No one knows those stories better than Leodora, a young shadow-puppeteer who travels Shadowbridge collecting the intertwining tales and myths of each place she passes through, then retells them in performances whose genius has begun to attract fame . . . and less welcome attention.
For Leodora is fleeing a violent past, as are her two companions: her manager, Soter, an elderly drunkard who also served Ledora's father, the legendary puppeteer Bardsham; and Diverus, her musical accompanist, a young man who has been blessed, and perhaps cursed, by the touch of a nameless god.
Now, as the strands of a destiny she did not choose begin to tighten around her, Leodora is about to cross the most perilous bridge of all - the one leading from the past to the future.
Shadowbridge is the first novel in a two-book adventure.
Listen to the second book, Lord Tophet .
©2008 Gregory Frost; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"One of my favorite fantasy novels of (the) year, an absorbing adventure that was also a master class on storytelling and myth-making by a gifted writer working at the top of his game." (scifi.com)
I average three books a week, but as I cannot afford to purchase that many books I frequently re-read those I already have. If you are here looking for reviews, I typically only review those books I feel particularly strongly about or have some insight that hasn't yet been posted in a review.
This one might be over the heads of the average reader. The plot actually unfolds on multiple layers. One layer is the actions of the main character and her troupe, another is within the stories she tells. Thats something that must be understood for this book to work, the stories are EXTREMELY important - if you tune them out or fast forward past them (as one reviewer did) you wont understand anything that happens outside of them. One major character is actually introduced in the form of a story, as that story is taking place.
The method of using stories to tell a larger story may actually be unique - the only thing I can think of that comes close is Heart of Darkness, where the entire plot is a story within a story, but this takes the concept to a whole new level with multiple nested tales that sometimes aren't quite what they seem to be.
I've read both books in the series, and here are my only complaints: 1) This series should have been a single book, it would have made a ~20h audiobook, which isn't huge, and the point where the second picks up is the same instant the first stops and there is no conclusion of any kind between the two - as a single volume this would work much better (and cost half as much). 2) The reader probably isn't the best choice for this, she sounds like a very young child and this definitely isn't a children's book. 3) The buildup in book 1 is a bit long, and the importance of the stories is not immediately clear.
Also, I'd estimate that roughly 2/3s of the people that read the series wont like how the story ends, even if they liked everything else. Its a reaction that I see a lot when the story outlasts the characters - this is not to say that anyone dies (though some or all might), but rather that this story offers perspective on itself outside its own scope. Personally I get a sort of cathartic pleasure out of such endings, but they always bring tears to my eyes.
I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.
I can't really understand how anyone could find themselves unable to follow this story. The underlying plot is obvious from the very first chapter. The retelling of fairy tales so that they fit into Shadowbridge gives the world a texture and depth a lot of worlds in modern fantasy lack. Every time I think the fantasy genre is played out it comes up with something like this to surprise me.
The narrator is somewhat annoying and takes getting used to. However the little girl voice fits the main character, even if listening to the male voices is a bit painful.
It's odd that people get lost in the telling considering they tell you this at the start of the book. Well told and well acted by the reader. I usually read only EPIC syle books 30+ hrs but I liked this one. Sooo many stories in this I have a few bookmarked that I tell to my nephews when thay want a story befor bed over all a great books,
I hesitated at first with some of the reviews, but I found the story creative, unique and easy to follow. I enjoyed the world, characters, and story telling format, which fits perfectly.
I'm an epic fantasy nut, and really looked forward to this book, but just could not get into it. There were too many flashbacks, it was too disjointed and it quickly lost my interest. I didn't like or take to any of the characters.
I wanted to hear about the world and there wasn't enough of that. I have read other reviews that say the second book is where the action happens, maybe they should have been combined into one?
I think the premise was smart and has a lot of potential, it just needed more work.
This was an entertaining book. The world that Frost created is interesting and different. I also liked the story within a story. The reader's voice fits this story and makes listening to it easy and fun. I can recommend it, but it was not as exciting or addicting as other books; therefor I gave it only 3 stars.
Well, I was enjoying the book although I was a little puzzled by the state of things. Turns out my player started with part 2.
The narrator is not the best for all the voices she must do, but she told the story told by the kitsune very well. I can say from that that people who find the stories told pointless may be missing something. I certainly enjoyed it and expect to enjoy any others I come across starting from the beginning.
I'm pretty sure the word is supposed to rhyme with "Yes you may" and so it grates on me that it is repeated so many times rhyming with "toy balloon". There's this children's rhyme that goes "Buta, tanuki, kitsune, neko." so I'm pretty sure that's not a silent "e" at the end.
I know that it is supposed to be fantasy, but the story makes no sense. It is almost like it was some exercise of the writer that they had to complete. I mean they have these wonderful water Dragons, but still need bridges? Then there is the constant telling of tales through something that must resemble "Countdown with Keith Olberman's" puppet theater, but without any real reason for them. I was bored almost the whole time I listened, I could not finish the book.
This is the most painful book I have listened to so far from audible. The entire story bored me. There was no point to the stories that were told, I just fast forwarded thru them and I did scream out loud when the snake started telling its story. Dont waste your $ on this one.
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