A Tale of Light and Shadow

A Tale of Light and Shadow

by Jacob Gowans

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it; where magic is feared by all but a few; where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station. Though Henry is but a carpenter, his devotion drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives. Unknown to either, a dark prophecy has set in motion events which will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas by eclipsing the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review

"Heroic fantasy at its very best and documents author Jacob Gowans as an impressively gifted storyteller with a complete mastery of the genre."

Deseret News

"Combine(s) the right amounts of love, adventure and friendship into a page-turning masterpiece."


"Nefarious villains, vibrant country people, and a whiff of magic make for a colorful, high-fantasy adventure story."

Kirkus Reviews

Young lovers flee the clutches of a scheming emperor in this ponderous series opener.Gowans threads his tale with disguised Christian elements, though he’s no C.S. Lewis. Henry—master carpenter and peacemaker, stubbornly loyal to friends even after they betray him—dramatically rescues his drugged sweetheart, Isabelle, who has been sold to a sinister visiting ruler from an adjacent country by her despicable father. He then rides for the border with four contentious allies and a fortune in gold coins. The fugitives’ most persistent problems prove to be not their inept pursuers but their own moral failings. Amid constant arguments and sharpening suspicion, the gold begins to disappear, various members sneak away on mysterious errands, several harbor hinted-at secrets, and one turns out to be a traitor. Along with being light on suspense and ambling of pace, this epic features a poorly realized setting and a cast in which not only do certain minor characters show more facets than major ones, but the women do little aside from coming along, needing rescue or, following a climactic ambush, being paraded in a cage. The end leaves the company scattered, but the internecine conflict at least is resolved as two members beg to be forgiven their trespasses and at least one gets a kiss of peace.Occasional sparks of inspiration fail to kindle a sodden heap of anemic roles and tropes. (free prequel available for download) (Fantasy. 12-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629731834
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB

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Read an Excerpt

Isabelle was barely able to see what was happening as her sight dimmed. She saw the monk's robe behind the Emperor's chair, and realized that the flash of light was the reflection of the candles on a sword--a sword pressed against the Emperor's neck.

"Move an inch, and I'll slit your throat," Henry's voice ordered from beneath the hood. 

Customer Reviews