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Blood of Ambrose
 
 

Blood of Ambrose [Kindle Edition]

James Enge
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £15.99
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Review

...more than a decent debut with a nice, flowing style, intriguing characters and a unique idea. Its ending led me to expect that we'll see a great deal more of Ambrosii in the sequel, and I look forward to it. ---- Realms of Speculative Fiction, June 2009<br /><br />This excellently crafted tale tells a familiar story in a world filled with magic and all emotional turmoil of a terrified youngster struggling to gain acceptance. Divided into five main chapters, the world building is topnotch while centering on the four main characters. The emotions have a genuine feel and Lathmar's angst draws sympathy without being overdone. ---- Monsters and Critics, July 2, 2009<br /><br />James Enge writes Blood of Ambrose with a subtle elegance that disguises his extraordinary narrative skill. The humor is natural and unforced. The characterization rings true, even under the revelation of shocking realities. The horror is never glorified, and it is all the more horrific for it. And the plot grows with organic grace. You won't find any quests here, nor the usual cliches or trappings of epic fantasy. No, these pages drip the unexpected, and they will make you laugh and scream and cry and thirst for more. Simply put, Blood of Ambrose is a powerful and fun stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers. No commitment to three or five or twelve book arcs. Savor it. Read it slowly, and prepare your table for This Crooked Way --Adventures in SciFi Publishing blog, June 2009

This excellently crafted tale tells a familiar story in a world filled with magic and all emotional turmoil of a terrified youngster struggling to gain acceptance. Divided into five main chapters, the world building is topnotch while centering on the four main characters. The emotions have a genuine feel and Lathmar's angst draws sympathy without being overdone. ---- Monsters and Critics, July 2, 2009

James Enge writes Blood of Ambrose with a subtle elegance that disguises his extraordinary narrative skill. The humor is natural and unforced. The characterization rings true, even under the revelation of shocking realities. The horror is never glorified, and it is all the more horrific for it. And the plot grows with organic grace. You won't find any quests here, nor the usual cliches or trappings of epic fantasy. No, these pages drip the unexpected, and they will make you laugh and scream and cry and thirst for more. Simply put, Blood of Ambrose is a powerful and fun stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers. No commitment to three or five or twelve book arcs. Savor it. Read it slowly, and prepare your table for This Crooked Way --Adventures in SciFi Publishing blog, June 2009

Product Description

In a remote city on the edge of two worlds, where blood has power and water is more precious than freedom, three far-flung friends unite on a quest to save their families. Sal Hrvati’s estranged father has brought more into the world than the woman he loved. Instead of saving her from the Void Beneath, he has summoned an unknown creature — a creature with a mission of its own and a past that stretches back to the beginning of the world. The quest to find both of them entangles Sal and his companions in a hunt for magical treasure on the floor of the Divide, a mighty crack in the earth inhabited by creatures that are not remotely human. Desert landscapes and dirigibles feature in a fast-paced fantasy that combines romance, adventure, and humor with an original take on magic.

The Books of the Cataclysm take inspiration from many arcane and mythological sources. In positing that this world is just one of many "realms," three of which are inhabited by humans during various stages of their lives, it begins in the present world but soon propels the reader to a landscape that is simultaneously familiar and fantastic.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (18 Sep 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C4B248O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #559,339 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good solid fantasy adventure 9 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a great book, but then I couldn't write a great book if I tried. It's well-imagined and has interesting characters, and the plot makes sense without being predictable. The story has plenty of threads at the end that could be woven into a second volume - but unlike some authors nowadays, the author does finish it properly, and you aren't expected to buy some Volume II to find out what happens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing fantasy 16 Feb 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The marketing ploys seem to work. I read the free short story on my kindle and liked the writing style and the characters. The full novel doesn't disappoint. The fantasy is dark at times but there are lighter moments. The characters are rounded and show a full range of emotions including humour and self deprecation. The background world is sufficiently complex and the magical elements combine a form of alternative technology with the ability manipulate a spiritual overworld. There are no abracadabra moments. An enjoyable read.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 16 April 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Blood of Ambrose follows Lathmar VII's securing of and ascent to his throne, aided by his ancestress Ambrosia Viviana and her brother, Morlock Ambrosius. Five books comprise the novel, separated by periods of time of varying lengths, some encompassing weeks, some years. Much of the conflict (and the overarching plot) arises from Lathmar trying to reclaim his throne from the Lord Protector, Urdhven; more problems arise when it becomes apparent that there are inimical forces behind and beyond Urdhven. Several characters from Ambrosia and Morlock's past appear to help and/or complicate the situation.

It's written in omniscient, with the deepest dip into a character's point of view going to Lathmar. Many other characters get scenes from their PsOV, but their emotions are mostly left for the reader to infer from their actions, which accomplishes (at least) two things: the older, more powerful characters at first feel enigmatic, as they must to Lathmar, and Lathmar himself seems younger (which he is: twelve at the beginning of the book) since his emotions are more on display. The omniscient POV is a change of pace from the more prevalent tight third person, and requires a little more work from the reader, but it's well worth it.

There's quite a bit to admire about Enge's writing. Many parts of the world are referenced that I hope Morlock visits in future books, so I get to see them. Enge has a wonderfully inventive mind, as evidenced by the magic system and the world building. The writing is crisp and stylistically unusual, with a number of parenthetical asides that will be familiar to readers of the short stories. The dialogue is enjoyably witty. The last chapter had me both laughing and choking up. I'm very much looking forward to the second book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Novel 30 Jun 2009
By Jonathan A. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
PROS: "Blood of Ambrose" does a good job telling the tale of an "epic fantasy" without being 7+ books long. You learn the back story through the dialog and flashback. Also, Enge doesn't waste pages explaining how the magic works. The reader is dropped right into the plot. Enge does a great job characterizing and making the reader feel in touch with the characters, as strange as they are. The story is fairly common; one surviving heir as the protagonist and an antagonist trying to claim the throne for himself. The quirkiness of the heir's "grandmother," her brother and his apprentice is what makes this a 4 star novel.

CONS: Enge wasted a lot of time creating the astrology of his fantasy planet. He even went as far to create an appendix discussing the phases of the moons. The problem with all this work is that only 3 or 4 moon phases are mentioned in the book and they are not crucial to the story. A map would also have been helpful. Enge wrote up an appendix describing the continent, making it possible to create your own map, but the author's drawing would have been better.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark Magic, Evil Usurper, Flying Horses and Mechanical Spiders.... 19 Sep 2009
By A. Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The city of Ontil and the entire Empire is in turmoil. The King is a child and Lord Urdhven has named himself Protector and he's willing to kill anyone who gets in his way in order to gain and hold power. The young King does have two protectors. He is of the blood of Ambrose and two powerful, seemingly immortal ancestors still survive: Ambrosia Viviana is one. She is determined to look after the Empire she helped to found. Morlock Ambrosius, her brother, is the other, a man with a dark and almost legendary past. As he fights for his life, the child King will need both of them, and he will need to grow up quickly and also learn to rely on himself.

The King, Lathmar, is truly a child, with all the fear, uncertainty and confusion that entails. As the main character, he is the most sympathetic. The other characters are all very strange and very human and very flawed. Ambrosia is an old virago, a tough woman who has been a power in the kingdom for countless years and is determined to keep her watch and her say in the running of the Empire. Morlock is a taciturn, brusk man, and occasionally a sad drunk. Lathmar fears his relatives almost as much as nasty Urdhven, whom he is sure has killed his parents, and given Morlock and Ambrosia's unsympathetic personalities, it's understandable. Watching Lathmar gradually learn to deal with that and many other things is the main pleasure in this book. That and the quirky oddness of a few details--the screaming flying horse, the mechanical spider conveyance, the murders of crows.

Otherwise, things are grim and violent and the characters sometimes noble but most often not. It is a dark fantasy, with strange, obscure magic systems and references to societies that are never well-explained or revealed. There was, however, just enough action and adventure and sympathy to keep me reading.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have a man-crush on Morlock Ambrosius. 23 Aug 2010
By Greg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Twelve year-old Lathmar has lived an extremely sheltered life. That is, up until he recently became king. His parents, the former king and queen, died under "questionable circumstances" and his uncle, the Protector of the realm, plans a similar fate for him. Now, Lathmar's only protection is his many-times-over great-grandmother Ambrosia. Guarding Lathmar's escape, Ambrosia sends him after the one person who can save them, her infamous brother Morlock.

Mr. Enge has crafted unique and exciting tales that revolve around one of the coolest characters ever in fantasy. In fact, I think I just may have a man-crush on Morlock Ambrosius. (The last time I felt this way was for Joe Abercrombie's Logen Ninefingers from The First Law.)

Morlock is the greatest magical Maker of this world and he is also a master swordsman. He's a thaumaturge who has knowledge of all the arcane arts. Known as The Crooked Man -- because of the family trait in which one shoulder is higher than the other -- and many other names, Morlock is hated and feared throughout the land. His name is used to curse traitors. He talks to crows and wields a magic black sword called Tyrfing. Morlock has wandered this world of Laent for several centuries, an exile and a dry drunk. He's clever, has a dry wit, and is always more than what he seems.

Blood of Ambrose is such a fun story to read. Enge is one of those rare authors whose style and prose is perfect for a fantasy -- he has that ability to create language that sounds archaic but is still understandable and flows like a bard's tale. The reader is surprised again and again with completely unpredicted plot twists or resolutions. Plus, Enge drops crafty little details of a relation between this story and Arthurian legend, which adds an enticingly rich back-story. As do the appendixes that detail the land of Laent, the deities, and the calendar and astronomy. The world is both strange and familiar to our own.

I can honestly say that I haven't read anything quite like these tales about Morlock Ambrosius. The series is considered to be a new sword and sorcery tale: a fantasy story that revolves around a character instead of the kingdom-sized conflict of an epic. James Enge has earned himself another fan in this reviewer.

Note:I felt I should comment that this was the best Kindle version I've read to date. It downloaded complete with the front and back covers, the illustrations, and even the interesting initial that starts each chapter.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book 3 July 2009
By TC McCarthy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having already read through all the other reviews of BLOOD OF AMBROSE, I think it's been covered already: this is an amazing book. I'm not a fantasy reader, but read it because a friend wanted my opinion, and really enjoyed it. Seriously. I started reading it in the morning, and didn't put it down except to use the bathroom; finished it in 1.3 days.

I was about to do a detailed review, but it appears that many people have already done that so I'll leave it at this: Enge is a brilliant writer who manages to insert humor into an otherwise edge-of-your-seat - sometimes horrifying - ride. This book is about real people, with real flaws, who happen to exist in an extraordinary world.

Not your typical fantasy book; it's much more than that.
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