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Publisher's Summary

Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines and who 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, 14 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, the first entry 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.
©2009 Laura Anne Gilman (P)2009 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"This launch of a new trilogy...achieves an extraordinary power from its elegant storytelling and unique magical philosophy....Highly recommended." ( Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By M. Eglestone on 01-15-10

Read as a Children's Story, which it is not.

The story is just fine. In fact, it's much better than about 3/4ths of the Fantasy books that I have read over the past 20 years or so. All of he characters are well developed and the story lines, as well as the back stories, flow smoothly with clear intent and purpose. However, this is not a good audio presentation - it's borderline miserable.

Anne Flosnik, whom I normally love as a reader, presents this story as a Children's Tale. She over emphasizes the pronunciation of each and every word and reads so slowly that you might tend to go to sleep now and then. If she had just read the book in her normal voice, at her normal speed, it would have been just fine. She didn't!

I would not recommend this AUDIO presentation to anyone that I wish to keep as a friend. The book, on the other hand, is well worth reading.

- Mike -

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Autumn on 01-10-10


The narrator has a British accent but all the characters sound a bit like Deanna Troi from STNG. I'm torn about this one. On one hand, its interesting, on another, the story is a bit 'too out there'. The whole wine magic seems a bit too farfetched. The philosophy of degredation and humiliation these people must go through to become mages seems sadistic. The slavery and the complacency of the indivduals probably realistic but also a bit boring.

I'm halfway through and mildly interested in finishing. I think a race of people who get magic from wine, might be unique but I'm not entirely sure its that interesitng.

The narrator is a bit of a strange choice. She has this way of over ennuciating certain words. so Master turns out to be "masTAH" etc. It sounds at point strange.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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