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Shadowbridge Paperback – January 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345497589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345497581
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,479,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Orphaned 16-year-old Leodora, a talented puppeteer and storyteller, is forced to hide her identity and gender as she travels the spans and tunnels of the ocean-crossing Shadowbridge in Frost's exciting first of a diptych. Stubborn and god-touched, Leodora feels nearly friendless until she meets a youth with similar gifts. Diverus, an enslaved simpleton, is endowed with intelligence and uncanny musical abilities when an unpredictable deity visits his span. When Diverus plays and Leodora performs, their synergy creates magic and brings them instant fame. Only Leodora's mentor, the perpetually drunken Soter, realizes that their brilliance attracts dangerous chaos energy, and he must protect the young pair while keeping long-held secrets about the deaths of Leodora's parents and the dangers of her talent. Frost (Fitcher's Brides) draws richly detailed human characters and embellishes his multilayered stories with intriguing creatures—benevolent sea dragons, trickster foxes, death-eating snakes and capricious gods—that make this fantasy a sparkling gem of mythic invention and wonder.
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Review

For all its painterly beauty, Shadowbridge is a tough-minded novel that confronts some disturbing issues...Frost could be on his way toward a masterpiece. --Gary K. Wolfe -- Locus Looks at Books, Locus Magazine, November 2007

Frost draws richly detailed human characters and embellishes his multilayered stories with intriguing creatures--benevolent sea dragons, trickster foxes, death-eating snakes and capricious gods--that make this fantasy a sparkling gem of mythic invention and wonder. -- Publisher's Weekly, October 22, 2007

[F]illed with the brilliant details of Frost's masterful world building--containing all manner of fantastic story. -- Regina Schroeder -- Booklist, December 1, 2007 (starred review)

More About the Author

I'm a writer under the broad umbrella of fantasy literature. That means I'm not speaking of elf quests and swords and magic necessarily, but of things that might fall into the bins marked "High Weird" or "Disturbing," too. I write horror, but not the sort that splatters; rather, the kind that discomfits. Fantasy and horror are means to explore things that sometimes can't be come at head on. Sometimes they're put in play just to amuse. But always to surprise.

I workshop fiction in a number of groups with a good batch of writers whose ranks include (or have included) Judith Berman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, Karen Joy Fowler, John Kessel, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Jonathan Lethem, and Nalo Hopkinson. I also know a number of writers who do not workshop and should not workshop. Like anything else, whether or not you want feedback and opinions is matter of knowing yourself.

I teach writing--peripatetically--at Swarthmore College in PA, at Write By The Lake in Madison, WI, at wrtiers' conferences in Pennsylvania, etc. It's a different part of the brain, teaching, and good writers don't necessarily make good teachers, just as the reverse is true.

Customer Reviews

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It introduces the concepts and begins the story, and does a good job of both.
Juushika
It took me so long to like this book, to get into this book that if it had not become so enjoyable during the second half of this, I would have given it a one.
ShawnaLanne
Leodora is a collector of stories, several of which are featured in the book, and are lovely works in and of themselves.
Vautour

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Darth Breather on January 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The world of Shadowbridge would be worth visiting even if Leodora, the protagonist, weren't such good company. Its complexity and realism, overlaid on a structure that is inherently fantastical, makes suspension of disbelief a pleasure as guilty as chocolate. Frost doesn't even pretend to a scientific explanation for his world; it's all myth and fantasy, and it's wonderful. Yet the grittiness of the place, together with images of magnificent beauty, make it realistic in an almost tangible way. The romance of bridges, the darkness and squalor of areas under bridges...Shadowbridge captures it all.

We follow Leodora as she finds herself as a Shadow-Puppeteer and Story-Teller, following in the footsteps of a father she never knew. As she collects stories and comes to understand this world, she encounters dangers that she only half understands.

I'm giving the book only 4 stars for now. It's half a book and doesn't stand alone; the second half comes out in summer. But I'm not sorry I read it, even though I'd planned to wait for the second book as well. It gives the world time to percolate.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Vautour on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a tale of a female puppeteer, her drunken coordinator, and a god-touched musician, all of whom are running from unhappy pasts, set in a watery world covered with bridges and given a liberal dose of magic.

This is book one of two, the second of which is coming out in June, called Lord Tophet.

All in all, it's a fantastically done book, wrought with myths within myths. Leodora is a collector of stories, several of which are featured in the book, and are lovely works in and of themselves. I was lucky enough to hear Frost read part of this aloud last summer, and was hooked then. The writing itself is excellent; Frost has a way of drawing you in with the prose alone and keeping you there. Add to that a wonderful trio of characters, and you have a book that's hard to put down.

SHADOWBRIDGE is fully deserving of being nominated for a World Fantasy award, because it is the epitome of what fantasy could and should be.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Maberry -NY Times Bestseller on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Shadowbridge, the latest novel by noted fantasist Gregory Frost, brings us into a fully realized, ornate and gorgeous world of magic and intrigue. The story moves along at a magical pace and yet Frost never forgets that he's telling us about real people with genuine emotions. He's created a powerful new character with Leodora, a shadow-puppeteer -and he paints her so well that this book BEGS for a biscreen adaptation. But even if they do make this info a flick, make sure you read the book. Frost has a sorcerer's touch when it comes to description and imagery.
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Format: Paperback
In a world where inhabitants live on bridges which span wide oceans and replace cities and continents, sixteen-year-old Leodora travels from city to city to build her reputation as a master puppeteer and storyteller. But Leodora is haunted by the mystery of her father, who was once a great puppeteer, and touched by the gods whose presence portends marvelous and terrible events to come. Shadowbridge is the first half of a duology, and it sets up the story, introducing Leodora and her traveling companions and the fantastic, imaginative world of Shadowbridge. These factors are both intriguing, but as the first half of a complete story the book suffers from a lack of direction and cliffhanger ending. I plan to continue right on to the sequel, Lord Tophet, and I enjoyed and recommend this book.

Although they are published as two separate volumes, Shadowbridge is really just the first half of a longer book. It introduces the concepts and begins the story, and does a good job of both. What shines most is the setting: Shadowbridge is a world of endless bridges rising over open seas, where spans of the bridge make up cities and the spans connect into large spirals which replace continents. Men, monsters, and gods populate the bridges, living in complex and divers societies. It is a vibrant and magical setting, unlike anything else I've seen before, and it immediately captures the imagination. Leodora and her companions are a bit pale in comparison, although they too hold the reader's interest: Leodora is willful and brave and her storytelling opens the novel up to a number of stories within stories.

These stories within stories are something of a mixed blessing, however.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ShawnaLanne on April 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
It took me so long to like this book, to get into this book that if it had not become so enjoyable during the second half of this, I would have given it a one. The story seemed to go on and on and with no real plot movement.

I am now almost finished with the second book - or rather what should be called the second half of the book - and if this had been a single book rather than two, I would have given it an unreserved five stars. But the way this was set up and divided, it felt like a greedy marketing ploy.

I recommend this book with the next, Lord Topher, but I cannot recommend it alone. It has likeable main characters, an interesting worldscape, and a breathtaking ending. But only if you read the second book right after it. Otherwise, it is an incomplete story.
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