Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)
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.