Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

This is the first book in the Eternal Sky trilogy that Tor provided for free as part of their ebook club. I was in the mood for some science fiction or fantasy, and decided to read this after reading Skin in the Game recently.

Published: 2012

Genre: fantasy

Length: 334 pages

Setting: it felt like central Asia (Turkey to Mongolia-ish), under the Eternal Sky

Summary: Temur managed to survive the battle that left so many of his cousin’s forces dead. Now that the Great Khan is dead, his grandsons are fighting to see who gets to rule. Temur just wants to survive, so he starts walking away, meeting up with a refuge caravan. There, he becomes close to Edene, a young woman who is carried away by ghosts from the battlefield. Temur vows to find her, and meets the Once-Princess and now Wizard Samarkar from a neighboring country. Samarkar is investigating rumors the Scholar God sect is gaining in power. In fact, the sect is behind many of the machinations and battles that are tearing apart the threads that held all the surrounding countries together.

Final thoughts: This one too me a while to get into, but by the end of the book, I couldn’t put it down. Part of the problem was I had a very hard time with the names. I am TERRIBLE with names. You can tell me your name, and I will likely have forgotten it within a minute of you telling me. Add that to the fact that this book is set in a part of the world I know little about, and the names of people and places all blurred together. It makes it hard to care about a character when I can’t remember if they’ve even been introduced before. Adding to my confusion was the structure of the book jumped between Samarkar and Temur’s storyline, with a jog off occasionally into the Scholar God sect, and I couldn’t keep anyone straight. I really needed a list of characters at the front of the book to refer to often.

That being said, the world-building on this book is awesome. Temur and his culture felt Mongolian, and Samarkar’s world felt Chinese, so it was an interesting dip into another world. The best part, though, was how the sky changed to reflect the beliefs of the party ruling that area. So, in Temur’s Eternal Sky, you would see moons corresponding to all the living grandsons of the Great Khan (and that number was dwindling rapidly). However, cross the mountains into Samarkar’s world, and the sun crosses the sky in a different direction, the sky color is different, and there is only one moon. It certainly helps tell you where you are in the world if you can identify the sky overhead!

Title comes from: It was a location in the book.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #10 for the year, and an R in my title Reading the Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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