Review: Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail

cephrael's hand

Title: Cephrael’s Hand (A Pattern of Shadow and Light #1)

Author: Melissa McPhail

Release Date/Publisher: September 22nd 2010 by Outskirts Press

Read: December 21st 2012

Pages: 865-eBook-given for review


  1. Cephrael’s Hand
  2. The Dagger of Adendigaeth


“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross: In Alorin three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.

In the kingdom of Dannym the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.

In the Nadori desert tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.

What I thought:

I received this book to review as part of a tour, thank you!

One thing I will mention, is that this book is long! That’s not a bad thing, there is so much going on in this book that keeps your attention, I think I’m just not as used to longer reads like I used to be. One thing I was really glad for was the dictionary and the character index at the beginning! Since this was an e-book, I printed those two out, and I referenced them quite a bit. There’s lots of characters in this and since I had to read this in smaller spurts at first that list really helped. I tried to print the map too, but my printer didn’t want to cooperate. I think that if you read this, definitely get a paperback/hardcover copy!

As mentioned, there are a lot of characters, but a certain few are the stars of this story. It goes from their different POVs throughout the chapters, so you can get a sense of what is happening all around the land. My favourite character was Trell of the Tides, I just liked the way he was written and his adventures the most! Ean and Tannis were pretty cool too, but I didn’t like Franco though I felt sorry for him sometimes. I won’t go into the background of every important person, but after getting into this book you definitely get attached to them. The way they were written really goes in depth of the characters, so everyone is different but interesting. The world building in this was written and created well too, I don’t doubt it’s hard to create a whole new world with its own history and land. The second part of the book is where a lot of action picks up and some of the best part of the book is.

Although the story was good, I didn’t love it but I did enjoy it. It had lots of good points about it, but the length was a bit much sometimes as well as the many descriptions (most were good but some seemed too long). I think those that like fantasy, good solid characters and a well detailed world will enjoy this book!


About the Author:

 Melissa McPhail2
About the author: Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist,
violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. She lives
in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large
cats. Visit Melissa on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


8 comments on “Review: Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail

    • I have no doubt it’s a challenge, it was very well written but not what I’m usually used to reading! I think I’m going to see if my fiance might like it, he tends to read longer books 🙂

  1. Great review, Kelsey. Long books intimidate me too, but a lot of times they end up being my favorites when I’m brave enough to tackle them. It gives you that much more time to become immersed in the world, right? Thanks for joining us on this tour!


  2. I love the fact that there is a dictionary, and I never thought about printing that out for an e-book. That is a really good idea, and I am tucking this away. Great review!

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