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Tracing the Shadow (Alchymist's Legacy, #1)
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Tracing the Shadow (Alchymist's Legacy #1)

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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Sarah Ash’s acclaimed trilogy, the Tears of Artamon, was a stunning blend of sorcery and intrigue, politics and breathtaking imagery. Now she returns with the tale of a siege between kingdoms, and a battle between heretics and believers—each with their own truths, their own lies, and their own soul-shattering discoveries waiting to be made.

The kingdom of Francia has purged
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Paperback, 473 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2008)
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Forgotten Realms Queen
I had already read Sarah Ash's Tears of Artamon trilogy, so the second I saw this book i said to myself "mine!" and went home with it the same day expecting a wonderful start to a brand new series by an excellent author.

But I was wrong. This is not the wonderful start to a brand new series by an excellent author, but rather the wonderful start to the PREQUEL story line of the Tears of Artamon trilogy by an excellent author.

In the Tears of Artamon we are introduced to the Drakhoul 'daemons', a ma
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Dynila
I like sword and sorcery and have no issues with complex world building, but this was too hard to follow. The names of the two main male characters were so similar that every time she switched between them I had to stop and think, "Which one is he, again?"

Gave up at page 186 -- It wasn't interesting enough to grab me. The characters were hard to differentiate. The lack of a clear protagonist is realistic - there are two sides to every story - but makes for unsatisfying reading; I found myself n
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Alicia
A Fantasy writer that I definitely recommend.
Tracing the Shadow, Sarah Ash's first book in the Alchymist's Legacy, is a fast-paced adventure with magic, romantic love (both unrequited and fulfilled), religious & political intrigue, and friendships that transcend familial ties. There are a number of main characters who stem from the world of Francia. My favorite among them is Jagu de Rustephan, a young musician turned warrior monk who is in love with the beautiful and talented soprano Celest
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Helen
I really enjoyed this book. Once I got into it, I could barely put it down. I hope that the next book expands on the main characters, as it did feel sometimes that in order to introduce them all, they were left a bit thin. But the story has me hooked.
Isana
This book. This book!

This is one of the most frustrating books I've read in a long time. Don't get men wrong. The story is incredibly interesting and the characters are complex. However, it just around SO MUCH and the handling of time is terrible. The switching between character points of view so often made my head spin and at times I wanted to throw the book at a wall. Also, the romantic relationships in the book . . . Heartache for the reader is one thing but you don't even get to enjoy the re
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Ithlilian
Sep 28, 2012 Ithlilian marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was reading Tracing the Shadow, going along just fine until page 200 or so. All of the sudden the main character turned from a whiny apprentice coward, to a magically powerful evil person. I couldn't stand to read pages and pages and pages about a little girl, and in the end that is why I stopped reading. This would have been better if there was more time spent on making consistent believable characters and less time switching viewpoints to cover events that barely even matter. Just tell us wh ...more
Erik
This is a pre-companion book to Ash's first trilogy "Tears of Artamon", where the second book in the duology will be a true companion novel (just different characters), and this first book setting that second one up. As is often true for Ash, her books take some time to get into, and the writing isn't necessarily fabulous... but the stories are pretty good. This book follows the same vein. It is the first of the duology, so it isn't surprising that there are still a handful of un-answered questi ...more
Felix
This is a great story. I loved the world & Characters.
Rory
This is a solid fantasy novel. The author tries to create various countries and cultures to base the story around and in doing so never full develops any of them. She does a good job developing the main characters but there are so many secondary characters that at times I was confused as to which character was a part of which country. If the author has just spent more time at the beginning explaining the politics between the different countries, then the story would have flowed better.
Ingrid
I just finished reading TTS. This book is set in the same world as the Tears of Artamon. One of the things I love about Sarah Ash is that she really explains the characters of her novels and thus explains the choices that they make. None of her characters are ever one dimensional, they all have depth and even as they make mistakes and suffer from various personal flaws there is a rational behind it all. And behind it all are the themes of religious freedom, politics and greed.
Salimbol
[3 and 1/2 stars]
Not quite as good as I remember her earlier books being (due to some simplistic characterisation and choppy narrative here and there) but still a fairly solid fantasy.
Brendan
You definitely need to read the Tears of Artamon before picking up this book, but once you do it's a great addition to the series. It feels like Wicked does to The Wizard of Oz - you get to see another side of all of the events, learn more about a few of the characters, and meet some new ones. The book follows some very likable characters through some harrowing experiences, and it's fun to read about.
Kim
It took so long for me to finish this book -- not because it was difficult, but because so many characters were given equal time and weight at the beginning, and it wasn't until I was halfway through that it seemed to have a path. The author's writing seemed to become better and more fluent towards the end, which is a shame. I don't know that I'd purchase the sequel.
James
A real page-turner, especially if you're already a fan of the 'Tears of Artamon' series. Lovingly written in a world that takes on a life of it's own. I always enjoy delving into a book by Sarah Ash, I know it will never disappoint. It was great to see the background to some of the slightly minor characters in her original trilogy.
Claire
This book skipped around so much that I can't possibly give it a glowing review, but I think I will be getting the second in the series, just to see what happened. The plot was pretty original, though there was a lot of influence on the French Inquisition and medieval times.
Jeanne
I enjoyed this prequel to Tears and I loved getting to know Jagu and Celestine and their stories. I can't wait to continue with the next book. I also like how Sarah keeps you on your toes with her writing style, she gets better and better as she continues to write.
Jess Cullinan
Took awhile to get into, but once I did I couldn't put it down. Celestine/Klervie is such a great character, and I love the fact that the "villians" and "heroes" are rather ambiguous, rather than black and white. Looking forward to the next one.
Travis
I enjoyed reading the book and I'll keep an eye out for the next book in the series, but if I should happen to forget to pick it up any time soon I will not be too disappointed.

My recommendation would be to borrow the book.
Leslie
Pretty good. But I've definitely OD'ed on fantasy for the time being, so I'm not sure I'm objective. I'll likely pick up her earlier books a little later this year....

Fans of Guy Gavriel Kay would like this, I think.
Deb
Jun 26, 2008 Deb rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deb by: Sarah Elward
Shelves: fantasy-sf
Another failed-to-engage book. It has all the hallmarks of a typical fantasy plot, and I wanted to like it, but I wasn't sucked in after a handful of chapters. Life's too short to plod through books you don't really want to read.
Sara
There were some characters that I just didn't care about and I almost quite reading three different times. I finally finished by just reading the one character's point of view that I did like.
Aubrey
took a while to really get into the book because it switched back and forth so much in the beginning...enjoyed the second half once i could recognize characters and knew more of what was going on
Michelle
There's a lot of characters to keep straight, and I still get confused with all of the places, but I'm fascinated by the story lines of the three main characters.
Chris
I thought this was going to be another mediocre cliche-ridden fantasy novel, but it turned out to be fairly interesting, though not brilliant.
Megan
Mar 01, 2008 Megan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I think I would like this book, but I just didn't have time to finish it. Perhaps in the future...
Ari Pettit
Ari Pettit marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2014
Gloria
Gloria marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
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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...
Lord of Snow and Shadows (Tears of Artamon, #1) Prisoner of the Iron Tower (Tears of Artamon, #2) Children of the Serpent Gate (Tears of Artamon, #3) Flight into Darkness (Alchymist's Legacy, #2) Songspinners

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