The Geomancer


Free on Kindle: Joel Shepherd's Sasha (A Trial of Blood & Steel)

Sasha: A Trial of Blood and Steel Book One
Reminder that the first book in Joel Shepherd's A Trial of Blood & Steel quartet, Sasha, is now Free on Kinde. Shepherd's series, which is complete now with the publication of Haven, is a complex, gritty, realistic fantasy that drawns numerous comparisons to a certain other series. Here's what they're saying:

"...quite engrossing... this heroic fantasy should please fans of, say, George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels." Booklist

"Shepherd has created a court fantasy similar to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire....a good epic fantasy that focuses more on the epic than the fantasy. Sasha is excellent reading for fans of character driven stories. I recommend it." Grasping for the Wind

"Sasha was excellent, especially given that this is Joel Shepherd’s first fantasy novel. It offers a huge fantasy world, a fascinating heroine, heart-pounding descriptions of both small-scale sword fights and full-on warfare, several characters that genuinely grow and change, and — maybe most importantly — the hint that this is just the start of what could become a great series. While I wouldn't rank it quite as high as George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, I think Sasha will go down very well with fans of that series because it shares some of its characteristics, including its huge scope and cast, its focus on politics and noble intrigue, and (at least in the early novels of ASoIaF) the almost complete absence of magic and mystical creatures. " Fantasy Literature

“I liked [Sasha]. She’s fierce, strong and courageous. She’s also a bit tempermental and stubborn, but in my opinion these qualities make her even more likeable… This book could have some profound and lasting effects on a female reader by instilling within her a fighter’s spirit and the idea that one can accomplish anything regardless of one’s gender. Think about this: how many female sword fighters so we see in such books like Shepherd’s Sasha? I am willing to guess not many… In this book, a woman is the warrior who leads others in a large battle. The cover alone is telling.”  -Femspec, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2010 

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