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Publisher's Summary

Winter only comes to the land once in a hundred years. But the snow covers ancient secrets: secrets that could topple a kingdom.Mauritaine was a war hero, a Captain in the Seelie Army. Then he was accused of treason and sentenced to life without parole at Crere Sulace, a dark and ancient prison in the mountains, far from the City Emerald. But now the Seelie Queen - Regina Titania herself - has offered him one last chance to redeem himself, an opportunity to regain his freedom and his honor.Unfortunately, it's a suicide mission, which is why only Mauritaine and the few prisoners he trusts enough to accompany him, would even dare attempt it. Raieve, beautiful and harsh, an emissary from a foreign land caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Perrin Alt, Lord Silverdun, a nobleman imprisoned as a result of political intrigues so Byzantine that not even he understands them. Brian Satterly, a human physicist, apprehended searching for the human victims of the faery changeling trade.Meanwhile, dark forces are at work at home and abroad. In the Seelie kingdom, the reluctant soldier Purane-Es burns with hatred for Mauritaine, and plots to steal from him the one thing that remains to him: his wife. Across the border, the black artist Hy Pezho courts the whim of Mab, offering a deadly weapon that could allow the Unseelie in their flying cities to crush Titania and her army once and for all.With time running out, Mauritaine and his companions must cross the deadly Contested Lands filled with dire magical fallout from wars past. They will confront mounted patrols, brigands, and a traitor in their midst. And before they reach their destination, as the Unseelie Armies led by Queen Mab approach the border, Mauritaine must decide between his own freedom and the fate of the very land that has forsaken him.BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Matthew Sturges.
©2009 Matthew Sturges; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Joslin on 08-06-10


Overall I have really enjoyed this book, but I may have enjoyed it more if I'd read it myself. The narrator, Kevin Pariseau, has a pleasant voice, articulates well, and does an excellent job of creating character voices! The first few chapters, though, were difficult to follow. His speech was alternately stilted and then rushed, pausing in the strangest places in what has to be the same sentence or thought. It seems as though he hadn't read the book before he began narrating. By about a third of the way, he got on track, and I enjoyed the story heartily. Recommended listen.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 07-30-09

Keep going, Matt Sturges!

Sturges has been writing comic books for a long time now, and this is his first attempt at a novel. It's a quest fantasy novel, but the object of the quest isn't made very clear for a long time, and that's why I'd give the story a C+/B-. It's an interesting world of fairies and humans and there's portals for going from one world to another, so it has all the stuff of good fantasy, but just doesn't completely satisfy. Narration is excellent, I give it an A, making the whole experience about a B. I hope Sturges keeps writing novels, because he is able to make great stories work on the comic book page.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer on 06-07-09

Enjoyable listen overall

I enjoyed listening to this book, once I got used to the narrator's style. It has all the elements of a good fantasy novel. It's not the most original fantasy ever written, but the characters are good, the story moves along well and it's quite compelling, difficult to turn off! The author has clearly left room for a sequel, but this can be taken as a stand-alone novel. Well worth a listen.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Nicholas on 04-18-11

Very Average

This is not a great book. It's not exactly terrible either, but the story is weak, the characters pretty flat and it just doesn't feel a rich or well constructed as, for example, Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' novels.

Don't bother unless you get it for free and you really have nothing better to do.

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