Of Shadow and Ash


Fiction - Fantasy - General
514 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stacy's passion for writing took off with her participation in science fiction themed online writing clubs. In addition to writing she enjoys drawing and painting and listening to Beethoven and movie soundtracks. She is a Star Wars geek who has been rumored to dress up on occasion as a stormtrooper. She resides in her native state of Oklahoma with her husband and three sons and cats that can talk but choose not to.

Follow this author on Facebook at facebook.com/StacyShofnerWilliams. Sometimes she even blogs at uplatewritingbooks.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

Feeling entrapped in an old family estate of Arradan, Janet Skyy was always curious on what lies in the Valley of Shadow and beyond the old village of Dars. She longed for a journey to the outside world, but her father’s years of strong prohibition and his old age were the two things that stopped her from entertaining her wishes. However, her stagnated days seemed to end when she and her father, Leslye Skyy, found a hidden, ancient grave, together with a book with mysterious carvings. The mystery of the find was further intensified when Professor Rion – a trader – brought them something that eerily connected with the book, as if a piece of a puzzle found its way home.

Chapter one started slowly but it was beautifully written. It engaged me deeply with adequate details to introduce me to the setting and the main protagonist, Janet Skyy, as well as the other characters. Occasionally, the same slow pace is found in other parts of the story too but the great storytelling and intriguing plot more than made up for this small shortcoming. Janet is a well-developed protagonist, believable and memorable at the same time. It was easy to connect to her emotionally. Stacy Shofner Williams knew how to weave "Of Shadow and Ash" to the right climax with enticing mystery, clues and even scary elements of ghosts, nightmares as well as frightening creatures. As the story progressed, I became more curious about what conclusion the story would entail, and I wasn't disappointed. This book must not be overlooked by fantasy fans.

Wolfgang

The book is a very good read. In Fact - actually - it was excellent. It was good to read a book with real sentences with some meat to them, rather than the short almost anemic bits and bites you see so much in many of today's books. Adventure and mystery set in a time and place the author created and it works. It may be more mystery than fantasy and more adventure than Sci-fi. The world the author creates is not only possible, but also stays cohesive throughout. The time and theme stay current in concept with the reality of human nature. The theme is not only possible but fits the social structure created by the author. I found the father /daughter approach new and intriguing and well worth the trip. I was sorry when the book ended and I am already looking forward to the next book from this author. I did not see the end coming until the last two chapters - which is remarkable in that I normally can predict the ending after the first chapter or two. I found the author's ability to create a landscape unique to the world she created fascinating - and the place of shadow and ash - disturbingly real. Please take the time to enter the world "Of Shadow and Ash" and be prepared to be entertained and made hungry for more of this author's work.

Daniel J. Quay

This was a very enjoyable piece. I tend to not particularly care for fantasy, but I found upon picking this text up that I had trouble putting it down. The author does a fantastic job of tantalizing you with ideas and hints of things to be revealed. I at one point feared that I would find so many of these left as loose ends, and yet I was not disappointed at the conclusion of the story. In many ways, I was reminded of the earlier works of Stephen Lawhead reading Of Shadow & Ash. The author has some of the charm of his earlier works while being a bit more refined in some ways. I reserve 5 stars for things that border on life-changing, if I weren't so picky this would've merited the five star rating and if I could've given it 4.5 I would've.

Disclosure Notice: I was given a copy of this book at the request that I provide an honest review of the text. To the best of my ability, I have done so.

R.C.

Of Shadow and Ash draws you in with a question. The story promises to answer that question. But you quickly find out that the story is a Hydra - for every answer Stacy allows you to have, she raises seven more questions. When Stacy finally lets the pieces all fall together, you find that you've been led a merry chase through cultures and people and places you never expected to go. Stacey leaves me wanting and waiting to read anything she wants to write next.

Heather

I loved Of Shadow and Ash! The main characters are a father who loses himself in research and a restless daughter who is trying to find her place. They are pulled into a exciting and dangerous quest that introduces characters that I loved and and loved to hate. The father daughter relationship was so real and I felt I could relate to both characters easily. Williams' descriptive writing of places and characters was so fun to read. Science fiction is not a genre that I read often, but I think I'm going to start reading more sci-fi after Of Shadow and Ash. Looking forward to Williams next book.

JustPlaneLove

I was skeptical & usually don't read sci-fi because I don't like how it isn't realistic enough, but not so with this book. By the time I was 1/4 of the way through, I couldn't wait to turn the page! It truly is a very good book & captures the imagination. There is something for everyone in this book. A little romance, adventure & characters you can really get into. A job well-done by this author & I look forward to more books from her.

CJ Swindell

Stacy is a former student and a friend. This book was very well written. I really enjoyed reading it and getting to know the author better through it. She is a multi-talented person with so many more stories to write and many of us are looking forward to them. Thanks for sharing, Stacy.

Sci-Fi Reader

This book is a must-read for any age! I found myself not being able to put it down (even reading until late at night when I needed to get to sleep!). Love it.

Shelly T.

I am really enjoying this book. It has kept me interested, wanting to read more. I'm not much of a sci-fi fan, but this I like.

RC Miller

Of Shadow & Ash is a cleverly disguised Hydra. For every answer Stacy gives you, she raises seven more questions. By the time the story ends, you've gone places and met people you never expected to go or meet. I hope she revisits this place, and I very much look forward to reading about it.

Darlene

This was a very interesting book. It has a unique and original story line. It kept my interest and I couldn't put the book down. I'm waiting for Stacy to write another book. Great work!