The desolate canyons of Alcoro - and the people desperate enough to hide there - couldn’t be more different from the opulent glass palace and lush forests of Moquoia. But the harsh desert and gleaming court are linked through their past, present, and future: a history ...more
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Desolate canyons. A lawless wilderness. Bands of outlaws roaming the frontier and attacking traveling wagons. All this in the publisher’s description for Sunshield should have clued me in to what I was in for, but I was still pleasantly surprised when I started this novel to find a fantasy western. Lark is our protagonist, known to the world as the Sunshield Bandit because of her shining mirrored buckler and the reflected ...more
The world of Sunshield is a complicated one, but Emily expertly broke it down into bite sized pieces. We have a world of separate countries on the brink of civil war. Some want to continue the slave trade ...more
Emily B. Martin brought a fresh, vibrant new fantasy world to life in her Woodwalker trilogy. Now, she digs deeper into her setting with Sunshield, the start of a new series that does not require having read the previous books (though I highly recommend you do!).
This book is that rare entity of the genre: a fantasy western, full of the realistic details that Martin (an experienced park ranger) laces into all of her books. Lark is the titu ...more
Sunshield by Emily B. Martin
A lawless wilderness. A polished court. Individual fates, each on a quest to expose a system of corruption.
The desolate canyons of Alcoro—and the people desperate enough to hide there—couldn’t be more different from the opulent glass palace and lush forests of Moquoia. But the harsh desert and gleaming court are linked through their past, present, and future: a history ...more
Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Sunshield for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.
Sunshield is an enjoyable fantasy western that, for me, took a little too long to find its groove. Having said that, once the storylines began to converge, the plot and pacing picked up speed and lead to a satisfying conclusion.
So yeah, fantasy western. Haven’t seen many of those in my time as a reviewer (or as a reader fo ...more
I discovered upon finishing this book that it's set in Emily B. Martin's Woodwalker universe. Having not read any of those books was no problem - you don't need to have read them to enjoy this book. That said, I'm looking forward to going back to explore them.
Thanks to my general distraction in April 2020, it took me a little while to get into the story. The book is told from 3 points of view, which means you're goi ...more
It's set about 20 or so years after the events of the first trilogy and Outlaw Road will be a duloagy. The conclusion Floodpath comes out in March 2021 and I'm looking forward to it. Sunshield ended on a cliffhanger!
I strongly recommend reading the Woodwalker, Ashes to Fire, and Creatures of Light first. It will help to understand so much of the world. Not just character wis ...more
Sunshield is the first of a duology in the Woodwalker world, set 20 years after the trilogy. Moving westward on the continent and in genre, three first-person viewpoints are deftly woven into a compelling narrative that pulls no punches about how geopolitical actions affect the common folk with ...more
It took me a little while to get invested, but I wound up enjoying this fantasy novel.
The story is told from the perspectives of three different characters. One of them is Lark, a former bondservant (a slave in all but name) turned outlaw who robs stagecoaches to support herself and other escapees. Veran is an ambassador to the court of Moquoia who hopes to negotiate an end to their bond-servant labor system and the trade in abducted children that feeds it. And Tamsin is an abductee bei ...more
A frustrated prince out to make a name for himself, a mysterious young woman who goes by the name of the Sunshield Bandit, and a prisoner named Tamsin—Emily B. Martin lets us get to know each character in alternating POVs, while still keeping the eventual connections hidden. Martin makes you empathize with her characters, creating the rare plot-driven book where you still feel like you’re following the ...more
Martin's books all have such a strong sense of place in the physical world, in this case the desert. I can definitely tell she used her park ranger survival knowledge in the descriptions. This story builds on the themes of environmentalism and how we're all connected, both ...more
The story alternates points of view between Lark aka the Sunshield bandit, Veran and Tamsin though most of the story is told through the eyes of Lark and Veran. Desperate to save a failing diplomatic mission, Veran enlists the help of Lark in finding the kidnapped Tamsin. I loved these characters so much! Lark has had a hardscrabble life, she’s tough, resourceful, ...more
I didn’t know until after halfway in that this book takes place in the same world as another of the author’s series. Partially explains why I felt the world building was lacking so much and I was just confused a majority of the time. But the worse sin was that I couldn’t stand the characters, especially Lark. Well Veran was alright and Tamsin was barely there. But Lark was just SO obnoxious. I didn’t understand her at all. I didn’t like t ...more
Veran was my favorite character. His ac ...more
My understanding is that this novel takes place in the same world as her Woodwalker Trilogy, which I have not read. Based on how much I enjoyed this one though, I'm definitely going to be checking them out.
This was a great adventure style fantasy novel with some really well done world building, some political intrigue and some terrific action scenes. It's told from the POV of three main characters which worked to keep the story moving along. I particularly li ...more
I like Martin's writing style: not overly descriptive, but just descriptive enough. Her description of the desert is evocative.
But--! But--! It's just part of a story! I was crushed to get to the end and realize that there's more coming--sometime.
Still, a great read, and I look forward to re ...more
I received a copy through Goodreads giveaways. ...more
Thank you #Harper Collins,#Netgalley and #Emily B. Martin
The characters are very aware of their natural environments, and have a strong sense of place (or sense of a new place) based on the flora and fauna around them, which is how I feel outdoors too. The main characters take on slavers and have some good conversations about an outsider swooping in to fix things. Several characters have disabilities and aren’t relegated to one-dimensional side characters. There’s also a strong emphasis on communication and cooperation, which ...more
When not patrolling places like Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, or Philmont Scout Ranch, I live in South Carolina with my husband, Will, and two daughters, Lucy and Am ...more