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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 fathers 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.
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.
Excellent bouquin....intrigue bien développé....personnage attachant KuiKui et Gavril. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Michel Charron
I LOVED this book, and the entire series. I thought the detail and description was intense and the storyline thoughtful and expansive. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2006 by Morgan
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 morePublished on Aug. 3 2004 by Josh Hudson
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
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 morePublished on Jan. 17 2004
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 morePublished on Dec 28 2003
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 morePublished on Dec 16 2003
Overall, this book was OKAY....I liked the plot idea, but as another reader put it, the characters were somewhat shallow. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003 by Kristina L. Thompson