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Shattering the Ley Mass Market Paperback – July 7, 2015
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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“Palmatier kicks off an epic fantasy series with this complex tale set in a world where wonders are accomplished by manipulating the magical energy of ley lines.... Palmatier lets the story build slowly, introducing a sprawling cast and fascinating setting, before explosively upsetting the status quo.” —Publishers Weekly
“Palmatier takes familiar ideas of ley lines and magic wielders but gives them fresh life in this rich fantasy world.” —Library Journal
“Palmatier exploits an active imagination to good effect, with characters who develop along with the story...with plenty of tension and excitement. Fantasy regulars looking for a fresh series with real bite should find it worth a try.” —Kirkus
“Intricate worldbuilding, engaging and complex characters, and a fresh sharp take on magic and politics. Shattering The Ley proves that Joshua Palmatier is definitely a key new voice in original fantasy.” —Kari Sperring, author of Living with Ghosts
“Shattering the Ley, the terrific new fantasy from Joshua Palmatier, is built of equal parts innocence, politics, and treachery. It features a highly original magic system, and may well be the only fantasy ever written where some of the most exciting scenes take place in a power plant. I couldn’t put it down.” —S. C. Butler, author of Reiffen’s Choice
“Shattering the Ley stands apart from the majority of second-world fantasy by having a distinctly modern cast to its worldbuilding.” —Tor.com
“There’s a lot happening, constantly driving the plot forward, and the political intrigue and ideological conflicts between the clashing factions keep things fresh and engaging.” —Bibliosanctum
“Palmatier brilliantly shatters genre conventions.... An innovative fantasy novel with a very modern feel.... For readers who are willing to tackle a more challenging fantasy, without clear heroes and obvious conflicts, Shattering the Ley is an excellent read.” —SFRevu
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Not of the standard "epic" in that there are no orcs and elves, and the magic - while wieldable by individuals - is treated by this society more like electricity and the "mages" come to your house to fix the stove while the stronger mages fix the power lines - or in this case the ley lines. In some ways this ends up feeling more science-fiction in a historic setting than a fantasy (steampunk?). I guess that is why I enjoyed it so much.
We first meet the POV major characters in their childhood - Justin is 8, Kara is 12, and Allen is 16. The book has many chapters divided among five parts - these five parts read like mini-books and have two major skips through time - one of four years and one of twelve years - so at the end of the book Justin is 24, Kara is 28, and Allen is 32. One or two timing issues made me go "er", but did not impact the story at all. For example not exactly certain what Cory's age is at the beginning of the book. Not that it matters since he isn't a primary POV character, although he does have a couple short POV moments. (did knock a star off of the rating because not "perfect")
Overall a good way to spend a few days.
SPOILER FROM HERE DOWN
With the second book coming out soon I think it is okay to mention this is the first book of an apocalyptic story within a fantasy setting. Ecological magic-based disaster. And by apocalypse, I don't mean the more common post-apocalypse where you see the survivors ten or twenty years or even hundreds of years after the disaster. No, this book is about the apocalypse - the destruction of civilization. Characters die - POV characters, both minor and major, die. Ones you like. Ones you don't like. Ones you have bonded with over the course of the book. You feel the loss. Great writing.
Future books of the series hopefully will not be as emotionally draining as the last two parts of this book.
The story tells you how the ley was harnessed and follows the Baron Arent and his 2 top people. It does give a brief history of the violence that the Baron used to become the top person in the area. The story really starts moving when it becomes obvious something is wrong with the ley. There is treachery and heroism.
This book is just a darn good read. Good fantasy with powerful characters. My only complaint is the next book is in hard cover not paperback!
Top international reviews
Das Ende des Buches ist ein bisschen abrupt, man muss quasi das irgendwann folgende Buch lesen, um zu erfahren, wie die Geschichte ausgeht. Falls jemand also ungeduldig ist, sollte er mit der Lektüre warten, bis Herr Palmatier den nächsten Band verfasst hat. ;-)