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Lord of Snow and Shadows (Tears of Artamon #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,361 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Combining the best of fantasy traditions with her own unique vision, Sarah Ash brings to dazzling life a new saga filled with epic adventure and unforgettable characters. Far-reaching in scope and imagination, Lord of Snow and Shadows embarks on a journey like no other—into a shape-shifting world teeming with political intrigue, astonishing magic, and passions both dark an ...more
Paperback, 574 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Spectra (first published 2003)
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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
359th out of 2,638 books — 19,101 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
244th out of 1,482 books — 8,650 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cay Evergreen
Feb 16, 2009 Cay Evergreen rated it really liked it
People read different books for different reasons, and they look for different things. A lot of people read for plot and character, which is why most of the reviews are rather low. I don't dispute their claims.

But I read with one criterion in mind, and one criterion only: style. If Sarah Ash has nothing else, it is style. Her description is beautiful and concise, and her settings are wonderful. It's delightful to see non-Western-based worlds once in awhile, and her world is much more realistic a
Jul 30, 2016 Tracey rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, abandoned, 1-star
Abandoned at about halfway point: repetitive, uninspired writing, uninteresting characters, weird juxtaposition of fantasy with reality, and altogether pretty predictable. And, as I recall, a level of sadism and torture porn that should have come with a warning label. Nope.
Rebecka (is hilarious, shut up)
DNF at 89%

Book: Oh, look at his blonde hair and blue, soulful eyes! Such earnestness! Such beautiful artist hands! Don't your heart just bleed for him?
...Did I mention his hair is blonde? It is very blonde!

Me: Yeah, yeah, fine. But didn't you say that he would turn into a kind of half-dragon? That sounds awesome and original! When are we getting to that part?

Book: Soon, soon. Patience is a virtue, you know. First, let's spend some hundred pages on angst and an astonishing lack of character growt
Servius  Heiner
Feb 14, 2009 Servius Heiner rated it did not like it
Shelves: crap-fantasy
Not only are the characters flat, their flimsy flat. I keep trying to understand their motives for their actions and it just doesn't happen. Clan (a) attacks clan (b) breaking into the castle and killing woman and children. Clan (b) repels clan (a) and counter attacks wiping out all but one of the clan (a) blood line. But clan (b) is portrayed as the "bad" guys. The head of clan (b) see's himself as the bad Guy because of his father’s actions in eliminating the threat to the family...

Then there
Crazy Uncle Ryan
I was in the library looking for a book to read and came across this series. I had never heard of it but it had a cool enough looking cover so I got it. I wasn’t disappointed. I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of really interesting and likable characters and a very clever and exciting storyline. I did get a little confused at some points and found that certain parts weren’t very well explained but other then that it was really an enjoyable book. I really liked the way it ended and look fo ...more
Jul 22, 2016 Bibliotropic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2008 Katie rated it it was ok
Some aspects of this book could have been redeeming (some really good action scenes), but on the whole, I didn't like this novel. The characters were all too one-dimensional, and it's hard to become invested in their stories because they are thrown into the plot as quickly as the reader is. And it's very disorienting and only serves to make the reader feel dispassionate toward the characters.

I'd anticipated reading this novel for awhile, but I think other authors do a better job with some of the
Mar 19, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, inventive start to Sarah Ash's "The Tears of Artamon" trilogy. She has created a rich world of varied cultures and a diverse and sympathetic cast of characters. I particularly enjoyed the character development and look forward to seeing them evolve further in the next two books. I highly recommend this book.
Amarilli Settantatre

Lords of Snow and Shadows è un fantasy avvincente, con regni in lotta, casati distrutti e eredi sopravvissuti, amori tra membri di famiglie nemiche, monaci guaritori e stregoni nascosti sotto le spoglie di scienziati, e persino incantatori di magia oscura, capaci di chiamare indietro le anime dei morti. C’è un po’ di tutto, però quel tutto è stato oculatamente dosato, confezionando un buon prodotto, con capitoli brevi, continui cambi di scene, e con un ritmo sempre
Apr 21, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy, 2000s
Gavril has no idea what he’s up against. In one day, he goes from being a talented, but commonly born peasant with little knowledge of his parentage painting (and falling in love with) the local nobleman’s daughter, to being kidnapped and told his father’s not only the king of a foreign country, but that he’s dead and Gavril’s the heir to a monstrous legacy. Not exactly a good day, but it gets worse from there.

Lord of Snow and Shadows is really a book about being a victim of fate; not only being
Nov 16, 2012 Zayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a new face to fantasy. I believe it's the only fantasy novel I've ever read that had gunpowder in it. The book was very imaginitive and fresh. It did not contain the cliche elements found so much in fantasy these days (although I really do love those cliches). The beginning of the book was amazing. It had me pulled in when Astasia was introduced. I wanted to know what would happen to her and Gavril. The descriptions were vivid. Sadly I had to give it only 3 stars because as th ...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
La casa editrice romana Gargoyle Books ci presenta Il Signore della Neve e delle Ombre, primo dei tre romanzi di Sarah Ash che compongono il ciclo de Le lacrime di Artamon.
Nel libro vengono narrate le avventure di un giovane pittore, Gavril, che vive nella regione della Smarna, un luogo soleggiato e tranquillo. L’amato paesaggio verrà purtroppo sostituito dagli spazi nevosi e gelidi del Nord, quando il ragazzo viene rapito da un gruppo di guerrieri del regno di Azhkendir facendogli scoprire di e
Jun 01, 2015 Geektaard rated it it was amazing
Just like 13 years ago, I still love this book!! <3
Victoria Avonlea
Aug 25, 2014 Victoria Avonlea rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Not a full review but reading the comments here I really wanted to say that I think this book is a little underrated, mostly because it seems no one gets where Ashe is coming from in this series. One complaint is that it that the time period doesn't make sense, another that names and words are hard to say, others about the amount of clan wars or the mixture of elements.

I'm not an expert on the subject matter but .. I think what Ashe did here was very clever and refreshing. She has tried to evok
Althea Ann
Feb 29, 2012 Althea Ann rated it really liked it
I bought this book just 'cause of the pretty cover art. I wasn't familiar with the author at all.
About half way through the book, I ordered the two sequels, and just today I bought another book from the author. So - she's won me over!

This is very enjoyable epic fantasy. I very much liked the semi-Russian feel to the culture, and the interplay/conflict between magic and technology/science. Yes, the characterizations and politics are a bit simplistic - but I thought it worked, in the context of a
Rosu Aquabutts
Jul 02, 2012 Rosu Aquabutts rated it really liked it
I am too lazy to write a legit review for this right now which I know I'll regret later when I want to come back to read my thoughts on it but WHATEVER.

This book is excellent. It's extremely unique and when you've read as much fantasy as I have, unique counts for a lot. The setting is 18th/19th century Russia inspired, based around Slavic mythology and the Russian revolution. The primary political factors in the book revolve around the rise of potential communism in the nation of Muscobar and th
Jun 19, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2010 Logan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
There is a lot I liked about this book, but there are a handful of things that irked me as well. Reviews for it seem to be mixed, which is understandable. This is a heavily plot-driven book, it focuses more on the story it's telling than on the development of each character, and some people just don't like that. I, however, can appreciate a book for the story it tells without needing to feel significantly attached to any of the characters. I like a good story, and this is a good story.

Lord of Sn
Nov 28, 2007 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: sff-fantasy
Gavril Andar is a talented painter who learns that he is really the heir to a kingdom in a mysterious northern realm known as Azkendir. Gavril's father is cruelly murdered and his men-at-arms come to fetch Gavril to take his rightful place as ruler. Kidnapped and made prisoner in the snowy, dreary Kastel, Gavril slowly learns the full truth of his inheritance. Meanwhile Gavril is a target. Eugene of Tielen wants to crown himself emperor and invading and subduing all of the lands of Rossiya (of w ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Pupottina rated it really liked it
Seicento pagine, scritte con uno stile fluido, prettamente dialogato, ma perfettamente adatto a creare un bel fantasy, ambientato in un mondo misterioso, dalle atmosfere cupe, luogo di intrighi e complotti, per il potere e per l’eterna lotta fra il bene e il male.
È qui che si ritrova catapultato il giovane artista, Gavril Andar, amante del suo stile di vita semplice, umile, e attratto dalla bella duchessina, Astasia, che ritrae su commissione. Il suo universo esistenziale, costituito di cose sem
Pam Baddeley
May 04, 2015 Pam Baddeley rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really enjoyed this departure from the usual fantasy setting of pseudo medieval. This is an alternative 18th century story of revolution and war, foregrounding characters from the ruling classes of countries which are reminiscent of historical Russia or Romania. It features many characters but they are all well distinguished and I was rooting for various of them, given the many setbacks and twists of disaster. Although it ends on a cautiously positive note, you are aware of the brewing problems ...more
Aug 08, 2008 Brendan rated it really liked it
The unique world is the main feature of this book and its subsequent series: fantasy, war, and magic meets a fictional clone of Russia during an industrial (and academic/social) revolution. It is perhaps more...emotional and love-triangle centered than other titles in the genre that I would usually read, but that actually made it quite refreshing. I liked the characters, plot, and setting a lot, but the epic feel was inexplicably missing. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a slightly differe ...more
Kristin Taggart
Urban fantasy is becoming more common, with authors such as Charles de Lint heading the pack. But Sarah Ash has broken away from the custom of setting magic in modern-day settings, instead creating a new world where magic and burgeoning modernism exist side-by-side.

Science and magic collide in Lord of Snow and Shadows.

Gavril Andar's quiet life as a painter is shattered when he receives news of his father's death. Lord Volkh hadn't seen his son in years, but now his bloodline's inheritance must
Apr 01, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok
Fantasy, with well drawn cultural backgrounds in the different countries. I got really tired of all the good characters being flaky, indesisive, and without agency. It did do a good job of making each of the sides in the blood feud into 3d people, and showing that sometimes you just have to stop hating to make a war stop.

Other than that, run of the mill.
Oct 19, 2014 Beth rated it liked it
Lord of Snow and Shadows is an epic story. And I mean that in the traditional sense: there's a cast of characters that's fairly large, it spans several countries, and it involves a lot of political intrigue and boundary disputes as well as a basic coming-of-age/coming-into-power story for TWO primary characters. I was not prepared for all of that, so it took me some time to get through.

If you like epics, I recommend it. I had the ARC version, so hopefully it's been cleaned up a bit in publicatio
Jan 19, 2014 Monica rated it liked it
I found this book at a used book store, and I was surprised by how much a liked it. It's a quick read, but also a well told story with interesting characters. It is nothing extremely special, but I would recommend it to anyone whose to read list isn't incredibly long.
Nov 22, 2015 Trinity rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf, fantasy
So... I really loved some elements of this book. It reads like an urban fantasy but it just couldn't hold my attention. It's not that I didn't like it, it's just that it had that "I may have read this before" feel.
Don Loewens
Feb 01, 2009 Don Loewens rated it liked it
A fun fantasy novel set in a unique setting that is similar to a 15th century Russia. Follows a young man who is the heir to a powerful throne but his ability to keep it comes at a price.
Jan 26, 2015 Anthony rated it liked it
A previous reviewer described this as having a "fickle plot". An understatement. It is dark and helter-skelter. Bitter enemies turn to be fast friends with virtually no transition, armies cross great distances in unbelievable times, the geography seems off. There are strong influences from Scandinavia and Russia, as well as other cultures. Oddly enough, the last couple chapters have probably convinced me I might start the next in sequence, something I swore I would not do through the first 80% o ...more
Stephanie M
Aug 10, 2015 Stephanie M rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Gavril, a poor love-struck artist, is visited one night by a dream of a murdered man. He learns that he is the estranged son of a lord of a distant land, and that his father was the man murdered in his dreams. He has, however, inherited far more than a castle and an icy realm, for the secret to his family's long reign is a baleful spirit that offers unimaginable destructive powers, but at a ghastly price...

The problem with this book is the pace. There's so many events crammed in that everything
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Sarah Ash was born and brought up in Bath. At university she trained as a musician, but is now a teacher and author of highly-praised novels, such as the Tears of Artamon Trilogy. Sarah Ash has recently moved back to Bath.
More about Sarah Ash...

Other Books in the Series

Tears of Artamon (3 books)
  • Prisoner of the Iron Tower (Tears of Artamon, #2)
  • Children of the Serpent Gate (Tears of Artamon, #3)

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