Lord of Snow and Shadows
by Sarah Ash
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
496 pages; ISBN: 0553803344
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Portrait painter Gavril Andar has always lived with his mother in Smorna, the summer resort town of the Muscobarian aristocracy. It is when his father, the ruler of the cold kingdom Azhkendir in the frozen northern wastelands, is assassinated he learns the truth about his heritage. As the heir to his father’s kingdom Gavin learns that his blood is that of the dragon and when danger threatens his people he turns into a Drakhaoul, able to fly and breath down poison fumes on the enemy.
Gavin wants no part of his father’s legacy, but Azhkendiran warriors kidnap him and bring him back to kill his sire’s assassin. While Gavril learns the customs of his people, Prince Eugene of Tielen tries to reunite the old empire with him as emperor. He wants to add Muscobar to his kingdom but he needs to take Azhkendir in order to do it. He sets in motion a variety of schemes to bring down the Drakhaoul but in the end, it is Gavin that Eugene must face to determine whom rules in Azhkendir.
Though somewhat typical of the sub-genre, book one in The Tears Of Artamon series is an excellent sword and sorcery tale filled with plenty of action and fully developed characters. The protagonist matures as he faces trials and tribulations from forces aligned against him who want to crush him and his country. By the end of LORD OF SNOW AND SHADOWS, Gavin has become a brave warrior; he is ready to defend the nation he inherited. Sarah Ash’s is a bright new star in the fantasy gallery.
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