All the Paths of Shadow (Paths of Shadow, #1)
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All the Paths of Shadow (Paths of Shadow #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  45 reviews
“Walk warily, walk swiftly, walk away.”

The king’s orders were clear enough. “Move the tower’s shadow,” he bellowed. “I refuse to deliver my commencement speech from the dark.”

As the newly appointed mage to the Crown of Tirlin, Meralda Ovis has no choice but to undertake King Yvin’s ill-conceived task. Tirlin’s first female mage, and the youngest person to ever don the robe...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 484 pages
Published October 5th 2011 by Cool Well Press (first published September 13th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
An ice cream sundae of fantasy reads; sweet, flavored with familiarity, a variety of pleasing textures. Tuttle has created a heroine I wish I could have found at fourteen, a more self-reliant one than Aerin in The Blue Sword--no kidnapping or aging paramour warrior kings necessary. Meralda is an eighteen-year-old mage who uses logic, math, courage and persistence when confronting an array of challenges, both human and occult.

Meralda is the youngest mage and the first woman to be appointed to the...more
Olga Godim
An enjoyable light fantasy, this novel blends steampunk and magic, dirigibles and talking plants into a charming, seamless tale. The protagonist Meralda is the new Thaumaturge of Tirlin. Despite being only eighteen, she is the smartest mage the kingdom has known for centuries, a brilliant girl genius – a refreshingly original concept in fantasy fiction. She fights no battles; she embarks on no quests. Instead, moving between her home and her laboratory, she solves problems, using magic, mathemat...more
I enjoyed this book so much more than I think perhaps I *should* have, given certain quibbles, that I'm going to explain how bad the reading circumstances were before saying anything about the book itself. The next paragraph entirely skippable, so!

I got this all downloaded on my phone ready to spend the day in hospital with my mother, who was having the battery on her pacemaker changed. Theoretically a lot of sitting around with her dozy or being proceded upon, after I'd done all the sitting aro...more
Fantasy Review Barn

There is an old story that this reviewer is much too lazy to do any research that would verify or debunk. The story says that a man who went by Dr. Suess wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a dare based on only using a hundred distinct words. I bring this up only because I wonder if there was a dare behind ‘All the Paths of Shadow.’

“Mr. Tuttle,” I imagine a smug friend of the author saying (though he probably wouldn’t use the impersonal Mr., but rather a more friendly Frank). “I dare...more
This was really good. Amazon suggests this book as Young Adult Literature, but it was just a rousing good fantasy for any age. I'm looking forward to the sequel and many more in the series. I got it as a free download ebook from amazon and have now bought several of the author's other books.

UPDATE: Passed this along to my 13 year old son for a school project. The teacher thought it might be too long, as he has a learning disability and has a hard time with reading. He LOVED it, and is bugging m...more
Jamee Pritchard
This book is exceptionally well written, full of intricate detail and a polished style of writing. Author Frank Tuttle does a superb job in showing his reader the specific elements of the story instead of just telling. His world of Tirlin is quite imaginative yet reminiscent of our own society.

His story centers around Mage Meralda Ovis and her difficult task of moving the shadow from the tallest tower in the kingdom by order of the king in time for the Accords, the peaceful meeting of five nati...more
Elyse Salpeter
I have just finished reading All the Paths of Shadow and can't stop thinking about the main character, Meralda Ovis. As mage to the Crown of Tirlin, she presents exactly the type of young strong female protagonist we love and need to see more of. She's independant and strong and brilliant, using wits, skills, and hard work to solve problems. She's wise beyond her years and possesses a grace, bravery and intellect that you don't normally see in YA books today. She must rely on her own devices to...more
I enjoyed this very much, despite some flaws. In particular, I enjoyed seeing a truly competent female protagonist and characters who trusted each other.

There are a few editing issues, but only a few. Breech instead of breach, Bellringer's instead of Bellringers', passed instead of past, boogie instead of bogey, sherbert as a misspelling of sherbet, whickers instead of whiskers, millenia used as the singular, and belied used to mean betrayed were the ones I caught, plus a couple of cases where a...more
I got "All the Paths of Shadow" for free on Amazon and I have to say I never imagined it would be this good. When I started this book, I thought I would give it a try before I threw it on my DNF pile. But the truth was I couldn't put it down at all. I devoured it in two days!

It is a very light read with the author infusing elements of steampunk and fantasy into the story. There is a strong female MC, a smart alecky houseplant, a sweet love interest and scary dark magic hiding in a tower. If the...more
Lee Cuppett
Let me start out by saying, I didnt mean to read this book. I just sorta picked it up and was gonna browse through it while the brownies baked. Took the brownies out and continued "browsing" now five hours later I have read the entire book. And thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Nice blending of magic, mystery, steampunkishness, and a little romance thrown in for fun.

While being the "youngest" or the "first woman" to be a fill in the blank is pretty old staple, I still found this book to be refreshing and n...more
An imaginative, well-written and thoroughly enjoyable fantasy tale which is filled with both magical and political intrigue, a great cast of characters and lacking neither humour nor a bit of romance. I really loved the main character, Meralda, who is strong, smart and independent and whose world I would love to return to in the future. All in all a great read!
Very unique and fun fantasy. Loved the sense of humor. Also loved the fact that not every villain turns out to be villainous. (I was getting really tired of disaster plots where "everything that could go wrong will" which I've always found to be unrealistic.)

Unintentionally funny, however, were all the references to her bathing in a water closet. Water closets where I'm from are little closet-sized rooms with a toilet. Bathrooms contains baths, and you can have both a water closet and a bathroom...more
"Walk wearily, walk swiftly, walk away" Meralda is a clever, cunning, and brilliant character who strongly shows that you should never underestimate a girl. Meralda is ordered to move the shadow of the tallest tower in Tirlin for king Yvin's speech at the Accords. No one has ever done a shadow moving spell before and definatly not under such a short time limit. To make matters worse, people say the tower is haunted. Strange lights flicker in the windows at midnight and powerful spells are hidden...more
This was a Kindle freebie by an author previously unknown to me. I chose to read it because I liked the cover and the reviews were promising.

The story takes place entirely in one city, in a world with steampunkish technology and scientific magic. It is not Earth, but retains many Earthly details or their analogs, sometimes in ways that convey either a tongue in cheek attitude or lazy worldbuilding. Meralda, the sensible protagonist is (interestingly or not) the only female character I remember....more
Kay Bolton
This Novel was one of my DSOA's from way back when .... oh okay, March this year, and I've finally found the time to read it.

For me this was a touch too boring, there seemed to very little action taking place until right towards the very, very end.

The actual plot line, it it had been snappier and with a few interesting twists worked in would have created really quite a nice piece of fiction, it just failed to perform.

On the bright side, the characterisation wasn't bad. I particularly loved Mug,...more

Periodically a new writer will come along, and I'll say to myself, this one is one to watch out for! Frank Tuttle is definitely a writer to watch! I have been reading his books for a while now and he just keeps getting better. I've enjoyed his fun, but edgy hard-boiled detective, Markhat, as well as his short stories, especially Wistril Compleat (We'll Dine in Shifts!), but this new book is a whole other kettle of fish. First of all, it is significantly longer than some of his other books. Ther...more
A very enjoyable read. This is well-written light, humorous fantasy. There is a slight steampunk edge - or rather, it's a Victorianesque setting with airships, and the magic system relies heavily on copper devices. The characterisation is good - no cardboard cutouts here. The pace is swift, and the plot is complex enough to be interesting - not everything is neatly tidied away at the end, so presumably there will be a sequel, to which I am looking forward.

Some reviewers have been disappointed th...more
Excellent, if you like the Abhorsen, you will love this. This book is barely Steampunk, just has magical devices made of copper and dirigibles. The idea of a mage having to solder and build devices is great. It also reminded me of the type of magic in Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind. I loved how this book stood alone, but thought the world was worth playing in more. I am pleased to find it is the first of a series.
I really wavered between two and three stars for this one. I really liked the characters and the story but the pace was VERY slow. Way too much detail. Do we really need to know about what she ate at every single meal, every time she visited the water closet and every time she nodded off at her desk? She is the most powerful wizard ever and blushes every time a man pays attention to her? Don't think so... Also the world building was totally confusing. Donuts and take out coffee mixed in with dir...more
Maria Schneider
I really enjoyed this book. It's one of those stories that stuck with me and is richer from the details that stuck. I was a little distracted when I started it and having trouble settling into it at first (I was on a plane) but before long I was rooting for the characters (especially the sidekick Mug--oh, How I need one of these great plant sidekicks!) and enjoying the plot. This book, like a lot of Tuttle's work, is strong on atmosphere--there's a couple of scenes with the ghost that are just t...more
Read this on my ereader. I was a little disconcerted to see 6421 pages when I first downloaded it, but I'm guessing that must mean lines or something. The paperback version (which I will make my mother purchase and read if I have to hack her amazon account myself) says only 484 pages. Either way, it was a great story and I was sad to see it end.

Lightly steampunk YA novel set in a thinly disguised England/Europe. The characters are wonderful. Mug the dandyleaf plant is a unique and witty familiar...more
I enjoyed this book immensely! It had a unique setting, a brilliant take on magic (it's governed by mathematics!), the lovely addition of Chinese culture, and a heroine who's motivation isn't marriage or romance. I didn't find it lacking in excitement or action as some reviews have noted, but then again I am a fan of the classics and thoroughly enjoy a thoughtful, evenly paced book that continually delights and surprises me. I very much hope a sequel is in the works, as I look forward to followi...more
Sandra Almazan
Mar 29, 2013 Sandra Almazan rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of Patricia McKillip
A young mage charged with moving a tower's shadow so that it won't interfere with her king's speech to visiting monarchs finds the task, and the tower, to be more complicated than she expected.

Pros: Likeable characters, lots of magical artifacts, detailed worldbuilding.

Cons: head-hopping in some scenes (the overall POV feels more like deep third than omniscient, so perhaps it was a matter of some scenes being run together), some of the cultures feel too much like ones from our world, a character...more
s a wonderful fantasy book. The King of Tirlin wants the newly appointed mage of Tirlin, Meralda Ovis, to bend the shadow that will cast by the Tower onto the stage where he will be delivering his speech for The Accords, a gathering of representatives from five nations. A tall order to be sure, but Meralda thinks she's up to the challenge. However, the Tower may have a different idea, especially as there are already rumors that it is haunted.

What mysteries are hidden by the Tower, and are there...more
What a great story. Loved the heroine and all the little details that made the story real. Magic and politics is something I don't often enjoy reading but this was exactly what I was looking for. Not to complicated, but still full of strong characters and real thinking. Many reviews comment on the slow pace and the lack of action, but that is precisely what I enjoyed. I had time to take in the world, and everything wasn't solved with a flash magic battle, but through hard work and a network of p...more
Frank Van
What an absolutely wonderfully written novel. I could find nothing wrong with it.

This book seemed very interesting and intriguing but dont let that fool you. I really wanted to like this book; I love books that have strong heroines and this book did have one, but the story just dragged on and on and on and on! There was barely any action in most of the book. There was no heart pounding action scenes that made me want to read on. This book was dull and boring. Sorry for being a party pooper but there should be action throughout the book and not just at the END of the book! If...more
I just started reading but am already amused by the author's style. What could be better than a snarky house plant? The perfect antidote to the heavy, depressing volume I was reading before.

Keep in mind the book was YA. On a personal level, I enjoyed the Markhat series more but I wouldn't necessarily hand those books to my daughter to read. This one, I would. The world was interesting, the heroine competent and enjoyable without being whiny or weak. The side characters were amusing. What's not t...more
Fantastic read for Tweens through to grannies.
A strong and clever young woman saves the world supported by a cranky old crew of Mages past and still alive with a sweet love interest thrown in (who is also clever and smart and supportive). Meralda also has a talking pot plant as a familiar/friend. As someone who grew up with Bill and Ben the Flowerpot men and the Little Weed, I loved this touch. Frank Tuttle deserves to be much better known for all his writing. I would also recommend this story to anyone who loved Sorcery and Cecelia.
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“Bed sheet, if you please. I’ll leave my dignity here.” 2 likes
“Meralda shook her head. "Pay him no attention, gentlemen," she said. "Logic fails. Reason surrenders. Silence is your only defense."

"Silence, and a whooping big crossbow," muttered Mug. Kervis grinned, and Mug winked. "That's a lad," he whispered. "There's hope for you yet.”
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