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Flesh and Spirit [Mass Market Paperback]

Carol Berg
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 4.71
Price: 4.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Flesh and Spirit + Breath and Bone + The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica)
Price For All Three: 14.09

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (2 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451461568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451461568
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 10.7 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
On my seventh birthday, my father swore, for the first of many times, that I would die facedown in a cesspool. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very skilled author 22 Oct 2009
By AnetteF
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would disagree with describing 'Flesh and Spirit' and its sequel 'Breath and Bone' as 'dark' fantasy. There is very minor mentioning of necromancy and other dark practises and the overall feel is regular fantasy lore.

The two books are one story. Now that is often the case with multi volume books, but in this case, I can't stress that enough. If you read them on one continuous page, I doubt that you would be able to spot where the first one ended and the second one started.

The story is told from the point of view of Valen, a young man with a chequered family history, who only knows about his future that he will meet his end in water and blood and ice. A prediction his mother, a pureblood diviner made on his seventh birthday. He is not the 'want to be a hero' type and indeed has been doing his utmost not to be noticed to which end he has avoided forming close friendships or staying in one place too long. Now all that is about to be challenged.

Severely injured, Valen is offered sanctuary in a monastery and soon finds himself at the centre of politics and intrigues involving secret societies, doomsayers, monks, princes and madmen. What draws the attention of all of them is the book of maps in Valen's possession.

Carol Berg's strength is her writing skill. The story itself is entertaining and quite original but what lifts it above the rest is the way she writes it. It is so vivid, so descriptive without being too detailed that you find yourself forever wanting to read the next page. In my case until four in the morning.

I have yet to come across someone that did not like this author once they have read her books and it is amazing that she is not better known. She will almost certainly appeal to people that like reading books by Robin Hobb or Lynn Flewelling as there is a similar quirkiness about her stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not amazing 20 Jun 2010
A Kid's Review
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book entertained me for a good few days and the anti-hero made me giggle a few times - always good, I hate it when I can't stand the main character of a book! At times seemed like it was trying to cram in too much at once, but maybe it just seemed that way to me because I don't read a whole lot of fantasy? I would say this was a worthwhile read for anyone who like me, enjoys a bit of slightly more realistic, not overly-complicated fantasy. Not amazing, but I have heard the sequel is much better so I am looking forward to reading that next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Way more than I expected 26 Feb 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read hundreds of fantasy novels and so have been searching through lessar known fantasy titles in the hope of finding something worthwhile. The lack of many reviewers made me somewhat dubious about the quality of this book. However it and its sequel are well worth reading and leave you hoping that the threads of the story may be taken up again in subsequent books. Absolutely loved it so give it a try :)
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Days 22 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A dark fantasy set in a world where all order, law and civilisation are crumbling. This is first person narrative at it's most subtle - a haunted and hunted narrator who is neither particularly likeable or heroic at first, but who we come by degrees to understand.

But what really sets this head and shoulders above most of the fantasy I've read in 2007 is the amazingly detailed world-creation. This is a compelling book, hard to put down and hard to forget. I'm not sure how it will appeal to fans of this author's more traditional epics - but if you're looking for intelligent literate fantasy and a world with a solid historical feel, then this is worth tracking down.
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