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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ash's Irontower a sure hit, 19 April 2004
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Prisoner of Ironsea Tower (Tears of Artamon Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
The second novel in the Tears of Artamon series this novel had quite a lot to live up to. In the first we were treated to a whole new world and given the chance to view it through fresh eyes as the lead protagonist took us through his trials and tribulations as the tale unwound. This novel continues with the same excitement that was portrayed thoughout the first and even develops the lead characters sensitivity as he struggles against the dark nature of his own personal "demon".
Each of the other characters that were introduced in the first novel were additionally added to and have left the final part of the trilogy quite a lot to live up to. If youve not read the first novel of this series pick it up and you'll soon be hooked with the second part living up to the full potential that this tale had to offer. You'll soon become a fan of Gavil Nagarian as the hooks that exude from the character will embed themselves so deep you really will find it a long wait for the epic finale of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful emotive writing and complicated characters, 22 Aug 2004
This review is from: Prisoner of Ironsea Tower (Tears of Artamon Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
When I finished the first book in the Tears of Artamon series, Lord of Snow and Shadows, I have to admit I was disappointed. The story was absorbing, well researched, and the main characters all had a depth to them that made the story all the more poignant.
It was this involvement in the story that led to my disappointment with the ending. Without revealing the ending I will suffice to say that it was not cheerful. This made me somewhat reluctant to pick up the sequel, Prisoner of Ironsea Tower.
However my insatiable hunger for new reading material eventually led me to the second book in the Tears of Artamon.

If Lord of Snow and Shadows is a good book, then its sequel is bordering on fantastic. The main characters all gain new depth as they suffer and (in some cases) triumph, and some characters who did not play such large roles in the first book were fleshed out, along with an cast of new characters.
A wealth of new material regarding the 'history' of the world in which the books are set is revealed, along with information regarding the origin and agenda of the Drakhaoul.
Despite Sarah Ash's claim to there being no 'Dark Lords' in this series I have to say I have come to despise some characters, and love others (though there is a great deal more despising ;) ).
Though I consider Gavril's story to be the central thread of the plot many more threads are woven into this book, bringing different perspectives to the reader's attention. This open view of story has even managed to squeeze a little sympathy for Eugene out of me (Eugene being the character who has the place of honour on my hit-list).
Overall this is an incredible book, really expanding and improving the story set up in Lord of Snow and Shadows, and laying the stage for a dramatic climax in the yet to be released third book. Should anyone have any information on the third book I beg you to please share it with me as the afore-mentioned hunger is driving me insane.
I highly recommend this book to any and everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Sequel, 11 Feb 2006
If you've read the 1st book then you won't be dissapointed with this one either.
My only critisicm would be that in certain places it is a tad predictable and slow (hence the 4 stars instead of 5), but on the whole I thouroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone into fantasy.
If you were happy with the first book then you'll be happy with this one too.
(Just as a warning though, I've also read the 3rd book too and that is quite a letdown in comparison to the first two)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lived up to expectations, 7 Sep 2004
By 
Marie Lambert (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Prisoner of Ironsea Tower (Tears of Artamon Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
The second installment of the tears of artamon series has lived up to, and even surpassed my expectations. The novel is well constructed and the story is fascinating, dealing with matters on a personal scale as well as on a larger, political scale, staying all the time within the realms of a coherent fantasy world.
The element of the novels that has most interested me is the way that the characters are portrayed. They are real, in that they are well rounded and three dimensional and readers get an insite into the lives of both the 'good' and 'bad' sides. In short the series is fantastic, and I'm champing at the bit to get to the next installment and the conclusion of the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A strong sequel, 31 Aug 2011
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In Prisoner of Ironsea Tower Sarah Ash continues the story of Gavril Nagarian (an artist who unexpectedly inherits one of the Rossiyan duchies and the demonic power that goes with it) and Eugene of Tielen (who is determined to become emperor of a reunited Rossiya). At the end of Book 1, Gavril renounced the dragon demon that was source of his power. With no one to stand against him, Eugene easily extends his power over the remaining Rossiyan duchies and has Gavril imprisoned in a notorious lunatic asylum (the Ironsea Tower of the title).

The story begins quite slowly, but after a couple of chapters the pace begins to pick up. Apparently the creature that possessed Gavril was not destroyed by the exorcism that cast it out. Instead it finds a new host, incidentally saving the life and restoring the memory of Andrei Orlov - the heir of Muscobar (Tielen's great rival), thought dead in a shipwreck during the war in the opening volume of the trilogy (Lord of Snow and Shadows). What's more, there is more than one of these creatures and in the course of this volume we learn a great deal more about their history - enough, perhaps, to begin to sympathize with their plight. In spite of the title, Gavril does not long remain a prisoner. Eugene's hold over his new Rossiyan Empire proves less secure than he hoped at first, driving him to seek still greater power with the aid of his court alchemist. By the end of the volume, the Rossiyan Empire is divided by civil war, two dragon demons are on the loose and a Francian fleet is on its way to invade Rossiya.

The book may be strong on action, but this has not weakened Ash's characterization. As I pointed out in my review of Lord of Snow and Shadows, even her minor characters feel like real people. With one possible exception, there are no heroes or villains in this story - the personalities and motivations of her major characters are simply too complex for any of them to be unremittingly good or evil. The exception appears to be Caspar Linnaius, the Tielen court alchemist. Ash claims that there are no Dark Lords in her fantasy trilogy and that may well be true, but he is certainly a candidate for the role of Rasputin. His character is painted in unremittingly dark tones - scheming, manipulative, and quite lacking in moral restraint when it comes to the use of his powers.

However, it has to be said that this is very much the second book of a trilogy. It is inevitably dependent on Book 1. But whereas that volume had a satisfying ending, in the sense that major plot issues were resolved, this book ends on a cliffhanger with everything now dependent on the concluding volume, Children of the Serpent Gate. I found much to enjoy in this book, but I must admit I was irritated by its inconclusiveness (particularly by comparison with Lord of Snow and Shadows) - cliffhanger endings make me feel I am being manipulated into reading the next volume. That irritation apart, I can thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Lord of Snow and Shadows.
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Prisoner of Ironsea Tower (Tears of Artamon Trilogy 2)
Prisoner of Ironsea Tower (Tears of Artamon Trilogy 2) by Sarah Ash (Paperback - 1 May 2004)
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