Frank Tuttle made a name for himself writing the Markhat series. The Paths of Shadows series wasn’t nearly as well received; though, it featured all the hallmarks of a classic Frank Tuttle fantasy novel.
Order of Paths of Shadow Series
|1||All the Paths of Shadow||2011|
|2||Saving the Sammi (Short Story)||2012|
|3||All the Turns of Light||2014|
The books follow Meralda Ovis and her 29-eyed pet plant. Meralda is something special; not just any mage, but the first female to take the position of Mage to the Crown of Tirlin. She is also the youngest ever individual to receive such an appointment, and Meralda takes up the office with a mixture of fervor and trepidation, primarily because she serves King Yvin whose requests are not always rational.
For instance, All the Paths of Shadows, the first book in the Paths of Shadows series, finds Meralda tasked with moving the shadow of an ancient tower with powerful secrets just so he can make his speech in a more dignified manner.
Meralda stands out amongst her contemporaries in fantasy because she is such a no-nonsense girl, one that depends on logic and math to solve all her problems. She brings just as much humor to the table as her pet plant, not to mention her crew of helpers who prove useful in the many adventures she undertakes.
Frank Tuttle struggled to get his footing in the literary arena. His initial focus was southern fiction. However, his efforts to craft new stories in this arena fell short, with his ideas almost always leaning towards magic and fantasy.
Even after he decided to follow his instincts and play in the world of fantasy, Frank struggled to write. He speaks often of the days and nights he spent pulling chunks of hair out of his skull in frustration, not only because of the difficulties of plotting, starting and completing of a novel but the frustration that came from realizing that writing wouldn’t immediately allow him to coast through life without having to work.
Today, Frank has a strong following. His fans appreciate his unique writing style.
Most of Frank’s books in the Paths of Shadows series can be read as standalones. Frank has been praised for writing well-paced novels that are devoid of the information dumps that typically plague fantasy novels.
Best Paths of Shadows Books
Frank Tuttle might not have that many notable accolades to his name, but his fans recognize him as a true contender in the fantasy genre, with some of the best books in the Paths of Shadows series including the following:
All the Turns of Light: Intrepid is an airship making an arduous journey across the Great Sea. The creation of Meralda, crafted with her flying coils the airship will attempt to take 162 people to the mysterious Hang Homeland.
Meralda is ready for storms and sea-serpents; however, these are hardly the greatest dangers awaiting her. There are those who will stop at nothing to inhibit the Voyage. And Meralda has no way of stopping the most dangerous of her foes, not when they are safely nestled in her heart.
Meralda and her talking plant are back for another adventure, and this time they are undertaking a journey across the Great Sea. There is a royal funeral in Hang and Meralda and crew are determined to make the legendary voyage.
The book starts out with the same personal and low-key atmosphere as the first book. However, things change when the protagonists board the airship and begin the journey. There, the stakes quickly escalate.
Meralda loses the intelligence and rationale that made her such a fun character in the first book as her powers grow. Some of the conflicts feel forced, and very little development happens for the returning characters.
Saving the Sammi: When a private airship called the Sammi is caught by a terrible storm, Meralda and her talking plant will try to ascend to dangerous heights in order to save the day.
This book emphasizes Meralda’s role as the mage that often achieves the impossible when she is called upon to do just that. Because this novella is so short, it tends to get straight to the point, delivering another fun and humorous adventure.
Other Book Series you May Like
The “Glass and Steele” series by C.J. Archer is set in Victorian times and features an enigmatic watchmaker called Mr. Glass. When India Steele loses everything, from her father to her fiancé and even her inheritance, Mr. Glass introduces her to a whole new world of magic.
The “Paper Magician Trilogy” by Charlie N. Holmberg is another good series. Ceony Twill is a graduate of the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined. Initially determined to work with metal, Ceony is disappointed to learn that she will be forced to bond with paper, making it her only magic forever.
However, when Ceony meets Magician Emery Thane, her mind is opened to the true wonders of paper magic.