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

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  2,439 Ratings  ·  150 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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Tim No, a 3-4 star rating is right about where it should be, I think.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Cay Evergreen
Feb 15, 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 24, 2011 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.
Feb 16, 2010 Bibliotropic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Servius  Heiner
Feb 12, 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
Nov 25, 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
Sep 20, 2011 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
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
Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 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
Oct 31, 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
Mar 12, 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.
Oct 29, 2014 Geektaard rated it it was amazing
Just like 13 years ago, I still love this book!! <3
Jun 19, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosu Aquabutts
Mar 07, 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
Victoria Avonlea
Jul 30, 2014 Victoria Avonlea rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 09, 2008 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
Oct 18, 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
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
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
Mar 26, 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.
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 21, 2014 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
Jan 30, 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.
Emily Barto
Mar 06, 2017 Emily Barto rated it liked it
Interesting enough, but too many characters with difficult names. The story jumped around a lot and didn't feel cohesive at all.
Feb 13, 2017 Luisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il panorama era allo stesso tempo così desolato e tuttavia così selvaggiamente bello che Gavril rimase a fissare l'Azhkendir, dimenticando tutta la stanchezza e l'irritazione.

Ed eccomi qui a parlarvi di un fantasy poco conosciuto ma non per questo meno meritevole. L'ho comprato oltre due anni fa e ancora non mi ero decisa a leggerlo perchè avevo paura della mole. Ora posso ringraziare doppiamente la Ash perchè l'ho letto nel momento giusto, aiutandomi a superare il periodo da blocco del lettore.
Coucher de soleil
Jan 17, 2012 Coucher de soleil rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janice Heebsh
Oct 14, 2016 Janice Heebsh rated it liked it
Shelves: fabulous-faves
A very obscure book but worth the searching!
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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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