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Elisha Barber (The Dark Apostle) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Series: The Dark Apostle (Book 1)
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480532339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480532335
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Elisha Barber is an edgy, vivid story with engaging characters and a well-drawn setting that's almost, but not quite, our own history. I was drawn right in, quick as a slash of a barber's razor."
(Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of CLOCKWORK ANGELS)

"A vivid, violent, and marvelously detailed historical fantasy set in the perilous world that is medieval England in the middle of a war. Elisha Barber wades through blood and battle in his pursuit of arcane knowledge—forbidden love—and dangerous magic."
(Sharon Shinn, author of TROUBLED WATERS)

"In a grim world of medieval warfare, witch-hunts and primitive surgery, E. C. Ambrose has crafted a shining tale of one man's humanity and courage. A gritty read for those who like realism as well as hope in their fantasy."
(Glenda Larke, author of STORMLORD'S EXILE)

"Elisha Barber is a stunning debut from a gifted storyteller. It didn't just keep me up all night, it transported me to a vivid, gritty 14th-century England, and left me feeling like I'd been touched by the wing of that dark angel. A magical first novel."
(Steven H. Savile, author of PRIMEVAL: SHADOW OF THE JAGUAR)

"Blending magic and history, strong characters and gripping action, E.C. Ambrose brings a startlingly unique voice to our genre. Part epic fantasy, part medical thriller, part historical novel, Elisha Barber is at once dark, powerful, redemptive, and ultimately deeply satisfying."
(D. B. Jackson, author of THIEFTAKER) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

E. C. Ambrose is a fantasy author, history buff, and accidental scholar. She lives with her family and a very friendly dog in New Hampshire.

More About the Author

I passed a peripatetic childhood reading way too many books, and eventually writing my own little stories, either inspired by my life (such as it was) or by whatever I was reading at the time. I thought I would grow up to be an archaeologist which explains why I read The Last Days of Pompeii at the age of nine. I was fortunate to have a few teachers early on who encouraged my literary tendencies--including one who let me stay inside to read during recess.

When I discovered the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval recreation group, I delved more deeply into medieval history, becoming enthralled with the dark castles, bloodsports and social expectations of the period. I nearly went to Fordham University for Medieval Studies, but chose Stanford instead--then withdrew as soon as humanly possible.

By this time, my stories accumulated rejection slips faster than the DOW was rising, yet I continued to hope my writing would be the answer. I started work on a first novel during a summer writing workshop, and finally finished it some years later, while depending on the refuge of aspiring writers everywhere: working customer service and living with family.

A second novel, begun with a notebook full of world-building concepts and great ambitions, lies dormant in a file my computer can no longer read. But when I met Elisha Barber, I knew I was on to something. I have to thank a local workshop with Dan Brown (slightly before he became THE Dan Brown) for my approach to the new project.

Now I find that once I start reading history, science, sociology, I discover a dozen different stories hiding in the details. . .

I live quietly in New England with my family, where I have just found the right dog to defend the new apple trees from the local whitetail deer population.

Customer Reviews

I immensely enjoyed the book.
Beth L. Cato
Elisha Barber is very talented at healing, but is also very talented at getting himself into trouble.
Nightwing Whitehead
There is no character development here.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ExpatMaineBoy on July 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
By page five, when the protagonist is rushing to a fourteenth-century hellish hospital to try to save the lives of his sister in-law and her unborn child, I was hooked. Then it got better.

"Elisha Barber," first in Ambrose's "Dark Apostle" series, is a fantasy that doesn't rely on the fantastic to appeal. The author did his/her research and brought the stench, horror, grime, and blood of the middle ages back to life on every page. It wasn't a nice time, but Ambrose's hero -- a mostly self-trained EMT (of the day) -- is doing what he can to help people survive.

"Elisha Barber" is historical fiction. "Elisha Barber" is a medical thriller. "Elisha Barber" is a study in family guilt. And, oh yeah, "Elisha Barber" is a page-turner of a fantasy novel.

Get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beth L. Cato on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a teenager, I was obsessed with the medieval period. In recent years, it hasn't attracted me as much--so many books repeat the same themes and decades. This book reminded me of how awesome well-written medieval fiction can be, in part because it hit on another one of my major obsessions: healers. Usually they are utilized as handy side characters, patching up the hero when in need. Not so here. Ambrose explores the occupation of the medieval barber, a multitasking field that involves hair-cutting, beard-trimming, and all your down-and-dirty doctoring needs.

Elisha is a dark and gritty protagonist. He's not some squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes. He's a damaged man who shares a house with his brother and his wife, and hasn't spoken to either in two years. He tends to the medical needs of a street of brothels. He's closed off emotionally. However, his heart is in the right place, and he has a healer's touch and intuition.

There's a touch of realism to the events. It truly feels like Ambrose researched the medieval battlefield, the injuries, and the crude surgical methods of the time period. The magical element isn't all lights and glitter; no, it's as down-and-dirty as the mud of the battlefield.

I immensely enjoyed the book. It just brings so many fabulous elements together--a medical lead character, an unglamorous and real setting, and a magical system that brings chaos and wonder to the plot. I definitely want to read more books in this series as they are released.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Perrat on December 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Elisha Barber is a blend of historical fiction, fantasy and medical thriller set in 14th-century England. Elisha Barber is a medieval barber-surgeon who is forced to go and work as a medic on the bloody battlefield of an inequitable war. When a seductive young witch lures him into her world of sorcery, Elisha must untangle certain magical threads as well as accept the discovery of his new powers.

I found this first tale of the Dark Apostle series well written. The lead character, Elisha Barber, is a well-developed, dark protagonist, a man full of flaws but whose heart is in the right place. Through the eyes of Elisha, the author explores the occupation of the medieval barber, which involved hair-cutting, beard-trimming, and basic medical treatment. Through her extensive research, the author vividly brings to life the medieval battlefield, the wounds and the rudimentary surgical treatments of the Middle Ages. The horrors, the grime and the stink also spring from every page.

I did have one minor reservation about the beginning of the story. Elisha’s actions do not seem deserving of the heavy guilt he bears. Thus, his reasons for accepting his fate as a battlefield surgeon, to atone for these actions, do not seem entirely feasible. Despite this, I found the story entertaining, and although the supporting cast remains largely one-dimensional, I am sure lovers of dark historical fantasy will enjoy Elisha Barber.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin L. Small on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Elisha Barber begins in the midst of one of the most horrifying moments of the protagonist's life, when he is forced to confront a situation caused in part by his own shortcomings, and his skills and good intentions fail to save his brother's child. He is broken, and his place in the world no longer matters to him. Elisha accepts his fate as a battlefield surgeon, and in the events that follow he learns that he has more to offer.
This story of loss, pain, and redemption is set in medieval England, and filled with fascinating descriptions and imagery of the social and physical landscapes of the time, and historically accurate depictions of medieval surgical tools and their actual applications. This reader will never forget exactly how to amputate a limb, or cauterize a chest wound.
Elisha Barber is a book for fans of history, fantasy, and action, but also for those readers who have had cause to wonder whether they had the strength to endure their own faults. Despite the terrible things humans are capable of, this is a story that reminds us, amid pain and loss there is hope, in discovering who we truly are when we must stand alone there is solace, and in the love, support, and forgiveness of friends, there is magic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nightwing Whitehead on July 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What an engaging story! I was drawn into the world that E. C. Ambrose has created from the first page and was sorry to have to say goodbye as I read the last words.

The story begins with a death, actually two deaths and then another one. And then a man confessing to a murder he didn't do so that the man who did do it can be buried in holy ground. The confessed murderer agrees to treat casualties at a local war, to escape his death sentence. And then it gets really bloody. Just another day in medieval England, yes? Not exactly. In this version of history, witches who are burned at the stake sometimes turn into angels who bless small children and mark them forever. One such child, Elisha, grew up to be a barber, so he could help the next angel he should happen to meet. Oh, and help his fellow man as well, along the way. He is also the man who witnessed the two deaths and confessed to murdering his brother, to conceal that his brother had killed himself. And, most importantly, he is the man who, as the story progresses, discovers that not only are there angels all around him, though they call themselves magi, he is one himself. Ambrose does an excellent job of conveying the true grit of life behind the scenes of a medieval battle, with all the blood and saws and cauteries that are a very real part of that life. She also convincingly creates a magical system that works with Elisha's barbering skills to save lives and change futures.

Elisha Barber is very talented at healing, but is also very talented at getting himself into trouble. He has a tendency to say things to the wrong people or not say things when he should or, well just a whole set of missteps that lead him to be whipped, branded, and even hung.
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