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Cartomancy (The Age of Discovery) [Kindle Edition]

Michael A. Stackpole
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

"Michael A. Stackpole is incapable of writing a book that isn't imaginative and intelligent."–Stephen R. Donaldson, author of The Chronicle of Thomas Covenant

New York Times
bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole returns with the second book of a groundbreaking trilogy charting exciting new territory in fantasy fiction. Cartomancy follows a group of trailblazing mapmakers with the power to discover new worlds–and shape reality itself….

Under the shadow of invasion by a nameless enemy, there seems only one way to save Nalenyr from oblivion. The old heroes who once defended the land must be awakened. And accomplishing that requires a journey across the magical wasteland where they're rumored to be trapped–a wasteland rife with magic and danger.

Grandson of the Royal Cartographer, Keles Anturasi finds himself trapped in an enemy nation where his skill may well be his death sentence. His brother Jorim is an ocean away, captive in an altered realm in which he's regarded as a god. And their sister Nirati resides in a paradise that exists between life and death with her insane grandfather and an ancient sorcerer bent on the world's destruction.

Now they and their companions must struggle to survive in a world where war on earth mirrors war in heaven. What the gods themselves fear, men must brave. Heroes and mystics they may be, but can any of them survive in a world where things are seldom what they seem: a place where dreams can become reality–and reality can turn into a nightmare....

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Stackpole's second book in his Age of Discovery series (after 2005's The Secret Atlas) offers more complex geopolitical intrigue shaped by magic—in particular, the chaotic "wild" magic released more than seven centuries earlier by "the Cataclysm," when the Empress Cyrsa split the realm into "the Nine Principalities." Grandmaster cartographer Qiro Anturasi, despite being the prisoner of Imperial Prince Cyron of Nalenyr, has somehow been able to create a brand new continent in what had hitherto been an unoccupied portion of the ocean. Meanwhile, Qiro's grandson, Kelos, who has been sent to map the wild lands of Ixyll, has been captured by Prince Pyrust of Deseiron, who, like Cyron, schemes to unite and rule the Nine Principalities. A profusion of characters and subplots slows the pace, but there's adventure aplenty for those who like their fantasies big and bloody. (Feb. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The prolific and gifted Stackpole continues the fantasy saga he began in A Secret Atlas (2005). Its setting is based on the great age of European exploration in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In that era, maps were rare, expensive, and often credited with supernatural or, at least, mysterious powers. In the world of Stackpole's fiction, maps constitute a potent form of magic and are expected to bring together two brothers and a sister from alternate worlds to complete a collective quest: a life-or-death search for their homeland, which is menaced by invaders who can be defeated only by legendary champions who shall rise from the dead (shades of the legend of Frederick Barbarossa!). Sufficient suspense, enough action, intelligent characterization, and detail drawn from this-world history all boost Cartomancy well above the ruck of the standard quest tales, though to its credit, it can be enjoyed simply for the quest, too. Another feather in Stackpole's already well-plumed cap. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553382381
  • Publisher: Spectra (February 28, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,641 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence, without a doubt March 4, 2006
Cartomancy, the sequel to A Secret Atlas, does everything ASA did right-- and very little of what it did wrong. This time, readers don't have to wait half the book to get to the important parts. While actual action sequences aren't truly common, the promise of them looms over the entire book, making even political issues exciting to read-- and when action does come along, it comes in style.

The books follows a number of different threads, meaning that readers with one specific favorite character may be dissapointed when their story comes along only between peeking at what everybody else was doing. It doesn't make the story slow, however-- there is a very definite sense that things are getting done while characters are "off screen."

And things definitely get done. If readers of ASA thought that the world was in danger before, they'll be very, very worried by the end of Cartomancy. Still, there is some hope-- some people are not who they seemed (or thought themselves) to be.

With such a large-scale clash of ideas and ideals in the works, the third book in the trilogy would have to have a momentous climax to the overall story, and certainly a satisfying resolution; judging by the writing of Cartomancy, Stackpole should be able to pull it off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong middle November 9, 2007
Empire Strikes Back is my least favorite of the original trilogy. The Two Towers is my least favorite of the Lord of the Rings. And so on. Usually, the second book of a trilogy tends to drag. You have to further develop the characters - but you no longer have introductions, so it's more exposition. You have a plot that's not ready to climax. It - like Frodo and Samwise - just plods along.

And that's what I expected from Cartomancy. While I appreciate (and understand the need for) all of those "middles", my expectations were lower for this book, especially since I liked A Secret Atlas so much. And so it was. There was a rapid change in one of the main characters - one I'm still not sure I like. The plot continues on, and even an invasion doesn't provide quite the same thrill that I got from the climaxes of A Secret Atlas. A plateau or plain that we know we need to get through.

Until I was two thirds of the way through the book, and suddenly realized that the plateau was not flat. It was a gentle rise, that had been taking me higher and higher, so gently that I had not noticed. I found myself on the perch of a literary cliff, and Mr. Stackpole, with consummate skill, shoved me right off the prepice.

It is fair to say that I am exhibiting great restraint in taking the time to write this instead of leaping for my bookcase to get the third book in the trilogy, A New World.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read, interesting world! July 24, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This continues the three book series, and what would traditionally be the 'soft' part of a trilogy really amps up the action, plot and interesting character development from the first book. Sometimes it feels like a lot is glossed over, with interesting ideas not fully realised or detail. However it is an entertaining book and one of Stackpole's best. The world is fascinating and quite different from your standard 'fantasy'. The use and concept of magic is also interesting.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy done in by excess November 15, 2007
The middle volume of the Age of Discovery series continues to focus on the adventures of the three grandchildren of Qiro Anturasi, official mapmaker to the kingdom of Nalynir. Keles is now a prisoner of Pyrust in Deseiron, while his companions continue traveling through the wastelands, searching for the Sleeping Empress. Jorim is making new discoveries among the Amentzutl people in a previously undiscovered land. And Nirati has somehow recovered from her murder in volume one with no particular harm done in the new continent created by Qiro to protect her.

Even this short summary gives some hint of why this book really didn't work for me. I love fantasy, and fantasy implies magic, but the magic needs to have limits. In most really good fantasies, relatively little magic occurs. In this story, the gates are wide open. Characters die and come back to life; one human becomes a god, and then goes back to human, although he seems to still be rather like a god. One god (in the third volume) suddenly turns out to be another god in disguise, tricking the other gods - who knew gods were so easily fooled? A whole continent suddenly appears out of nowhere. Another character, who has never previously shown magical abilities, is suddenly and inexplicably able to perform magics that the most powerful sorcerers in most fantasies wouldn't dream of.

The result is that you don't feel like you're in a well-built world with a consistent magical system. It's more like a dreamscape, where anything can happen with no underlying logic or predictability. And that really killed off, for me, the epic element in a fantasy that did have some promising ideas and intriguing characters.

The trilogy is meant to be read as a single story.
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More About the Author

Michael A. Stackpole is the New York Times bestselling author of over 40 novels, including I, Jedi and Rogue Squadron. He's won awards in the realms of podcasting, game designer, computer game design, screenwriting, editing, graphic novel writing and novel writing. He lives in Arizona and frequently travels the United States attending conventions and teaching writing workshops. His website is

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