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Range of Ghosts (The Eternal Sky) Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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“Bear's ability to create breathtaking variations on ancient themes and make them new and brilliant is, perhaps, unparalleled in the genre.” ―Library Journal, starred review, on All the Windwracked Stars
“You should read this book; you should read it because the entire thing―from beginning to end―pushes sense-of-wonder buttons so hard you almost want to hit the pause button, forget about the plot, and look. Bear holds nothing back, and everything that she pulls into her story just gleams with that special wonder of discovery. I could not put this down” ―The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction on All the Windwracked Stars
“Numerous fantasy authors adopt the tropes of Norse mythology, but Bear actively pursues them, channeling those myths directly rather than overlaying them on more familiar ones. The result demands much from readers, but repays it in vivid, sensual imagery of a wholly different world.” ―Publishers Weekly on By the Mountain Bound
About the Author
ELIZABETH BEAR was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. She was the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2005. She has won two Hugo Awards for her short fiction, and her "Hammered" trilogy is a Locus Award winner.
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Top Customer Reviews
You have to love a princess who trades her broodmare status for the hope of power.
You have to love a quest group that consists of three women and a dude who respects them all.
If you go to describe this story, it is easy to get tangled in the A plot and the B plot and trying to figure out what's about to go on, but when you're reading it, it's very seamless. As you realize that all these plotlines are converging, the story seems to pick up speed and momentum, tumbling to a not-quite-conclusion.
As usual, Bear's writing shows the toolmarks of master craftsmanship, and once in a while has showstopping images:
"As the sky dimmed, the glow they twinkled in was cast by candles, fixed in glass jars to the shells of ambling tortoises, so as the sun set, the whole of the garden was filled with a moving light. Birds sang themselves to sleep in the tree branches, and the twilight made a canopy overhead."
And one that would be a spoiler, but eek, hungry ghosts!
One of the things I enjoyed most was the exploration of fertility and the consequences of chosen infertility. There were so many details that bespoke long thought about how this could be made to work in a pre-industrial era. There are apples studded with nails to build up iron, and an emphasis on the consumption of soy to provide phytoestrogens. The real chance of death by infection. But the beautiful payoff for all of this is here:
"She folded her legs one atop the other and brought her hands before her groin, where the center of creation had once lived and lived no longer. There was the essence of wizardry.Read more ›
Egads! Did I say romance? Normally, the mere mention of 'romance' sets off alarm bells in my head, calling to mind smoldering glances and heaving bosoms (not that I don't like heaving... never mind). For those who share my reticence, don't worry. Range is a love story, but not a romance. With that in mind, my first reaction to what I was reading came around the fifty page mark where Bear writes the best sex scene I've read in fantasy. To whet your appetite:
She was softness, lush dimpled softness of arms and flanks wrapped around strength, like a bent bow. She was the fall of cool hair across his throat and his burning face, like water to a man sick with sun. She was the smell of sweat and pungent oils. She was the warmth of the night, and seventeen moons rose over her shoulders while she rode him with the purpose and intensity with which she raced her mare.
Of course, now all the readers of George Martin, Joe Abercrombie, and Brent Weeks are saying, not for me! And they might be right. Range isn't hyper violent, or unduly action packed. The pace is smooth, and even.Read more ›
This book is so different than the normal fantasy books I am attracted too. However, this was a recommended book on a review web site, and it just caught my eye. I am so glad I gave it a chance. There is magic, sorcery, action, romance and an array of cultures and world building that was outstanding. I was not sure if I would like it when I first started it, but once I got into the flow of the writing and the names of the characters, it was such a joy to read. I never knew what was around the corner and I got so attached to the characters. Even the villains are so interesting, I just could not stop reading it.
There was a cliff hanger ending, so if you are looking for something that is stand alone, this may not be for you, but I cannot wait until the next book to see not only what happens to the characters, but what the author is going to come up with. It is beautifully written, just a wonderful read.
Although this book didn't quite make my all-time favorites, I highly recommend this book and totally look forward to see what happens next in its sequel "The Shattered Pillars."
The book is well written, but I found myself skimming through several chapters-- namely those about anyone except Tamur. The mix of sorcery with Mongolian culture was initially disconcerting, but I appreciate the originality of setting since the book otherwise treads familiar ground (i.e., JV Jones' "Sword of Shadows").
I think Bear could have further explored certain avenues in order for me to really care about the characters and setting. And of course further developed the novel climax, and lead up to it. I may have been able to keep track of the side characters or history if I really cared, but as it was I couldn't keep track of the unusual names. I also didn't really see the story develop through the characters' POV.
Conclusively, while the book wasn't original in terms of plot and could have been better fleshed out, it was overall a genuinely entertaining and engrossing read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I went into this book having only read Ms. Bear's Hammered, a definitely different genre (but also a good read for cyberpunk fans). Read morePublished 2 months ago by TDA_Rook
By coincidence,visited Timur's tomb in Uzbekistan on the day I started reading this.So the pages came alive for me with added attraction of wizards and snippets of nomad life.Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
An ambitious, Mongolian-inspired fantasy. The setting amounts to a magical silk road, which is lovely, and there are plenty of unique touches. Read morePublished 6 months ago by David D.
The story begins with one character, but over the course of the trilogy, expands to a wide cast of complex characters, all of whom are easy to care for deeply, flaws and all. Read morePublished 7 months ago by MikaSamu
I really wanted to like this book since I have heard so much about Elizabeth Bear. But it was only okay. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Melanie D. Typaldos
I think this trilogy is the best book Elizabeth Bear has written yet. It is also a pleasure to read a consistent fantasy book written using the Steppe cultures, Persian, Arabic,... Read morePublished 11 months ago by E. Dent
Excellent world (based on medieval Asia which is so COOL!) and powerful characters. I bought to give to boyfriend for Valentine's day and wound up staying up until 2 the night... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Janette Rounds
Prolific, inventive and wildly talented, Ms Bear is my favorite author since Ursula LeGuin. With works ranging from steam punk whodunits to space opera to sword- and-sorcery... Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Chamberlain