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Shard & Shield (Shard of Elan 1)

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  25 reviews
He can save her life—if he sacrifices himself and those he swore to protect.

King’s bastard Shianan Becknam buries himself in his military career to avoid the family that never wanted him and the dangers of drawing political attention. When the artifact intended to end an interdimensional war is damaged, the mage Ariana is trapped on the other side of the rift w
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Paperback, 460 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Æclipse Press
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  63 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Dee Arr
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
It has been a long time since I chose to read a fantasy story, even longer since one actually grabbed my attention and compelled me to continue turning pages long into the night. I usually don’t say I am happy when I finish a good book, but completing “Shard and Shield” will at least allow me to get to bed at a decent hour tonight.

Author Laura VanArendonk Baugh has crafted a story that succeeds on many levels. A well-written fantasy demands deep, illustrative world-building. Most oft
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Suzannah
When a spell goes wrong and Black Mage Ariana Hazelrig is trapped in another dimension with her people's hereditary enemies, king's bastard Shianan Becknam must commit treason in order to ensure she can find her way home.

SHARD & SHIELD is the first of Laura VanArendonk Baugh's books that I've read, and it took me just a couple of chapters to fall in love with her hero Shianan, who reminded me of why I love the Angsty Bastard trope so much. It didn't take me long to fall in love w
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Claire Banschbach
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, to-re-read
So so good!! It's everything I love in a book! Full review to come closer to publication, and let's be honest, after I probably read it at least two more times. :D

~~
Actual review.

So yes, I have read this several times. At least parts of it. Lets be completely honest. I re-read the Shianan parts because he has the most intriguing ARC and I have a major soft spot for characters like him.

The story kind of starts off dropping you in the middle of everything. While the worldbuilin
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C.S. Wachter
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters pulled me into this story; Shianan—complex and brooding, driven by a need to be accepted and seen as worthy; Luca—sweet, intelligent, and worthy of so much more than slavery; Tam (Tamaryl) a total enigma. Ariana seemed a little flat to me, lacking the depth of the other major characters.

The plot is interesting though slow in places and has the potential to expand in various directions. Will the shield hold or will the world of the Ryuven once again spill over into the
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R.J. Rodda
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I thoroughly enjoyed this and obsessively read it. It features strong friendships developing between unlikely people, an interesting fantasy world, troubled father/son and brother/brother relationships, a possible love triangle, some genuine plot twists and to top it all off, a mysterious murder attempt.

One caveat - there is a depiction of foreplay in this between someone powerful and someone reluctant and powerless that I felt was fairly graphic even though it was between fantastical creatures
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K.T. Ivanrest
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
*ahem* LUUUUCCCAAAAAAAAAA!!

Okay, I'm fine.

Shard & Shield is one of the most character-driven fantasy novels I've ever read, and I mean that in the best way. There's no single big bad villain or impending world destruction. The war the characters are fighting has been going on for a long time, and we see its effects and toll most clearly in the lives of the characters, who represent both sides of the conflict and various levels of commitment to and experience with the
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Rhonda
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Laura has created a magical world that is easy to fall into. While I thought all the characters were interesting, the ones which I connected with the strongest were Shianan and Luca. I love how their relationship evolves, how deep and nuanced it is. If the story was just about those two I would say it was well worth the price of admission. But it's not just about them. There are a multitude of other characters and plots and subplots and twists and turns. It's a heck of a ride.

Complet
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Anna Mussmann
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Shard of Elan made me fond of the characters, and really, that’s the most important thing for a book in this genre to get right. I’ve pre-ordered the next book in the series to find out what happens to them all.

There is perhaps a tendency on the author’s part to create a series of dramatic situations without fully dealing with all the consequences of those events. Perhaps this is because the story isn’t plot-driven, and so a series of things happen to the cast. The author also has a tenden
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Kaitlyn M Carter_Author
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Don't you hate it when you start a book and its sequel isn't out yet?

Well, here I am, anxiously awaiting the sequel.

I looooved this book. So so good. Everything that I love and want out of a story was here, in ample amounts. Great characters, each with their own inner demons and angst, and not to mention conflicts between one another. Political maneuvering, drama, and characters growing alongside each other.

Definitely recommend. 100%

And Luca is the
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Jill
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heart-wrenching take If love and loyalty, the cost of slavery and the magic of two worlds crossing over

One of the best epic fantasies I’ve read in awhile. It covers the stories of Ariana, a Mage who wants to prove herself. Shianan, the king’s bastard who has fought his whole life to find his place in the kingdom. And finally, Tam, Ariana’s family slave, who is so much more than he seems. This story is not for the faint hearted, but it besides telling the individual stories of the three MC
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Selina Gonzalez
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Good gracious. And to think I thought Finale was stressful.

I very, very rarely chew on my nails or bite my fingers when watching movies or reading books. I think the last time I did was watching Infinity War for the first time. I bit my thumb a few times reading this, because I was SO WORRIED about the characters. Usually, I'm like "psh, they'll be fine, there's more books," but some of these characters I was like "the story literally COULD progress without them,
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Alana
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC in return for an honest review:

Many books I've read have a strong beginning and a weaker middle and end. This one is actually the opposite. The first quarter of the book, up until the point when Ariana becomes trapped in the Ryuven world, is not nearly as strong as the rest of it. It takes some time to set up the major players and conflicts, true, but it all seemed just a little too easy. Getting the titular Shard was actually pretty simple, as was Aria
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H.A. Titus
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shard and Shield is a fantastic epic fantasy novel from Laura Van Arendonk Baugh. Even while we get a sense of the greater stakes in the worlds around the characters, I still enjoyed the tight focus on the four main characters--Shianan, Luca, Ariana, and Tam. I loved Shianan's arc (even though there were moments with a certain antagonistic/abusive person in his life that made me grit my teeth and think "This is as bad as the Umbridge scenes in Goblet of Fire!"), especially the growing friendship ...more
Jett Wyatt
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The really good stuff: great world building, interesting characters, an exciting plot. Mage Ariana sets off with Soldier (and bastard of the King) Shianon, to retrieve a Shard that has properties that will, they hope, close the door to another world from where their enemies attack without warning. Accompanied by Ariana's servant, Tam, the trio tentatively bond on the journey, much - apparently - to Shianon's chagrin.
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Rachael Ritchey
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super thrilling read

Totally sucked me in. I might have binged this one and am looking forward to more. At this moment I am consisting on little sleep and that's all my brain can muster. I found some of the action clunky and hard to follow, but I was able to right myself fairly quickly. That's probably the worst I could say about this story. Very touching and thrilling with plenty of conflict to enjoy! Recommended for teen and above readers of fantasy magic, especially portal/multiverse/dark
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Hannah
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Definitely an amazing page turner - I didn’t want to put it down. The characters are all well written, the dynamics between them causing you to root for them and want to get to know each one better. I am in awe of story, woven expertly with some excellent surprises. The world is a fascinating fantasy world well grounded in reality.
The chapters are spaced well, so it’s easily to “read just one more”. And another. And another.
I don’t like spoilers in reviews, so I won’t go int
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Angie
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s a story of love, courage, and redemption.

The story begins with Shianan Becknam, the king’s illegitimate son, escorting Ariana, the White mage’s daughter, to retrieve an artifact called the Shard of Elan. The purpose in retrieving the shard will be to use it to magically shield the human world from creatures called the ryuven who attack and pillage human settlements for resources.

Although it took me some time to get into the story, I found myself immersed in the world wondering what was go
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Amy
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best yet!

I‘ve read the author’s Kitsune series and Songweaver’s Vow, and loved them. But this book blew them away! Every choice the characters make leads to consequences, but not always the ones I was expecting. Mrs. VanArendonk Baugh wove the themes of loyalty, friendship, love and sacrifice well, and defied the standard tropes, surprising me each time.

I fell for the characters - each one imperfect in their way. She trickles their backstory slowly, so you keep feeling like new breadcrumbs
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Patricia L Kerr
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two worlds at war

Interesting fantasy about two worlds at war with one another. Interwoven in both are the inherent evil of slavery. I like how the author builds each character to develop the back stories as well. Please don't use this work of fiction as a way to treat hypothermia. Remember it's just a fantasy world. I am curious how the Ryuven can successfully carry away spoils but have trouble carrying humans. All in all, this was a good read and I'm interested in reading the next book sl
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Katherine M
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing fantasy tale by Laura VanArendonk Baugh! She creates compelling, three-dimensional characters who you love despite their flaws, a memorable world, and a plot that will suck you in and not let you go. Now I just need for Book two to come out!
Gail
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! This is the kind of book I really enjoy- Three main characters, one a mage in training- a slave boy who doesn't seem to age, and a commander who was a bastard son of the king. They go after a shard that will help to protect their kingdom against another. These three succeed and return. The story shows each character and their emotions, etc, building a great sense of who they are. At first you don't like the captain, but as the story goes along, we find out how much he has endured and w ...more
Sarah Arabi-Katbi
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was one hell of a sweeping adventure. We're literally thrust right in and it took me a while to get my bearings in the world, a seemingly medieval/European type monarchy, but throw in some winged attackers/invaders from another dimension and a mage council. There is so much to write about but let me just say the character and relationship development between Luca and Becknam was amazing and heartwarming. We got to see so many sides of Tam, and saw Ariana grow into her power (though I e ...more
Brianne Nicole Larr
Great story, can’t wait for more.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I liked having a different magic race I haven’t seen before. The differences in the two worlds is really interesting. I got close with all the characters and was fearful of their lives and excited when they triumphed. It wasn’t a happy ending fairytale but I was pleased with the turn out and am excited for more to come!
Alex
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters felt flat. The character I was most interested in was unconscious most of the story. The plot was uninteresting. Magic for the most part is glossed over; whatever needs to be done can just be done, and you just inherently know how to do it. I will not be continuing the series.
Stephen
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a disappointing read. I expected more from this author and this feel well short. What I have to say about it is with spoilers and won't place it here. Very hard to keep reading and makes you fall asleep is what I will say. Good luck!
Naomi P.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2019
charles r graves
rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2019
Peter Walker
rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2019
James
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2019
Casey Dean
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2019
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Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame her childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth and unable to walk, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer.

Laura writes histo
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