Gavril Andar is an ordinary portrait painter living with his mother in the Smarnan republic. Smarna, the summer resort of the muscobarian aristocracy is a country which is too small to be given heed in political matters and does not have much power.
But when Gavril is kidnapped by the "Dhruzina", the sacred warriors of his father, the Drakhaon, he is taken to the cold wastelands of the north, he learns about his noble and grusome heritage. Gavril Andar or Gavril Nagarian is the only descendent of Lord Volkh Nagarian and the only heir to the throne of his father's noble heritage,"Azhkendir".
Gavril learns about his past and about the assasination of his father and is expected to avenge his father's death.
While Gavril gets involved in political matters of Azhkendir, prince Eugene of Tielen plans to establish power over the great continent of Rossiya. But the only way to do this is by conquering the dukedom of Muscobar and Azhkendir.
As Gavril learns about his inherited powers, prince Eugene is determined to persuade Gavril to abdicate his title and take charge over the governance of Azhkendir. But in the end it's Gavril he has to confront.
This report prepared by arunav roy
Bantam, August 2003, 21.95, 496 pp.
Portrait painter Gavril Andar has always lived with his mother in Smorna, the summer resort town of the Muscobarian aristocracy. It is when his father, the ruler of the cold kingdom Azhkendir in the frozen northern wastelands, is assassinated he learns the truth about his heritage. As the heir to his father's kingdom Gavin learns that his blood is that of the dragon and when danger threatens his people he turns into a Drakhaoul, able to fly and breath down poison fumes on the enemy.
Gavin wants no part of his father's legacy, but Azhkendiran warriors kidnap him and bring him back to kill his sire's assassin. While Gavril learns the customs of his people, Prince Eugene of Tielen tries to reunite the old empire with him as emperor. He wants to add Muscobar to his kingdom but he needs to take Azhkendir in order to do it. He sets in motion a variety of schemes to bring down the Drakhaoul but in the end, it is Gavin that Eugene must face to determine whom rules in Azhkendir.
Though somewhat typical of the sub-genre, book one in The Tears Of Artamon series is an excellent sword and sorcery tale filled with plenty of action and fully developed characters. The protagonist matures as he faces trials and tribulations from forces aligned against him who want to crush him and his country. By the end of LORD OF SNOW AND SHADOWS, Gavin has become a brave warrior; he is ready to defend the nation he inherited. Sarah Ash's is a bright new star in the fantasy gallery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner