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The Fifth Dominion

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The magical tale of ill-fated lovers lost among worlds teetering on the edge of destruction, where their passion holds the key to escape. There has never been a book like Imajica. Transforming every expectation of fantasy fiction with its heady mingling of radical sexuality and spiritual anarchy, it has carried its millions of readers into regions of passion and philosophy The magical tale of ill-fated lovers lost among worlds teetering on the edge of destruction, where their passion holds the key to escape. There has never been a book like Imajica. Transforming every expectation of fantasy fiction with its heady mingling of radical sexuality and spiritual anarchy, it has carried its millions of readers into regions of passion and philosophy that few books have even attempted to map. It's an epic in every way; vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. A book of erotic mysteries and perverse violence. A book of ancient, mythological landscapes and even more ancient magic.


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The magical tale of ill-fated lovers lost among worlds teetering on the edge of destruction, where their passion holds the key to escape. There has never been a book like Imajica. Transforming every expectation of fantasy fiction with its heady mingling of radical sexuality and spiritual anarchy, it has carried its millions of readers into regions of passion and philosophy The magical tale of ill-fated lovers lost among worlds teetering on the edge of destruction, where their passion holds the key to escape. There has never been a book like Imajica. Transforming every expectation of fantasy fiction with its heady mingling of radical sexuality and spiritual anarchy, it has carried its millions of readers into regions of passion and philosophy that few books have even attempted to map. It's an epic in every way; vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. A book of erotic mysteries and perverse violence. A book of ancient, mythological landscapes and even more ancient magic.

30 review for The Fifth Dominion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    For some reason, Clive Barker always takes me forever to read. I think he gets a bit lost in descriptives for my taste. Which isn't to say I don't like his writing, it just doesn't speak to me as much as others. This particular story was apparently chopped in half because of the size of the paperback and print involved in the whole story. Oddly enough, it seems as if the plot could easily be summed up in the next hundred pages from the end that part one had. But I guess that brings us back to th For some reason, Clive Barker always takes me forever to read. I think he gets a bit lost in descriptives for my taste. Which isn't to say I don't like his writing, it just doesn't speak to me as much as others. This particular story was apparently chopped in half because of the size of the paperback and print involved in the whole story. Oddly enough, it seems as if the plot could easily be summed up in the next hundred pages from the end that part one had. But I guess that brings us back to the issue of description. Anyway, I can pretty much see where he's going with the plot, but will someday pick up the second half and finish it

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Pollock

    I first read Imajica maybe a dozen years ago, and i remembered liking it a lot at the time, but you know, sometimes tastes change. However, i was in the mood for a huge freaky epic reading experience, so i thought i might give it a second whirl, and i'm SO glad i did. I'm enjoying it just as much this time around as i did the first time. Barker's imagination is vast and bizarre in all the best ways. And we need more mystifs here in the Fifth Dominion, or maybe we just need to love the ones we ha I first read Imajica maybe a dozen years ago, and i remembered liking it a lot at the time, but you know, sometimes tastes change. However, i was in the mood for a huge freaky epic reading experience, so i thought i might give it a second whirl, and i'm SO glad i did. I'm enjoying it just as much this time around as i did the first time. Barker's imagination is vast and bizarre in all the best ways. And we need more mystifs here in the Fifth Dominion, or maybe we just need to love the ones we have with a little more kindness. Bring on Book 2!

  3. 5 out of 5

    C.

    My impressions trim to this: vast talent strained against overkill. “Family Guy” cartoonist Seth McFarlane leaps to mind. Both are boundlessly creative. Minute intricacy of settings is astounding. Vocabulary is elevated, with thought-stirring eloquence even in a bizarre concert of words denoting squalor. I grant three stars because the portions in which Clive excels, are staggeringly original. Both men amount to visionaries but topple the tower of cards with grotesque missteps. I was outraged wh My impressions trim to this: vast talent strained against overkill. “Family Guy” cartoonist Seth McFarlane leaps to mind. Both are boundlessly creative. Minute intricacy of settings is astounding. Vocabulary is elevated, with thought-stirring eloquence even in a bizarre concert of words denoting squalor. I grant three stars because the portions in which Clive excels, are staggeringly original. Both men amount to visionaries but topple the tower of cards with grotesque missteps. I was outraged when Clive incorporated - not serving the crux of this story in any way - violation of a child! Not sidelined but described! This would merit a zero grading, if I didn’t credit the skill elsewhere. That went too far, Clive. Crafting a quintupled realm, how to move between them, sociology spurring them, are impressively achieved. Clive reinvented fantasy fiction, when new combinations are scarcely imaginable. It is commonly medieval but Clive presents modern Earth. There’s no travel and few alien traces, until 60% through. Droppers of books that aren’t instantly active, would miss the best attributes. I noticed employment of “he said”; when “he ASKED” should succeed the interrogative. Lovemaking in literature is fine and advocacy of pleasure heedless of gender. Ceaseless fixation on nakedness confiscated too many pages, making the revolutionary quest and compelling mystical dynamics secondary. There was excess overall, such as scenes allocated to trivial characters, even unwarranted imagery of peeing. The rule “drop 10% in a final draft”, would tighten this novel by 41 pages fewer. Settling on the three protagonists - Judith, John, Pie - is slow. There were personages I preferred to them who vanished! However, I’m keen to read part two. I want to learn the pasts Judith and John forgot, if Goddesses overthrow the warring males, and if Earth forges a thoroughfare to the other four dominions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    3 stars - I liked it. I loved it. BUT, somethings annoyed, enough to drop the rating to 3. The writing is VERY long winded. Every sentence that is written is done painstakingly so. And I'm not exaggerating when I say every sentence. If I read "In the fullness of time" one more time... well, I will have lost some precious seconds, that could have been recovered by simply saying, "eventually", or "all the time". That's just one example that has stuck out to me as it's one that gets repeated a few 3 stars - I liked it. I loved it. BUT, somethings annoyed, enough to drop the rating to 3. The writing is VERY long winded. Every sentence that is written is done painstakingly so. And I'm not exaggerating when I say every sentence. If I read "In the fullness of time" one more time... well, I will have lost some precious seconds, that could have been recovered by simply saying, "eventually", or "all the time". That's just one example that has stuck out to me as it's one that gets repeated a few times in the fullness of these pages. The descriptions are great, you just need to get through Barker's verbosity to enjoy them. And I have, and I did enjoy most all of whats on these pages, it just takes a long time to travel a little ways. Looking forward to part 2 of this, as I've begun to get used to the writing style, hopefully this second half will go by a bit quicker.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brianne

    It took me a while to get into it because I had trouble making sense of it. The plot is very complex, yet fascinating. And I've come to learn from reading Clive Barker's books... When you're confused, just go with the flow and keep reading, and it will make sense eventually. This book is a prime example of that. The environment he created is absolutely enormous. I'm glad there's a glossary in the back or I would be lost. It took me a while to get into it because I had trouble making sense of it. The plot is very complex, yet fascinating. And I've come to learn from reading Clive Barker's books... When you're confused, just go with the flow and keep reading, and it will make sense eventually. This book is a prime example of that. The environment he created is absolutely enormous. I'm glad there's a glossary in the back or I would be lost.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Imajica is the best of Barker's books! One of my favorite books of all time. Imaginative fantasy worlds are his specialty. Imajica is the best of Barker's books! One of my favorite books of all time. Imaginative fantasy worlds are his specialty.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zak

    The language made it difficult to read but it was interesting nonetheless. And the jesus imagery is interesting as well. I look forward to the reconcilation

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taneli Repo

    First part of Clive Barker’s dimension-hopping fantasy novel. The protagonists, Gentle and Judith, journey, separately from each other, from Earth (”the Fifth Dominion”) to the not-so-holy city of Yzordderex in the First Dominion, which is in another dimension. They find it in a state of civil war and it is found out that the identities of both Gentle and Judith are very mysterious indeed. The book is meant to be Clive Barker’s interpretaion of the story of Jesus Christ. Thus, not surprisingly, First part of Clive Barker’s dimension-hopping fantasy novel. The protagonists, Gentle and Judith, journey, separately from each other, from Earth (”the Fifth Dominion”) to the not-so-holy city of Yzordderex in the First Dominion, which is in another dimension. They find it in a state of civil war and it is found out that the identities of both Gentle and Judith are very mysterious indeed. The book is meant to be Clive Barker’s interpretaion of the story of Jesus Christ. Thus, not surprisingly, there are many Biblical references. The story looks quite promising but the first half of the book gives very few answers to any of the questions raised. I’ve owned the book for 20 years but only started reading it now, probably because it’s very very long. Looking forward to finding out how the story will end in the second part.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wingswept

    This was my first foray into Clive Barker as an author and I was NOT disappointed. There is so much detail and richness within that I could only read this in sporadic bursts to not be overwhelmed with everything. Perhaps I should have started with The Hellbound Heart, which is what literally every single friend of mine who has read ANYTHING of his suggested AFTER finding out I decided to take on Imajica. I think perhaps they were right in hindsight but I don't honestly regret this, as this has li This was my first foray into Clive Barker as an author and I was NOT disappointed. There is so much detail and richness within that I could only read this in sporadic bursts to not be overwhelmed with everything. Perhaps I should have started with The Hellbound Heart, which is what literally every single friend of mine who has read ANYTHING of his suggested AFTER finding out I decided to take on Imajica. I think perhaps they were right in hindsight but I don't honestly regret this, as this has literally cemented Barker as one of my new favorite authors.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    I've read this book probably a dozen times. It never fails to disappoint. I've read this book probably a dozen times. It never fails to disappoint.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    I love Clive Barker and this one started out really strong... lost my interest a little in the middle but finished up really strong. A good read that makes you think.

  12. 5 out of 5

    J

    5/10 This is really one long novel, but it's sometimes in 2 volumes, so I'm reviewing this first half as a single book. I mostly love the setting. It's "modern day", but there are other realms. There's a secret society who knows about the secret realms. There are portals to other realms. It doesn't shy away from adult topics and genuine horror. This is all my bailiwick. Then it focused more on a fantasy world, and I lost focus. If you love fantasy, give this a try, but it's not really my thing. Fa 5/10 This is really one long novel, but it's sometimes in 2 volumes, so I'm reviewing this first half as a single book. I mostly love the setting. It's "modern day", but there are other realms. There's a secret society who knows about the secret realms. There are portals to other realms. It doesn't shy away from adult topics and genuine horror. This is all my bailiwick. Then it focused more on a fantasy world, and I lost focus. If you love fantasy, give this a try, but it's not really my thing. Fantasy novels have a fixation on "walking and talking". We're in a fantasy world, so let's walk 500 leagues and talk! If I were to review LoTR or GoT, it would include the same criticism. I might read the second half of this novel, but I'm not sure.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gabe S

    wanted to like this after all the time I put into these two books but I just found the whole thing banal in the end, full of most of the clichés I started to read these books to avoid. original in a way I guess, Clive's a world builder extraodinaire, but I found the whole ******SPOILER ALERT ****** "men are evil and innately destructive and of course irrationally hate women and are so scared of their reproductive capabilities and capacity to love etc...- only poor, put upon goddesses and their e wanted to like this after all the time I put into these two books but I just found the whole thing banal in the end, full of most of the clichés I started to read these books to avoid. original in a way I guess, Clive's a world builder extraodinaire, but I found the whole ******SPOILER ALERT ****** "men are evil and innately destructive and of course irrationally hate women and are so scared of their reproductive capabilities and capacity to love etc...- only poor, put upon goddesses and their exclusive enclave of women can rule wisely, due of course to the innate holiness of their life giving wombs" to be such a tired old trope - especially since I couldn't care in the slightest about any of the protagonists (except maybe Gentle but even then he was a weak willed idiot, happy in his ignorance most of the time, even while trying to undertake some universe changing mission - a very 'male attitude' I'm sure many 101 students would argue) or their bizarre logic for doing the things they did. Essentially a very tired old plot line wrapped up in an original setting that takes thousands of pages to get through. I can see why some people cream themselves over this (OMG, he's got a third gender in the book - like, SO transgressive and thot provoking... ad infinitum), but sadly, I'm not one of them. probably came too late to this series for me to feel its as ground breaking as others so obviously do.....

  14. 4 out of 5

    Coyle

    I am exercsing my (rarely used) right not to finish a book. I've read Clive Barker before, and routinely been unimpressed. After 150 pages (which is about 80 pages more than the hundred page rule- if you don't know, that rule says you should read 100-your age of a book before deciding not to read more of it), I've decided that I don't care if I finish this 500+ page monster, especially given that this is only half of the overall story that just wouldn't fit in one paperback edition. The place I I am exercsing my (rarely used) right not to finish a book. I've read Clive Barker before, and routinely been unimpressed. After 150 pages (which is about 80 pages more than the hundred page rule- if you don't know, that rule says you should read 100-your age of a book before deciding not to read more of it), I've decided that I don't care if I finish this 500+ page monster, especially given that this is only half of the overall story that just wouldn't fit in one paperback edition. The place I do feel a bit bad about this is in that Barker claims that this book is his magnum opus, written about Jesus and England. Of course, it was also published in the early 90s, so he may very well have moved on from there. The book still gets two stars, however, since the introduction is interesting. I always find it fascinating to hear authors talk about where their ideas come from, why they write what they do, and what they think about the work in question. And maybe that ultimately prejudiced me against the book (given how much I disagree with Mr. Barker), but that part was worth the read nonetheless.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    A great distinction lies within this book. As the cover so boldly states, it is a "bestseller." A bestseller appeals to the universal, to the commonality among all of us. It is a buffet with something for everyone. Herein too lies its fault. The narrative in its rush to tell, to be a bestseller, to keep moving and appeal and tantalize loses itself and in the process devalues itself. The writing seems rushed, as do the events and somethings seem to make no sense whatsoever other than they NEED to A great distinction lies within this book. As the cover so boldly states, it is a "bestseller." A bestseller appeals to the universal, to the commonality among all of us. It is a buffet with something for everyone. Herein too lies its fault. The narrative in its rush to tell, to be a bestseller, to keep moving and appeal and tantalize loses itself and in the process devalues itself. The writing seems rushed, as do the events and somethings seem to make no sense whatsoever other than they NEED to happen to get the plot where needs to go (i.e. Judith automatically falling in love with Oscar). The caveat, I suppose, would be that is this part one of two. All secrets may be revealed. That is yet to be proven. One last note, a distinction between the creations and creation must be made. I loved the names, creatures and imagination invoked by Barker. There is a real vibrancy to them that the writing does not completely do justice.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    So far this highly imaginative story is just good enough to keep me going onto book 2. The writing is intelligent and compelling and the storyline similarly well-crafted. The novel's greatest weakness, however, is the characters. They're inconsistent, irrational and at times nearly incomprehensible in their judgment and motives. It's hard to become too thoroughly invested in a story in which the characters are not relatable. They shallowly cooperate with or contradict one another when it is conv So far this highly imaginative story is just good enough to keep me going onto book 2. The writing is intelligent and compelling and the storyline similarly well-crafted. The novel's greatest weakness, however, is the characters. They're inconsistent, irrational and at times nearly incomprehensible in their judgment and motives. It's hard to become too thoroughly invested in a story in which the characters are not relatable. They shallowly cooperate with or contradict one another when it is convenient for the plot rather than as a person of their personality might be expected to do. If weak, unconvincing characters is of no concern for you, then I recommend this novel wholeheartedly. Otherwise it may not be worth your time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rob Sanchez

    First of all this is the not book 1 of a series rather it's only the first half of the book. It's about 1100 pages in total each is a little over 500. I've got to say I haven't read any Barker before this but I will be checking out more of his stuff in the future. I thouroughly enjoyed this adventure. Barker is an expert at crafting the arena for the story and building up his chracters while providing the right mix of fantasy\sex\insanity to keep things interesting. He touches on some great idea First of all this is the not book 1 of a series rather it's only the first half of the book. It's about 1100 pages in total each is a little over 500. I've got to say I haven't read any Barker before this but I will be checking out more of his stuff in the future. I thouroughly enjoyed this adventure. Barker is an expert at crafting the arena for the story and building up his chracters while providing the right mix of fantasy\sex\insanity to keep things interesting. He touches on some great ideas and really reignited my taste in fantasy and reading in general. I had but it on the backburner lately. But I'm back up to speed thanks to the Imajica. Can't wait to finish the second book to see how things wrap up.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Favorite Quotes A man kills the thing he loves, and he must die a little himself. His body and his mind went about their different businesses. The former, freed from conscious instruction, breathed, rolled, sweated, and digested. The latter went dreaming. We’re too much ourselves. Afraid of letting go of what we are, in case we are nothing, and holding on so tight, we lose everything else.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    (This review is for the whole of Imajica , since it really is a single story.) I liked this book tremendously. It has a very unusual take on the messiah story, and many likable characters. The language is absolutely inspired in places. It does sprawl a lot, which counts against it, but I didn't mind too much. (This review is for the whole of Imajica , since it really is a single story.) I liked this book tremendously. It has a very unusual take on the messiah story, and many likable characters. The language is absolutely inspired in places. It does sprawl a lot, which counts against it, but I didn't mind too much.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ian Ooi

    a strange and intriguing tale, breaking from a lot of the standard tropes and keeping the reader guessing at what mysteries will come next. at times the line of the plot is a bit disjointed, with surprising turns in events that sometimes seem to derail established directions in the story. overall though, I think the book is excellent, with the rare, slight disturbed feeling of "wait....what?" either supplanted by or adding to the surprising twists and turns that are smoothly written. a strange and intriguing tale, breaking from a lot of the standard tropes and keeping the reader guessing at what mysteries will come next. at times the line of the plot is a bit disjointed, with surprising turns in events that sometimes seem to derail established directions in the story. overall though, I think the book is excellent, with the rare, slight disturbed feeling of "wait....what?" either supplanted by or adding to the surprising twists and turns that are smoothly written.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Strider Jones

    Barker's poetic prose and convincing characterisation parachutes the reader into his imagination. You become part of his landscape and plot and don't desire the return to your own realm until the adventure is over. I prefer Weaveworld and The Great And Secret Show..but all are different and all unique trips into believable fantasy. Barker's poetic prose and convincing characterisation parachutes the reader into his imagination. You become part of his landscape and plot and don't desire the return to your own realm until the adventure is over. I prefer Weaveworld and The Great And Secret Show..but all are different and all unique trips into believable fantasy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey

    I really had to force myself to finish this, and just barely. I did not like any of the main characters, and their motives for doing anything just seemed forced. I get that the author was going for a mystical, mind-bending reality thing here, but, it didn't work for me. Highly doubt I'll read the second half. Mayhap if I cared for the characters at all I would. I really had to force myself to finish this, and just barely. I did not like any of the main characters, and their motives for doing anything just seemed forced. I get that the author was going for a mystical, mind-bending reality thing here, but, it didn't work for me. Highly doubt I'll read the second half. Mayhap if I cared for the characters at all I would.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Strattondo

    This is absolutely my favorite book of all time. I have read it twice. It, Weaveworld, and the Great and Secret Show are complex, epic journeys in worlds so complex and detailed one could read them multiple times and discover new details every time. Clive Barker is a brilliant author. Not for the fainthearted (none of his books are).

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

    Book one gets a solid 4. I stayed up when exhausted wanting to fine out more about these strange & fully created worlds, and I loved the link between our world and the rest. The second book dropped it to a three...still amazing on the worlds front... something about the pacing started to make it a little hard to get through. The end had some nice moments.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Howard Kistler

    Second only to Weaveworld in my estimation, this two-novel epic once again takes us into the vast universe of magic and horrors that populates Barker's mind. With diverse characters and worlds to explore, the drama still hinges on the human nature of the characters, something which Barker excels at balancing while still dazzling us the incredible. Second only to Weaveworld in my estimation, this two-novel epic once again takes us into the vast universe of magic and horrors that populates Barker's mind. With diverse characters and worlds to explore, the drama still hinges on the human nature of the characters, something which Barker excels at balancing while still dazzling us the incredible.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Awesome book. I loved this one and can't wait to continue in book 2 (which I have actually already started). It's an excellent story. It took me about 90-100 pages to get into into but once I was there was no stopping me. Thanks Dave! Awesome book. I loved this one and can't wait to continue in book 2 (which I have actually already started). It's an excellent story. It took me about 90-100 pages to get into into but once I was there was no stopping me. Thanks Dave!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    i picked this book up at a flea market in wisconsin. last night i was trying to decide what book to read and i decided to wait on this one until after christmas b/c as i understand it, this is book is giant and daunting and time consuming but it sounds awesome.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Benny

    Really good story but something that I can't explain is missing - maybe that something that keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next, I'm not really sure, just can't put my finger on it... Worth reading though... Really good story but something that I can't explain is missing - maybe that something that keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next, I'm not really sure, just can't put my finger on it... Worth reading though...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wrey Fuentes

    I'm not going to wax rhapsodic. It was a good read, and this from someone who rarely enteres into the realm of fantasy (in this case, an urban fantasy). What I will say is that, Clive, poppet, you dangle prepositions like fruit from a most laden tree just before harvest! I'm not going to wax rhapsodic. It was a good read, and this from someone who rarely enteres into the realm of fantasy (in this case, an urban fantasy). What I will say is that, Clive, poppet, you dangle prepositions like fruit from a most laden tree just before harvest!

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Jackson

    This book is extremely imaginative and interesting, and the plot will hold your attention throughout. Some readers might find some of the very strange twists and turns too much to follow, but I have enjoyed it thoroughly and will rush to read the second part.

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