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Lord Of Snow And Shadows (THE TEARS OF ARTAMON:) [Paperback]

Sarah Ash
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

23 Nov 2010 THE TEARS OF ARTAMON: (Book 1)

Three kingdoms. One man.

A destiny written in blood.

An epic new fantasy series begins . . .

Seemingly always the outsider, Gavril Andar - an impoverished young painter - yearns to join the privileged circles of Muscobar polite society. However, unbeknownst to him, he does have royal blood in his veins: the dark and powerful blood of a father he never knew - the Drakhaon, ruler of the isolated northern kingdom of Azhkendir. And when the Drakhaon is brutally murdered, an unwilling Gavril is forced to take up the mantle of both his father's rule - and his power. For blood will out. And the Drakhaon's carries within it a taint that gives its bearer access to awesome, unimagined magics - but at a soul-shattering price.

Now trapped in this bleak, mist-shrouded land full of superstition and racked by bitter rivalries, Gavril faces an awesome task. He must find his father's killer and unite his fractured kingdom against those who see it as weak, defenceless and ripe for invasion before he pays the price of kinship and succumbs to the dread curse that uncoils within him . . .

Richly imagined, full of intrigue, magic and dark romance and boasting a cast of superbly-drawn players, LORD OF SNOW AND SHADOWS is the first book in a thrilling new trilogy and marks the triumphant return of one of fantasy's most original and exciting voices.


Frequently Bought Together

Lord Of Snow And Shadows (THE TEARS OF ARTAMON:) + Children Of The Serpent Gate (THE TEARS OF ARTAMON:) + Prisoner of the Iron Tower: Book Two of the Tears of Artamon
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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (23 Nov 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0857500228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857500229
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,991,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

'Thursday's Child has Far to Go.' Sarah was born on a Thursday' and she still likes to think that means there's a lot more mileage in her yet, particularly when it comes to her first love, writing.

Inspired by reading 'The Lord of the Rings'at the age of twelve, she started writing her own fantasy novels but chose to study music at New Hall (now Murray Edwards College), Cambridge. She's always enjoyed working with young people, so she trained as a teacher at Homerton College, Cambridge.

Staying at home when her two sons were small, Sarah started writing again and her first short story was published in 1992. Her first novel 'Moths to a Flame' came out in 1995 from Orion; seven other fantasy novels and various short stories for 'Interzone' have followed. She's taught music on and off all her life and recently retired after running a primary school library for seventeen years.

Sarah also reviews manga and anime - another passion! - for various online magazines. 'Flight into Darkness,' her eighth fantasy novel and sequel to 'Tracing the Shadow,' was published in early 2009 by Bantam Spectra. In response to many requests from readers, she is currently working on Book 4, a direct sequel to the popular Artamon trilogy. Her dream? To see one of her stories reinterpreted as manga or anime...

Product Description

Amazon Review

Sarah Ash earned critical acclaim for three 1990s fantasies and now opens a more ambitious fantasy sequence with Lord of Snow and Shadows, book one of "The Tears of Artamon".

Young hero Gavril is working as portrait-painter to the lords and ladies of Muscobar, a dukedom with a Renaissance flavour. Little does he know that his true father is Lord Volkh, the "Drakhaon" of a far more grim realm in wintry Azhkendir. Volkh's murder brings Gavril not only the throne--forced on him by dourly loyal henchmen--but demonic powers which exact a terrible price. Physical transformation is only the beginning. Yet it seems these powers must be used, because Ashkendir is threatened by spies, traitors, the vengeful spirit of Volkh himself, and external invasion.

High magic mixes with devious politics in Tielen, a princedom whose dreams of empire are supported by technomagical weaponry, "shadowsilk" invisibility cloaks for commandos, and men debased into werewolves. The southern mountains of Ashkendir lie between Tielen and its next goal Muscobar: too bad for Gavril's people. Except that Gavril himself is becoming something close to a nuclear deterrent--dangerous not only to foes.

Further complications involve blood feuds within Ashkendir, and Gavril's unwilling friendship with the man he's fated to kill; a servant girl who has unknowingly inherited the talent of Ghost Singer, able to sing the dead back from the afterworld; Gavril's mother, who becomes a political pawn; and a curse that "crops will fail, winters never end" until Volkh's raging ghost is satisfied.

Well written and smoothly readable, The Lord of Snow and Shadows offers an original flavour of fantasy that will have readers holding their breath for the sequels. Book one ends satisfyingly, but this respite is only a pause in the war, which will soon enter a new phase. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"'Overflowing with page-turning surprises and plot twists...a promising start to a clearly ambitious series'" (SFX)

"'Ash does it in style...she has given us a superb interweaving of character and context, seamless enough to carry us past the threshold of disbelief into a world both magical and firmly, unwaveringly human'" (Tom Holt)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A promising start 31 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
Sarah Ash's new trilogy opens with the artist Gavril Andar falling hopelessly in love with Astasia, the daughter of the Duke of Muscobar. Fortuitously he discovers that he is the son and heir of the recently assassinated ruler of Azhkendir, a buffer state between Muscobar and Tielen. Naturally he hopes that this might be the answer to his romantic problems. However, the Duke of Muscobar hopes to marry Astasia off to Prince Eugene of Tielen in a bid to avoid a ruinous war. To further complicate matters, Gavril soon discovers that he has inherited more than a bleak, poverty-stricken northern state. The dynasty to which he is heir is founded upon possession of (or, rather, by) a demonic force that will gradually devour his humanity but which he must use if he is to avenge his father's murder and defend his people against Tielen aggression.

The place names locate this novel rather too obviously in a mythical analogue of Russia. That quibble aside, Ash develops her world with loving attention to detail, building up a vivid picture of a late eighteenth century or early nineteenth century Russia without the external threat of Napoleon (we are told that Prince Eugene's father decisively defeated Francia in a sea battle a generation earlier) but also without the internal unifying force of a czar. The result is a collection of squabbling duchies at various stages of modernization. In some senses Muscobar is the most modern with the common people beginning to resent the aristocrats who exploit them. At the other extreme, Azhkendir remains thoroughly feudal much to the discomfort of Gavril who has been brought up in decadent Smarna.

One of the strengths of Ash's writing is her characterization. Even her minor characters feel like real people rather than stock figures.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and fascinating 9 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
The first part of the Tears of Artamon trilogy promises good things for the two succeeding parts. It is a deeply dark novel, with a fascinating story and an intriguing main character. Sarah Ash constructs her characters well and creates a cast with believable, three dimensional personalities. The story is compulsive, the pages turn almost by magic, and personally I can't wait for the next installment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book got me into reading..... 11 Dec 2013
By stephen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this trilogy its the reason i'v now always got my nose in a book. Sarah Ash should be alot more known.

fantastic book buy it if you like fantasy ;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cold and grim, but extremely engrossing. 19 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
This is the first volume of The Tears of Artamon (before Prisoner of the Ironsea Tower, and Children of the Serpent Gate).

Lord of Snow and Shadows tells the story of Gavril, a young painter who is suddenly snatched from his quiet life in sun-bathed Smarna after the father he's never met is murdered, and forcibly taken to the snow-bound kingdom of Azhkendir, where he's expected to avenge and succeed him.

Moreover, he soon learns that his heirloom comes with yet another price: the blood that runs in his family's veins is slowly transforming him into a Drakhaoul, a beast of incredible might but needing to be refuelled with the blood of young innocents. Gavril must absolutely resist it to preserve his soul and not give in to this dreadful craving.

In the meantime, his mother Elysia searches for him, imploring the help of the neighbouring Muscobite aristocracy, only to find herself caught in the middle of a powerplay between people lying in wait of a sign of weakness from the North to attack her son. She'll end up trusting the wrong people, who'll use her to invade Azhkendir.

I was taken in by the story from the very first pages and soon lost myself in the account of these intricate events, trying to see through these complex characters. The book is no light and happy fairy tale, though and some passages are terribly grim. However, Gavril's helplessness and good-heartedness make him very lovable, and I became very fond of Kiukiu, the cook's young niece and other maids' bully target, who'll discover powers of her own and finally befriend the Kastel's other desolate soul... I also enjoyed Sarah Ash's descriptions of winter in Azhkendir, so true to life I could feel the harshness of the cold. I'm eager to go on reading and see how the very tricky situation everyone is entangled in evolves.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hate the cover, enjoyed the book 6 Sep 2008
By Christopher Halo VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I approached this book knowing absolutely nothing about it, having only received one recommendation some years ago, and thus, had no idea what to expect. Would it be cliché, would it be epic fantasy, or something gritty, perhaps a book about owls? What it was, was very good, and a little bit of all of them.

Within the first fifty pages, the main character, Gavril, has fallen in love with the beautiful noblewoman, Astasia (destined for the Prince of another land), discovered something terrible about his father -- and his legacy to Gavril, and been kidnapped and taken to a strange land by one of his fathers closest friends. The story definitely picks up dramatically in quality after those first fifty pages, but at the same time, the speed at which everything is turned upside in Gavril's life -- before we get attached to him -- means that we don't really feel any sympathy for him as he struggles to cope with his new life and his new-found position. He doesn't struggle for too long, though -- Ash gives just enough time for us to learn, as he learns, about the new setting, the new rules, the new people, and doesn't over-indulge in back-history.

Gavril is now the Drakhaon, and the Azhkendir throne is his, not that he wants it. Not that he has a choice, at all. The blood running through his veins will change him; it gives him powers -- the ability to change into something akin to a dragon, to fly, to send fire from his hands, to kill.

To be honest, I wasn't that keen on the idea of someone turning into a dragon -- presumably shiny and golden, flying around happily in the summer air, perhaps with people on it's back. It seemed very unoriginal. Sarah Ash is darker than that, though, and a better writer.
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