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

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  753 ratings  ·  97 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
Paperback, 1st Edition, 484 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Cool Well Press (first published September 13th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 14, 2013 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of light fantasy
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
All the Paths of Light and Shadow is kind of a whimsical fantasy that stands well on its own even though it's part of a series. I've seen it referred to as Steampunk, and there are some very slight Steampunk elements - dirigibles in the sky, and a more scientific approach to magical gadgets. But, it was just a slight Steampunkish flavor.

I think what I enjoyed most about this was actually the non-human characters. Meralda is a court mage, and has the most unique familiar I've ever heard of - a pl
Mr. Matt
Meralda Ovis is a woman with a very big problem. Mainly the fact that the king wants her to move the shadow of an extremely ancient and reputedly haunted tower. Things only get worse from there. She's assigned two guards that she doesn't need or want. The rival kingdoms are coming together to renew their fractious peace and someone appears dead set on trying to stop that renewal. The mysterious people from across the sea decide to show up as well. Oh, and Meralda is first female royal Mage and m ...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
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
Ugh i hate writing a review when its been a while. I'll give it a go and hope for the best.

So All the Paths Of Shadow is an interesting book. Its set in a different world to what we live in but not by much, there are quite a few similarities, For one its kind of set in a relaxed Victorian era, you also have the Alon's who sound Scottish in dress and attitude. The Hang who sound Asian, possibly China or Japan. then there's the Tirlin, Eryans and the Vonats. Now I'm thinking Tirlin is more like En
3.5 stars. By the end of All the Paths of Shadow, I can happily say that it was quite an enjoyable light fantasy read... which is not something that I would have said had you asked me how I felt about this book at the halfway point. There is good characterization here and the dialogue is zippy, the prose flowing and easy to read, but the world-building and plodding pace of the first half made for a rather uneven result.

A major reason for the gap in quality between the first and second halves of
Amy Aelleah
I can't do it any more. I just cannot keep reading books in the hope that they will get better when it's quite obvious to me that they won't. It took me ten weeks to make it halfway through this book. I can't even begin to tell you how many other books I had started and finished in that time. (Actually, after looking it up on Goodreads, I can. Ten books.)

So, what's wrong with this book? Ugh, what isn't?

Setting: The setting makes no sense. You get take-out coffee and donuts along with newspaper
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
Pauline Ross
Fantasy Review Barn

This is one of those books that ticks all the right boxes for me. Spunky female lead – check. Detailed world building – check. Interesting magic system – check. Humour – check. A bit of a romance – check. Talking plant – check. Wait, what? A talking plant? OK, whatever. And yet, somehow... it doesn't quite work.

The premise is a good one. The kingdom's first female royal sorcerer (called a thaumaturge here) is given an unusual challenge by the king: ensure that his speech to th
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
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
Jennie Pratt
I want to start by saying that I think the cover very much misrepresents Meralda. The lady on the cover looks like she is perfectly coiffed... Meralda wasn't at any point in this book. She came across as a brilliant mathematician who cared more for her enchanted dandyleaf plant, science, and numbers than about her appearance. And those are the very reasons I fell in love with her story! She's incredibly headstrong and independent. Always my favorite type of heroine.

The story itself is mostly pr
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
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
Doe this book have a strong independent female character?
Good, then that's all I need to know.
No seriously, Meralda is now one of my favourite heroines. She's super kick ass and knows complicated maths stuff and can do magic and she doesn't get moon-eyed, flirty or stupid over random good looking guys (of which there are some in this book).

This book was really good, but the magic system that Tuttle created made my head hurt a little bit, but that's probably because a lot of the magic relied
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
Mary B. Grove
Slow start, rollicking finish

It took me a while to get into the book, mostly because I didn't think much of Meralda at first. She seemed arrogant and patronising about other people's belief in the ghost in the tower, and even after her own experience that something strange was happening, she still kept insisting everyone else was wrong. That type of pride and willful blindness is not an attractive quality in a main character, and she was very much the central character for the first several chap
Jun 25, 2015 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Samantha by: sjlang
I enjoyed this book, obviously. It never took itself too seriously, it had enjoyable characters, the magic system having such a heavy mathematics component was refreshing, and overall the book left me wishing I had a talking plant.

That said, the plot does skip around a lot, and Vonats are never really given any depth. The characters talk about them as if they are all villainous spies, and all the Vonats we meet are either depicted as unpleasant or shown to be stock villains. It makes one questi
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
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!
Kim Power
Meralda the Marvelous

Meralda, the first woman Mage to become Thaumaturge to the King, encounters one problem after the other when he King assigns her a frivolous task to launch an international treaty meeting. Tuttle has built a future world without technology but with a steampunk sensibility and a touch of magic. Meralda is an original, as is her familiar, Mug. Other central characters are a bit more stereotypical, the grumpy old Mage, the mysterious, handsome stranger, yet they are delightful
Dru Pagliassotti
I found this a very pleasant and enjoyable gaslight-fantasy novel. It's not complex or high-concept, but it offers entertaining, inoffensive, amusing escapism, which is really all I ask for most of the time. All The Paths of Shadow has a strong and sympathetic female protagonist, dodges some potential racial-stereotyping pitfalls while presenting a culturally diverse cast, presents an interesting set of human and inhuman support characters, and was suprisingly engaging given its simple initial p ...more
This book kept being recommended to me and it was cheap so I decided to try it out.

The story was okay, a little slow at first, but it got better. The world building needed a hand. It seemed like the author had a good idea but then couldn't get it off the ground so he borrowed a lot from the present (i.e. newspaper names, cultures, accents, food, history). It was set on Earth, but not Earth.

Meralda is okay, but her relationship with the king is odd. She works for him, but has no respect for him e
Dec 24, 2014 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
20 November 2014: $0.00 FREE on Kindle
Apr 28, 2015 Tathar added it
I've had this for a while, and started it twice before finishing it finally. It was interesting but not gripping, at least, not for me. My feeling is that it was somewhat overwritten, and slow to get started. I enjoyed the world and the characters, and as things went on, it got more involving.

The main character - a woman who has become the King's Mage when all the other important mages are men - is asked to move the shadow of a tower. Along the way, she discovers that there is a reason no one m
Laura Christensen
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
A few passers-by recognized Meralda. The sorceress, both the first woman and the youngest mage to ever occupy the seat of Thaumaturge in the long history of Tirlin, had briefly been the subject of notoriety in the papers.

My reaction when I read that?


Noooooooooooooo! Not another Mary Sue, please!


I mean, all the checkboxes are ticked. There are no mentions of her parents. She is the youngest. She is the first. All the signs point toward a Mary Sue. But, thankfully, somehow, the author still mana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"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
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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 11, 2015 03:11PM  
  • Revenge of the Mad Scientist (Airship Adventure Chronicles #1)
  • Blood and Betrayal (The Emperor's Edge, #5)
  • The Burning Sky (Halcyon #1)
  • Hounds of Autumn
  • The Shadow of Black Wings (The Year of the Dragon, #1)
  • Lhind the Thief (Lhind, #1)
  • The Unicorn's Tail (Artifact Hunters #2.5)
  • My Sparkling Misfortune (The Lakeland Knight #1)
  • The 19 Dragons
  • Prince of Hearts (The Elders and Welders Chronicles, #1)
  • The Immorality Engine (Newbury and Hobbes, #3)
  • The Silence of Medair (Medair, #1)
  • Brilliant Devices (Magnificent Devices #4)

Other Books in the Series

Paths of Shadow (2 books)
  • All the Turns of Light (Paths of Shadow, #2)
The Mister Trophy (Markhat, #1) Dead Man's Rain (Markhat, #2) All the Turns of Light (Paths of Shadow, #2) The Banshee's Walk (Markhat, #5) Wistril Compleat

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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.”
More quotes…