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Range of Ghosts: The Eternal Sky    by Elizabeth Bear order for
Range of Ghosts
by Elizabeth Bear
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Wanda Plourde

In a world unknown to us a man wakes after being severely injured in battle, struggling to survive amongst all the dead. Temur is the rightful heir to an empire built by his ancestors. His grandfather is the Great Khagan. But his uncle, Qori Buqa, wants to see Temur dead and to rule in his place. Civil war is building, involving all the heirs to the Khaganate. They believe in the eternal sky, with a moon for every living son - it once held a hundred moons, that have now dwindled to a small handful.

As Temur trudges on, he meets a caravan of survivors, refugees from the battle, including a woman, Edene. Their relationship develops and he is adopted into her clan to become one of their own. One dark night, ghosts of the recent battle arise, causing chaos, and a very strange large bird rips Edene away from Temur. He believes this to be the work of a sorcerer sent by Qori Buqa. Temur vows to rescue Edene.

He travels on his faithful mare Bansh. Encountering difficulties en route, Temur is rescued by a newly made wizard named Samarka. Once he tells her of his quest and what is happening outside her brother's empire, she decides to join him. And tiger-woman Hramina, a strong warrior, joins them too. The three embark on an adventure, attempting to reach Temur's grandfather across the white sea and to foil all the assassination attempts on Temur's life.

I found this beginning of a new trilogy in the fantasy realm totally gripping, well planned and written, with a great sense of imagery and characters who complement each other. This first episode was well balanced, with plenty of action, intrigue, and a great set up for the next book. I cannot wait to read The Shattered Pillars.

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