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All the Paths of Shadow (Paths of Shadow #1)

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,122 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
“Walk warily, walk swiftly, walk away.”

The king’s orders were clear enough. “Move the tower’s shadow,” he bellowed. “I refuse to deliver my commencement speech from the dark.”

As the newly appointed mage to the Crown of Tirlin, Meralda Ovis has no choice but to undertake King Yvin’s ill-conceived task. Tirlin’s first female mage, and the youngest person to ever don the robe
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Paperback, 1st Edition, 484 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Cool Well Press (first published September 13th 2011)
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Carol.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of light fantasy
An ice cream sundae of fantasy reads; sweet, flavored with familiarity, a variety of pleasing textures. Tuttle has created a heroine I wish I could have found at fourteen, a more self-reliant one than Aerin in The Blue Sword--no kidnapping or aging paramour warrior kings necessary. Meralda is an eighteen-year-old mage who uses logic, math, courage and persistence when confronting an array of challenges, both human and occult.

Meralda is the youngest mage and the first woman to be appointed to the
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Allison
All the Paths of Shadow is kind of a whimsical fantasy that stands well on its own even though it's part of a series. I've seen it referred to as Steampunk, and there are some very slight Steampunk elements - dirigibles in the sky, and a more scientific approach to magical gadgets. But, it was just a slight Steampunkish flavor.

I think what I enjoyed most about this was actually the non-human characters. Meralda is a court mage, and has the most unique familiar I've ever heard of - a plant! He wa
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Amy Aelleah
Jul 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I can't do it any more. I just cannot keep reading books in the hope that they will get better when it's quite obvious to me that they won't. It took me ten weeks to make it halfway through this book. I can't even begin to tell you how many other books I had started and finished in that time. (Actually, after looking it up on Goodreads, I can. Ten books.)

So, what's wrong with this book? Ugh, what isn't?

Setting: The setting makes no sense. You get take-out coffee and donuts along with newspaper
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Olga Godim
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
An enjoyable light fantasy, this novel blends steampunk and magic, dirigibles and talking plants into a charming, seamless tale. The protagonist Meralda is the new Thaumaturge of Tirlin. Despite being only eighteen, she is the smartest mage the kingdom has known for centuries, a brilliant girl genius – a refreshingly original concept in fantasy fiction. She fights no battles; she embarks on no quests. Instead, moving between her home and her laboratory, she solves problems, using magic, mathemat ...more
Mr. Matt
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Meralda Ovis is a woman with a very big problem. Mainly the fact that the king wants her to move the shadow of an extremely ancient and reputedly haunted tower. Things only get worse from there. She's assigned two guards that she doesn't need or want. The rival kingdoms are coming together to renew their fractious peace and someone appears dead set on trying to stop that renewal. The mysterious people from across the sea decide to show up as well. Oh, and Meralda is first female royal Mage and m ...more
Hallie
I enjoyed this book so much more than I think perhaps I *should* have, given certain quibbles, that I'm going to explain how bad the reading circumstances were before saying anything about the book itself. The next paragraph entirely skippable, so!

I got this all downloaded on my phone ready to spend the day in hospital with my mother, who was having the battery on her pacemaker changed. Theoretically a lot of sitting around with her dozy or being proceded upon, after I'd done all the sitting aro
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Hannah
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. By the end of All the Paths of Shadow, I can happily say that it was quite an enjoyable light fantasy read... which is not something that I would have said had you asked me how I felt about this book at the halfway point. There is good characterization here and the dialogue is zippy, the prose flowing and easy to read, but the world-building and plodding pace of the first half made for a rather uneven result.

A major reason for the gap in quality between the first and second halves of
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♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief i'm not actually mad!
Ugh i hate writing a review when its been a while. I'll give it a go and hope for the best.

So All the Paths Of Shadow is an interesting book. Its set in a different world to what we live in but not by much, there are quite a few similarities, For one its kind of set in a relaxed Victorian era, you also have the Alon's who sound Scottish in dress and attitude. The Hang who sound Asian, possibly China or Japan. then there's the Tirlin, Eryans and the Vonats. Now I'm thinking Tirlin is more like En
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Nathan
Fantasy Review Barn

There is an old story that this reviewer is much too lazy to do any research that would verify or debunk. The story says that a man who went by Dr. Suess wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a dare based on only using a hundred distinct words. I bring this up only because I wonder if there was a dare behind ‘All the Paths of Shadow.’

“Mr. Tuttle,” I imagine a smug friend of the author saying (though he probably wouldn’t use the impersonal Mr., but rather a more friendly Frank). “I dare
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Pauline Ross
This is one of those books that ticks all the right boxes for me. Spunky female lead – check. Detailed world building – check. Interesting magic system – check. Humour – check. A bit of a romance – check. Talking plant – check. Wait, what? A talking plant? OK, whatever. And yet, somehow... it doesn't quite work.

The premise is a good one. The kingdom's first female royal sorcerer (called a thaumaturge here) is given an unusual challenge by the king: ensure that his speech to the coming Accords (a
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Mary
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was really good. Amazon suggests this book as Young Adult Literature, but it was just a rousing good fantasy for any age. I'm looking forward to the sequel and many more in the series. I got it as a free download ebook from amazon and have now bought several of the author's other books.

UPDATE: Passed this along to my 13 year old son for a school project. The teacher thought it might be too long, as he has a learning disability and has a hard time with reading. He LOVED it, and is bugging m
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Jamee Pritchard
This book is exceptionally well written, full of intricate detail and a polished style of writing. Author Frank Tuttle does a superb job in showing his reader the specific elements of the story instead of just telling. His world of Tirlin is quite imaginative yet reminiscent of our own society.

His story centers around Mage Meralda Ovis and her difficult task of moving the shadow from the tallest tower in the kingdom by order of the king in time for the Accords, the peaceful meeting of five nati
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Jennie
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I want to start by saying that I think the cover very much misrepresents Meralda. The lady on the cover looks like she is perfectly coiffed... Meralda wasn't at any point in this book. She came across as a brilliant mathematician who cared more for her enchanted dandyleaf plant, science, and numbers than about her appearance. And those are the very reasons I fell in love with her story! She's incredibly headstrong and independent. Always my favorite type of heroine.

The story itself is mostly pr
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Elyse Salpeter
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading All the Paths of Shadow and can't stop thinking about the main character, Meralda Ovis. As mage to the Crown of Tirlin, she presents exactly the type of young strong female protagonist we love and need to see more of. She's independant and strong and brilliant, using wits, skills, and hard work to solve problems. She's wise beyond her years and possesses a grace, bravery and intellect that you don't normally see in YA books today. She must rely on her own devices to ...more
Lonleypurplecat
Doe this book have a strong independent female character?
Yes.
Good, then that's all I need to know.
No seriously, Meralda is now one of my favourite heroines. She's super kick ass and knows complicated maths stuff and can do magic and she doesn't get moon-eyed, flirty or stupid over random good looking guys (of which there are some in this book).

This book was really good, but the magic system that Tuttle created made my head hurt a little bit, but that's probably because a lot of the magic relied
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Nazia
I got "All the Paths of Shadow" for free on Amazon and I have to say I never imagined it would be this good. When I started this book, I thought I would give it a try before I threw it on my DNF pile. But the truth was I couldn't put it down at all. I devoured it in two days!

It is a very light read with the author infusing elements of steampunk and fantasy into the story. There is a strong female MC, a smart alecky houseplant, a sweet love interest and scary dark magic hiding in a tower. If the
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Angela
Nov 20, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
20 November 2014: $0.00 FREE on Kindle
Joyce
A few passers-by recognized Meralda. The sorceress, both the first woman and the youngest mage to ever occupy the seat of Thaumaturge in the long history of Tirlin, had briefly been the subject of notoriety in the papers.

My reaction when I read that?

description

Noooooooooooooo! Not another Mary Sue, please!

description

I mean, all the checkboxes are ticked. There are no mentions of her parents. She is the youngest. She is the first. All the signs point toward a Mary Sue. But, thankfully, somehow, the author still mana
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Krista McCracken
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyable light fantasy with a female read. I enjoy this book overall though I felt the ending was a bit rushed. I had some problems with the characterization - a supposedly strong female mage but she is continuously being saved by males and there is a bit of unnecessary swooning thrown in as well.
Naticia
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series, ya, magic
An exciting steampunk fantasy with a strong female lead and all the things I like about good YA fantasy - developing characters, exciting plot, light romance, and the fate of the world in the balance.
Allie
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story. The jumping of time without a new paragraph was painfully annoying.
Mike
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, needs-editing
I enjoyed this very much, despite some flaws. In particular, I enjoyed seeing a truly competent female protagonist and characters who trusted each other.

There are a few editing issues, but only a few. Breech instead of breach, Bellringer's instead of Bellringers', passed instead of past, boogie instead of bogey, sherbert as a misspelling of sherbet, whickers instead of whiskers, millenia used as the singular, and belied used to mean betrayed were the ones I caught, plus a couple of cases where a
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Wendy
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
pdarnold
I have a weakness for Frank Tuttle's story telling and humor! Also, I am stating here and now -- I too WANT a dandyleaf! A fun romp through a fantastical world with talking plant, flying staffs, wizards both buzzards and smart-aleck's! Political intrigue, nearly impossible tasks to accomplish all the while trying to learn what's going on in the wizards tower, when all Meralda would like to do is take a long hot bath. The story made me laugh on several occasions, which is a good thing. And last b ...more
Eero
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, free-ebook
This was a Kindle freebie by an author previously unknown to me. I chose to read it because I liked the cover and the reviews were promising.

The story takes place entirely in one city, in a world with steampunkish technology and scientific magic. It is not Earth, but retains many Earthly details or their analogs, sometimes in ways that convey either a tongue in cheek attitude or lazy worldbuilding. Meralda, the sensible protagonist is (interestingly or not) the only female character I remember.
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Cassie
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I genuinely enjoyed this book. It has all the elements of the type of book I love—strong female protagonist not solely motivated by romance, alternate world, magic, steampunk (in theory). The talking plant, Mug, was absolutely delightful, and was easily one of the best parts of the storyline.

Although the world building was solid in the beginning, it would have been wonderful to explore it more in depth throughout the book. The different nationalities and relationships between them could have bee
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Verity Brown
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Despite the airships, trolleys, and newspapers, this book feels far more like traditional humorous fantasy than steampunk. The magic system, which relies heavily on math, is one of the few I've ever seen that actually sounds difficult to master, rather than being something the reader could easily manage if only they had the power. The heroine is exceedingly likeable, the hero is pretty nearly perfect (despite not being alpha in the slightest), the plant familiar is hilarious, and the guard twins ...more
Mary B. Grove
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start, rollicking finish

It took me a while to get into the book, mostly because I didn't think much of Meralda at first. She seemed arrogant and patronising about other people's belief in the ghost in the tower, and even after her own experience that something strange was happening, she still kept insisting everyone else was wrong. That type of pride and willful blindness is not an attractive quality in a main character, and she was very much the central character for the first several chap
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Kay Bolton
This Novel was one of my DSOA's from way back when .... oh okay, March this year, and I've finally found the time to read it.

For me this was a touch too boring, there seemed to very little action taking place until right towards the very, very end.

The actual plot line, it it had been snappier and with a few interesting twists worked in would have created really quite a nice piece of fiction, it just failed to perform.

On the bright side, the characterisation wasn't bad. I particularly loved Mug,
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Sylvia
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Periodically a new writer will come along, and I'll say to myself, this one is one to watch out for! Frank Tuttle is definitely a writer to watch! I have been reading his books for a while now and he just keeps getting better. I've enjoyed his fun, but edgy hard-boiled detective, Markhat, as well as his short stories, especially Wistril Compleat (We'll Dine in Shifts!), but this new book is a whole other kettle of fish. First of all, it is significantly longer than some of his other books. Ther
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 11, 2015 03:11PM  
  • Revenge of the Mad Scientist (Airship Adventure Chronicles #1)
  • Enigma (Forgotten Ages, #1.5)
  • The Burning Sky (Halcyon #1)
  • Hounds of Autumn
  • The Shadow of Black Wings (The Year of the Dragon, #1)
  • The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles, #1)
  • Magnificent Devices (Magnificent Devices #3)
  • The 19 Dragons
  • Viridis (Viridis, #1)
  • The Royal Sorceress (The Royal Sorceress, #1)
  • My Sparkling Misfortune (The Lakeland Knight #1)

Other Books in the Series

Paths of Shadow (3 books)
  • All the Turns of Light (Paths of Shadow, #2)
  • Saving the Sammi

Share This Book

“The king sent word, at odd intervals, inquiring as to Meralda's progress. She would scrawl hasty replies in return, often suppressing the impulse to add notes such as "Abandoning spellwork to continue this fascinating correspondence," or "Slept late, long breakfast, taking the day off for a stroll in the park.” 3 likes
“Meralda shook her head. "Pay him no attention, gentlemen," she said. "Logic fails. Reason surrenders. Silence is your only defense."

"Silence, and a whooping big crossbow," muttered Mug. Kervis grinned, and Mug winked. "That's a lad," he whispered. "There's hope for you yet.”
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