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Shattered Pillars

(Eternal Sky #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,523 ratings  ·  174 reviews
The Shattered Pillars is the second book of Bear's The Eternal Sky trilogy and the sequel to Range of Ghosts. Set in a world drawn from our own great Asian Steppes, this saga of magic, politics and war sets Re-Temur, the exiled heir to the great Khagan and his friend Sarmarkar, a Wizard of Tsarepheth, against dark forces determined to conquer all the great Empires along th ...more
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,523 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Mayim de Vries
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
”To say a thing is to make it so.”

I am occasionally told that my reviews are mean and that I rarely say good things about books. In an attempt to counter this allegation, I’d like to begin with an affirmative statement:

This book has a nice cover.

Now, that was nice, wasn’t it?

As to the important things: There are two.

In the first place, do not believe in a single word of Scott Lynch’s review. Clearly, he has not been entirely objective when writing it. (I don’t hold it against you, Scott, you
Jul 17, 2012 added it
It's my reluctant policy not to give star ratings to books written by the woman I am dating. ;)

With that said, Range of Ghosts was a very good book, a fine opening to this trilogy, but Shattered Pillars tops it in every particular. It moves faster but sacrifices neither detail nor characterization. It's brutal, beautiful, and nuanced, marrying the pace of classic swords-and-sorcery with the numinous, expansive worldbuilding of contemporary epic fantasy. Bear's touch is as deft and her control is
The Shayne-Train
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book, the second in the series, did not let me down. So often the "middle child" of a trilogy is fundamentally lacking. But not so here, oh no. The characters you love return, and you're introduced to new ones that you begin to love as well. The plot moves forward, instead of spinning its wheels in a holding pattern and keeping all that good stuff for the final book.

And more Hrahima! She, if you don't already know, is a mysterious magical tiger-woman warrior. That should be enough to get yo
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. There was so much going on and the it was written with a very different kind of intensity. Shattered Pillars essentially picks up where Range of Ghosts left off and continues to develop both the characters and the evolving storylines from there. While I really enjoyed Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars definitely turned things up a notch in terms of its complexity.

I love Bear's use of language, which I find quite different from some of the other writers I h
Just so you know, everyone in this story is pregnant.

Ok, that's not true, but there does seem to be a lot of pregnancy among main(ish) characters. I guess it's like when the one woman in your circle is gravid and then everyone gets gravid.

I enjoyed this book; the story continues to be questy-fantasy but the environments, the world, it's all just so intriguing. I do not recommend waiting years between the first one and this one, though. I had forgotten so much and now I realize that I should pro
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, I did not enjoy Bear's second novel set in her intriguing take on Earth's steppe nomads, as well as neighboring regions. While I adored the first book, Shattered Pillars suffered some of the the symptoms of second book syndrome:

--New characters that the reader is not connected with, because they are new.(duh)I spent most of the time thinking "Why can't I be reading about Temur,Sarmarkar, and Hrahima.

--An exploration of new places that aren't as nifty as previous ones.

--A feeling that the
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stop. If you have not read Range of Ghosts, preferably in the last year, then you're really going to be confused for the first quarter of this book. It does all sort out so that you don't have to have read the first on, but c'mon, it's great, you want to anyway.

Ok, that said: What an excellent second book. Unlike many middle books in a trilogy, this one is fast-paced, compelling, and full of character development. At no time did I feel like we were just marking time until the climax. It is just
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, e-books
4 Stars

Let me start by saying that I love Elizabeth Bear and can say that she is easily a five star writer. Shattered Pillar, book two in the Eternal Sky series is even better than book one. This book is filled with so much action, magic, and adventure that it was tough to put down. My only real gripe was I had a tough time remembering who was who, and who was a man or am beast. This book has many points of view that also was a bit tough to keep up with for the first third of this book. Once thi
Tudor Ciocarlie
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love what Bear is doing with gender in this epic-fantasy series. There is a perfect equilibrium between men and women, between there roles and there support to one another, that is such joy to read. The thing that prevents Shattered Pillars to be the perfect novel that Range of Ghosts was, is the fact that, being the second book in a trilogy, we spend less time with Temur and Sarmarkar, and more time with some characters that are more generic epic-fantasy, but are necessary for the future conf ...more
“To say a thing is to make it so.”

Well-conceived and well-told epic fantasy. Bear’s created world breathes authenticity. Spared returning reader retelling the first book, though a new reader may not pick up the stakes and the players as quickly.

“Everything is lazy.”

Maintains the high standards of Range of Ghosts but still drifts a little sideways. Nothing requires a story stretch to three volumes if it can be told in two. Ends with the right mix of hope and despair.

“It’s easier to be shared tha
The Captain
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys! This here be a combined review of the last two books in the Eternal Sky trilogy. While I try to post no spoilers, ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

I have to review these books together because I read them back to back and thus they have blended into one whole. The books follow Temur and Samarkar and friends as they try to destroy a cult and save the world. This series continues to be odd in that the plot sort of plods along. The pacing is uneven an
Tim Martin
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Djinn and rukhs and ghuls oh my! What a fun fantasy book in a not often trod setting, the dusty deserts and windswept steppes – along with the teeming, opulent, decidedly non-western cities – of the Silk Road. There was a lot to like about this second installment in a rather promising series; really evocative (but not over wrought) language perfectly describing the feel of this vividly described world is the first thing that comes to mind. I don’t think I have read in recent memory anyone who ha ...more
Jeremy Preacher
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Arrgh. I really like this series so far. It's got some great worldbuilding, beautiful imagery, and characters with well-drawn relationships - plus, ponies! - and this book in particular has some fantastic action sequences. But my feeling that maybe I should have waited until all three books were published remains, because dammit, I want to know the end. That's more praise than criticism, mind you - I am too old and cynical to look forward to the conclusions of uninteresting series, even if I kno ...more
Megan Baxter
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read the first book in this trilogy, but it didn't take me long to slip back into this world, and I think I liked Shattered Pillars even more than Range of Ghosts, and I liked Range of Ghosts quite a lot. The characters have settled in, though, and the struggles they're facing are deadly and affecting.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Solid instalment in the series - looking forward to reading the third!

The mythology continues to evolve and intrigue. There are tantalising hints that this world might be more than it seems, which again, just makes me ready for the third. Despite that, the book is certainly whole in and of itself - all the pieces are now in play!
Matt Fimbulwinter
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book 2 of the Eternal Sky trilogy. As is typical with Bear's books, I am in love with the characters, and find the villain threatening, but understandable. It was a fair bit of cognitive dissonance to read this while, in parallel, listening to the Game of Thrones audiobook. It makes the problematic shortcuts Martin takes with the Dothraki really, really stand out.

The only story line that I'm feeling shaky about is Edene's, but I won't know how I feel about it until book 3 when I find out how it
Fantasy Literature
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Bear’s entire ETERNAL SKY trilogy is now sitting in a neat row on my bookshelf. I adored the first book and consumed the second one so quickly it went by in a blur of semi-divine horses and cool but unpronounceable names. Before I read Steles of the Sky(released on April 10th), it’s worth pausing to reconsider the middle book in what might be one of my favorite fantasy series in recent years.

In Shattered Pillars, Temur and his band of loyal and enigmatic followers continue their quest.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Let me start off by saying that I like the plot of this book, the main characters, and I think Ms. Bear is a wonderful writer. That being said I still had issues with the book. I found the book to be rather slow, and it took me longer then usual to read because of this. Not much happens through out the book in terms of plot advancement until the last twenty pages or so after a long building process and in my option the pay off just wasn't there. It was much like the first story were the book end ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a lovely trilogy this is! This middle book is a bit hard for me to separate from the first since the quest flows directly together, but I enjoyed my listening experience. There is more romance and a bit of sexy times, a lot of development of Temur's plot line, world-building of new and terrifying areas, and a lot of beautiful phrases. I don't love the narrator's male voices always, but audio is otherwise a great way to read these books!
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Worthy follow-up in the Eternal Sky trilogy. Even though it suffered from some pacing problems and the unlikely relationship between Temur and Sarmarkar, it delivers on prose. I found the story in Range of Ghosts slightly better and that's why I'm giving this book a 3.5/5.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book if you want to escape into a different world. I don't think that you should read it if you haven't read the first in the trilogy, though.

This novel further develops the political conflict begun in Range of Ghosts. Temur, Samarkar, Brother Hsiung and Hrahima try to gather political allies and support, al-Sepher consolidates his own position, Edene gains power of her own.

The start of this whole adventure began when Edene was abducted by al-Sepher to be held as leverage against
Soooo good! Not quite as good as the first book (suffered a book from Middle Book Syndrome IMO), but still amazing. And what an ending, I can't wait to read the final book in this trilogy!
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh- middle books. I think this book helped me really understand what ‘pacing issues’ mean. At least for me. But still - there is enough beauty and depth of character that I need to know what happens next.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was blown away by RANGE OF GHOSTS last year, and was so excited to receive SHATTERED PILLARS in the mail, the second installment of Elizabeth Bear's The Eternal Sky trilogy. But before I start the review, if you haven't read GHOSTS, stop and read it before you continue. PILLARS will not make sense if you read them out of order.

With that out of the way, the question I'm sure you're wondering about is if the second is a good as the first. The short answer is: No, but only barely. However, PILLA
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Shattered Pillars is the second book in Bear’s Eternal Sky series, which starts with Range of Ghosts, an epic fantasy series with a setting based off Central Asia. You will need to read the first book before picking up Shattered Pillars, but there are no spoilers for the first book in this review.

Temur is the grandson of the Great Khan, who’s empire is being torn asunder in a civil war. As a potential heir, Temur’s sought by assassins sent by his uncle. Samarkar was once a princess of the Rasan
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in a trilogy that's turned out to be a real treat for me. I didn't know what the expect from the start, and it continues to be full of fun surprises. I have no idea what might happen next, but I'm going to enjoy finding out.

The Eternal Sky trilogy's mythology takes a departure from traditionally European fantasy worlds, and borrows from Russian, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern stories. The reason seemingly contradictory mythologies can exist is because each land's supre
Lydia Presley
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, 2013
Picking up where Range of Ghosts left off, Elizabeth Bear dives right in with Shattered Pillars - action and strange names galore. Having just finished the first book of this series, I felt somewhat prepared and even more so, excited to see where the adventure would lead.

The development of Edene in this book is one of the most important storylines, I think. But in spite of its importance, it reminds me a lot of the storyline of a certain dragon lady in George R.R. Martin's popular series. No, Ed
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Shattered Pillars is book #2 in the Eternal Sky series, and continues right where Range of Ghosts ended. Temur is still searching for Edene, the woman who was kidnapped by the Nameless Assassins because of him. He continues to travel with Samarkar, Hsiung and Hrahima, towards the fortress of the Assassins. But that's just one of the many PoVs in this lovely novel. We learn more about the state of things in Tsarepheth and the Citadel of Wizards, battling a demon-plague. We witness the Nameless' d ...more
Text Addict
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
O how hard it is to find a second-book-of-a-trilogy that doesn't feel like a long, long middle of the story. I guess it's really hard to write one, too.

I love this series because it is creative and beautifully written. But this second book (like so many middle books!) moves, oh, let's count them as four intersecting plots forward step-by-step, all the pieces moving on the board and the stunning backdrop of varied cultures and difficult, conflicted, foolish, wise, cruel, saintly, and heroic char
Ria Bridges
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shattered Pillars picks up the story very shortly after the end of Range of Ghosts, with Temur still intent on finding and rescuing Edene and overthrowing his uncle, Samarkar still intent on helping him and also uncovering what is occurring with the cult of the Scholar God and al-Sepehr, and Hsiung and Hrahima coming along for reasons of their own. Where character development for most of the characters was slim in Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars takes the time to flesh them out, and to give m ...more
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Other books in the series

Eternal Sky (3 books)
  • Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1)
  • Steles of the Sky (Eternal Sky, #3)

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