Storm Dancer ePUB Þ Ebook

Storm Dancer ePUB Þ Ebook


10 thoughts on “Storm Dancer

  1. Samantha (Book Lover& Samantha (Book Lover& says:

    Storm Dancer is an interesting read to say the least while I must say it took me a while to really get involved with the book at the end I'm glad I read this book it is not the norm for me I did enjoy it and would recommend this book to fantasy readers and maybe It's set in an exotic fantasy desert land the characters are colorful the setting match something I'd picture in an epic fantasy movie set in the desert With different towns and such ruled by different rulers Some are good people some are not as good some just don't care and some well they are just plain nuts Dahoud is Djinn possessed and has been trying for years to reconcile with what horrors he has done under the Djinn's infuence He's then given a chance to prove himself worthy until different events occur and he gets to a point where be believes he's not worthy of anything But yet he still strives forward forward to a different future a different him


  2. Sarah Castillo Sarah Castillo says:

    Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall is a heroic fantasy set in a land that is vaguely middle eastern There is light magic throughout in the form of soothsayers rain dancers and simple spellsI'll admit the blurb for this book didn't give me a lot of hope for the book; Demon possessed siege commander Dahoud atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence but how can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him? Dark heroic fantasy British spellings Contains some violence So I wasn't very hopeful that I was going to like it This is the second time I've been thwarted by my own judgement I enjoyed this book immensely It's character driven and the view point characters are diverse and interestingThere's Dahoud of course who is struggling with his inner demons Literally Watching him progress throughout the novel is very interesting considering how vile his crimes are Don't think you'll be getting a Thomas Covenant the Non Believer though Dahoud is easy to empathize with because despite it all he's really trying Trying to be a good person in a world where being a good person doesn't pay And in a world where is Djinn fights him the entire wayThen we have Merida a northerner This book breaks from the trope that bad things come from the north Merida is from a land that is lush green water filled and beautiful The people are arrogant prudish and obsessed with social status Merida of course is exactly the same when she arrives Watching circumstance pick her character apart and reveal the fault lines of her soul filled me at times with pity anger and schadenfreudeThe only problem I have with this book is I feel like it doesn't warn readers uite enough Oh you'll say it says right there in the blurb Contains some violence But it contains a certain kind of violence that some people are very sensitive to It contains somewhat graphic depictions of rape in the form of fantasies The torture scenes are grotesue and are also sexually charged at times A warning for rape content and sexual violence is definitely in order for this novel If that's going to turn you off definitely pass this one byOtherwise it's such a well written lovely book I'd recommend it to almost anyone But not the kidsCheck out my other reviews at my blog


  3. Floyd Largent Floyd Largent says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Rayne Hall's intricate absorbing novel Storm Dancer but I have to admit that I found it difficult to categorize Not that there's anything wrong with that; it makes a novel all the intriguing when it doesn't fit into a readymade genre On the surface Storm Dancer is pure dark fantasy set in a Bronze Age civilization strongly reminiscent of the Middle East That said the characters who people the novel are far from primitive though their cultural expectations clash with our own sometimes violently especially when it comes to their treatment of womenThe desert setting is integral to the story In a sense it's a character of its own and a harsh demanding one at that I was reminded forcefully and repeatedly of Stephen Crane's poem A Man Said to the Universe as I read But the human characters are the real gems here Hall has a deft hand with characterization so that even minor characters come to vivid life An example that pops immediately to mind is Yora the knife happy girl who seems willing to take on the enemy army singlehandedly Another is Criton the copper miner who saves the city of Oubar by providing it with a steady source of clean waterthen betrays it later for selfish shortsighted reasonsThe main characters themselves are complex intelligent and often perplexing and frustrating just like interesting people in real life Everyone has an agenda and is some shade of gray at best though there are some who in Tolkien's words are evil clear throughThis is where pigeonholing the story gets tricky Yes it's obviously a fantasybut is it a romantic fantasy in the modern sense of the term? Can a novel where the two main characters despise each other most of the time even be considered a romance despite the fact that they're husband and wife especially considering that the husband is literally possessed by a violent woman hating demon? We'll get to that later Honestly I feel that this story is fantasy than romance though the romantic tension necessary for most good stories is definitely there I don't usually read romance stories per se though I've edited a few in my day job but I found the interplay between the main characters Merida and Dahoud to be simultaneously fascinating emotionally conflicting and even frustrating just as I'm sure Merida and Dahoud themselves must have felt in Hall's worldThat's a not a criticism by the way it's praise When a writer can rouse that level of emotional involvement in the story she's done an excellent jobMerida provides a fascinating character study all on her own The Storm Dancer of the title she's a native of the prudish Virtuous Republic of Riverland a Western culture than most in Hall's world Hers is a status hungry society where a person's worth is assessed according to the points they accrue in life based on social class personal achievements and family accomplishment Just 24 she's already a widow to her mother's disgust and has traveled three uncomfortable months to the backward ueendom of uislak to bring it much needed rainHaving been appointed a goodwill ambassador by Riverland's government she expects better than the cool reception she receives Ultimately through the machinations of the decadent Kirral the ueen's Consort and the real power behind the throne she ends up as part of his harem abandoned by her family and nationDahoud meanwhile has demons of his own to struggle with literally A former general in uislak's army he's possessed by a djinn an evil spirit that drove him to such depraved extremes during a recent war that he's still hated and feared three years later Dubbed the Black Besieger his specialty was laying siege to cities until they surrendered then breaking the people's spirit through brutal mistreatment including the institutionalized rape of their womenAghast at his own atrocities he spread the rumor that the Black Besieger had been killed and has since been trying to rebuild his life from the ground up He avoids women intending to starve the djinn until it no longer controls him As an ethnic Samil second class citizens of the ueendom he was literally forced to start at the bottom and work his way up As the story opens Dahoud has recently managed to obtain a position as a junior clerk to the satrap of IdjlaraBut Kirral has not forgotten him and when Koskara Province rebels the Consort forces the Black Besieger back into the ueen's service He tempts Dahoud by offering him the satrapy of Koskara if he'll crush the rebels Of course Kirral's offers are always Hobson's choices either Dahoud crushes the Koskarans or he becomes the chief torturer of females in Kirral's palaceUltimately Merida ends up joining Dahoud in Koskara and both become determined not to crush the province but to save it After a series of escalating difficulties their fates become so intertwined that she becomes his wife the influential Lady of Koskara purely a marriage of convenience When Kirral invites the neighboring Darrians to take and destroy Koskara they begin a desperate campaign to save the province from its many enemiesincluding itselfI'll leave you to learn on your own Suffice it to say that I found the novel gripping enough to hold my interest through two broken Kindles and my own series of adventures this fall and winter I look forward to the seuel Flame Bearer I've seen the cover and it's gorgeousBuy yourself a copy You won't regret it


  4. S.M. White S.M. White says:

    In finishing Storm Dancer I came away with mixed feelings As is known Dark Fantasy as a genre is my niche my passion my pleasure And coming into this book I held high expectations as not only is it listed as Dark Fantasy but there's a clear warning within the blurb that says Not recommend for readers under 16 Great I thought right up my alley And while this rings true it's or less due to the rampant raping rather than anything thematic If the idea of rape were removed the story could probably make it into the hand of preteens without too much trouble television provides as much violence and gore as this novel does Now I'm not bashing the book by any means I actually enjoyed it for the most part I'm just not certain that the issues raised in the book label it as Dark Fantasy as much as does the uninvited sexual advancesFirst though I very much enjoyed this book Don't let my criticisms sway you away from that I would recommend this book flaws and all to readers of fantasyThat small gripe over rape aside let me tell what works here The character struggles both internally and externally carry the weight of the novel While the plot or less seems arbitrary the characters and their experiences really make the story Hall does a wonderful job of showing the difficulties of coping with new cultural expectations as well as displaying how individual needs and wants often bring about a great deal of conflict between peoples of uniue cultural normsWhile the world of Storm Dancer settles on a Middle Eastern environment along with its societal values outside countries are hinted at and talked about This gave a wide scope to the novel and raised uniue opportunities within the story While some of those opportunities are handled with deliberateness others seem to have been strewn about simply to be strewn about I think this happens because the story tries to do so much reaches for a height that isn't necessarily important for the novel And as any strongman knows there's only so much weight a pair of shoulders can carry I think Storm Dancer would have benefited from focusing on a select few conflicts rather than the wide array of situations presented At almost 460 pages the book felt much longer This is due to the fact that so much is happening between the pages And I mean a lot That's both a good thing and a distraction We seem to jump from one conflict to another almost instantly with very little relief between And because of this it felt a little unbelievable for the characters I understand that action carries a story that the characters have to be put in harm's way constantly that the stakes have to be raised at almost every turn But these things have to progress naturally and the characters have to encounter them with some sense of reality I found myself uestioning a lot of the choices the characters were making whether decided by force or their own accord and felt there were far chances that Hall wasn't takingSure I have some issues with the novel but I have issues with my own stories as well and nothing is ever so polished that it's beyond scrutiny But let me tell you why you should read this book For a lot of the very reasons I listed aboveIt has a lot going on A lot It makes a point of putting its characters in peril pulling them out and then thrusting them back in It reminded me of roasting marshmallows follow me on this analogy The marshmallows will represent the characters First you impel them on a sharped stick then you stick them in the fire roasting them nice and slow You pull them out blow on them notice they're not uite black enough so you stick them back in This time you keep them a little too long and they melt right off the end of your stick So you pull them out uick fast and try and salvage the dripping goodness This my friends is Storm Dancer in a nutshell or firepit These characters get put in some seriously messed up predicaments Everything from demon possession to spilled guts to torture for pleasure Yeah there's some sadistic meanies inside these pages And as if their sadism wasn't enough they often justify torture with the guise of education This human experimentation aspect makes things all the haunting in that it almost feels as though the horrific actions are being undertaken with the intent of intellectual progression when in actuality the results are to provide for extensive prolonged episodes of torture And some of the methods described are uite uncomfortableAnother things to remark on is the characters' resourcefulness Even when placed in dire situations they manage to make something out of it albeit not exactly a positive something But their minds are always working seeking solutions This is what makes Storm Dancer captivating This is what makes the novel interesting World building aside the conflicts the magic the characterization all that aside what makes this novel is the ingenuity of its characters Whether or not they're faced with death or torment or simply being relegated to an almost slave like existence they work on figuring out how to get free It's the whole survival no matter what concept And as things grow increasingly bleak the characters become increasingly determined to find a way to free themselves from whatever bondage holds them captive


  5. Billy Bartlet Billy Bartlet says:

    wasn't keen on the story


  6. Phillip Stephens Phillip Stephens says:

    A Demon and a Desert Shrew Battle for Your AttentionRayne Hall's Storm Dancer offers the best in indie writing Readers looking for a romance novel shouldn't be fooled There is no romance Hall delivers swordcraft and magic against the Taming of the Shrew Storm Dancer opens like the best of the Saturday Afternoon adventure movies from my childhood A Marrakesh marketplace exotic dancers a sense of danger and the hero in disguise suddenly called to action Hall delivers the hook in five pages and twists it deeper until the reader can't pull free Not only is Storm Dancer a fun read it's a model for indie writers who want to learn their craftDahoud keeps a low profile as a minor official lest people discover his past as the Black Besieger—a ruthless general who pillaged towns murdered civilians and allowed their women to be raped mercilessly He believes a jinn possesses him and fights to make sure the jinn never takes control again Only now he's been recalled by the ueen's evil Consort himself possessed by a jinn to take the reigns of one of her territories that the Besieger ruthlessly conuered for her years before Merida is a Storm Dancer a magician from the planet Riverian who was sent to restore her family honor Instead the Consort kidnaps her and holds her captive in his harem Making her escape he ends up in Dahoud's hands and the only bargain stopping her return is to become his bride She agrees but she will marry Dahoud in name only and this begins a Shakespearan battle of wills Merida escalates the battle into treason when the Consort conspires to bring their fortress under siege by an enemy of the ueen think the Persian Army Too late she realizes how much her act of treason costs Dahoud and the few people she has befriended Storm Dancer plays out across an epic scale of three empires two planets generations of history and multiple levels of treachery and revenge The level of detail is rich and compelling Hall rarely resorts to the hack fantasy writer's trick of just making up names fake animals and faux vocabulary even in the Riverian scenes where she could have done so The novel is well researched and well plotted In spite of the stakes Hall doesn't punt She juggles every element without dropping a single oneSome readers may find the novel violent and graphic but the novel depicts violent and graphic situations I never felt anything was played to excess I admit though one of my own novels has a similar level of violence albeit for what I purport to be slapstick comedy so I can hardly complain Still I wouldn't read Storm Dancer to my third graders as a bed time story I know some fans will howl to hear me say this but Hall can hold her own with Robert E Howard Edgar Rice Burroughs and the pulp writers I cut my teeth on In many ways Storm Dancer's prose is a cut above because Hall didn't hack out words to get paid by the penny or publication I'm not saying this to knock Howard or Burroughs Indie authors have a luxury they lacked time to edit our prose They wrote in the days of the hot lead printing press a time that was beginning to pass just as I first began writing when it was pound on the type writer or starveReaders looking for romance should look elsewhere Readers looking for family friendly reading should look elsewhere Readers who object to disembowellment or beheading or forced rape in battle especially depicted by a female writer should look elsewhere But those are the reality of war and women have the right to describe the brutality of war on women In fact women need to confront that level of brutality because maybe they'll start saying No way I'm letting you do that” to their husbands and sons Storm Dancer doesn't let anyone of the hook It's not a happy read It just happens to be a great readPhillip T Stephens is the author of Cigerets Guns Beer and Raising Hell You can follow him stephenspt


  7. Nancy (The Avid Reader) Nancy (The Avid Reader) says:

    The following review is my opinion and not a paid review I was given a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinionMerida is a very sweet and nice person all she wants is for her mother to love her and care about her She doesn't actually care about her status she wants to be liked and loved Merida tries so hard to bring her status rating up for her mother That is why she decides to travel to another town one that has not had any rain in a very long time Merida has been trained to do magic that will make it rain She believes that if she go to this town and she makes it rain then her mother and the people in her town will like and love her She just wants her mother to treat her the same as she treats her siblings I don't think Merida knows that this is want she is doing But I can relate to her and I really think that is what she is trying to do by leaving her homeMerida only wants to do what she has been raised to do as being the wright thing She never wants to hurt anyone She always tries to treat everyone the same If someone is in trouble no matter what they have done she will help them Merida is so good and innocent that when she arrives in this town and dances and makes it rain that will be the end of it and she will make her journey back home But she is in for a big surpriseThe ueen's husband Kirral has his own harem and wants Merida to be a part of this harem Of course she refuses but he doesn't give her a choice Not one of the girls in his harem actually has a choice Kirral is a very evil and cruel man Who loves to live out his fantasy with all of his concubines not to mention the things he does to the people in his town He will cheat; lie make up the rules as he goes along to fit his proposes when he needs them too and love every minute of it I think he sits around always thinking up new and interesting ways to torment people Whatever he does he does it for himself only He only cares about his happiness and definitely not anyone else'sDahoud in his own way is a very good person too I think that when he was a child he didn't have anyone to take care of him or love him either You know that is all any of us want is to know that someone loves us and cares about us Even though some people in no way wants to be the center of attention they still crave or want someone to care about them and maybe pat them on the back once in a while and tell them they have done good If no one ever does this then how will that child ever known if they have done good? With no one to care for him Dahoud is approached by a djinn that promises him the world Dahoud accepts the djinn's offer and has to live with it for the rest of his life Dahoud becomes a Commander of his own army and while fighting wars he does some very wrong and awful things to women But eventually he starts to realize that he doesn't want to be this way any longer so he hides who is and starts trying to protect women instead of hurting them Dahoud tries so hard to lead a different life and be a better person He doesn't want to hurt women or anyone any He meets a woman unlike any woman he has met before Merida In the beginning Dahoud and Merida can't stand each other They are always fighting and never try to get to know each other Neither one can trust the other because they don't know how to trust They have never really had anyone in their lives that they could depend on Someone that would take up for them or care for them or love them This is what they have both been searching for their whole lives I don't think they know this or if it has ever crossed either of their minds Can Merida and Dahoud learn to trust each other? Can they forget who they were so that they can love each? Will they be able to get over the hurt that both of their mothers caused them so that they can move on with their lives and become the people that they were meant to be?


  8. Andrea Andrea says:

    When an author is kind enough to put up their book for a free download the least I can do is offer a review in exchange and explain why my rating was lower than the averageOverall I did enjoy the story The setting the world the plot the characters the writing It was good But there was one thing that really turned me off and that was the rape Not just because there was rape but because it was the main character that was doing it and as such had to be justifiable in some regard otherwise why would we want to read about this guy right?I think I'll continue in spoiler mode here view spoilerAt first it was kind of ok the rapes were in the past and Dahoud was trying to redeem himself But then he raped Merida admitedly to save her life but he enjoyed it too much and frankly she CHOSE to die instead He had no right to choose for her Rape is all about consent or lack thereof and by denying her right to choose death over rape is not in any way justifiableI mean I could handle Kirall and his perversions He was the villain and not the protagonist rather 2 dimensional but on some level he wasn't the real villain of the story so that didn't bother me I wasn't supposed to like Kirall I wasn't supposed to root for him or hope things turn out well for him But here with Dahoud I'm kind of supposed to sympathize with his fight against his djinn driven urges but frankly I just couldn't I'm a woman and if some guy raped me and said Oh the voice in the head made me do it it won't make me feel any better about itI actually stopped reading the book at this point and that is very rare for me I think I've not finished a book maybe a handful of times in my life Well I finished another book on my eReader and since I was on my commute to work I only had this one available to read so I figured I'd pick up where I left off see if the story can redeem itself What I liked later on was when the priest character sorry name escapes me right now Zun? uestions whether Dahoud was blaming an imaginary djinn to justify his own inability to control his actions That he raped women not because there was some evil spirit inside of him but because he liked it and tried to blame his own actions on someone else It was a brief moment not expanded upon as much as I would have liked but it was enough to allow me to keep reading to see how Dahoud would grapple with that concept and take responsibility for what he had doneAnd with Tarkan being homosexual and everyone else gleefully running around executing man loversagain an interesting and difficult issue to discuss and unfortunately didn't go anywhere It wasn't as if anyone learnt tolerance in fact other than becoming a convenient husband for a woman interested in power than having a loving husband bringing up his sexuality was meaningless A giant serious issue that got shoved to the sideline and not addressed and thus didn't need to be there unless there's a seuel in the plans?Frankly if the whole rape aspect was taken out and just left the still brutal Black Besiger I would have really enjoyed the story Of the bloodthirsty soldier looking to redeem himself by rebuilding his homeland and freeing them from the Empire he himself served and what would happen if people figured out who he really was But the tale tried to take on too many controversial issues and didn't handle them as well as I would have liked hide spoiler


  9. Debra Dunbar Debra Dunbar says:

    Storm Dancer was my first ‘book on the beach’ this vacation season It’s a dark fantasy full of despotic rulers political jockeying and poetic language But there’s It’s the ‘’ that makes this book thought provoking and sometimes uncomfortable It’s a story about redefining ethics It’s a story that explores the very personal uestion of when the needs of the many outweigh the needs or even rights of the individualDahoud is a man with a demon He’s an ethnic Samili discounted and despised He’s also the child of a prostitute abandoned in youth by not only his mother but by every woman he’s ever met His desperate childhood fueled an ambition that allowed him to rise to the level of a General but there was a price He’s had to give himself over to the djinn inside him and this djinn has bought his success on the bloody ground of terrible deeds Terrible deeds that Dahoud has actually enjoyed In Storm Dancer Dahoud tries to starve out his djinn to weaken the darkness inside him He vows to protect and defend women to trust them and give them kindness instead of pain and humiliation He strives to lead a nation by using diplomacy and cunning rather than the might of his sword But right and wrong are never black and white and he discovers there are times when the fury of violence is inescapable He discovers there are some women not deserving of trust or kindnessMerida is a diplomat with a humanitarian mission She will work her magic to bring rain to a backward and barbaric people and perhaps lead them by example to embrace her enlightened path Her condescension crumbles when she finds herself kidnapped by a sadistic tyrant and tossed into his harem Merida finds she must bend and break the rules that are the very foundation of her morals to survive And then she must break them further to ensure the survival of others A seer advises her to lose her scruples but Merida’s journey is about choosing her scruples The choice her family makes in the beginning of the book to put the needs of the group above the needs of the individual is the very choice Merida makes for herself in the end Because there are some things worthy of sacrificeDon’t be put off by all this heavy stuff though You can still enjoy Storm Dancer and not delve into intricacy of philosophy The descriptive language is colorful and in the style of the Persian poets There’s action there’s scheming there’s a nation of people fighting to remain independent in the face of constant war and the threat of starvation I dug my toes into the burning sand and felt right there – in the parched desert of Dahoud’s homeland There is some romance but it’s about trust and partnership than fireworks and roses There is violence and sometimes that violence might not be in keeping with what some readers expect in terms of moral values from a hero It wasn’t excessive or overly graphic and I felt it was necessary in terms of the overall plot and theme


  10. Kyra Halland Kyra Halland says:

    Kyra's star ratingsCharacters Story Writing Setting I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of giving an honest reviewStorm Dancer is a big sweeping epic fantasy set in an exotic desert land with colorful and compelling characters Dahoud possessed by a djinn who urges him to horrifying acts of rape and other atrocities is fighting to control the djinn and make amends for the terrible things he's done Merida a magician and loyal citizen of the extremely ordered and rigid Virtuous Republic of Riverland has been sent to the desert countries on a mission to bring rain and enlightenment Their paths cross as both of them face setbacks and challenges on their respective uests then finally join together when they unexpectedly find a common cause to fight forThe writing is clear and colorful painting a portrait of harsh exotic lands I have a soft spot for fantasy that takes place in desert settings so I really enjoyed the setting of this book I also sympathized with the characters as they struggled to make their way through this harsh world against the thoroughly nasty plotting of the main villain Kirral There were a few times when I wanted to give Merida a good shaking for her obtuseness and refusal to adapt to her new situation Frustration with characters is a big reason why I don't finish books But in this case it seemed clear that Merida was being set up like this on purpose so that the readers could follow her through her process of growth and learning She did learn and grow and I took than a little satisfaction in seeing her cut down to size and then becoming a much stronger and wiser woman I also enjoyed watching Dahoud's progess as he came to understand the true nature of the darkness within himIt's a long book which I'm not complaining about because I do love me a good doorstopper The plot did seem to lose momentum and focus a few times particularly in the end of the first half or about in the middle third The structure of the book could maybe use a little tightening up to stay focused on Dahoud and Merida and their problems and what they're trying to do But during these slower spots I was interested enough in what was going to happen to the characters to keep reading I also felt that there were places where the author backed off from really diving into the full emotions and experiences of the characters just touching the surface instead of giving the full depthsThe end was satisfying and I would enjoy reading the further adventures of Dahoud and Merida On the whole Storm Dancer is a rich colorful exciting and rewarding read and I enjoyed it very much


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Storm Dancer ❴Reading❵ ➷ Storm Dancer Author Rayne Hall – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Demon possessed siege commander Dahoud atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside himPrincipled Demon possessed siege commander Dahoud atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside himPrincipled weather magician Merida brings rain to a parched desert land When her magical dance rouses than storms she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from dangerThrust together Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival But how can they trust each other when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy Caution this book contains some violence and disturbing situations Not recommended for young readers British EnglishAvailable as ebook on Kobo BarnesNoble iTunes Smashwords and other online retail sites New also available as paperback.

  • ebook
  • Storm Dancer
  • Rayne Hall
  • English
  • 02 March 2014

About the Author: Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction some of it uirky most of it dark She is the author of over sixty books in different genres and under different pen names published by twelve publishers in six countries translated into several languages Her short stories have been published in magazines e zines and anthologiesAfter living in Germany China Mongolia and Nepal she has settled i.


10 thoughts on “Storm Dancer

  1. Samantha (Book Lover& Samantha (Book Lover& says:

    Storm Dancer is an interesting read to say the least while I must say it took me a while to really get involved with the book at the end I'm glad I read this book it is not the norm for me I did enjoy it and would recommend this book to fantasy readers and maybe It's set in an exotic fantasy desert land the characters are colorful the setting match something I'd picture in an epic fantasy movie set in the desert With different towns and such ruled by different rulers Some are good people some are not as good some just don't care and some well they are just plain nuts Dahoud is Djinn possessed and has been trying for years to reconcile with what horrors he has done under the Djinn's infuence He's then given a chance to prove himself worthy until different events occur and he gets to a point where be believes he's not worthy of anything But yet he still strives forward forward to a different future a different him

  2. Sarah Castillo Sarah Castillo says:

    Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall is a heroic fantasy set in a land that is vaguely middle eastern There is light magic throughout in the form of soothsayers rain dancers and simple spellsI'll admit the blurb for this book didn't give me a lot of hope for the book; Demon possessed siege commander Dahoud atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence but how can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him? Dark heroic fantasy British spellings Contains some violence So I wasn't very hopeful that I was going to like it This is the second time I've been thwarted by my own judgement I enjoyed this book immensely It's character driven and the view point characters are diverse and interestingThere's Dahoud of course who is struggling with his inner demons Literally Watching him progress throughout the novel is very interesting considering how vile his crimes are Don't think you'll be getting a Thomas Covenant the Non Believer though Dahoud is easy to empathize with because despite it all he's really trying Trying to be a good person in a world where being a good person doesn't pay And in a world where is Djinn fights him the entire wayThen we have Merida a northerner This book breaks from the trope that bad things come from the north Merida is from a land that is lush green water filled and beautiful The people are arrogant prudish and obsessed with social status Merida of course is exactly the same when she arrives Watching circumstance pick her character apart and reveal the fault lines of her soul filled me at times with pity anger and schadenfreudeThe only problem I have with this book is I feel like it doesn't warn readers uite enough Oh you'll say it says right there in the blurb Contains some violence But it contains a certain kind of violence that some people are very sensitive to It contains somewhat graphic depictions of rape in the form of fantasies The torture scenes are grotesue and are also sexually charged at times A warning for rape content and sexual violence is definitely in order for this novel If that's going to turn you off definitely pass this one byOtherwise it's such a well written lovely book I'd recommend it to almost anyone But not the kidsCheck out my other reviews at my blog

  3. Floyd Largent Floyd Largent says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Rayne Hall's intricate absorbing novel Storm Dancer but I have to admit that I found it difficult to categorize Not that there's anything wrong with that; it makes a novel all the intriguing when it doesn't fit into a readymade genre On the surface Storm Dancer is pure dark fantasy set in a Bronze Age civilization strongly reminiscent of the Middle East That said the characters who people the novel are far from primitive though their cultural expectations clash with our own sometimes violently especially when it comes to their treatment of womenThe desert setting is integral to the story In a sense it's a character of its own and a harsh demanding one at that I was reminded forcefully and repeatedly of Stephen Crane's poem A Man Said to the Universe as I read But the human characters are the real gems here Hall has a deft hand with characterization so that even minor characters come to vivid life An example that pops immediately to mind is Yora the knife happy girl who seems willing to take on the enemy army singlehandedly Another is Criton the copper miner who saves the city of Oubar by providing it with a steady source of clean waterthen betrays it later for selfish shortsighted reasonsThe main characters themselves are complex intelligent and often perplexing and frustrating just like interesting people in real life Everyone has an agenda and is some shade of gray at best though there are some who in Tolkien's words are evil clear throughThis is where pigeonholing the story gets tricky Yes it's obviously a fantasybut is it a romantic fantasy in the modern sense of the term? Can a novel where the two main characters despise each other most of the time even be considered a romance despite the fact that they're husband and wife especially considering that the husband is literally possessed by a violent woman hating demon? We'll get to that later Honestly I feel that this story is fantasy than romance though the romantic tension necessary for most good stories is definitely there I don't usually read romance stories per se though I've edited a few in my day job but I found the interplay between the main characters Merida and Dahoud to be simultaneously fascinating emotionally conflicting and even frustrating just as I'm sure Merida and Dahoud themselves must have felt in Hall's worldThat's a not a criticism by the way it's praise When a writer can rouse that level of emotional involvement in the story she's done an excellent jobMerida provides a fascinating character study all on her own The Storm Dancer of the title she's a native of the prudish Virtuous Republic of Riverland a Western culture than most in Hall's world Hers is a status hungry society where a person's worth is assessed according to the points they accrue in life based on social class personal achievements and family accomplishment Just 24 she's already a widow to her mother's disgust and has traveled three uncomfortable months to the backward ueendom of uislak to bring it much needed rainHaving been appointed a goodwill ambassador by Riverland's government she expects better than the cool reception she receives Ultimately through the machinations of the decadent Kirral the ueen's Consort and the real power behind the throne she ends up as part of his harem abandoned by her family and nationDahoud meanwhile has demons of his own to struggle with literally A former general in uislak's army he's possessed by a djinn an evil spirit that drove him to such depraved extremes during a recent war that he's still hated and feared three years later Dubbed the Black Besieger his specialty was laying siege to cities until they surrendered then breaking the people's spirit through brutal mistreatment including the institutionalized rape of their womenAghast at his own atrocities he spread the rumor that the Black Besieger had been killed and has since been trying to rebuild his life from the ground up He avoids women intending to starve the djinn until it no longer controls him As an ethnic Samil second class citizens of the ueendom he was literally forced to start at the bottom and work his way up As the story opens Dahoud has recently managed to obtain a position as a junior clerk to the satrap of IdjlaraBut Kirral has not forgotten him and when Koskara Province rebels the Consort forces the Black Besieger back into the ueen's service He tempts Dahoud by offering him the satrapy of Koskara if he'll crush the rebels Of course Kirral's offers are always Hobson's choices either Dahoud crushes the Koskarans or he becomes the chief torturer of females in Kirral's palaceUltimately Merida ends up joining Dahoud in Koskara and both become determined not to crush the province but to save it After a series of escalating difficulties their fates become so intertwined that she becomes his wife the influential Lady of Koskara purely a marriage of convenience When Kirral invites the neighboring Darrians to take and destroy Koskara they begin a desperate campaign to save the province from its many enemiesincluding itselfI'll leave you to learn on your own Suffice it to say that I found the novel gripping enough to hold my interest through two broken Kindles and my own series of adventures this fall and winter I look forward to the seuel Flame Bearer I've seen the cover and it's gorgeousBuy yourself a copy You won't regret it

  4. S.M. White S.M. White says:

    In finishing Storm Dancer I came away with mixed feelings As is known Dark Fantasy as a genre is my niche my passion my pleasure And coming into this book I held high expectations as not only is it listed as Dark Fantasy but there's a clear warning within the blurb that says Not recommend for readers under 16 Great I thought right up my alley And while this rings true it's or less due to the rampant raping rather than anything thematic If the idea of rape were removed the story could probably make it into the hand of preteens without too much trouble television provides as much violence and gore as this novel does Now I'm not bashing the book by any means I actually enjoyed it for the most part I'm just not certain that the issues raised in the book label it as Dark Fantasy as much as does the uninvited sexual advancesFirst though I very much enjoyed this book Don't let my criticisms sway you away from that I would recommend this book flaws and all to readers of fantasyThat small gripe over rape aside let me tell what works here The character struggles both internally and externally carry the weight of the novel While the plot or less seems arbitrary the characters and their experiences really make the story Hall does a wonderful job of showing the difficulties of coping with new cultural expectations as well as displaying how individual needs and wants often bring about a great deal of conflict between peoples of uniue cultural normsWhile the world of Storm Dancer settles on a Middle Eastern environment along with its societal values outside countries are hinted at and talked about This gave a wide scope to the novel and raised uniue opportunities within the story While some of those opportunities are handled with deliberateness others seem to have been strewn about simply to be strewn about I think this happens because the story tries to do so much reaches for a height that isn't necessarily important for the novel And as any strongman knows there's only so much weight a pair of shoulders can carry I think Storm Dancer would have benefited from focusing on a select few conflicts rather than the wide array of situations presented At almost 460 pages the book felt much longer This is due to the fact that so much is happening between the pages And I mean a lot That's both a good thing and a distraction We seem to jump from one conflict to another almost instantly with very little relief between And because of this it felt a little unbelievable for the characters I understand that action carries a story that the characters have to be put in harm's way constantly that the stakes have to be raised at almost every turn But these things have to progress naturally and the characters have to encounter them with some sense of reality I found myself uestioning a lot of the choices the characters were making whether decided by force or their own accord and felt there were far chances that Hall wasn't takingSure I have some issues with the novel but I have issues with my own stories as well and nothing is ever so polished that it's beyond scrutiny But let me tell you why you should read this book For a lot of the very reasons I listed aboveIt has a lot going on A lot It makes a point of putting its characters in peril pulling them out and then thrusting them back in It reminded me of roasting marshmallows follow me on this analogy The marshmallows will represent the characters First you impel them on a sharped stick then you stick them in the fire roasting them nice and slow You pull them out blow on them notice they're not uite black enough so you stick them back in This time you keep them a little too long and they melt right off the end of your stick So you pull them out uick fast and try and salvage the dripping goodness This my friends is Storm Dancer in a nutshell or firepit These characters get put in some seriously messed up predicaments Everything from demon possession to spilled guts to torture for pleasure Yeah there's some sadistic meanies inside these pages And as if their sadism wasn't enough they often justify torture with the guise of education This human experimentation aspect makes things all the haunting in that it almost feels as though the horrific actions are being undertaken with the intent of intellectual progression when in actuality the results are to provide for extensive prolonged episodes of torture And some of the methods described are uite uncomfortableAnother things to remark on is the characters' resourcefulness Even when placed in dire situations they manage to make something out of it albeit not exactly a positive something But their minds are always working seeking solutions This is what makes Storm Dancer captivating This is what makes the novel interesting World building aside the conflicts the magic the characterization all that aside what makes this novel is the ingenuity of its characters Whether or not they're faced with death or torment or simply being relegated to an almost slave like existence they work on figuring out how to get free It's the whole survival no matter what concept And as things grow increasingly bleak the characters become increasingly determined to find a way to free themselves from whatever bondage holds them captive

  5. Billy Bartlet Billy Bartlet says:

    wasn't keen on the story

  6. Phillip Stephens Phillip Stephens says:

    A Demon and a Desert Shrew Battle for Your AttentionRayne Hall's Storm Dancer offers the best in indie writing Readers looking for a romance novel shouldn't be fooled There is no romance Hall delivers swordcraft and magic against the Taming of the Shrew Storm Dancer opens like the best of the Saturday Afternoon adventure movies from my childhood A Marrakesh marketplace exotic dancers a sense of danger and the hero in disguise suddenly called to action Hall delivers the hook in five pages and twists it deeper until the reader can't pull free Not only is Storm Dancer a fun read it's a model for indie writers who want to learn their craftDahoud keeps a low profile as a minor official lest people discover his past as the Black Besieger—a ruthless general who pillaged towns murdered civilians and allowed their women to be raped mercilessly He believes a jinn possesses him and fights to make sure the jinn never takes control again Only now he's been recalled by the ueen's evil Consort himself possessed by a jinn to take the reigns of one of her territories that the Besieger ruthlessly conuered for her years before Merida is a Storm Dancer a magician from the planet Riverian who was sent to restore her family honor Instead the Consort kidnaps her and holds her captive in his harem Making her escape he ends up in Dahoud's hands and the only bargain stopping her return is to become his bride She agrees but she will marry Dahoud in name only and this begins a Shakespearan battle of wills Merida escalates the battle into treason when the Consort conspires to bring their fortress under siege by an enemy of the ueen think the Persian Army Too late she realizes how much her act of treason costs Dahoud and the few people she has befriended Storm Dancer plays out across an epic scale of three empires two planets generations of history and multiple levels of treachery and revenge The level of detail is rich and compelling Hall rarely resorts to the hack fantasy writer's trick of just making up names fake animals and faux vocabulary even in the Riverian scenes where she could have done so The novel is well researched and well plotted In spite of the stakes Hall doesn't punt She juggles every element without dropping a single oneSome readers may find the novel violent and graphic but the novel depicts violent and graphic situations I never felt anything was played to excess I admit though one of my own novels has a similar level of violence albeit for what I purport to be slapstick comedy so I can hardly complain Still I wouldn't read Storm Dancer to my third graders as a bed time story I know some fans will howl to hear me say this but Hall can hold her own with Robert E Howard Edgar Rice Burroughs and the pulp writers I cut my teeth on In many ways Storm Dancer's prose is a cut above because Hall didn't hack out words to get paid by the penny or publication I'm not saying this to knock Howard or Burroughs Indie authors have a luxury they lacked time to edit our prose They wrote in the days of the hot lead printing press a time that was beginning to pass just as I first began writing when it was pound on the type writer or starveReaders looking for romance should look elsewhere Readers looking for family friendly reading should look elsewhere Readers who object to disembowellment or beheading or forced rape in battle especially depicted by a female writer should look elsewhere But those are the reality of war and women have the right to describe the brutality of war on women In fact women need to confront that level of brutality because maybe they'll start saying No way I'm letting you do that” to their husbands and sons Storm Dancer doesn't let anyone of the hook It's not a happy read It just happens to be a great readPhillip T Stephens is the author of Cigerets Guns Beer and Raising Hell You can follow him stephenspt

  7. Nancy (The Avid Reader) Nancy (The Avid Reader) says:

    The following review is my opinion and not a paid review I was given a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinionMerida is a very sweet and nice person all she wants is for her mother to love her and care about her She doesn't actually care about her status she wants to be liked and loved Merida tries so hard to bring her status rating up for her mother That is why she decides to travel to another town one that has not had any rain in a very long time Merida has been trained to do magic that will make it rain She believes that if she go to this town and she makes it rain then her mother and the people in her town will like and love her She just wants her mother to treat her the same as she treats her siblings I don't think Merida knows that this is want she is doing But I can relate to her and I really think that is what she is trying to do by leaving her homeMerida only wants to do what she has been raised to do as being the wright thing She never wants to hurt anyone She always tries to treat everyone the same If someone is in trouble no matter what they have done she will help them Merida is so good and innocent that when she arrives in this town and dances and makes it rain that will be the end of it and she will make her journey back home But she is in for a big surpriseThe ueen's husband Kirral has his own harem and wants Merida to be a part of this harem Of course she refuses but he doesn't give her a choice Not one of the girls in his harem actually has a choice Kirral is a very evil and cruel man Who loves to live out his fantasy with all of his concubines not to mention the things he does to the people in his town He will cheat; lie make up the rules as he goes along to fit his proposes when he needs them too and love every minute of it I think he sits around always thinking up new and interesting ways to torment people Whatever he does he does it for himself only He only cares about his happiness and definitely not anyone else'sDahoud in his own way is a very good person too I think that when he was a child he didn't have anyone to take care of him or love him either You know that is all any of us want is to know that someone loves us and cares about us Even though some people in no way wants to be the center of attention they still crave or want someone to care about them and maybe pat them on the back once in a while and tell them they have done good If no one ever does this then how will that child ever known if they have done good? With no one to care for him Dahoud is approached by a djinn that promises him the world Dahoud accepts the djinn's offer and has to live with it for the rest of his life Dahoud becomes a Commander of his own army and while fighting wars he does some very wrong and awful things to women But eventually he starts to realize that he doesn't want to be this way any longer so he hides who is and starts trying to protect women instead of hurting them Dahoud tries so hard to lead a different life and be a better person He doesn't want to hurt women or anyone any He meets a woman unlike any woman he has met before Merida In the beginning Dahoud and Merida can't stand each other They are always fighting and never try to get to know each other Neither one can trust the other because they don't know how to trust They have never really had anyone in their lives that they could depend on Someone that would take up for them or care for them or love them This is what they have both been searching for their whole lives I don't think they know this or if it has ever crossed either of their minds Can Merida and Dahoud learn to trust each other? Can they forget who they were so that they can love each? Will they be able to get over the hurt that both of their mothers caused them so that they can move on with their lives and become the people that they were meant to be?

  8. Andrea Andrea says:

    When an author is kind enough to put up their book for a free download the least I can do is offer a review in exchange and explain why my rating was lower than the averageOverall I did enjoy the story The setting the world the plot the characters the writing It was good But there was one thing that really turned me off and that was the rape Not just because there was rape but because it was the main character that was doing it and as such had to be justifiable in some regard otherwise why would we want to read about this guy right?I think I'll continue in spoiler mode here view spoilerAt first it was kind of ok the rapes were in the past and Dahoud was trying to redeem himself But then he raped Merida admitedly to save her life but he enjoyed it too much and frankly she CHOSE to die instead He had no right to choose for her Rape is all about consent or lack thereof and by denying her right to choose death over rape is not in any way justifiableI mean I could handle Kirall and his perversions He was the villain and not the protagonist rather 2 dimensional but on some level he wasn't the real villain of the story so that didn't bother me I wasn't supposed to like Kirall I wasn't supposed to root for him or hope things turn out well for him But here with Dahoud I'm kind of supposed to sympathize with his fight against his djinn driven urges but frankly I just couldn't I'm a woman and if some guy raped me and said Oh the voice in the head made me do it it won't make me feel any better about itI actually stopped reading the book at this point and that is very rare for me I think I've not finished a book maybe a handful of times in my life Well I finished another book on my eReader and since I was on my commute to work I only had this one available to read so I figured I'd pick up where I left off see if the story can redeem itself What I liked later on was when the priest character sorry name escapes me right now Zun? uestions whether Dahoud was blaming an imaginary djinn to justify his own inability to control his actions That he raped women not because there was some evil spirit inside of him but because he liked it and tried to blame his own actions on someone else It was a brief moment not expanded upon as much as I would have liked but it was enough to allow me to keep reading to see how Dahoud would grapple with that concept and take responsibility for what he had doneAnd with Tarkan being homosexual and everyone else gleefully running around executing man loversagain an interesting and difficult issue to discuss and unfortunately didn't go anywhere It wasn't as if anyone learnt tolerance in fact other than becoming a convenient husband for a woman interested in power than having a loving husband bringing up his sexuality was meaningless A giant serious issue that got shoved to the sideline and not addressed and thus didn't need to be there unless there's a seuel in the plans?Frankly if the whole rape aspect was taken out and just left the still brutal Black Besiger I would have really enjoyed the story Of the bloodthirsty soldier looking to redeem himself by rebuilding his homeland and freeing them from the Empire he himself served and what would happen if people figured out who he really was But the tale tried to take on too many controversial issues and didn't handle them as well as I would have liked hide spoiler

  9. Debra Dunbar Debra Dunbar says:

    Storm Dancer was my first ‘book on the beach’ this vacation season It’s a dark fantasy full of despotic rulers political jockeying and poetic language But there’s It’s the ‘’ that makes this book thought provoking and sometimes uncomfortable It’s a story about redefining ethics It’s a story that explores the very personal uestion of when the needs of the many outweigh the needs or even rights of the individualDahoud is a man with a demon He’s an ethnic Samili discounted and despised He’s also the child of a prostitute abandoned in youth by not only his mother but by every woman he’s ever met His desperate childhood fueled an ambition that allowed him to rise to the level of a General but there was a price He’s had to give himself over to the djinn inside him and this djinn has bought his success on the bloody ground of terrible deeds Terrible deeds that Dahoud has actually enjoyed In Storm Dancer Dahoud tries to starve out his djinn to weaken the darkness inside him He vows to protect and defend women to trust them and give them kindness instead of pain and humiliation He strives to lead a nation by using diplomacy and cunning rather than the might of his sword But right and wrong are never black and white and he discovers there are times when the fury of violence is inescapable He discovers there are some women not deserving of trust or kindnessMerida is a diplomat with a humanitarian mission She will work her magic to bring rain to a backward and barbaric people and perhaps lead them by example to embrace her enlightened path Her condescension crumbles when she finds herself kidnapped by a sadistic tyrant and tossed into his harem Merida finds she must bend and break the rules that are the very foundation of her morals to survive And then she must break them further to ensure the survival of others A seer advises her to lose her scruples but Merida’s journey is about choosing her scruples The choice her family makes in the beginning of the book to put the needs of the group above the needs of the individual is the very choice Merida makes for herself in the end Because there are some things worthy of sacrificeDon’t be put off by all this heavy stuff though You can still enjoy Storm Dancer and not delve into intricacy of philosophy The descriptive language is colorful and in the style of the Persian poets There’s action there’s scheming there’s a nation of people fighting to remain independent in the face of constant war and the threat of starvation I dug my toes into the burning sand and felt right there – in the parched desert of Dahoud’s homeland There is some romance but it’s about trust and partnership than fireworks and roses There is violence and sometimes that violence might not be in keeping with what some readers expect in terms of moral values from a hero It wasn’t excessive or overly graphic and I felt it was necessary in terms of the overall plot and theme

  10. Kyra Halland Kyra Halland says:

    Kyra's star ratingsCharacters Story Writing Setting I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of giving an honest reviewStorm Dancer is a big sweeping epic fantasy set in an exotic desert land with colorful and compelling characters Dahoud possessed by a djinn who urges him to horrifying acts of rape and other atrocities is fighting to control the djinn and make amends for the terrible things he's done Merida a magician and loyal citizen of the extremely ordered and rigid Virtuous Republic of Riverland has been sent to the desert countries on a mission to bring rain and enlightenment Their paths cross as both of them face setbacks and challenges on their respective uests then finally join together when they unexpectedly find a common cause to fight forThe writing is clear and colorful painting a portrait of harsh exotic lands I have a soft spot for fantasy that takes place in desert settings so I really enjoyed the setting of this book I also sympathized with the characters as they struggled to make their way through this harsh world against the thoroughly nasty plotting of the main villain Kirral There were a few times when I wanted to give Merida a good shaking for her obtuseness and refusal to adapt to her new situation Frustration with characters is a big reason why I don't finish books But in this case it seemed clear that Merida was being set up like this on purpose so that the readers could follow her through her process of growth and learning She did learn and grow and I took than a little satisfaction in seeing her cut down to size and then becoming a much stronger and wiser woman I also enjoyed watching Dahoud's progess as he came to understand the true nature of the darkness within himIt's a long book which I'm not complaining about because I do love me a good doorstopper The plot did seem to lose momentum and focus a few times particularly in the end of the first half or about in the middle third The structure of the book could maybe use a little tightening up to stay focused on Dahoud and Merida and their problems and what they're trying to do But during these slower spots I was interested enough in what was going to happen to the characters to keep reading I also felt that there were places where the author backed off from really diving into the full emotions and experiences of the characters just touching the surface instead of giving the full depthsThe end was satisfying and I would enjoy reading the further adventures of Dahoud and Merida On the whole Storm Dancer is a rich colorful exciting and rewarding read and I enjoyed it very much

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