• Black Sun Rising

  • Coldfire Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: C. S. Friedman
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 23 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,686 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Black Sun Rising  By  cover art

Black Sun Rising

By: C. S. Friedman
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $34.94

Buy for $34.94

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The Coldfire trilogy tells a story of discovery and battle against evil on a planet where a force of nature exists that is capable of reshaping the world in response to psychic stimulus. This terrifying force, much like magic, has the power to prey upon the human mind, drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams, and indiscriminately giving them life.

This is the story of two men: one, a warrior priest ready to sacrifice anything and everything for the cause of humanity's progress; the other, a sorcerer who has survived for countless centuries by a total submission to evil. They are absolute enemies who must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known.

©1991 C.S. Friedman (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Featured Article: The Best Fantasy Audiobook Series


There is nothing like a great fantasy series, one that invites you to bring yourself into an inventive world unlike our own. And a masterful fantasy audiobook can further enhance that feeling, taking an engaging reading experience and amping it up to the realm of total immersion. Marked by brilliant narration and perfect character voices, a stellar audiobook series takes an already amazing fantasy saga and transforms it into an unforgettable adventure. If you’re looking for the best fantasy book series to listen to, these titles are a great place to start.

What listeners say about Black Sun Rising

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    842
  • 4 Stars
    449
  • 3 Stars
    244
  • 2 Stars
    100
  • 1 Stars
    51
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    887
  • 4 Stars
    424
  • 3 Stars
    152
  • 2 Stars
    43
  • 1 Stars
    27
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    767
  • 4 Stars
    385
  • 3 Stars
    239
  • 2 Stars
    99
  • 1 Stars
    56

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Tedium Ad Nauseum

Prelude: A lot of people seem to enjoy this book, so you might as well.

I almost always finish the audiobooks I purchase, and I finished this one. But it was a chore, not a pleasure. The book failed for me on so many levels, but many devolve to a set of unlikable, boring characters with inexplicable motivations.

Why does Damien, a warrior priest, instigate the quest to recover Ciani's stolen memories and adept skills? The author tells us it is because Damien is in love with Ciani, but it isn't believable. He hardly knows her at the start of the journey, and once the journey begins, he mostly avoids speaking with her. Sure, he obsesses over her in countless internal monologues, but it's an illustration of puppy love, not the type of love that would motivate a long journey by a mature man to confront a dangerous foe.

Why does Damien hate Tarrant, the powerful dark adept that joins them on the journey? It could be because Tarrant lacks basic human values, but the author roots the conflict in Damien's religious beliefs. This is emphasized in countless internal monologues, and through some of their interactions. The problem is that the tenets of the religion are never presented. So the conflict, which represents a major plot thread, has no understandable basis. In fact, Tarrant is by far the more interesting and likable of the two characters, which makes Damien's hatred seem churlish.

Did I mention the countless internal monologues, which go nowhere and reveal little? Half way through the book, my greatest wish was to see Damien die a horrible, horrible death. By the end, I was just happy to be finished with him and the rest.

There are things to like about the book, such as an interesting and novel world. Unfortunately, I found it to be populated by tedious characters, a poorly explained magic system, and contradictions that made my jaw drop.

59 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Different Take

The story took me by surprise in that I was not expecting a 'new' spin on such a controversial subject: Religion. You have a group of colonists effectively stranded at the outer edge of the universe on a planet that literally takes their hopes and fears and make them real. The struggle to control the human psyche and the 'monsters' that can be created from it comes down to creating and sustaining a belief system so that they can survive and thrive. However, just like in our own society, there are those that buy into the belief system and those that oppose it. The introduction of an unknown but increasingly powerful villain that requires an equally powerful but somewhat equally distasteful "hero" just makes the story that much more interesting. Imagine the creator of your most cherished and beloved philosophy turning into the very thing you're fighting against. A "creature" that embodies the things you hate and despise the most but, at the same time needing that self same individual to help you save the human race.

The first book took a little long to get around to the actual story and character development seemed somewhat slow; but, as I listened I became more interested in the underlying story. The narrator, R.C Bray did an excellent job, and I look forward to listening to other books he has done.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Celia your breaking my heart

Before jumping all over me, I want to say that my favorite Fantasy writer is Robin Hobb. I also really like Tess Gerritsen.

Shortly into this I said to myself, I bet that C in C.S. Friedman is a girl's name. This book is very touchy feelie. There are lots of sentences like "He sat heavily in the kitchen chair and wept." This was during a half hour argument this man has with his finance. At times this is very dramatic, almost like a Latin Soap Opera. I pictured in my mind quick close up view of the characters eyes, with dramatic music. Every time someone enters the scene, main character or nobody, we get a full description of everything they are wearing, how the wear it, how fast or slow they are walking and where there eyes are looking. Celia used to be a costume designer. When I bought this, the book had a high rating, but now that I have listen to it, it seems the rating has dropped. I think several other people bought and listened for the same reason I did.

So, what I am saying, is that if you like books written by females with all those things that you girls like to talk about, then this is for you and I believe it is well done.

If you prefer a more manly book on a similar subject, then get Peter V. Brett's, The Warded Man. It is less touchie feelie, but has all the demons and scared of the dark stuff.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book raised up even higher by R.C. Bray.

R.C. Bray adds energy and fresh enjoyment to one of my favorite novels by giving a unique voice to each character, and breathing life into the book as a whole. By adopting firm yet subtle accents and inflections he helps give the sense that the regions the characters travel through, as well as the people they meet within, each have their own history and background, even when that was never hinted at in the narration itself. It's nice to hear a fantasy novel where not everyone sounds like they're all from the same country.

As well, one of my favorite aspects of Black Sun Rising (and The Coldfire Trilogy as a whole) is its treatment of "magic" within the book. Friedman has spun a rather unique yet understandable take to it, which allows the reader to quickly learn how it works within this world, as well as what its defining laws are. Something I find rare in most fantasy novels, which too often tend to do little more then just say "What? It's magic! It just works!"

Lastly I enjoy that the each of the characters, while most do fall into some kind of fantasy novel archetype, are all fleshed out, distinct, and well written individuals. They all have flaws as well as strengths just like the rest of us, and even though they live in a world far different from our own, it's very easy to understand both them and their motivations, even if you may not necessarily like or agree with all of them. Most importantly I find that they all consistently stay true to themselves, even when forced to compromise, and are never allowed to suddenly break character just to more easily or expediently further some aspect of the plot.

Overall I highly recommend this audiobook and will be listening to the rest of the Coldfire Trilogy as soon as possible!

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Nice narration, interesting premise, but bad story

The reviewer "William" said it better than I could--this story became a chore to listen to. The story started off interesting and with a cool premise, but by the middle of the story it was becoming clear that the plot was going to progress at a very slow pace, that the characters weren't going to find sufficiently believable motivations, and that the stakes weren't going to be raised any time soon. I consistently found myself asking why this quest was still happening.

The main character makes decisions that are bewildering, sacrificing his core values--and really, the core values of anyone even trying to be moral, that is, "killing lots of innocent people is bad" for a cause he has all but emotionally abandoned by that point.

The stakes are assumed to be high, and "people will suffer if we don't finish this" is used as a justification for helping an evil person who must kill countless innocents to survive. The trouble is that despite the book's description, the story never really gives us any evidence that this is true. The main character wrestles with the moral problems of whether or not he can justify working with evil to fight some vague evil, but never stops to wonder what it is he's actually doing or why.

It just got frustrating.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Dark Epic Fantasy

This book is dark, and it is serious. Book has very interesting settings as well as characters. I always wanted to read a book with a vampire type creature in epic fantasy, and this book does a justice to that specific type of fiction. Vampire discussed in this book, is intelligent, powerful and mysterious. This Vampire has done what an intelligent being with such power would do. As evil as this vampire is described to be, it is still not the main bad guy of the book.

This book is also about conflict, intrigue and pragmatism. A priest that is in conflict within his own church with a lot of intrigue; a conflicted but necessary relationship between a priest and a vampire both of whom cant stand each other, but had to work together to achieve a goal.

This book has a lot of substance, and it brought to light with a very good narrator. Narration is correctly done that it is not overly dramatic, nor it is too passive for the story.

I already am on the second book, and I would recommend this book for folks who are interested in reading a fantasy book with interesting settings and with dark background throughout the book.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Concept but Tedious

When I first started listening to this book I was very hopeful. It has an interesting conceit - a world which contains a force that responds to human thoughts and shapes the physical environment accordingly. I found the protagonist, a warrior-priest with a mission, a refreshing change from the usual.

Alas, I got bogged down in the book and found getting to the end difficult. The development of the plot and the characters did not fulfill the original promise. Instead, the story became tedious and repetitive. Motivations were not clear. By the end I didn't care anymore.

Too bad, because it had a great concept.

That being said, others seem to like the book so read the reviews carefully. Perhaps it will be your cuppa tea. Sadly, it was not mine.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Long Stretches of Nothing

Would you try another book from C. S. Friedman and/or R. C. Bray?

No

Has Black Sun Rising turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Would you be willing to try another one of R. C. Bray’s performances?

Yes

Could you see Black Sun Rising being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

This book was interesting at the beginning, with an usual magic system. Then it devolved into endless wandering, with little to nothing happening. C.S. Friedman has a tendency to use the same word over and over again. Malevolence was used so often, that I wanted to throw a thesaurus at her. Not recommended, and I willl not be reading the rest of the series.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I Tried... to love it.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

FOR REAL you need to pay attention to every word. I would recommend this to a dark friend who had not much too do. You cant miss a few words do to a zone out while driving.

If you’ve listened to books by C. S. Friedman before, how does this one compare?

I don't remember

What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Bray is great. Nothing to complain about. I would say he is a 4 out of 5.

Did Black Sun Rising inspire you to do anything?

Yes... read a normal fantasy book. I do love my sword, wizard, and king.

Any additional comments?

The writing style is kind of strange along with the book. Every part of the book seems to show on how dark and wrong it is. It becomes a bore. I understand the authors intent. But it is a tad over done..... Making it dark.Every seen seems to have a description where it explains why every thing will be dark. This is only a skip if you CANT pay attention the whole time. Overalll... its a 3 star.. you can skip this one. But is a Fan-sci book to the extreme.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 05-27-12

4½ Stars? Really??

Would you try another book from C. S. Friedman and/or R. C. Bray?

I love this genre and was looking for a new series to enjoy. This is not the one. I'm about 16 hours into it, and I don't know or care about any of the characters. Their backgrounds and motivations have been left to our imaginations, and the characters themselves do little to explain themselves to us, or even to react in a manner that will shed any light. I will probably not purchase anything from this author again.

9 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenny
  • Jenny
  • 02-13-20

Beautifully written

I was a little apprehensive when I started listen to this book but the brilliant writing drew me in with incredible visuals, amazing characters, tense situations and the best narrator in the business RC Bray. What a master of story telling this man is. He mastered the voices of each character giving them life and in some cases sounded like death itself. I loved loved loved this book and can’t wait to start book 2 in this series. It’s long but worth every minute. Get it. You don’t be sorry