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209. Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman...

November 19, 2009
flesh and fireAbout the book:
Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines, and selfishly used them to increase their own wealth and influence. But their abuse of power caused a demigod to break the Vine, shattering the power of the mages. Now, fourteen centuries later, it is the humble Vinearts who hold the secret of crafting spells from wines, the source of magic, and they are prohibited from holding power.

But now rumors come of a new darkness rising in the vineyards. Strange, terrifying creatures, sudden plagues, and mysterious disappearances threaten the land. Only one Vineart senses the danger, and he has only one weapon to use against it: a young slave. His name is Jerzy, and his origins are unknown, even to him. Yet his uncanny sense of the Vinearts' craft offers a hint of greater magics within — magics that his Master, the Vineart Malech, must cultivate and grow. But time is running out. If Malech cannot teach his new apprentice the secrets of the spellwines, and if Jerzy cannot master his own untapped powers, the Vin Lands shall surely be destroyed.

In Flesh and Fire, first in a spellbinding new trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman conjures a story as powerful as magic itself, as intoxicating as the finest of wines, and as timeless as the greatest legends ever told.

drey's thoughts:
I was not a fan of Laura Anne Gilman's Retrievers series. But the premise of Flesh and Fire, and the cover, got me to pick it up and give it a try. And am I glad I did...

Wine as a source of magic. Grapes and soil determining the type of magic. Slavery as an institutionalized practice. Flesh and Fire began slowly, but then sometimes the good ones do--what matters is the follow-up, right? Anyway. Jerzy's apprenticeship to Malech starts off the book. A little while later, trouble appears on their doorstep, and Jerzy's sent to another Vineart, to learn his skills, his magic. And to listen for more trouble.

But instead of just listening for it, Jerzy finds himself in the thick of it. And by the time the book ends, you are ready to see what the next chapter holds in store for this young apprentice, and his new traveling companions.

Title: Flesh and Fire (Vineart War #1)
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
ISBN-10: 1439101418
ISBN-13: 9781439101414
Hardcover: 374 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2009

Challenges: 100+, 1st in Series, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of Flesh and Fire was provided by Pocket Books for a blog tour on Oct. 26.


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