An incomparable trapeze artist who lives to fly is about to hit the ground-hard.
Amandine Sand walks a high wire between two lives-hobbled by a life-threatening secret. She's one of the spotted humans falsely accused of being a plague-bringer. These "leopards" are hunted by zealots to protect their offworld colony from the scourge.
Despite this threat, Amandine spends her days guiding other leopards to an underground shelter run by the pacifist Seekers. At night, with her own spots hidden, she soars on the trapeze, risking discovery and death for the boundless heart-hammering joy of flight.
When the persecution of leopards explodes into widespread violence, the Seekers demand more of her time. But her circus is teetering toward bankruptcy and desperately needs her, too. She has no time to breathe... and then she meets a stranger who leaves her breathless-and might just be the biggest risk of all. If her trust is misplaced and she's unmasked, everyone she loves and everything she's fought for could crash.
Now she must make an irrevocable leap. Without a net.
To survive, Amandine must draw upon everything she's learned from the circus and Seekers. But can a pacifist defend her violent enemies to stop a civil war? And can this reluctant angel fly beyond her limits to save her life, her love, and her world?
"Angel on the Ropes is an enchanting mix of science fiction, philosophy and romance, which revels in its characters the way Amandine revels in flying."
"Thrilling and stunningly imaginative, Angel on the Ropes snared me into an alternate world I completely believed in. Jill Shultz tells a wondrous tale!"
-Tess Gerritsen, internationally bestselling author of LAST TO DIE
"Angel on the Ropes is a riveting story that has everything one could want from a novel: a complex, beautifully realized world, a society caught between choices, and a protagonist who has to balance head and heart-and soul. It's a compelling read, and one that will stay with you for a while."
-Melissa Scott, award-winning author of 32 SF and fantasy novels
"Jill Shultz's debut novel is a fascinating journey into the far-future, but one that is immediately recognizable. A seamless blend of speculative imagination and heart, Angel on the Ropes is a novel that soars."
-Kristen Britain, New York Times-bestselling author of the Green Rider series
"In Angel on the Ropes, Shultz introduces us to a complex, richly imagined world populated with engaging characters. The circus motif is magical!"
-Lynn Flewelling, author of the Nightrunner Series and Tamír Triad
"It's so exciting it almost made my palms sweat."
-Peter Gold, trapezist, formerly with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)|
About the Author
It seemed she'd bag every independent Audubon Society in New England, but she missed by half. She's been a land steward, zookeeper, lab assistant, naturalist-teacher, science writer, and the program director of Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, her second-favorite job (#1 is being a novelist).
Born in Brooklyn before it was cool, Shultz now lives in upstate New York with her love, Bill Altman, where she dreams of a well-kept garden and enjoys slurping books, visiting museums, hanging out with friends, and watching wildlife.
Please visit the author's website at: www.JillShultz.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Absolutely terrific. Ms Shultz deals with prejudice, trust, and many issues facing us today in a really new and engaging world! Lets see more from Penance!!
Set in the far future on another world, the novel explores prejudice in all its varied forms, through Amandine, a trapeze artist. The world of Penance is fully realized with good descriptions of the life forms and how people found this world. The different factions on Penance are set up believably and lines drawn quickly. Amandine is lots of fun to follow, through her circus act, with her circus family (poor Bix) and Seeker family, to finding true love. A fun way to spend several hours and the story lines end well. Received free copy to review.
This was so different to what I have read before that it took me some time to decide what I thought of it. Armandine had me hooked from the first page and all the other characters leapt of the pages to fascinate and intrigue me. Even the odd gestural language used and the many pages of descriptions of trapeze acts was not enough to diminish my enjoyment of the story. Put it on your to buy list for June :D
Within the confines of the circus performance, ANGEL ON THE ROPES brings forth the magic. Scenes involving complex stunts high up on the trapeze with circus partners, Jango and Amadine, are so breathtakingly written that I forgot I wasn’t watching a live performance. Half the book occurs under the high tents, yet not once did I ever get the sensation that the performances were repetitive, mechanic, or boring. While the performance aspect of the book blew me away, the book lacked in other areas. The (parenthesis) words aren’t explained early enough in the novel, leaving me wondering if the characters had some form of telepathy. Eventually, I understood that (parenthesis) meant that the characters were speaking through a form of sign-language. I wish that this was explained much earlier in the novel, since the lack of knowing drew me out of the story every time the (parenthesis) was used. I also don’t think that the concept behind the Plaguellants was polished enough. They come across as highly religious and paranoid of disease, yet the lack of testing within their ranks makes no sense. The ending nearly ruined the book. It forced characters to switch personalities and forgo habits that they displayed throughout the rest of the novel. Amadine begins the novel in a relationship with Malaga. It’s clear from the beginning that the two are not soul-mates, yet Amadine is reluctant to part from Malaga. Until the very end, Malaga is pigeon-holed as a shallow and selfish person. There is a twist at the end to explain her behavior, but it’s too little and too late for me to feel that her character had any real depth or believablity. The romance that develops slowly over the course of the novel, however, tugged at my heart-strings. I think that the sex scene in this novel was probably the sweetest and most romantic in any novel I’ve ever read. Coming from a reviewer that typically passes over sex scenes because of boredom, that is quite an accomplishment. I absolutely adore Amadine’s mid-story lover and wish that I could find a guy like him. The performance of this author’s debut novel nearly brought me to my feet in applaud, however the out-of-place ending and some questionable character decisions by Malaga and Sterling kept me in my seat. I’ll probably still buy a ticket to her next show, but this one disappointed me with its wasted potential. (I received a copy of this book from the author/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review)