****This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review****
“You are not a murderer. The curious fact had been served to me that morning like cold fish on a platter, to be digested as I took my daily run.”
With this masterful opening, we are introduced to Paratus Greenshank, a novice of Fortress Evanide, in training to be a Knight. From the very beginning, the story grabs you by the hand, plunging you headfirst into a world of magick, and war, where nothing is quite what it seems.
We follow Greenshank, a man with missing memory, as he begins to learn more of who he was. His story, and Lucian’s particularly, tugged at my heartstrings. I wished to reach through the pages, and offer comfort to suffering. This a grand thing indeed when an author can so pull one into a new world, and create such empathy with people a world away. There’s far more to Greenshank and Lucian, far more than simple war brewing. Change like no other, world-shaping change, is coming and one lowly paratus of Evanide has a far bigger role than even he knows.
Reading this story, with its recurrent theme of memory and loss of memory prompted a poem out of me, something so rare of late. It’s been months since that bent was last stoked. I cherish the things that wake my inspiration.
Berg is a brilliant biblioanthropologist, a chronicler for the ages, introducing us to a rich world, sharing with us its history, painting it in words, breathing life and soul into it. The writing reminded me very much of Ursula K. LeGuin.
This is the second in the Sanctuary series, but can be read stand-alone. If you are a fan of A Wizard of Earthsea, or George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, be sure to check out Carol Berg’s Ash and Silver (or any of her other wonderful books!) You will be drawn into worlds you will never forget.
…unless you visit Evanide, and chance upon an old boatmaster who guards the Fortress secrets.