Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash

Lord of Snow and Shadows (2003)

by Sarah Ash

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6121015,926 (3.69)1 / 10



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Gavril has no idea what he’s up against. In one day, he goes from being a talented, but commonly born peasant with little knowledge of his parentage painting (and falling in love with) the local nobleman’s daughter, to being kidnapped and told his father’s not only the king of a foreign country, but that he’s dead and Gavril’s the heir to a monstrous legacy. Not exactly a good day, but it gets worse from there.

Lord of Snow and Shadows is really a book about being a victim of fate; not only being a victim, either, but railing against fate and trying to make the choices that aren’t easy, even when other people would give in considering the odds against them. It’s not only Gavril that faces these incredible circumstances, but also his mother, the nobleman’s daughter, and even a serving girl in Gavril’s castle. Most of these people live up to that challenge and come out the other side stronger and better people for it, despite the fact that easy exits are provided for them along the way and they are provided with every motivation to quit.

I was really looking forward to this book for a couple of really foolish reasons – but every girl can be a little foolish once in a while without hurting anything. I really liked this cover. From the standpoint of looking at this cover, it just looked like an amazing book, and I was excited about it.

The second reason is that this book is billed as epic fantasy, and honestly, I really don’t feel like it lives up to this standard; epic fantasy tends to have elaborate plots and sweeping story arcs, but this book was far too straightforward to fit into that category. I really think it was unfair to class this as epic fantasy. If it had been categorized as regular fantasy, just a normal story, I wouldn’t have had such a sour taste in my mouth at the end of it. I also feel like the plot was a little neglected at times, considering that it could have been so much better, in favor of rushing off to do one thing or another. Considering that I also think that the characters were neglected, I sort of want to blame an overzealous editor who wanted to keep the book small. This could have been done in a much better way.

This is not to say that the book isn’t interesting. Having it in a Tsarist Russian setting was unique and gave it a flavor not unlike Paula Volsky’s A Wolf in Winter, a book I very much did enjoy and does indeed deserve to be categorized as epic fantasy, but with a writing style that is much more like Mercedes Lackey and Robin Hobb.

All in all, I’m slightly disappointed. It was a good read and I enjoyed it for that, and I definitely enjoyed Ash’s approach toward her characters and their methods of dealing with the hands they were dealt, but I wouldn’t feel like I’d broken my heart if I sold the book to a used bookstore. I will definitely not be reading the follow-up novels. ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 17, 2015 |
Urban fantasy is becoming more common, with authors such as Charles de Lint heading the pack. But Sarah Ash has broken away from the custom of setting magic in modern-day settings, instead creating a new world where magic and burgeoning modernism exist side-by-side.

Science and magic collide in Lord of Snow and Shadows.

Gavril Andar's quiet life as a painter is shattered when he receives news of his father's death. Lord Volkh hadn't seen his son in years, but now his bloodline's inheritance must be passed on, whether Gavril wants it or not. He must become the Drakhaon, a war leader, and avenge his father's murder.

But mysteries abound when he reaches Azhkendir and assumes leadership. This is a land where restless spirits walk the earth, and treachery waits around every corner. With Volkh's men divided and betrayal souring any chance of an accord, Gavril must form some unlikely alliances if he's to survive. Nothing, however, can protect him from the demonic powers coursing through his own blood. The very thing that makes him his father's true heir may be his ultimate undoing.

Continue reading...
  shelfreflection | Jul 17, 2014 |
Abandoned at about halfway point: repetitive, uninspired writing, uninteresting characters, weird juxtaposition of fantasy with reality, and altogether pretty predictable. ( )
  Stewartry | Oct 15, 2013 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
This book is different from the YA fantasy books I’ve been reading lately. The setting has a Russian feel to it, which is unusual because most other fantasy worlds can’t help but have a western background. The story of Gavril is also a lot more grim, it deals with some heavy stuff and not at all in a childish way. Questions like: “Do I put my own life in front of others?” and “Can I trust someone who’s cursed with something so dangerous it might kill me?” dominate the book.
The storylines followed throughout the book are the political intrigue and the dominance of a world different from ours, but still recognizable. The story takes place in a timeframe more than a century ago, with the introduction of the telephone (or here the Vox Aethyria) and the World Wars, although there aren’t any more indications to the right period in ‘history’.
A book in which court intrigues play a major role are a personal favorite of mine, so Lord of Snow and Shadows is right up my alley. The author made good use of the opportunities that this book presented and everything was nicely written and explained so that it wasn’t very difficult to follow.

The name of the series: The Tears of Artamon is very briefly introduced in this first book, but what their role will be in the further story remains a bit of a mystery.
The use of magic is more subtle than I’m used to: the drakhaoul demon, the magus and the guslyars all possess some kind of magic, but the majority of the population has no magic and has rarely heard of or seen it. Ghosts coming back from the “world beyond” and unexplained phenomena can aslo be attributed to magic, but these all derive from the particular powers of one or more of the magical people mentioned above.

In terms of writing style, I have some comments: sometimes there’s just too much happening in a too limited amount of phrases, the events seem rushed and confusing. The transitions between the POVs is here and there rather abrupt, but otherwise the book reads very smoothly.
Many stumble over the exotic names, but they are one of the more original things I’ve read in a while. Only the name "KiuKiu" isn’t really my thing, but that's just a personal preference.
The author obviously has a talent for creating well defined and loveable characters. Some might even surprise you in the end by their actions or feelings. Nothing is exactly as it seems.
Elysia, the mother, who seems to be a strong woman in the beginning turns out to be incredibly naïve and very easy to manipulate. She's one of those characters you just want to scream at: "No! Don't trust that guy, can’t you see he's just going to double-cross you?! Run as fast as you can! "But off course, they will not listen and you see them walking into a trap with their eyes wide open. And then you just sigh and sit there with an "I-told-you-so" look on your face.

I really enjoyed this rather unknown book, and I would definitely recommend it to the more seasoned fantasy readers.

Visit my Fantasy bookblog http://draumrkpa.blogspot.be/ for more reviews, new releases,...
( )
  Cindy_DraumrKopa | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"For Tom"
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
De clanheer ligt op sterven, zijn blik dwalend, verglazend terwijl hij blind zijn handen uitstrekt naar de arm van zijn luitenant.
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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 . . .
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553586211, Mass Market Paperback)

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 father’s 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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:45 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Lowly court painter Gavril Nagarian learns that he is the rightful heir to the harsh arctic kingdom of Azhkendir, that he possesses formidable powers that compromise his humanity, and that he is being targeted by bitter rivals who would prevent him from reuniting the kingdom.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
19 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.69)
1 2
1.5 1
2 10
2.5 4
3 26
3.5 12
4 39
4.5 7
5 24

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,874,865 books! | Top bar: Always visible