. Miss Kelso doesn’t hold back on its uses too. The pearl-rock is Amberlight’s energy source and its women use light guns, moving vehicles and ships made from this rock that gathers sun light and transforms it into energy. This fact puts the accent on the female gender. Standard men’s roles as soldiers, crafters, rulers are taken by women, while men are being pampered and have no skills whatsoever. I have never thought that such a world can be built to strike the reader as believable and logic and yet this novel proves it.Of course this book had its issues with me, once it came to understanding the novel. The narrative of the main character Telluirith is chaotic at times, changing the point of view from 3rd to 1st in a very confusing manner for me. I would have appreciated seeing her thoughts actually marked as thoughts and separated from her internals. Due to this narrative issue and the heavy style - which at times is overwrought, especially in the beginning- the introduction of characters and the world itself become all too confusing. Dialogue was an issue at first too as the author creates expressions with their own meaning in the world itself and finding out from context what they were simply exhausted me.In the end of the day, everything balances out and I have to say that the concept is interesting, but the execution makes comprehension a tough task. I highly recommend this for the hard core fans of political fantasy that want to experience the authentic feel of royalty and political intrigue.

  • Meredith Galman
    2019-05-03 01:37

    This book has a very interesting premise and at times the prose is beautiful, but it is seriously underwritten. There is not enough context to understand the different cultures of the area or the tensions within the city of Amberlight itself. And the names are confusing -- for example, is Shia or Shuya the housekeeper of Telluin House? Is Dinda the adjective describing a resident of Dasdhein or the ruler of another country entirely?The most basic problem with the book is that the economic structure of the city makes no sense -- everyone seems to be either directly involved in working with the stone qherrique, in the Navy, or else a casteless, unemployed outsider. Where are all the construction workers, tailors, weavers, pastry cooks, actors, fishmongers, booksellers, and countless other occupations needed to support the central industry and population of a city that size?Neither do the sex roles in the book make sense. Men do not have the ability to work with querrique. How exactly this led the women to systematically exclude them from all public life and professions, artificially restrict their numbers by exposing male babies at birth, and incarcerate them in harems is never made clear. Nor is it inevitable, as the heroine seems to assume from her hard-fought struggle to protect the querrique-handlting "secret."And that brings us lastly to the motivation for the plot, which makes sense least of all. If the querrique (or the Mother goddess, it's not clear) senses that it's being used for evil purposes and it has the power to destroy itself, why drag four nations into a bloody and unnecessary war?

  • Sarah
    2019-05-17 01:36

    I almost gave up on Amberlight five pages in. Overly-dramatic prose, too many contrived names, a lot of complicated references to fictional politics- I've read enough bad fantasy novels to heed the warning signs. But it was 3 a.m. and the only unread book in my room, and as it turned out giving it an extra chance was worthwhile. I eventually got sucked in; the world was creative, the characters didn't entirely make sense but had a painful relationship I could relate to, and it brought up a number of interesting ideas about gender and religious belief.It was disappointing, at the end, when these ideas were dropped in such an uninteresting way. I felt that the book could have come to the same conclusion while still leaving a tiny bit of room for doubt in our minds about the truth of the protagonist's spiritual beliefs, the rightness of the war that was fought, the places of men and women in society. But I liked it enough to reserve the sequel.

  • Isana
    2019-04-26 02:26

    I wanna scream and hit things to be honest. The last time that happened was when I read The Road, I think. I'm still not totally sure what I just read. I kind of got it at the end, the point and the stuff that happened in the last few pages (and by that I mean like the last ten pages) were good. The book was interesting, if not confusing as hell, for the first half but then the war started and I think I skimmed more than read because it was honestly so boring and drawn out. There was some nice equality stuff going on which was nice though then the war made them unnecessarily painful. But I was happy that in the end the qherrique got the suicide it wanted in the end. The writing is really strange and not in a good way. In the The Road way that makes me want to rip out pages or something. It's not as upsetting as that but it's still so . . . Man. I don't even know who I would recommend this too. I usually have an idea of the type of person who would like something but this one is just a bit ridiculous.

  • Joe Slavinsky
    2019-05-01 04:31

    Not sure what made me pick this book up, but I'm glad I did. It's Austrailian author Sylvia Kelso's 3rd novel, and I hadn't read her before. Sometimes, it's good to just take a chance, and this was one of them. This book has a somewhat unusual plot/storyline. It's fantasy, but not your typical sword & sorcery fantasy. It's got a female-dominated society, within a more traditional society, and of course, the males want to take over, and take control of what makes the women powerful. I thought the book dragged in some spots, but writing this review, a few days later, I find I really liked it, and I look forward to more of Ms. Kelso's work. Check it out, and see if you agree.

  • Shara
    2019-05-23 03:35

    Amberlight is an interesting fantasy that focuses on a matriarchal society, gender reversals, and even touches (but not through said guy's POV) male rape. It's a short read, and an interesting one, and while I had some problems getting through it, I'm glad I did. I'll be picking up the sequel when it's released this year.[return][return]The full review's in my LJ, if you're interested. Fair warning, it does contain spoilers:

  • Maureen E
    2019-05-02 04:40

    Adult fantasy–I loved the characters and the story, which teetered just on the edge of cliche but never tipped over. Also had a great sense of setting and place, which is one of my Things. Kelso’s style is very…style-y, which bothered me at first. After a bit, I managed to settle in, but others might be a bit off-put. Do give it a chance, though.

  • Siobhan
    2019-04-26 01:28

    Australian author Kelso writes a story of intrigue and magic in an extreme matriarichal, capitalist society threatened by its neighbors. Sophisticated storytelling, but very, very dense and fraught style. Not an easy read, but an engrossing one. Similar to Guy Gavriel Kay.

  • Theresa
    2019-05-07 08:22

    Challenging read, probably because I'm not very familiar with speculative fiction. Enjoyable despite the challenge!

  • Jodie
    2019-05-11 04:47

    Remind me to avoid books with "Beautiful Prose". While I liked the story, I basically read the dialogue only, reading the prose I got to the end of a paragraph and had no idea what was happening.

  • Megan
    2019-05-26 06:44

    3.5 stars

  • Sylvia Kelso
    2019-05-07 05:23