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Transformation (Rai Kirah)

(Book #1 in the Rai-Kirah Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

The first novel in national bestselling author Carol Berg's Rai Kirah saga follows one man's journey from slave to savior... Seyonne was not always a slave. Once his people were the guardians of magic... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Breathtakingly Beautiful World

This book is quite possibly the singular best fantasy novel I've ever read. The only books that come close are the Riftwar novels by Feist and the "Running with the Demon" trilogy by Terry Brooks.Anyways, back to THIS book. I must start off by saying that it is an amazing first-person "account" of his lessons. Nothing is explained that doesn't need to be explained, and you can feel the narrators emotions, pain, joy, fear and disbelief are a few of these emotions. But perhaps the best part is that the author never has the need to explain sarcastic remarks. Because of the vivid display of emotions the narrator puts forth, you automatically know when he's being sarcastic. You can read his tone as well as you could the voice of someone you were speaking with.The story itself, while one of self-discovery, is refreshingly fresh and poingent, very unlike the "post-adolescent boy farmer suddenly discovers he is long lost son of a monarch/has magical ability to save the world", which is the template for so many authors. And the character development itself is brilliantly done. Seyonne and Aleksander, the heroes, don't just "magically" meet and become friends, although it was certainly an twist of fate that brought them together. You can actually feel the character growth in these books - Not only that of the narrator Seyonne, whose pain and confusion is evident as his world is turned upside down by events beyond his control. But also that of Alekzander, as he grows from brash and uncaring prince to someone who realizes he might just have to grow up one day and take the reins of a country full of people who aren't just toys for his whims.But perhaps the best character development is that between Seyonne and Alexsander as they shift gradually from Master and Slave to a wary trust, and are finally forced to forge a deep friendship based on trust and respect that will take them (litterally) into each others soul.In closing, if you have a sentimental bone in your body, you will love this book for the raw emotions; if you are a student of the human condition, you will understand it for the lessons it delivers; or, if you're just looking for a good fantasy read to keep you busy for a few hours, I would recommend this book to you. I also feel the need to mention that I have several friends who NEVER read fantasy novels, but after I litterally forced it into their hands, they not only read it, but either bought or asked to borrow the sequel "Revelation", from me.

A Fantasy akin to Mary Renault's "Persian Boy"

"Transformation" is a one-of-a-kind fantasy that is so believable, it almost falls into the category of historical fiction. The only book I can compare it to is Mary Renault's classic, "The Persian Boy" which is the story of Alexander the Great as narrated by his slave, Bagoas. Now, imagine Bagoas as transformed into the slave, Seyonne who was once a mighty wizard and Warden against demonkind. The 'Alexander the Great' character is Prince Aleksander who is heir-apparent to an Empire that could have been founded by Harun al-Rashid, and Berg's mixture of 'Arabian Nights', demons, and wizardry is darn-near perfect."Transformation" develops logically from the growth and interaction of its two main characters, Aleksander and Seyonne, but I wasn't noticing reviewerly items like 'character development' while I was reading it. Berg has crafted such an interesting world that I was reading purely to see what happened next. Magic flowed believably from character, which is the hallmark of a really good fantasy, and "Transformation" is one of the best I've read in a long time. A wonderful, wizardly love story is revealed as an integral part of plot, as the reader gradually learns more about the Wardens and their struggle to protect humanity from demonkind."Transformation" was published in August, 2000 and I can only hope that the author is hard at work on another, equally engrossing fantasy.

Very, very good!!

Are you tired of multi-book epics? Or of the naive, innocent character who saves the world while all the experienced people had no clue? Or of quick, nobody-gets-hurt solutions to huge problems? Well, I am. And so it was a wonderful discovery to find this book:Both heroes are disillusioned, and make mistakes, and have a hard time even trying to do good. And their development through the book is believable, not too fast or easy. No relationships are instant, but they develop nicely and convincingly. The problems also are not obvious to everyone, and grow and develop nicely. And despite all this, this is not a long-winded, drawn out book. It goes so fast, you just keep returning to it and reading on whenever you can, the tension is so high, you want to know what happens next, and you find yourself peeking a few pages down to know that it turns out OK.The writing is beautiful, Carol Berg draws unexpected pictures with her words, extremely readable.Nothing in this book was run of the mill - I found myself again and again waiting for a rehashed plotline or thinking (well, of course, and now...) but I was always surprised. Absolutely wonderful book, all around.And - just imagine! - it is finished after 400+ pages! There may be a sequel (who knows?) but it is not necessary, and I enjoy that. I do not want to be drawn into 1000+ pages every time, and so many fantasy authors just seem unable to stop.Recomms: you might want to try Tanya Huff, Julie Czerneda, Roby James, Anne Bishop, Laurell K. Hamilton - each very different, but all with complex characters and unexpected stories.


The fantasy genre is not my usual choice, but this book is a treat for anyone who appreciates excellent writing. The story is masterfully told: the characters come alive; the settings are richly painted; the dialogs sparkle; enough twists and turns in the plot to hook me from page one to the end. I am left wishing for more!

Can't wait for the sequel!!

This book is a great read, and I want more! The story of Seyonne and Alexander is not what you typically find in a fantasy; their characters are believable, and you end up caring what happens. And Carol Berg has a delightful way with words--the images she created are vivid and lasting. It was a very satisfying book--I can't wait to read what she comes up with next.
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