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Shadowbridge (Shadowbridge #1)

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  390 ratings  ·  76 reviews
"You rattle the darkness where you walk, Jax."

Enter Shadowbridge, a world of linked spiraling spans of bridges on which all impossibilities can happen. Ghosts parade, inscrutable gods cast riddles, and dangerous magic is unleashed.
Monstrous creatures drain the lives of children and for a price, you can sample their fleeting quintessence--provided the creatures don't sample
...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2007)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Favorites of the Fantasy Book Club
116th out of 461 books — 898 voters
The Way of Shadows by Brent WeeksGraceling by Kristin CashoreThe Hero of Ages by Brandon SandersonThe Painted Man by Peter V. BrettLast Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
2008 DGLA Fantasy Book Nominees
19th out of 97 books — 217 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,027)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
One of the most remarkable and unique fantasy books I've read in a while, Shadowbridge is about a watery world where a giant bridge goes on forever, branching off into different spans and spirals, held together by an unknown magic and the whim of the Edgeworld gods. No one knows where it ends, or if it does in fact end, or even how it came to be. There is some land - islands, hills suddenly appearing - but the people on the Shadowbridge care nothing for how their food gets to the market, or why ...more
Stephen
2.5 to 3.0 stars. This is a tough one to review because of all the "potentially" great things about this book. The problem is that, with rare exceptions, the potential was never realized.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS

The story concerns a young shadow puppeteer, Leodora, who travels the world of "Shadowbridge" performing stories for audiences based on the myths and legends of the world. Shadowbridge itself is a huge series of bridges (each span individually named and having a different culture).

THE GOOD

Gregor
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The Flooze
Mar 07, 2009 The Flooze rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of epic fantasy & myth
I'll preface this by saying that I don't generally do well with epic, sweeping tales of fantasy. If you do, then by all means, take my commentary with a grain of salt. The story is lyrical, but I can't get the beat.

Shadowbridge is an epic sort of tale, and within it are the yarns of different cultures, different civilizations. All of these stories are collected and held dear by a young puppeteer named Leodora.

Frost creates here a world filled with myth and magic and the blessings of the gods.
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Jeffrey
Apr 03, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy readers
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2008
Lyrical novel about a puppeteer, her musician accompaniest and a strange and wonderful world teeming with people all of whom live on or below a bridge. The novel is generally divided into sections and interludes. Various interludes are stories about or by gods, or avatars of gods, demons, death and the maker of the world. The sections are bigger stories about two of the main characters Lea and Devirtus, both of whom have encounters with the Gods. Unlike Frost's earlier book Lyrec, this book kind ...more
Travis
Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost- This is the first book of a two book adventure. The second book is called Lord Tophet. Gregory Frost's other works include; Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Short Stories, Fitcher's Bride, The Pure Cold Light, Tain, Remscela, and Lyrec.

The story is about a puppeteer named Leodora who discovers that her father was the great shadow-puppeteer named Bardsham. It also tells the story of the troupes musician, Diverus and his strange background. The story is mostly fil
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Rachel
I can't wait for the next book! Especially for people interested in myths, this is worth the read. The main narrator, a woman who herself tells stories through puppets, is very appealing. Diverus is my second favorite, and I hope there is much more about him in the second book, if not a romantic story linking the two. The setting of the story is really creative and strange; you feel like Alice in Wonderland upon first reading the book, but then you quickly want to know more about the other spans ...more
Michelle
I read this novel for calico_reaction's February Dare Challenge. I really enjoyed the January Dare read, Replay (who I ended up lending to my mom, and she loved it too!), so I snatched this from my local used book store (thankfully they had it, because nowhere else in town did) and snuck into my reading schedule. I've been super busy this month and haven't had a lot of time for reading, so thankfully this book was fairly short. :) Unfortunately, this book is also a duology, and there is no doubt ...more
Madeline
1. Hmm - I suppose I wasn't completely sold on this book, maybe because it can't decide if it wants to be a tightly plotted adventure story or a meditative look at art and storytelling (with family baggage). Frankly, at 250 pages, it's not long enough to do both - or, anyway, Frost is not an economical enough a writer to do both. Either of those approaches would have been fine by me, since I am perfectly capable of enjoying both kinds of books when they are done well. In this case, however, Shad ...more
Juushika
In a world where inhabitants live on bridges which span wide oceans and replace cities and continents, sixteen-year-old Leodora travels from city to city to build her reputation as a master puppeteer and storyteller. But Leodora is haunted by the mystery of her father, who was once a great puppeteer, and touched by the gods whose presence portends marvelous and terrible events to come. Shadowbridge is the first half of a duology, and it sets up the story, introducing Leodora and her traveling co ...more
Ryan Mishap
While this adult fantasy book has an interesting world--a world of mostly sea transversed by huge bridges that serve as almost entirely seperate countries--the story is kind of a drag. A young adult girl, orphaned with her bilious uncle on land (lowerclass) below the bridges, decides to ascend as a puppeteer--the occupation of her famous father. She is accompanied by her father's drunken helper. One of the gods visits her and tells her a story and these tales are told throughout the book as she ...more
Laura
I picked this book up because the premise intrigued me, but I didn't expect great things from the story or writing. First books in any new fantasy world always disappoint me because the author almost never has a very firm grasp of the world he or she has created. This wasn't the most solid first novel I've ever read, but I wasn't disappointed. The world Frost creates is unique and colorful, born perhaps of a desire to weave together stories with a traditional mythological flavor. With only half ...more
Rick
This book has made it on to my Favourite Fantasy list. It shares space with The Neverending Story, The Flat Earth Series by Tanith Lee, and The Book of Heroes among others.
Shadowbridge takes you back to that place in your mind The Neverending Story took so many of us as children.
To me, this is what a fantasy book should look like.
Frost's ability to take familiar mythological elemets and make them seem as unique as the rest of the book is extraordinary.
The amazing characters and brilliant story
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Phil
I have to admit, after the first 5 pages, I though, "I am not even going to finish this book." Initially, the writing style just threw me off. BUT, I'm happy to say that it was a good read, and I'm glad I stuck with it. It's a clever world with real characters. Now I just have to find a copy of the second book so I can finish the story. OH, and another thing, this is a TWO parts story. Personally, I think it was one book that the publisher just split down the middle to raise some extra cash. But ...more
Lorena
This was a really engrossing read. I loved the world that Frost created - the fact that it was both incredibly detailed, and yet retained an air of mystery and a dream-like quality. As is only right for a story about a storyteller, the writing made me feel as if I were watching and listening to a master spin out a tale for a rapt audience, with just the right amount of suspense, and the right details to make it all come alive.

I did think that this book and its sequel, "Lord Tophet," should more
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lynne naranek
I enjoyed the whole storyteller angle of this book/series.

The world Mr Frost has built is also interesting: it seems to be mainly water, with some land here and there, but with an infinite number of bridges (and spans, and spirals) upon which various people live. Each span has its own peoples and culture and language, and therefore each span has its own stories... and thus the storyteller goes around collecting stories and performing them for his/her audience.

The reason it's only 2 stars, thou
...more
Wm
Intriguing world building and some excellent tales. The question is whether or not Frost can finesse the overarching story and since this is a two-part series, I'll have to read the sequel to find that out. Which I intend to do. I have to say that the tales within the tale are up to this point stronger than the frame story and the origin stories of the two key characters are inserted somewhat awkwardly. They're fairly compelling, but they break up the flow and the transition back to the main nar ...more
Anju
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit hard to get through in places because of how much terrible stuff the characters go through, but it was definitely worth it. The characters and the world that Frost creates are fascinating. The one thing I found slightly annoying was that Frost seems to like showing off his vocabulary in places, and there are certain unusual words that he's rather fond of. (Or perhaps it's that my vocabulary just isn't big enough?)

Shadowbridge is the first part of a two pa
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Matt
Somewhere between 2-3 stars ... hard to say given that this is only half a book. It stops on a cliffhanger ending with no mysteries solved and no revelations made.

As a story about stories it is engaging enough that I am tempted to pick up the second half of the book.

The setting may prevent that as it require more suspension of disbelief than I can muster. A world of massive bridge spans populated with many cultures, all with no visible means of support - there is metal, wine, cloth and food that
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Schissel
The story started pretty slow. The author tries to use some in media res and flashbacks to punch it up a bit, but the history feels disconnected. The background is too dull and long to interest me in the apparently very exciting future characters.
The world seems very interesting, but the explanation of this very different place wasn't clear enough for me to visualize everything.
By the end he had me wanting to read the next book, but this first one was just barely interesting enough to keep me i
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Terry
The first thing to grab my attention in this book had to be the setting. The concept of the shadow bridge was very interring and I wish explored little more. The story itself was pretty enjoyable and moved a nice pace. The mix of short story's in the main story help keep my interest. There are a few slow spot were the tale seems to lag. This is not a real action novel, but does some adventure with changing scene. I am interested in reading the second novel in the series, to see where it takes th ...more
courtney
yes, it is fantasy: talking statues, multiple moons, an alternate world. but it is also an amazingly well-told story. i heard greg frost read from it in june at the rosemont writer's retreat and i was hooked. his language is smart and subtle and relationships are finely drawn. i was super skeptical about this genre -- but i am really impressed by this author. this is part one of a two part series. i just reached the end... and now i have to buy another book!
harlequin {Stephanie}
At the start I adored this book. It slowly drug on. I'm unsure of why. The writing was beautifully done. Even though I'm torn apart the the world building is nigh on missing entirely. Til near the ending the world is better explained with the jawdropping cover.

Leodora's backstory seems written more for shock factor rather than realism.

I will read the second book. I really enjoyed the tales within the tale.
Jocelyn
The best thing about this book is the setting. I liked the variety of cultures between the lands that are connected by the giant bridges. The setting reminded me of Tad Williams' Otherland. At times the story was borderline creepy, but never crossed that line.

This book ends abruptly; I should've had book two on hand. I'm curious to know what happens next to the characters.
Jason
Shadowbridge started out very strong, good world creation-intriguing setting. However, the end, being a cliff hanger, left me feeling cheated-like the story wasn't done being told-you can always add to the story in a second book, but you need to complete the story in the first book. I did enjoy his charachters and really liked the way they interacted with the world around them.
Fran Grote
This is a wondefully entertaining story of a young woman's journey of discovery in an exotic land of Frost's creation. The imagery is compelling, but it never overwhelms the characters, and there's the added treat of tales within tales, since the heroine is a storyteller. This book is fantasy in its most classic sense, and a great escape for a stormy night.
Ann Stolinsky
Shadowbridge takes you to a world that is very far removed from ours, a world where the people live above the water on a span of bridges. Gregory Frost's writing is like painting a picture, his details of the world he's created draw you in and hold you there. I am very glad I read this book and highly recommend it. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Mary Robinette Kowal
This is book one, so you need to go into it prepared to commit to a series. The book ends on a serious cliffhanger. As a professional puppeteer, it was a delight to have a novel that handled puppetry so respectfully. I'm also happy to see multiple styles appear in the book. I started the sequel, Lord Tophet, right away.
Tina
I normally have no patience at all for stories within stories (you know, those ones where a characters tells a story that really serves no purpose plot-wise), but this book was definitely an exception. I loved all the tales, and the plot is very intriguing. It ends on a cliffhanger though, so I'm off to read the sequel...
Kailey
This book is awful. The fantasy world is really imaginative and vivid, so I expected great things from the story with such a fantastic setting; but the story was boring and the characters wooden. There is bunches of graphic violence and bad content. So this one is going in the trash!
Carrie
Loved this book. It reminded me of the time in my life where I was hooked on fables and fairy tales. It didn't matter what culture, if there was a copy in English, I read it. Shadow Bridge was a wonderful collection of tales strung together with a captivating story line.
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Gregory Frost is an American author of fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. He directs the fiction writing workshop at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa. A graduate of the iconic Clarion Workshop, he has taught at Clarion several times, including the first session following its move to the University of California at Sa ...more
More about Gregory Frost...
Fitcher's Brides Lord Tophet (Shadowbridge, #2) Tain Lyrec Attack of the Jazz Giants: and Other Stories

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