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Tracato (A Trial of Blood & Steel, #3)
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Tracato (A Trial of Blood & Steel #3)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  335 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In this third title in Joel Shepherd's gripping quartet, we are reunited with the fearless heroine Sasha, Errollyn and the other familiar characters from SASHA and PETRODOR. The net is really closing in now, with the whole of Rhodia at war and the serrin - the beautiful and dangerous people from beyond the Bacosh - fighting for survival. The revolutionary politics of Traca...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published January 21st 2009 by Orbit (first published 2009)
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The visual pictures Shepherd painted were amazing, clearly bringing to life the pain & agony of warfare and complicated factions and divisions of politics. Definitely one of the best fantasy novels I have read.
Joel Shepherd aims high in A Trial of Blood and Steel, and “Tracato” (Pyr, $16, 354 pages) is a grim third installment in a fantasy quartet that may confound the expectations of the genre. After all, “Tracato” offers little in the way of redemption or triumph as it chronicled the story of a pre-industrial world where almost-human serrin and human beings try to co-exist.

Along the way, the humans battle over religion, power, money and sex, but when they do get together, they manage to build a seri...more
Finally, something happens! The war that I've been expecting since the first book, Lenayin's invasion of the Saalshen Bachosh, has finally started! I feel like it certainly took long enough. On that note, one thing I noticed is that this book, unlike the previous two in the series, jumps right into the action. There is very little time spent on new character development, which seems fair. We already know all the main characters pretty well at this point.

The pace of the first two books in the Tri...more
Tracato is the third installment in Joel Shepherd’s excellent A Trial of Blood and Steel fantasy quartet, and not only is it the best book in the series so far, it’s also one of the best new fantasy novels I’ve read all year.

The continent of Rhodia, shared by a fractured human civilization and the non-human serrin, finally begins to inch towards full-scale war. The northern Verenthane countries, with their conflicted and somewhat reluctant goeren-yai allies, are marching south to reclaim the Saa...more
Sasha finds herself in the middle of a French Revolution style revolution, barely escapes with her life (other major characters do not) and joins her Lenayin homeland's army to battle the disciplined armies called the Steel. A little too much torture for my taste, and even talkier about politics and religion than previous volumes---but skip those parts and it's pretty a well told tale. The climactic fray and closing scenes are particularly fine, good enough to earn this a fourth star and make me...more
Containing lots of action, character growth and difficult questions for the main characters, this novel is an entertaining read. Giving the motivations of the various groups in the story a better foundation helped a lot in making the story believable and the increasing tensions between the main characters loyalties keep one wishing for more. The world building in this novel is interesting as we get to learn more about the Serrinim, the Lenays and the Larosans and their allies although many thing...more
Joel Shepherd is a superb writer, very good action scene and sword play.
Spellbinding tales. Love Shasha and Errolyn [really remind me of Lagolas, but Joel makes him more elf like and real]. If you like elfs and kick ass female heroine, this is the books for you.

I am not too happy with the ending of book 4. Especially Jaryd.
I hope there is a book 5.
Vj Parker
poor Sasha has more to deal with when she is introduced to her mentors teaching, her life changes for the worse, when she stands up for her sister, life could not get any more complicated or could it?
another great read, Joel has penned a wonderful story with more twists and turns he captures the raw emotions of the characters well.
Tracato is the grim continuation of this story. I appreciated the addition of depth to Sasha's character, her idealism tempered with the reality of other's greed and power. I don't know what tragic conclusion we're running headlong into, but I want to see where the characters go.
A little less of the faults in the second book, but this one has a few plot-points left incompletely explored. A little strange how close each of the titles in this series is to being 5 stars, but misses for different reasons. Can't wait for the 4th though.

Re-read 8/13. Back to 4.5
I enjoyed this despite the fact it had been years since I read the first book. It ends so soon after the major battle that it leaves you hanging.
Brennan Griffin
Well done fantasy that takes a realistic approach to politics in a semi-feudal world. Morally complex, well-written stuff.
I loved this book! it was awesome and I hope that the author brings out more books like this!
Really enjoyed the whole series! One of my favorite things I've read in awhile.
Am loving it so far!!
Love Joel Shepherd as an author, very clever man!
See my review of this series under book 2, Petrodor
Shae Hart
O overall, this was an enjoyable installment in the series.
This series just keeps getting better!
Sharon Epperson
May 06, 2010 Sharon Epperson marked it as reminder
A Trial of Blood and Steel (Book 3)
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Joel Shepherd is an Australian science fiction author. He moved to Perth, Western Australia with his family when he was seven, where he later studied film and television arts at Curtin University. He now lives in Adelaide.
More about Joel Shepherd...
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“He said we're all going to die,'
'And what did you say?'
'I said that's why i'm here”
“It is the way, isn't it? With humans and free thought. They only learn through terrible mistakes. Free thought does not make wisdom. Instead it creates enough space for men to commit terrible folly, from which the survivors learn through disaster.” 8 likes
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