Leodora, a young shadow puppeteer, must hide her gender and identity as she travels the spans of Shadowbridge performing and perfecting her gift. Following in the footsteps of a father she never met and running away from a violent past she doesn't fully understand, Leodora relies on her manager, Soter, to give her the guidance she needs. With no other friends, she feels alone and stranded until she encounters a young man who has been touched by a god. Diverus, enslaved as a young boy, was given extraordinary musical abilities that touch even the hardest of hearts. A mute and simpleton all of his life, perhaps the greatest gift he was given by the nameless god, was the gift of himself. No longer restricted by his disabilities, Diverus is able to experience emotions and communicate with others.
Immediately captured by Diverus's music, Leodora hires him as her musician and he is quickly incorporated into her performances. When the two perform together they create a beautiful magic and receive instant recognition and fame. Only Soter realizes the danger their talents are bringing and does everything he can to protect them while keeping safe the long-held secrets about the deaths of Leodora's parents and the dangers of her talent.
Shadowabridge is the first novel in a two-book series. The second book is entitled Lord Tophet and will be released in July of 2008.
Frost does an excellent job enticing the reader and keeping their interest and attention. Aside from the main story, the book is filled with short stories told by Leodora and others that give the reader a look into the myths and gods of the intriguing world of Shadowbridge. They are all brilliantly written and so descriptive that it was easy to imagine Leodora with her puppets telling the story.
That being said, it was obviously the first half of the series, and there were many pieces left unanswered and untouched. It certainly makes the reader want to finish the next book, however it also a little depressing and confusing with so many unanswered questions. Despite the abrupt ending, I would encourage everyone to read this book. Let yourself be drawn into the wonderful stories and magic of Shadowbridge.
I don't read science fiction much anymore but this story seemed intriuging and the next book in the series got rave reviews so I though I'd start at the beginning. I would recommend you do the same as this book does get very detailed. The main character is a story-teller/puppeteer, not only traveling the spans to perform but to collect stories. The first part of the book is wonderfully told, both past and present stories. The last 1/3 abruptly switches to another character, so the reader knows the two will be crossing paths, which happens near the end, setting up the sequel nicely. This second story had a totally different feel, left me squirming alot. I do enjoy the way the author sets the scene and he is very good at dialog and motive. I'm looking forward to the next one.
This is the first part of a two part book. It is an unusual book, character driven instead of story driven. In fact, the author drove me a bit nuts with how he was jumping around with the story of the characters. You meet two characters, then are given the tale of the 3rd character through a flash back being told by one of the original characters sometime in the future. What?
However, for a character driven story it is pretty interesting. I didn't have any trouble staying interested in it. I suspect/hope that it will become more story driven in the next book, especially given the cliff hanger that ended this book.
The world is quite interesting - a water world with some islands. Most inhabitants live on giant bridges. No one really knows where they came from or anything. Each bridge is in the form of a giant spiral. The spiral is made up of spans - each span has a different culture. My big complaint with the world building was that Frost already had an interesting world, but he apparently felt the need to throw in elves, kitsune and other supernatural creatures. I felt this detracted from the world.