Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash
Lord of Snow and Shadows starts as Gavril, a young relatively carefree painter, learns that he has just inherited rule of the northern kingdom of Azhkendir after his father (whom Gavril never knew) was murdered. The inheritance has a darker side, however, as his father's line also passes from son to son the Drakhaoul, a creature which lives in their blood and mind and gives them great power at great cost — the eventual transformation of their body and soul. Kidnapped by his father's personal guard and brought back to Azhkendir both to rule and to avenge his father, Gavril must struggle against the creature inside of him, a warring prince of another country, another claimant to the throne, his father's demanding ghost, his own distaste for vengeance, and a host of people who wish to manipulate him for their own personal and political purposes. And oh yeah, there's the ... Read More
Sarah AshSarah Ash runs the library in a local primary school. She has two grown sons and lives in Beckenham, Kent, with her husband and their mad cat, Molly. Read excerpts of Sarah Ash’s novels at her website.
Tears of Artamon — (2003-2005) Publisher: Combining the best of fantasy traditions with her own unique vision, Sarah Ash brings to dazzling life a new saga filled with epic adventure and unforgettable characters. Far-reaching in scope and imagination, Lord of Snow and Shadows embarks on a journey like no other — into a shape-shifting world teeming with political intrigue, astonishing magic, and passions both dark and light. Raised by his protective mother in the sunny clime of the south, Gavril Andar knows nothing of his father — or the ominous legacy that awaits him. But his innocence is about to be shattered. The man who ruled the wintry kingdom of Azhkendir, a man infused with the burning blood of the dragon-warrior known as Drakhaoul, has been murdered by his enemies. It is his fiery, chameleonlike blood that pulses through Gavril’s veins. The news is Gavril’s first taste of death — but it will not be his last. For blood is the liquid that seals his fate. Expected by clan warriors from the north to avenge his father’s murder — and still his unquiet ghost — Gavril is kidnapped. He soon learns that becoming Drakhaon means not only ascending to the throne of Azhkendir but changing, in subtle ways at first, into a being of extraordinary power and might. A being that must be replenished with the blood of innocentsin order to survive. Ensconced in Kastel Drakhaon with no means of escape from the icebound kingdom, and carefully watched by neighboring rulers waiting to move against him, the untested Gavril must fight to retain his human heart and soul in the face of impending war — and the dark instincts that threaten to overpower him. Man and beast, spymaster and insurgent, nature and the netherworld — all collide in phenomenal twists and turns. A masterwork of adventure fantasy, Lord of Snow and Shadows will leave you stunned — and longing for more.
Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash
Alchymist’s Legacy — (2008-2009) This series is a prequel to The Tears of Artamon.
The kingdom of Francia has purged its magi. But when a young Guerrier rescues an orphaned street waif, little does he know that she is the daughter of a magus who met his end on their pyres — or that she is guarded by an aethyric spirit — and driven by the name of the traitor who condemned her father to flames. With the gift of song infused within her, the child’s voice will bring her before the most powerful heads of state. And she will craft herself into a weapon… aimed at the heart of the man she despises. From the alchymist’s apprentice whose discovery leads him into a dark partnership, to a girl who will become the toast of three nations, a new magic will grant powers and ignite dangers beyond all reckoning. A timeless tale of adventure, battle, and beauty, this dazzling story spans the realm of the human and the immortal, the schemes of the power hungry, the dreams of lovers and the resurrection of the fallen in one magnificent, epic fantasy.
Moths to a Flame — (1995) Publisher: Wondrous Myh-Dhiel, home to the dynasty of the House of Memizhon, a place of gothic-Byzantine riches and opulence — but now corrupt and subject to a king and queen, the Arkhan and his Arkhys, slowly going mad inside their labyrinthine palace. But in this stagnant land nothing can shake the powers that be — until the arrival of two young slaves, twins Lai and Laili. Lai, the man of peace, must become a warrior, or die in the Arena; chaste Laili suffers as the Arkhan’s new concubine. Forced into submission and betrayal of principle, they nevertheless survive. And, once enmeshed in the court and its machinery of power, they rise to new prominence. But Myn-Shiel must change… And as the power-playing of the court reaches fever pitch, a god-driven plague — complex, disguising itself as an irresistible drug — descends. Now Lai and Laili must realise their true fate — destroyers and redeemers both. For these are the last days. And this is the fall of the house of Memizhon.
Songspinners — (1996) Publisher: ‘The gift is not a perfect gift. It carryes the curse of madness with it… the Songspinners live a short intense life, gladdening all with their unique talents before their genius is brutally extinguished…’ Orial is tormented by strange dreams, by sounds others do not hear. She escapes to her mother’s tomb, losing herself in singing to Iridial’s memory. What she does not know is that her hidden talent may be her undoing. When Orial becomes the scribe to a composer whose injured hands cannot write, she takes the first steps on the road to madness and war. For in Orial’s world music is a tool for rebellion and dissent and the notes she transcribes are the battle hymn of a people.
The Lost Child — (1998) Publisher: Rahab finds the bloodless corpse of a child on his ghetto doorstep, the victim of a ritual murder. The Tsyonim, barely tolerated at the best of times, are now the subject of suspicion and hatred in Arcassanne. And the captain of the city guard is determined to ensure that it is a ghetto dweller who is found responsible for the murder. As his people prepare to flee once more from persecution, Rahab is determined to find th real killer — to prove his own innocence, and to atone for letting go of hsi brother’s hand as they fled their birthplace in the last pogrom. Salvation lies unexpectedly close at hand, but is more terrifying, and more spectacular, than Rehab could ever have imagined.