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Tower of Mud and Straw

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  20 reviews
THE QUEEN RUINED HIS LIFE. HE WOULD DO ANYTHING TO RECLAIM IT... OR SO HE THOUGHT.

Minister Shea Ashcroft refuses the queen's order to gas a crowd of protesters. After riots cripple the capital, he's banished to the border to oversee the construction of the biggest anti-airship tower in history. The use of otherworldly technology makes the tower volatile and dangerous; Shea
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Expected publication: February 21st 2021 by Metaphorosis Publishing
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Lukasz
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, novella
Minister Shea Ashcroft had a good, successful life. If only he were a spineless careerist, he could enjoy it for a long time. And we wouldn’t read about his adventures. Refusing his queen’s order to gas a crowd of protesters got him banished to oversee the construction of the biggest anti-airship tower in history.

To make the progress and keep the tower stable, its builders use mysterious Drakiri technology. Some have no issue with it, others are afraid of it. Shea’s queen sees the tower as her
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Beth Cato
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, fantasy, novella, blurbed
I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy for the purpose of blurbing and reviewing.

Tower of Mud and Straw is a poetic tale of love, loss, and otherworldly powers. The luscious bittersweet feel of this novella will haunt readers in the best sort of way.

Minister Shea Ashcroft is a rare conscientious politician. Disgraced after refusing the Queen's order to gas protestors, he is sent to an outlying border to supervise an incredible tower constructed to defend the realm against an encroaching
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-ˏˋclaraˊˎ-
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
"But there was something noble, romantic even, in accepting an unjust punishment. There, I made a decision. I bear the consequences (...). And I'll find a way to return, to get back what they've taken from me."


3.5⭐

Tower of Mud and Straw tells us the story of Shea Ashcroft, a man who, after refusing an order from queen Daelyn, is sent to the Owenbeg tower to oversee its construction as punishment. Shea will soon find out that there's more to his task than meets the eye, and that the c
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Leanne
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy
3.5 stars

This was an action-packed novella. For such a short story, there was great world building. The author succeeded in creating a vivid world where Minister Shea, the protagonist, tries to defend a tower against a mysterious group. As the story progresses, he struggles with his loyalty to the crown and his own personal sense of morality.

Despite the good world-building and plot, I didn’t really like the romance that developed between Shea and a member of the mysterious group. It felt abrupt
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Moraye Potgieter
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one immensely. It was a quick read that invokes one’s imagination. What the author can accomplish in a few words is amazing.

The author has written something new and refreshing, that takes you on a colourful journey, into the past, and how it shapes the future.

The characters are interesting and develop into themselves through the story. Most unexpected was the ending that you think is going one way and then curves another.

Looking forward to more.
Seregil of Rhiminee
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Yaroslav Barsukov's Tower of Mud and Straw is an enjoyable and well written fantasy novella. I was impressed by this novella and found it elegant, entertaining and compelling. It's a tale about prejudice, political intrigue, cultural conflict and personal issues with a bittersweet atmosphere.

There's something about this novella that reminds me a bit of Anthony Huso and Rjurik Davidson, but it's clearly different from their stories. The author combines element
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Virginja ↢ 99% imp
3🌟
“Paintings are a lie. They’re frozen in time, but nothing can stand still, and all things are moving, drawn to some faraway goal.”


I was kindly given an ARC by the publisher — Metaphorosis Publishing — via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tower of Mud Straw (TOMAS for short) is a short story of roughly 200 pages that is going to be published on the Metaphorosis Megazine as a serial of four “episodes” and then be collected as a whole in the month of February 2021. When I f
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Anna Kelly
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The plot centers on our main character Shea Ashcroft, who after refusing to gas a group of protestors, is being sent to the farthest reaches of the empire to oversee the construction of an anti-airship tower. This engineering marvel is a matter of pride for the nation, and one the Queen sees as part of her lasting legacy. Shea arrives to find a mysterious (and potentially dangerous) foreign technology being used in th
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Amanda Khong
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tower of Mud and Straw was an excellent story. I really loved the idea of a mysterious tower, and the even more mysterious Mimic Tower. The story manages to build complex characters, give you the right amount of detail for a little bit of a mysterious world building (that fits with the tone), and create a sense of wonder that makes you keep reading.
Heartbeat.
#

Throughout reading this novella I, along with Shae, I felt myself having trust issues with the characters, not knowing who was hiding some
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Andreas Jenko
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booksirens
An enjoyable novella, the characters were great and I really enjoyed the plot. The writing is beautiful as many reviewers have already noted. Looking forward to the author's next book.
----------------------------------------
Comes highly recommended.

I received an advance review copy of this book for free and I am posting this review voluntarily.
bookcaked
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Yaroslav Barsukov for the advanced copy of Tower of Mud and Straw. This is a voluntary review.

Wow, this novella packed a world-building punch! Adventure, interesting history, dynamic characters, and a fantastic climax left me smiling. There is a lot of ground covered here in a short amount of time, and it is done well. Throughout Shea's journey, we witness scenes and dialogue of racism, discrimination, and cultural differences that are undercurrents of the political hi
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Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tower of Mud and Straw is an intelligent fantasy novel of avarice, destruction and reclamation.
Shea Ashcroft, a minister in disgrace, is sent from the capital city to oversee the construction of an anti-airship tower on the border. Political intrigue, personal ambition and barely-harnessed foreign technology provide the setting for Shea's story but, at its heart, it is a thoughtful tale of love and redemption, or the lack of it.

Barsukov unflinchingly takes on cultural conflict, prejudice, sexism
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Rebecca DeVendra
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was privileged to write a blurb for this story:

"Tower of Mud and Straw is a Tower of Babel story with a hero haunted by his fate. Shea Ashcroft is an Aeneas in an airship set in a world that gives homage to Dune. Once immersed it is hard to stop reading: like a play or a good painting, you won't be able to look away until you've discovered everything."

I didn't know what to expect but when I started reading I couldn't put it down. I’m usually nose-deep in Roman and Greek myth, so the hero of t
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Lawrence M. Schoen
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was privileged to read an advance copy of this novella and I was only too happy to provide a blurb.

"Barsukov's prose is not merely a feast for the eyes, it is an explosion of textures, a narrative metaphor that wraps the reader in gritty burlaps of politics, the oaken solidity of wonder, and powerful silks of longing."

Keep an eye on this author, even greater wonders await.
Blaise
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tower of Babel story centered around duty, nationalism, and sense of wonder. It reminded me of Senlin Ascends at times. One on the best novellas I have ever read.
Lesley
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Tower of Mud and Straw. Excellent world building with a complex plot and interesting characters! Good stuff!
Alex Helm
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
An intriguing story about an exiled Lord put in charge of a construction project critical to the Kingdom. Tower of Mud & Straw presents an interesting world that I would like to read more of. ...more
Stan Dunn
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Tower of Mud and Straw is an interesting book about Lord Shea Ashcroft and his travails from courtside to being sent away, and to return. In between, Shea comes to know love and commitment and in the end to be reunited.

The Tower of Mud and Straw is an anti-airship tower on the border that uses Drakiri technology - as it seems - for support. Along the way, Shea has to battle the townsfolk to remove the Drakiri technology, but I don’t think he understands why, at the time. Shea falls in love with
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MollyK
Oct 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This novella is a mixed bag for me. There is hauntingly beautiful prose describing external imagery and light. Then there are some highly confusing almost muddled paragraphs. The pacing is a bit off too. The plot is interesting though. I found myself wanting to know more. I think that may be part of the problem for me. I feel like the book needs to be fleshed out more. Overall though, I enjoyed reading it. A solid 3 stars. I look forward to seeing what else this writer can do.

**author provided
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Samantha Weed
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This novella follows Shea as he is sent away from the capital to oversee the construction of a large military tower. While ensuring the tower's timely construction, Shea struggles with his fall from grace, his sister's death, and the line between his sense of duty and sense of morality. Tower of Mud and Straw tackled complex issues while keeping the reader engaged with an intriguing plot and well developed characters. While the romantic relationship between two of the characters seemed a bit wea ...more
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Member of SF&F Writers of America.
Left one former empire only to settle in another.
Speaks German by day, Russian by night.
Writes in English.
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