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Flesh and Fire: Vineart Wars #1

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Flesh and Fire: Vineart Wars #1 Cover

ISBN13: 9781439101414
ISBN10: 1439101418
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From acclaimed bestselling author Laura Anne Gilman comes a unique and enthralling new story of fantasy and adventure, wine and magic, danger and hope....

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.

Review:

"With a unique, pleasingly consistent magic system based on the production and consumption of wine, urban fantasist Gilman (the Retrievers series) turns a standard coming-of-age tale into something wholly new. Young Jerzy, a vineyard slave, possesses the rare and extraordinary ability of the Vinearts, magicians who create spellwines from the most potent grapes. When someone begins sabotaging the fields of the traditionally reclusive winemakers, it is up to Jerzy and his master to save their way of life. A slow build of tension as Jerzy progresses from slave to student to spy keeps the reader engaged without any need for frenetic fight scenes. The tale is dominated by vivid, absorbing characters, and Jerzy's powerful narrative voice makes his joys and sorrows dramatic, authentic and potent. This intoxicating high fantasy will satisfy oenophiles and bibliophiles alike." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

In the first volume in a unique trilogy about a world in which magic derives from the process of winemaking, the young slave Jerzy and his master unearth a plot of such great magnitude and danger that it could destroy the Vinearts forever.

About the Author

Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the Cosa Nostradamus books for Luna (the “Retrievers” and “Paranormal Scene Investigations” series), a YA trilogy for HarperCollins, and numerous works of short fiction. She also writes paranormal romances for Nocturne as Anna Leonard, and her e-book novella Dreamcatcher was released in August 2008.  A former executive editor at NAL, Laura Anne is an amateur chef, oenophile, and cat-servant.  She lives in New York City, where she also runs d.y.m.k. productions. 

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

gaby317, October 26, 2009 (view all comments by gaby317)
Flesh and Fire (The Vineart War, #1)
"Vinearts did not appear full-blown from the earth, after all. It was an ironic gift from Sin Washer: generations of trial and error had proven that only the deprivations of slavery, the removal of all family ties and comforts, pushed a man to the point where magic would surface. Even now, he could not coddle the boy, or risk ruining him. The skills were inherent and easily proven by the first test, but the refining of them required a combination of elements. . . Like the grapes themselves, a Vineart must be stressed to produce the finest results, grown in poor soils and subjected to the elements in order to shine."
-Flesh and Fire: Book One of the Vineart War by Laura Anne Gilman

Review:
In their early history, magic in the Vin Lands flowed through the prince-mages who alone had the power to craft spellwines. But inevitably corruption and greed led to an abuse of power by the prince-mages and it took the intervention of a demi-god to "break the Vine" and thus destroy the prince-mages' hold on power. The system that evolved 1,400 years later established a clear separation of power between those that craft the spells from wines and wield the power of magic (the "Vinearts") and the nobility and royalty that hold political power.

The split is deeply established. The Vinearts are entrenched in their customs and traditions in the selection, training and development of apprentice Vinearts and in the creation of the spellwines which serve as repositories of magic. It is universally understood that while stress and deprivation produce the magic and the Vineart, too much stress can ruin the man and his skills.

The Vine Lands are hit with mysterious disappearances, magical monsters, and sudden plagues which seem to be the work of a dangerous new force. Only Master Vineart Malech seems aware of this new threat and he has only one weapon to use against it: the young slave Jerzy. Jerzy shows unusual promise and an uncanny sense of the Vinearts' craft which Master Malech must develop and strengthen. Malech is forced to cram the training that would span years in months and trust in Jerzy's skill and judgment if they are to save the Vine Lands.

Review:
In Flesh and Fire, Laura Anne Gilman has created a rich, complex fantasy world and a satifying and enjoyable read. I was hooked from the start - with the mysterious attack on Vineart Sionio and the first descriptions of the young slave boy Jerzy.

Jerzy's voice is painfully honest and I quickly found myself emotionally invested in his growth and his success. As Jerzy grows into his role as apprentice to Vineart Malech, the tension in the story heightens. Plot twists and action move Flesh and Fire forward at a good pace. The only disappointment that I have is that I've finished the book and must wait for the next installment to learn how Jerzy and his new friends will rise to the challenge. I loved Flesh and Fire and recommend it highly to those who enjoy fantasy novels. This one is a winner!
Publisher: Pocket (October 13, 2009), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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jaimehuff1, October 25, 2009 (view all comments by jaimehuff1)
The premise and idea was interesting. Spellbound wine in a world in which there seems to be three major groups: Vinearts (who control the wine, the spells, and answer to no one), the Princes (who think the Vinearts and the Washers should answer to them but understand the command) and The Washers (who seem to be priestly beings ensuring moral behaviors and that the Sin Washer's commands are upheld). Very creative, a fantasy about magical wine. I love it! As a person who loves wine.... I was game!

Sadly, this book didn't maintain my interest and I REALLY had to force myself to finish it. It isn't because it is badly written, it's not at all. It's because it seemed dry, dull, and I felt absolutely ZERO connection to any of the key characters until the last quarter of the book. The first half of the book was so disconnected to the characters that when Jerzy and Master Malech start working together, I could care less that the Slave was being primed to become a vineart due to his natural skills. The characters had nearly zero personality, except for near the end. I have an idea that the next book in this series will have more focus on Jerzy, the student Vineart, Ao, the trader, and Mahault, the daughter of the lord maiar who wants to be a soldier, as a trio.

I can not say I glowingly recommend this book, however, I also can't say I don't recommend it. I am very indifferent. The author's writing style is beautiful and descriptive and I believe that the Vineart War can definitely grow into a magical series. I certainly am willing to try the second book when it comes out with hopes it will have much more intrigue and less blandness then it's premiere.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781439101414
Author:
Gilman, Laura Anne
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Copyright:
Series:
Vineart Wars
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic

Flesh and Fire: Vineart Wars #1 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Pocket Books - English 9781439101414 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With a unique, pleasingly consistent magic system based on the production and consumption of wine, urban fantasist Gilman (the Retrievers series) turns a standard coming-of-age tale into something wholly new. Young Jerzy, a vineyard slave, possesses the rare and extraordinary ability of the Vinearts, magicians who create spellwines from the most potent grapes. When someone begins sabotaging the fields of the traditionally reclusive winemakers, it is up to Jerzy and his master to save their way of life. A slow build of tension as Jerzy progresses from slave to student to spy keeps the reader engaged without any need for frenetic fight scenes. The tale is dominated by vivid, absorbing characters, and Jerzy's powerful narrative voice makes his joys and sorrows dramatic, authentic and potent. This intoxicating high fantasy will satisfy oenophiles and bibliophiles alike." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In the first volume in a unique trilogy about a world in which magic derives from the process of winemaking, the young slave Jerzy and his master unearth a plot of such great magnitude and danger that it could destroy the Vinearts forever.
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