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Ash and Silver

por Carol Berg

Séries: Sanctuary Duet (2)

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807334,874 (4.02)7
Bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her Sanctuary series with Ash and Silver, an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption. Ever since he lost his memory, thinking about the past makes Greenshank's head ache. After two years of training, he is ready to embrace the mission of the Order. But on his first assignment, the past comes racing back. He is Lucian de Remeni - a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the future of the kingdom of Navronne. He just can't remember how or why.… (mais)
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3.5 stars
Took me longer than expected to finish, and left me in melancholy. Sigh. ( )
  fuzzipueo | Apr 24, 2022 |
Carol Berg is an accomplished fantasy writer, usually employing the first-person narrative with protagonists empowered with taboo-sorcery (i.e., Romy (An Illusion of Thieves in Chimera); Seyonne (Transformation in the Books of the Rai-kirah); Seri (Son of Avonar in The Bridge of D'Arnath); Lucian de Remeni here in Ash and Silver (sequel to Dust and Light in the Sanctuary Duet).

I read this sequel without reading the first book (or prior duet), but it read fine. I got to learn about the hero as he relearned about his past/powers. As the book blurb states, this book is about Lucian de Remeni. Isolation is another of Berg's go-to themes, with her protagonists being torn from their communities either enslaved, outcasted, or exiled. Here, Lucian has undergone a sort of self-imposed amnesia from the onset. His journey transforms him into a completely new individual.

Lucian's powers drew me to this series. He is a sorcerer with "bents" toward portraiture and history. He can portray the truth others (i.e., powerful royalty) wish to conceal, and can read/work the land/architecture too. Lucian is the perfect sleuth, but now he has learned how to fight like a warrior too.

How cool is it that historians and artists can be the most powerful magicians? If they can read the truth, they also can manipulate it. Want to dig up dirt on an enemy? Have an artist portray the enemy's worst dirt. Want to save yourself from judgment? Have an artist erase those nasty details from a portrait already made.

"Creating memory patterns was art. Words, objects, faces, facts--these were lines, curves, dimensions; thick or narrow, sturdy or delicate, certainty or suggestion. Sensation and emotion were colors, blended and shaded, given depth or left vague. The memory itself was a composition, and if the artist was able to bring his bent to its creation, it would take the aspect of truth."--Lucian de Remeni

Lucian is embroiled in massively epic conflicts between blue & silver-hued Danae (elf-like fairies of another realm that also for the land), between the Danae and humans, humans and other humans (with a vacancy on the empire's thrown, three princes battle for power, and some have been banished from earth), sects of the Order and Registry of Pureblood sorcerers. The 478 pages can hardly contain all the madness. Somehow, Berg manages to continuously ramp up the intensity and connect all the myriad threads. All conflict involves Lucian somehow.

What do you seek in a good book? The same that Lucian seeks on his adventures: a good story. "What else could a historian desire?" Berg makes being an artist & historian fun and dangerous., and she makes it fun to live vicariously through a like-minded sorcerer.

The amount of pain, sleeplessness, and torture that Lucian experiences pushes the bounds of believability at times and the sheer epicness of the conflicts -- coupled with the rate of betrayals & insights-- is mind-boggling. It had me engaged, but this could easily have been expanded into several novels. I plan to be a good historian and read Dust and Light next.

'..and how pervasive is the righteous anger of a portrait artist easily seduced to murder?" Lucian de Remeni ( )
  SELindberg | Dec 1, 2019 |
With his memory gone, Lucian is being forged into a powerful Mage and warrior. When his past life intrudes, he starts to wonder whose tool he is going to be, and why. Who can he trust when he can’t remember?

Great sequel, exciting and moving. Always wonderful characters and worldbuilding. If I have a criticism it’s that I hate when characters (especially in same location) have similar names - like Safia and and Signe. I got them confused every time, and still couldn’t tell you which is the human and which the Danae. ( )
  Griffin22 | Jan 4, 2019 |
Pros: lots of plot twists, interesting characters

Cons: opening drags a bit, some questions of how the Order works in practice

Two years into his training to become a knight of the Order of the Equites Cinere, Greenshanks learns that his real name is Lucian de Remeni. His memory was wiped when his service began, and it quickly becomes clear that he left a lot of important things undone before he joined the Order. Now caught in numerous plots and unsure of who to trust, Lucian works to understand his past while saving the future of his world.

The two year gap and Lucian’s memory loss made it difficult for me to jump back into the story. It felt more like a new story rather than a continuation. Once hints of his past started to surface things began to pick up. The second half of the book was a whirlwind of action and I had trouble putting the book down as the plots within plots slowly unravelled.

There’s a lot of mystery and intrigue, more interesting because while the plots mostly overlap through Lucian, many of the players are unaware of each other. Seeing things purely from Lucian’s POV, it’s hard to know who he should trust and what actions he should take.

I loved all of the new characters, particularly the knights. Commander Inek and Fix were great.

I did have some questions about how the Order remained secret considering it’s populated by Purebloods, people under tight Registry regulation. Do the knights remove all trace of their past lives? That is, do they remove memories of them from their loved ones and removed their names from the registry so that they’re not considered runaways? Or are their deaths faked when they join? Lucian’s wasn’t so why aren’t people looking for all these missing Pureblood men?

There are quite a few major plot twists and my emotions were jerked around quite a bit the last few chapters. I liked that the ending ties some things up but leaves others open, with the world continuing on. ( )
  Strider66 | Sep 11, 2018 |
Going forward integrating the back story so that the reader almost remembered as the protagonist did. a pretty well done sequel. I didn’t realize that the book(s) I thought was the first of this ‘trilogy’ was, actually were, two books about a different character in the same overall conflict. ( )
  quondame | Dec 27, 2017 |
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Bestselling author Carol Berg returns to the world of her Sanctuary series with Ash and Silver, an all-new tale of magic, mystery, and corruption. Ever since he lost his memory, thinking about the past makes Greenshank's head ache. After two years of training, he is ready to embrace the mission of the Order. But on his first assignment, the past comes racing back. He is Lucian de Remeni - a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the future of the kingdom of Navronne. He just can't remember how or why.

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