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Shadowbridge (Shadowbridge #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  478 Ratings  ·  89 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
Paperback, 255 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Michael Fierce
After reading his wonderful short story, The Comeuppance of Creegus Maxin, in The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Gregory Frost instantly became a writer whose work I wanted to track down and research thoroughly - to the point of obsession! - to find more books by him with hope I would find one or more I would love at the same level.

My Leisa-boo purchased this for me for Christmas and I started reading it the day it arrived.

It was nothing l
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Mar 17, 2008 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2008, cover-love
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
Aug 24, 2008 Stephen rated it liked it
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.


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 Flooze
Feb 20, 2009 The Flooze rated it it was ok
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.
This book felt a lot longer to me than it actually was. I even picked it up because epic fantasy stories that aren't 600+ pages long are rare, but it almost felt like it had that many pages after all. For some reason the story just seemed to drag on forever to me.

Shadowbridge is the story of a puppeteer that collects stories and plays them out, so this book contains many shorter stories that people tell to her or that she tells to the reader. There was nothing really wrong with this format exact
Apr 01, 2008 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
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
Jun 10, 2014 Jettshrek rated it liked it
Shelves: unusual
Roughly 60% of this book is backstory. I don't mean exposition in the prose and dialogue that, when pieced together, provides a background for the character. I mean that after the first chapter, the book literally backs up and tells the life story of the main character. Finally, about 80 pages later, the story resumes. For about a page. Then, we get to experience the life story of another character. After all that is over, another 25% of the book consists of stories and fables that the main char ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
This is one of the most interesting, unique fantasy settings I've come across. The writing is wonderful and the story and characters really drew me right in. Highly recommend this to everyone who enjoys the fantasy genre.
M.L. Williams
Mar 07, 2016 M.L. Williams rated it it was amazing
Frost is a talented writer who has created fascinating world that sometimes sounds familiar then takes you in a wild imaginary ride.
May 17, 2010 Travis rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
May 09, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Sep 11, 2008 Juushika rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 18, 2016 Nissanmama rated it it was amazing
Shadowbridge is a very good book, so far. It started slow for me because I had to learn the typography of this ocean world through the way each character interacted with his/her environment. There was no map or narrator to teach me. Thankfully a beautiful cover gave my imagination a jumping off point. I think it was the reason I picked up the book in the first place.

Frost creates finely detailed human characters and embellishes this multilayered story with intriguing creatures. Unlike other fant
Ryan Mishap
Nov 30, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fantasy
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
Feb 20, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
Laura Floyd
Oct 17, 2009 Laura Floyd rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mar 14, 2010 Lorena rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jun 17, 2009 Phil rated it really liked it
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
Jun 10, 2013 Ricochet rated it it was amazing
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
lynne naranek
Jul 29, 2009 lynne naranek rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
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
Sep 24, 2008 Terry rated it liked it
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
Jun 15, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
Aug 28, 2012 Schissel rated it liked it
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
Feb 20, 2011 Anju rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, from-library
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
Jun 04, 2009 Wm rated it liked it
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
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.
Aug 19, 2008 courtney rated it really liked it
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!
Fran Grote
Jun 07, 2008 Fran Grote rated it it was amazing
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.
Mary Robinette Kowal
Jul 01, 2010 Mary Robinette Kowal rated it really liked it
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.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Shadowbridge (2 books)
  • Lord Tophet (Shadowbridge, #2)

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