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Lord of Snow and Shadows: Book One of The Tears of Artamon [Mass Market Paperback]

Sarah Ash
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 29 2004 The Tears of Artamon (Book 1)
Combining the best of fantasy traditions with her own unique vision, Sarah Ash brings to dazzling life a new saga filled with epic adventure and unforgettable characters. Far-reaching in scope and imagination, Lord of Snow and Shadows embarks on a journey like no other—into a shape-shifting world teeming with political intrigue, astonishing magic, and passions both dark and light.

Raised by his protective mother in the sunny clime of the south, Gavril Andar knows nothing of his father—or the ominous legacy that awaits him. But his innocence is about to be shattered. The man who ruled the wintry kingdom of Azhkendir, a man infused with the burning blood of the dragon-warrior known as Drakhaoul, has been murdered by his enemies. It is his fiery, chameleonlike blood that pulses through Gavril’s veins. The news is Gavril’s first taste of death—but it will not be his last. For blood is the liquid that seals his fate.

Expected by clan warriors from the north to avenge his father’s murder—and still his unquiet ghost—Gavril is kidnapped. He soon learns that becoming Drakhaon means not only ascending to the throne of Azhkendir but changing, in subtle ways at first, into a being of extraordinary power and might. A being that must be replenished with the blood of innocentsin order to survive. Ensconced in Kastel Drakhaon with no means of escape from the icebound kingdom, and carefully watched by neighboring rulers waiting to move against him, the untested Gavril must fight to retain his human heart and soul in the face of impending war—and the dark instincts that threaten to overpower him.

Man and beast, spymaster and insurgent, nature and the netherworld--all collide in phenomenal twists and turns. A masterwork of adventure fantasy, Lord of Snow and Shadows will leave you stunned—and longing for more.

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Lord of Snow and Shadows: Book One of The Tears of Artamon + LARMES D'ARTAMON T02 (LES) : LE PRISONNIER DE LA TOUR DE FER
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Product Description

From Amazon

Sara Ash's Lord of Snow and Shadows is the promising opener to the Tears of Artamon series. The novel sets the stage in grand fashion as Ash deftly introduces the principal players in her well-realized fantasy realm. She begins with Gavril, a carefree portrait painter basking in the sunny climes of an irrelevant island republic. He soon discovers he is heir to a great and terrible legacy in the snowy wasteland of Azhkendir. Kidnapped by his murdered father’s personal guard, he is both captive and the Drakhoan--ruler of Azhkendir. His inheritance turns out to be more than just a crown, however. A dark force of immeasurable power is growing inside him while he finds his realm under siege from within and without.

Ash masterfully avoids most of the usual fantasy memes--except, of course, the reluctant hero, Gavril--and imports a vast menagerie of technologies and culturally resonant magics into her world. Her conflicting armies wield magic, muskets, and heavy cannon alongside darker forces that are too delicious to mention here. Apart from a few niggling inconsistencies (Gavril's transformation from foppish artist to deft statesman, for one), Ash's novel is a frosty infusion of new air into a genre overrun with the usual maidens-with-broadswords clichés. –-Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this excellent start to a new fantasy series from British author Ash (Moths to a Flame), Gavril Andar, an idealistic young artist, falls for the nobly born Astasia Orlova, whose portrait he's been hired to paint. Luckily, he's attractive enough for Astasia to return the favor. He doesn't know he's also Gavril Nagarian, son of the recently assassinated ruler of the wintry kingdom of Azhkendir, and that fate is about to deal him a dreadful blow. Like his father before him, Gavril becomes soul-bound to the Drakhaoul, a creature that grants awesome power at a terrible price. Kidnapped, Gavril finds himself trapped in Kastel Drakhaon, reluctant to draw on his new magical abilities, as their use only makes him more beast-like and less human. But with Prince Eugene of Tielin threatening to reconquer all of the Rossiyan Empire, he may have no choice. Fascinating and unpredictable, Gavril's tale gains richness from the grand scope of Ash's narrative, with its echoes of Russian history under the czars. Enhanced by supporting characters who are living, breathing individuals, this book will leave readers drooling to get their hands on the sequel from the moment they turn its final page.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by Bibliotropic ([...]) Sept. 8 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first book in the Tears of Artamon trilogy is definitely worth reading. Sarash Ash handles well the large cast, the numerous layers of politcal intruige, and weaves a deep and fascinating story without getting too bogged down in details. I've seen some authors try to write political intruige and have their book come off as dull and dry, and I'm happy to report that this is far from the case in Lord of Snow and Shadows.

Ash's style is tight, with no words wasted or left out. In addition to this trilogy, she's written a few other books which I'm going to have to track down, since her style and storytelling ability alone will be enough to keep me coming back to her novels, even if at some point the story itself happens to be less than thrilling.

I loved the fact that Ash took inspiration from Europe's history, cultures,and various aspects of mythology in her worldbuilding. The world is familiar and yet entirely new. The mix of magic and technology, the overlap, and various views held by different people in different cultures was also a treat to see, because the way she wrote even conflicting opinions was as if both sides were right. Some authors will try to pull this off by having magic be primitive and technology be vital, or by technology being overbearing and magic being the best way. While each character has their own opinion on sciences and magics in Lord of Snow and Shadows, the narrative voice offers no bias one way or the other, and we see the opinions purely through the eyes of the characters.

My only comnplaints in regards to this novel are trivial and subjective, such as the fact that I found it hard to think of Kiukiu as an adult, or at least very close to one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy July 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ok before you judge this review as lame as the title let me point out reviewing fantasy is not my forte. Although soon enough with some recent reviews I will have to skip the disclaimer I usually head them with about me not being a fantasy reader.
I am selective, and it was the blurb on the back of this novel that sold me the book.
Gavril Andral artist and sensitive young man living in sunny Smarma and painting a lovely princess. Her family of course looks on him with disdain and the opening gambit in this debut offering from Ash seems predictable. Except unbeknownst to Gavril right away he has royal blood in his veins as well as a dark legacy from his father Lord Drakhoun of Ankerhisk(sp)?. His father was murdered and his retainers kidnap Gavril as the heir to inherit his father's dark gifts and blood feuds with rival klans.
This novel borrows much from Russian lore including some sounds of names and places and folklore/wisdom. It also borrows from such tones as the darkest fantasy, and if Ash continues in this vein I can see comparisions to Barker(though not as dark) but I was also reminded a little of King's Dark Tower.
The action in the tale is a skilful mix of suspense, classic fantasy, mythology and horror. The plot moves quickly, and not even the preview of the second title in the trilogy saturated my appetite for more concerning the characters populating this magical land. Ash's best qaulity is a succinctness in providing enough detail without detracting from the story's excitement and thereby able to cut off her story in a trilogy as opposed to a tetralogy or longer series. I will probably end up reading them all more than once which for a non fantasy reader should be the seller;).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading! Jan. 21 2004
By A Customer
I bought this book because I was in the bookstore looking for a new novel to read and noticed the beautiful artwork on the cover and became intrigued. I brought it home and read it in four days. I couldn't put it down! I was totally consumed by the compelling storyline. I didn't feel that going into a lot of detail about the characters detracted from the story. It is the plot and storyline that really keeps you absorbed in reading this novel. You feel so much emotion for the main character, Gavril. This book invokes all your emotions from fear, terror, revenge, and pity, to love, compassion and joy. The story doesn't overdo the fantasy, sorcery or magic stuff, but rather focuses on the lives of the people in the story. It is not so complicated that you get bored trying to keep up with all the facts and characters. Sarah Ash brings you into this world and you can totally visualize everything. The only drawback was that sometimes I found myself frustrated with the characters being naive and gullible and not saying more or wanting more information, but that all contributes to the mystery of the story. All in all, I loved this book and wish that the next one was out already so that I could continue reading. I think that if you like fantasy that doesn't get too complicated and mired in sorcery and magic, but concentrates on characters and storyline, you will like this book. Can't wait for the next one!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on plot, Light on character development Jan. 15 2004
Gavril Andar is a talented painter who learns that he is really the heir to a kingdom in a mysterious northern realm known as Azkendir. Gavril's father is cruelly murdered and his men-at-arms come to fetch Gavril to take his rightful place as ruler. Kidnapped and made prisoner in the snowy, dreary Kastel, Gavril slowly learns the full truth of his inheritance. Meanwhile Gavril is a target. Eugene of Tielen wants to crown himself emperor and invading and subduing all of the lands of Rossiya (of which Azkhendir is one) is priority. And Eugene believes that the time is ripe to destroy Akzhendir while the untested and weak Gavril is too new to his rule to be a real threat. Treachery, evil spirits, magic, deceit, betrayal and revolution all meld together as Gavril is forced to embrace his fate.
When I read the reviews of this book, I was excited because the praise seemed to point to a plot and characters that were different from standard issue fantasy fare and full of fresh ideas and surprises. This is certainly true....sort of.
The book is largely set in a time and place that is reminiscent of Tsarist Russia (right down to having a character named Astasia and hungry commoners threatening revolt). The main character turns into a creature that is a weird amalgm of vampire and dragon and he is referred to as Drakhoul or Draghoan. There is magic and alchemy, but they are presented side by side with such "modern" technology as guns, cannon and a device that sounds kinda like an ornately ornamental walkie-talkie. Overall the book has a very old world eastern European vibe as opposed to the decidedly medieval era western European vibe you get with a lot of the fantasy being written. So in this instance the feel of the book is very different.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Larmes d'Artamon Tome 1. ; Seigneur des neiges et des ombres....
Excellent bouquin....intrigue bien développé....personnage attachant KuiKui et Gavril. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michel Charron
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah Ash, an amazing writer
I LOVED this book, and the entire series. I thought the detail and description was intense and the storyline thoughtful and expansive. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2006 by Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fantasy...
I was looking for something new in a good fantasy book, and stumbled across this title from an author I had never heard of. Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2004 by Josh Hudson
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of interesting but a big yawner in the end
Why You Should Read This
Sarah Ash has a small but devoted fan base. They will read this book with relish and clamor for more. Read more
Published on June 4 2004 by Inchoatus.com
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book!!!
I dont know how anybody could write a better book then this-it had it all--wonderful characters-action-suspense-mystery and a complex storyline that has a brooding war with lots of... Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Hit!
I saw this book in a local bookstore and was attracted to the beautiful cover art. This book was a pleasant surprise, far exceeding my expectations. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Something new and exciting in fantasy!
This book was a very pleasant surprise. It was a very quick read with lots of suspense and action. The characters, nations, and lands all are exciting and diverse. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Had the potiential to be so much better!
Overall, this book was OKAY....I liked the plot idea, but as another reader put it, the characters were somewhat shallow. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Kristina L. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it!
This was honestly the best book I've read since Terry Brooks' Voyage of Jerle Shanarrah trio. I could not put it down. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003
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