Carol Berg excels at creating vivid fantasy worlds with tortured and fascinating characters and that is exquisitely demonstrated in her story “Ash and Silver”.
The combination of the mystery behind Greenshank’s past that is gradually revealed and the political machinations which use horrific tactics plus the mystical beings who appear and disappear make this a complex and enthralling story.
I have not read the book that came before this one, “Dust and Light”, which made some of the events in this story a bit obscure, but there are plenty of threads to help parse the history that leads up to this one. In fact, I think it might have been even better because I learned facts right along with Greenshanks about his history and was surprised just as he was. The richly textured landscapes, whether at Evanide or the amazing regions that the hero travels to, are impressive, and the fascinating secondary characters develop such intriguing facets that it was difficult to leave the story behind even when I closed the book. I was reluctant to start this book because I knew that I would have extreme difficulty putting it down, and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this story to epic fantasy fans who love complex characters caught in impossible situations!
“Ash and Silver” is part of the ‘Sanctuary’ series and follows the paratus known as Greenshanks as he approaches the end of his training at Evanide. Despite the conditioning that removes the memories of those undergoing the challenges, there are gradual revelations that there is a different agenda being pursued, which involve the Danae, the struggles among the three princes of the land, and the inconceivable concept that an adult can not only maintain but adequately utilize two different ‘bents’—mystical abilities. Finding out which beings are allies and which are enemies is virtually impossible without an intact memory, but discovering who functions as the guardians of Evanide and the impact his gifts will have on the world makes Greenshanks have to muster his courage and find a way to make the right choice, even if he doesn’t live through it.
In Dust and Light, national bestselling author Carol Berg returned to the world of the award-winning Flesh and Spirit. Now she continues the saga of a man whose past is veiled in shadows....
Ever since the Order of the Equites Cineré stole his memory, his name, and his heart, thinking about the past makes Greenshank’s head ache. After two years of rigorous training, he is almost ready to embrace the mission of the Order—to use selfless magic to heal the troubles of Navronne. But on his first assignment alone, the past comes racing back, threatening to drown him in conspiracy, grief, and murder.
He is Lucian de Remeni—a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the safety of the earth and the future of the war-riven kingdom of Navronne. He just can’t remember how or why.
Fighting to unravel the mysteries of his power, Lucian must trace threads of corruption that reach from the Pureblood Registry into the Order itself, the truth hidden two centuries in the past and beyond the boundaries of the world...