Lord of Snow and Shadows

Lord of Snow and Shadows

Book - 2004
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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.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2004, ©2003
Edition: Bantam mass market ed
ISBN: 9780553586213
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 574 pages ; 18 cm


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Oct 19, 2014

Lord of Snow and Shadows is an epic story. And I mean that in the traditional sense: there's a cast of characters that's fairly large, it spans several countries, and it involves a lot of political intrigue and boundary disputes as well as a basic coming-of-age/coming-into-power story for TWO primary characters. I was not prepared for all of that, so it took me some time to get through.

If you like epics, I recommend it. I had the ARC version, so hopefully it's been cleaned up a bit in publication. My primary frustration with it was that I didn't feel very invested in any of the characters. We were juggling so many, it was difficult to get attached or intimate with just one.

Aside from that, it was complex, had a few nice twists, had characters I wanted to bash into a wall (Astasia, for one), and took influence from some elements of European history. The imagery was where it shines the most, making you feel the cold, desolate northern country in your bones.

And while it doesn't end on a cliffhanger, per se, there are plenty of unanswered questions to drive you to book two (and probably book three, as well).

Dec 14, 2009

This was one of the worst books I've ever bothered reading. Some of the ideas driving the book are interesting, but the narrative keeps getting tripped up in clumsy portrayals of the world she is creating. Now, I know it's fantasy, but Ms. Ash demonstrates absolutely zero understanding of things like geography and how countries govern themselves. Yes, it's possible that things work differently in her world, but then her world would be populated only by idiots.

My advice is give this one a miss.


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