The Shattered Vine (Vineart War Series #3)

( 4 )



Two clashing forces drawn into a sorcerous duel: Nebula Award nominee Laura Anne Gilman spins the riveting conclusion to her “dramatic” (Publishers Weekly) fantasy series of vine, earth, and deceit.

T wo thousand years ago, a demigod split the world between Vinearts and men of power, setting his heirs, the Washers, to guard the balance. But even gods fail, and now the Lands Vin are wracked by...

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The Shattered Vine (Vineart War Series #3)

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Two clashing forces drawn into a sorcerous duel: Nebula Award nominee Laura Anne Gilman spins the riveting conclusion to her “dramatic” (Publishers Weekly) fantasy series of vine, earth, and deceit.

T wo thousand years ago, a demigod split the world between Vinearts and men of power, setting his heirs, the Washers, to guard the balance. But even gods fail, and now the Lands Vin are wracked by rumor, revolt, and inexplicable violence. Vineart Jerzy must track the source, accompanied by the only three people he trusts: a trader crippled by a sea monster, a young woman without a place, and a prince who abandoned his people. They have their enemy’s name, and they know his plan. What they don’t know is how to stop him. And with unrest increasing daily, Jerzy must delve deeper into forbidden magic, luring his unknown enemy into the open. Because in a world where everyone knows their place, only a former slave is free to act. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The concluding chapter in Gilman's Vineart War trilogy brings the story to a satisfying if sometimes sluggish end, expanding on the author's unique concept of magic as expressed through winemaking. After a perilous sea journey in the previous novel (Weight of Stone, 2010), Jerzy, a Vineart who has the power to cultivate magic contained in spellwines, returns to his homeland with three companions who are his allies in the battle against a mysterious enemy. A rogue Vineart from a far-off land is gathering together all five types of magic, a practice forbidden for centuries to prevent Vinearts from gaining too much power. Holed up at Jerzy's vineyard, the four friends work to formulate a plan to defeat their unknown adversary, while fending off threats from various feudal lords and the Washers, a religious order committed to keeping Vinearts from overstepping their ancient prescribed limits. Gilman presents a complex and often fascinating system of spellcasting, rich in both fantastical and oenophilic detail. That system at times seems more fleshed out than the characters, especially the supporting players who aid Jerzy in his fairly predictable quest. Although the characterization can be sparse (and the writing sometimes dry), it is evenhanded, with the factions opposed to Jerzy's mission getting a spotlight. The ultimate villain, however, is a one-dimensional megalomaniac, and his final showdown with Jerzy is a little anticlimactic. While that can be frustrating, it's also indicative of how Gilman subverts expectations, favoring philosophical debates over big action sequences, and even dispatching one major battle completely off the page. The result is a story about how the real victories are won behind the scenes, with cunning and careful planning, rather than by large armies doing as much damage to each other as possible. By mixing familiar fantasy elements with unexpected new approaches, Gilman produces a novel that's both traditional and forward-thinking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451671841
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Series: Vineart War Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 639,808
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nebula Awarded nominee Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the Cosa Nostradamus books for Luna (the Retrievers and Paranormal Scene Investigations series), a YA trilogy, and numerous works of short fiction. She also writes paranormal romances as Anna Leonard. A former executive editor at NAL, Laura Anne is an amateur chef, oenophile, and cat-servant. She lives in New York City, where she also runs d.y.m.k. productions.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Definitely recommend reading this last book in the trilogy.

    The book is meeting my expectations, except when I started chapter 3, The Grounding (Spring)-- I couldn't understand how it went with the previous two chapters -- finally at the end of that chapter and at the start of chapter 4, it dawned on me that the author and editors had decided to "Drop" that chapter in that particular spot in the novel. I enjoy this author.

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wine Makes This World Go Around

    The Shattered Vine by Laura Anne Gilman Jerzy, the apprentice Vineart, accepts the changes the magic has made in him and realizes the needs his friends have met. The rogue Vineart makes his move to control the known world. His despicable brand of magic has successfully created chaos in his major foes. Jerzy and his small band are the only obstacle in his insidious way. Strange bedfellows perhaps best describe this third book in a marvelous trilogy. Ms. Gilman has portrayed a very stratified society where everyone knows their place and contentedly remains in that place. This final book shows that no matter how it turns out, society's stratification and stagnation is going to end. Jerzy struggles with his growing power and fights the lure of maniacal magic. In spite of the way things have always been, he also has the dawning awareness that companions and their accompanying loyalty not only improve his chances for success but alleviate his loneliness. The series wraps up in a very satisfying manner with the loose ends tied off and the main characters reunited. I was more than impressed with how Ms. Gilman grew the character of Jerzy and how she so thoroughly crafted a way of life centered around vineyards, grapes and magic. I have, on occasion, found a magical Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio none of which have imbued me with a more than temporary euphoria. They certainly didn't fuel the imaginative creativity of a society based on the grape. I strongly recommend the book and I highly recommend the entire series!

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A spellbinding magical saga

    In the Lands Vin, the Vinarts create and shape the magic into wine to sell the spells to those who want it. They are isolated remaining on their lands and cannot interfere with the political structure. The land-lords protect humanity and the vinelands because they want to benefit from the magical spells. The Washers have the power to insure everyone adheres to the god Sim-Wander's laws. Those who fail to do so become apostate.

    After an enemy of the Lands Vin killed his mentor, Jerzy the former apprentice became the newest Vineart. He believes Ximan who is the Exiles' leader is responsible for the subtle dark magic permeating the land, which has led to land-lords fighting one another with a widening schism between the Washers. Though he accepts the evil practitioner tainting the Lands Vins with foulness is more powerful than he will ever be, Jerzy begins a quest to find the source of the taint and neutralize him. Helping Jerzy are Ao the trader, Mahault the intelligent self-exile and Kainam the former heir to an island that is on the brink of magical induced lunacy.

    The third Vineart War fantasy (see Flesh And Fire and Weight of Stone) continues the spellbinding magical saga with its unique system as two types of magic battle for supremacy in an exciting good vs. evil scenario. The reluctant hero prefers not to deal with the dark arts but he has no choice as his nation appears heading to destruction if he and his teammates fail. Readers will toast Laura Anne Gilman for her refreshing magic of the vines.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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