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Ash and Silver

(The Sanctuary Duet #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  574 ratings  ·  80 reviews
In Dust and Light, national bestselling author Carol Berg returned to the world of the award-winning Flesh and Spirit. Now she continues the saga of a man whose past is veiled in shadows....

Ever since the Order of the Equites Cineré stole his memory, his name, and his heart, thinking about the past makes Greenshank’s head ache. After two years of rigorous training, he is a
Paperback, 475 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Roc
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4.13  · 
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 ·  574 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Althea Ann
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read "Dust and Light" first, or you're likely to be just as confused as Lucian is, in this book!

In Ash and Silver, we meet a postulant known only as Greenshank, who's been in training for some time with the secretive Order of the Equites Cineré - Knights of the Ashes. All of their candidates for knighthood willingly submit to a magical procedure which suppresses all of their memory of personal identity, allowing them to train and make decisions free of their former identity and deeds. For their
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Dust and Light by Carol Berg. It was my first experience with her work and I was introduced to the wonderfully enticing world of the Sanctuary Duet. I had a feeling things were just getting started for protagonist Lucian de Remeni, so I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the sequel ever since.

But even though Ash and Silver is the second half of this duology, the story surprise
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ash and Silver put Carol Berg on my list of authors to watch. The world she creates is rich, the plot expansive, and the magical and social systems intricate and complex. Ash and Silver is the second book a series, but it was the first book-- and indeed the only book by the author-- that I've read. I actually think the book may be more enjoyable without the context of the first. The protagonist, who goes by Greenshank, is a paratus of the reclusive and mysterious Equites Cinere, whose members mu ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few words about this book. Several years ago, she wrote a duology about a young wastrel named Valen, who is addicted to drugs and on the run from his family. Obviously, there is much there that resonates with me, and the Lighthouse Duology became two of my favorite books ever. Berg is one of those writers who likes to keep it fresh and exciting — much like Guy Gavriel Kay, she completes a project and then starts over with a fresh world, new characters, a new system of magic, and new challenges ...more
Sep 15, 2017 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Carol Berg does it again - long a favorite on my favorites list. Her development of characters, settings, and above all, plot twists is nearly unrivaled in fantasy today. Highly recommended!
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the second and final book in the Sanctuary duology. I’ve now read seven books by Carol Berg and I’ve loved every one of them. Why don’t people I know talk about her books more often?! I’ll definitely read more of them eventually, after I’ve made a dent in some of the other books on my list. There are still so many authors whose books I’ve never read.

These books are told from the first-person perspective of Lucian, a young pureblood man who gets caught up in a web of deception and schemi
I've been waiting anxiously after the events of DUST AND LIGHT to continue the series, and finally I can know what happened to Lucian in ASH AND SILVER.

Turns out that his struggles in DUST were just the beginning. It's been two years since the closing events of DUST when Lucian was whisked away from the city after the devastating revelations he made about the Registry--revelations that put his life and his sister's in danger. He agrees to go to a refuge without really knowing what he was agreein
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Carol Berg is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and although I didn't love it quite as much as the first half of this duology, Ash and Silver was a satisfying conclusion. Though there were some interesting parts in the beginning, it took a little while for this one to completely pull me in--but once it did get going, I couldn't put it down! The characters, world, and the exploration of memory were all well done and made this a memorable read: one of my favorites released in 2015.

Full Review: h
Fantasy Literature
At the edge of the eastern sea, the Fortress Evenide holds the Order of the Knights of the Ash. Greenshank is a paratus, one level below a knight, and is working day and night to be deemed ready for promotion. Greenshank is completely loyal to the Knights of the Ash, in part because he has to be. He has no memory of any life before two years ago when he was brought to the citadel. Then one day, returning from an assignment, he is accosted by an otherworldly woman, a Danae, and she calls him Luci ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
The leap of faith require by this book is so great that I don't think that I've seen it done before, let alone pulled off. A character that you start off genuinely not liking all that much in the first book but who wins you over (which may be becoming a hallmark of the author's?) has to be started off from scratch as a man who's lost his memory. So not only do you have to be able to see the man he was, the man he became, the man who has been erased, the man as he is rebuilt--and manipulated in t ...more
Dr susan
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again, own, favorites
I loved Dust and Light and screamed out loud at the ending. I was thrilled when a friend bought me a copy of Ash and Silver so it would arrive on release day. Carol Berg writes an intricate, involved, often heartbreaking story of a man stripped to his basic instincts, struggling to understand his abilities, the forces behind his torments, and his place in a conflict capable of ending his world.
I admit Berg constantly stunned me with the inventiveness of her plot's twists and turns, most of whic
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Not my favorite Berg, but still a fine read.

Lots of flying parts to this one! Several different things always going on at the same time. Oh, no, how will our hero ever cope with it all?

I had the same problem I always have with Berg -- there's always at least one thing about the world or plot that I just can't buy into. In this case (not a spoiler, it's mentioned at the end of Dust and Light and discussed thoroughly near the beginning of Ash and Silver), it was the repeated memory wipes for the m
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars.

As ever, Carol Berg writes novels that defy easy categorization, but as ever, she writes intelligent works of vast imaginative power. Those people who diss fantasy as ridiculous or second-rate or twee should read Berg: their minds will be changed.

Ash and Silver is a most satisfying conclusion to the story begun in Dust and Light, taking the characters and the world in unexpected directions. I won't attempt to outline the plot - for one thing, it's too complex to do easily, and for ano
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So, this was my fourth book by Carol Berg and I still don’t know exactly what to think of her. On the one hand, I enjoyed all of her stories immensely, but was especially drawn in by her characters and their stories. On the other hand, these books require quite an effort for me. This is certainly due to the usage of old English language, but also that the complex world is not always fully explained and leaves a lot for the reader to progress and figure out by himself. I guess overall, these book ...more
Annette Gisby
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Read the first book before this one, Dust and Light. It will make a lot more sense.

Everything a fantasy book should be - great characters, fantastic world-building, magic that follows the rules of its universe, adventure, betrayals, corruption, mystery and more. I couldn't put it down and my eyes are sore for reading for so long :)
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
Greenshank/Lucian is great. I liked the quiet discipline that underlies his thoughts at the start. As a reader, it felt strange to read what memories came back and what didn't. I loved the progression to him becoming a great guardian, but (view spoiler). I liked that Lucian is fundamentally good - but that (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me 2 months to finish this book because of the elaborate and heavy writing style. I really had to drag myself through this one. However, I enjoyed the plot well enough to finish it; curiosity got the better of me this time!
I liked the first book of this duology best. The memory loss trope isn't my favourite and I wish she carried this series on without it. A second book with some more Lucian/Bastian detective action, and character development, would have left me more satisfied. I'm upset
Kristina Chalmain
This is the best fantasy book I have ever read! I am a great fan of Carol Berg, and other great fantasy writers like Robin Hobb and George RR Martin. But the emotional roller coaster that this book provided beats them all.

This is the second book in the "Sanctuary-duet" - the first part is "Dust and Light". These take place in the same universe as Berg's other great duet, the "Lighthouse duet", which used to be my favourite, but it has now been replaced!

So what is so great about this book? Well
J Aislynn d'Merricksson
****This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review****

“You are not a murderer. The curious fact had been served to me that morning like cold fish on a platter, to be digested as I took my daily run.”
~Ash and Dust, Carol Berg

With this masterful opening, we are introduced to Paratus Greenshank, a novice of Fortress Evanide, in training to be a Knight. From the very beginning, the story grabs you by the hand, plunging you headfirst into a world of magick, and war, where nothing is quite
Jane Bigelow
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I envy readers who haven't already read the first of the Sanctuary Duet, Dust and Light. They can go through this linked, contrasting pair of books without having to wait for the conclusion.

I'm not going to recount the plot in detail; other reviewers have done a fine job of that. It's wonderfully complex, filled with contradictions and characters who probably aren't what they seem. Or, wait, maybe they are...

Lucian de Remini has spent the last two years training at Evanide, a remote wave-lashed
Matt Braymiller
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads_2016
At the end of Dust and Light, Carol Berg left a lot of strings dangling. Our protagonist, Lucian de Remeni, took a mysterious offer and this book is the result of that offer.

This is a very interesting premise. How much of what makes you the person you are would remain if your memory of who you are is wiped out? Would you still have the same values? Would your conduct, based as it is on those values, remain true to who you used to be? These are among the questions that Berg is dealing with in thi
Kyra Halland
Well, that was epic. I love love love Carol Berg's books, and this one is a thoroughly enjoyable followup to Dust and Light, which I loved but I think I loved this one even more. Lucien, now known as Greenshank, a knight-in-training in the top-secret Knights of the Ashes, and stripped of all memories of his previous life, discovers his badass side as he trains to protect Navronne from evil. He finds himself the focus of two plots, one involving the disputed throne of Navronne (the object of a te ...more
Christie Maurer
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, Carol Berg has writen a superb and in-depth tale set in a world out of legend with with strong, sympahetic, yet flawed characters. I liked this book so much and there is so much in it that I read it twice, and reread the first book in the series, DUST AND LIGHT, in between in order to remind myself what came before.
Here, Lucien has a new name, Greenshanks, and a new situation, training in a military order of magic-wielding knights, the Equites Cinere. He becomes aware that Damon, a m
Henry Lazarus
Carol Berg’s Dust and Light (paper) introduced Lucian de Remeni-Masson , a pure-blood sorcerer with the ability to draw truth in his portraits. Too much truth. Political consequences first have in working for an ordinary Coroner drawing pictures of murdered victims that help find their murderers. But politics and Lucian’s own quest for truth led him to Order of the Equites Cineré, knights devoted to Justice. His memories deliberately removed, he trains with no idea of his potential to not only p ...more
Mary Soon Lee
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concluding book in the fantasy duology that began with "Dust and Light." I enjoyed this book very much. The milieu, which is shared with three other of Carol Berg's books, is darkly dramatic, and I appreciate the thoughtful and unusual depiction of magic. The narrator, Greenshank, is both admirable and likable, and faces an array of formidable obstacles. I particularly liked the moments depicting friendship between Greenshank and other characters, and I think I would have preferred more emph ...more
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book started out a little slow.......and I was still a bit saddened that Bastien (from the previous book, the coroner who employed Lucian) wasn't in it, though he showed up later............but in the end, the fast pace and amazing suspense held me in to the end. I would rate this higher than almost any other book of Berg's I have read, since her original "Rai-Kirah Trilogy". For as amazing as it was, I felt the last few chapters were a bit rushed as things fell into place...I would gladly h ...more
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have given this 4.5 stars. The only reason I won't give it 5 stars is because I doubt I'll re-read it. Highly highly recommend it. Pure fantasy, fast and furious plot, characters and deeds one can believe.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just a great story. Makes me want to reread the Lighthouse Duo.
This review also appears on my blog

I stand by my opinion that people who are not me might enjoy the Sanctuary Duet a lot. Unfortunately, I am me and I still don’t enjoy conspiracy thrillers. And while Dust and Light had at least a very entertaining murder mystery B-plot, Ash and Silver is all about the conspiracy. Well, and Lucian’s lost memories. I like the amnesia trope about as much as conspiracy plots. Still, like for the first book, I have to say that I might dislike the trope in general bu
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Carol Berg’s writing. Her protagonists are complex, grow over the course of the narrative, have wondrously drawn companions and antagonists, and her worlds are rich with fascinating detail.

This sequel to Dust and Light was also a multifaceted, quite dense story. Because of the gap of two years between the end of the first and the beginning of the second books, there was a lot of exposition—well-written, and integrated into the story, but exposition nonetheless. I was so happy to hear the
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Carol Berg is the author of the epic fantasy
The Books of the Rai-kirah, The Bridge of D'Arnath Quartet, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winning Lighthouse Duet - Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone - the standalone novel Song of the Beast , and the three novels of the Collegia Magica.

Berg holds a degree in mathematics from Rice University, and a degree in computer science from the University of Co

Other books in the series

The Sanctuary Duet (2 books)
  • Dust and Light (The Sanctuary Duet, #1)