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The War Master's Daughter Paperback – December 10, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Zupko's book is a philosophical fairy-tale - a political Rapunzel story - in which the fantastic is replaced by questions of the self and the world. ... The War Master's Daughter is an extremely impressive debut novel." - The Action Prose (rddenton.wordpress.com/) 

About the Author

Elly Zupko is a professional writer living in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in rural Harford County on a four-acre property and now doesn’t even own a plant. Studying under acclaimed novelist and National Book Award finalist Madison Smartt Bell, she graduated Goucher College in 2003 with a degree in English/writing. She has had both her fiction and non-fiction published in a variety of outlets, including Preface, The Eloquent Atheist, The Baltimore Writer’s Project, Why Vandalism? and APMP’s Executive Summary. Her short stories “What It Means to Be Alone” and “Fixed” are available to read online through their respective publications. Elly has been making things up since she was old enough to hold a crayon and turn Big Bird purple. Her passion for fiction extended into middle school, where she learned to forge signatures on bad progress reports, and through high school, when she finally began her first novel—incidentally, a very early iteration of The War Master’s Daughter. Her first job out of college was at a small Baltimore publishing house, where she edited 11 novels that would go on to publication. This experience has given her an edge on navigating the rapidly changing publishing world, and she shares her experience and knowledge on her blog, Stuff Your Eyes With Wonder. Independently published under the SMLX Books imprint, The War Master’s Daughter is Elly Zupko’s first novel (...that you know about).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: SMLX Books; 2nd edition (December 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984894586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984894581
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,861,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elly Zupko is a professional writer living in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in rural Harford County on a four-acre property and now doesn't even own a plant. Studying under acclaimed novelist and National Book Award finalist Madison Smartt Bell, she graduated Goucher College in 2003 with a degree in English/writing.

She has had both her fiction and non-fiction published in a variety of outlets, including Preface, The Eloquent Atheist, The Baltimore Writer's Project, Why Vandalism? and APMP's Executive Summary. Her short stories "What It Means to Be Alone" and "Fixed" are available to read online through their respective publications.

Elly has been making things up since she was old enough to hold a crayon and turn Big Bird purple. Her passion for fiction extended into middle school, where she learned to forge signatures on bad progress reports, and through high school, when she finally began her first novel--incidentally, a very early iteration of The War Master's Daughter. Her first job out of college was at a small Baltimore publishing house, where she edited 11 novels that would go on to publication. This experience has given her an edge on navigating the rapidly changing publishing world, and she shares her experience and knowledge on her blog, Stuff Your Eyes With Wonder.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While The War Master's Daughter is not my typical genre, I gave it a chance and it did not disappoint! I was completely engrossed with the story and found myself reading page after page late into the night, long after I was supposed to be asleep. By the end, I was sad to be departing these characters and am hoping that in the future we will be reunited.
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Format: Paperback
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To suggest that Elly Zupko's The War Master's Daughter is merely a historical fiction novel would be to ignore a great number of its evident strengths. Simultaneously, pigeonholing the novel into any specific genre would be to discredit its willingness to step outside its comfort zones. The greater part of The War Master's Daughter is confused about what genre it may actually be, but that doesn't draw away from the novel's overall quality. Zupko's book is a fantastic independent offering the intense strengths of which outweigh the few moments where its footing occasionally wavers.

After the death of a loved one, Lady Aurora of Cavalcata - the daughter of a popular military strategist - commits herself to an unlikely adventure that incubates doubts about her faith, her love of country, and her very purpose in the world. The novel is less about the history, however, than it is the philosophy and the romance. The philosophies of Descarte, Locke, and Socrates all make small cameos as Aurora discovers that the world around her is stranger, more violent, and more unforgiving than she could have ever imagined.

Zupko's book is a philosophical fairy-tale - a political Rapunzel story - in which the fantastic is replaced by questions of the self and the world.

One of the most breathtaking aspects of Zupko's book at first glance is its precision editing. We would think that this shouldn't even be mentioned - a book should naturally be free of spelling mistakes, grammatical issues, formatting problems, and so-forth - and the author reminds us that these are qualities we should expect even from independent releases. The novel is masterfully formatted in its physical form and is almost entirely devoid of errors.
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The War Master's Daughter is a book so easy to escape into that you'll find yourself reading well past the point you meant to stop to do something else. Zupko is able to construct sentences, paragraphs, and chapters so smoothly and with such a clear hand that it's no surprise to look up only to find you've spent the better part of an afternoon reading.

As far as plot lines go, Zupko isn't necessarily stretching out her wings--the star-crossed and long-time enemy trope is one visited often. What makes Zupko's work so unique (and so very entertaining) is how well she underplays this element in order to convey more important and less explored themes. For the conscious reader, this novel lays out a compelling and delightful journey through an imaginative and rich world.
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Dear Master Writer Elly,
It has been less than a week and I have finished your masterpiece. I want to run to Secernere and burn Cashel's body. I want to wrap my arms around Storey and tell him he's The Man. And sweet crazy little Dymphna/Catherine... really? So friggin adorable. Aurora is someone I'd like to get drunk with... and maybe go shoe shopping? You are an absolutely amazing writer and I am in awe of you.

Everyone I know needs to read this book. You will see me purchasing several more to give as gifts. This book is really captivating. Understand that I do NOT read. The books I have read can be counted on two hands. Ask my husband... he couldn't talk to me after the kids went to bed, cuz my nose was stuck in this book. And the last few chapters I was biting my nails and huddled on the couch.

You have to come up and visit us. I have so many questions for you! Like PLEASE write another one. Where do they go? What happens to the Fairgosians and Mitochians? Do they become the Fairtochians? Surely not!

Thank you! And I will be visiting [...] often to see when the movie is in production!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The War Master's Daughter offers something for everyone. It is a hybrid of historical fiction, adventure, romance, and even a bit of mystery, and it held my interest from beginning to end. I was immediately curious about the intellectual but sheltered heroine Aurora, and the rest of the characters she met on her journey did not disappoint. Each is well-developed and complex, drawing the reader into the war-torn countries of Fairgos and Mitoch.

Zupko weaves details into the prose by jumping back and forth in time in order to provide essential background knowledge to progress the story. She includes information to pique the reader's interest and unveils plot twists with masterful timing. While reading, I felt anger, sympathy, frustration, fear, excitement, and most importantly, I felt an overwhelming desire to follow the lives of these characters.

I hope there will be a second novel detailing the future of the countries. I would certainly be sure to read it!
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I like a good story- I like a book that won't let me put it down until I've finished. I purchased "The War Master's Daughter" yesterday afternoon and only managed to stop reading for work and sleep. With many books I've read lately (and I eat books like candy), the stories are great, but the writing isn't... not so with "The War Master's Daughter." Zupko has a talent for beautiful lines and rhythmic phrases that make the book a joy to read.

Give it a try--- you'll love the main characters and loathe the villain, you'll race to the end as I did and you'll hope that Zupko writes something else for you to devour soon!
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