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The Garden of Stones
     

The Garden of Stones

3.5 2
by Mark T. Barnes
 

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Shortlisted for the 2014 Gemmell Morningstar Award—Best Debut Novel

An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.

With the

Overview

Shortlisted for the 2014 Gemmell Morningstar Award—Best Debut Novel

An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.

With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. But now civil war threatens to draw all of Shrīan into a vicious struggle sparked by one man’s lust for power, and his drive to cheat death.

Visions have foretold that Corajidin, dying ruler of House Erebus, will not only survive, but rise to rule his people. The wily nobleman seeks to make his destiny certain—by plundering the ruins of his civilization’s past for the arcane science needed to ensure his survival, and by mercilessly eliminating his rivals. But mercenary warrior-mage Indris, scion of the rival House Näsarat, stands most powerfully in the usurper’s bloody path. For it is Indris who reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation towards peace.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 
In this opening volume of a debut epic fantasy series, Barnes places readers in the world of Shr?an, whose long and storied history lurks in the background and adds a weight and depth that lets us know this is just one of many stories to be told. In Indris, we have the kind of reluctant hero who drives so many fascinating fantasy tales. Indris’s story also starts in the middle as he saves his father-in-law from a siege. It is only as the greater tale unfolds that we learn how and why they arrived in that time and place and who their enemies are. Indris is a scholar-mage and a mercenary, but he was intended to be something much grander. He may yet be. In the meantime, emperors and would-be emperors use their families as pawns in the great game of empires, and one powerful man tries to cheat death and rebuild an empire through the use of forbidden magic. He must be stopped, but the price in blood and honor will be incredibly high.

Verdict Barnes drops his readers into a complex world that makes for an immersive experience for lovers of epic fantasy. The political machinations and constant familial betrayals are reminiscent of Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel” series. Although Indris is the main protagonist on the “good” side, the female characters on both sides are every bit as strong as the males, a refreshing change in epic fantasy. Highly recommended.—Marlene Harris, Seattle P.L.
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611098938
Publisher:
47North
Publication date:
05/21/2013
Series:
Echoes of Empire Series , #1
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
506
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mark Barnes was born in Sydney, Australia, in September of 1966. A strong athlete, he was also drawn to the arts at a young age, penning his first short story as a seven-year-old. He worked in finance and advertising and eventually landed satisfying work in information technology, where he continues to manage a freelance organizational change consultancy. In 2005, when Mark was selected to attend the Clarion South residential short story workshop, he began to write with the intention of making it more than a hobby. Since that time Mark has published a number of short stories, worked as a freelance script editor, and has driven creative consultancy for a television series. The Garden of Stones is his first novel.

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The Garden of Stones 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Like epic fantasies where the heroes are not always on the straight narrow? Want to forget about the world around you and enter into another realm filled with uniquely strange creatures, races and settings? The Garden of Stones by Mark T. Barnes feeds the imagination well in this world he has crafted. War and the quest for power and control is the enemy. When a young warrior/sorcerer steps up to assure that evil will not prevail. Will the odds be stacked against him? Is it too late to save the world from a brutal tyranny? Mark T. Barnes writes for the true fantasy lover, the person able to open their mind to a truly unique and fascinating world populated with strong, magnetic and fascinating characters among the many races he has created. Male and female characters alike are strong, personable and come to life under the guidance of Mr. Barnes’ pen as he draws life into them through his details. This is not a book to race through, but one to actually get lost in, to travel through, one page at a time. Enjoy the ebb and flow of each scene, take in each detail and believe in the unbelievable as presented through the words of a very talented author with a fertile imagination and wonderful sense of storytelling.
Gina04 More than 1 year ago
This is different then what I am reading at the moment and even tho I like to step away from certain genres this wasnt my kind of read. I thought it was well written and will make a good read for some one who is into this.