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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Shadow All of Light

A Shadow All of Light

A Novel

Fred Chappell

Tor Books


A good thief barters in goods. A great one deals in shadows.

A Shadow all of Light is a stylish, elegant, episodic fantasy novel by World Fantasy Award–winning author and former poet laureate Fred Chappell.

This stylish, episodic fantasy novel is for fans of epic fantasies and heists. The tale follows the exploits of Falco, a young man from the country, who arrives in the port city of Tardocco with the ambition of becoming an apprentice to a master shadow thief. Maestro Astolfo, whose mysterious powers of observation would rival those of Sherlock Holmes, sees Falco's potential and puts him through a grueling series of physical lessons and intellectual tests.

Falco's adventures coalesce into one overarching story of con men, monsters, ingenious detection, pirates, and the King of Cats. A wry humor leavens this fantastical concoction, and the style is as rich and textured as one would hope for from Chappell, a distinguished poet as well as a World Fantasy Award–winning author.


Thief of Shadows

“You know who I am?”

“Sir, I do,” I said. “You are Master Astolfo. Everyone knows.”

“You know then something of my station?”

I had to think quickly. An ill-chosen...

Praise for A Shadow All of Light

“Sword and sorcery with Shakepearian panache.” —World Magazine

“If Bill Shakespeare and Jack Vance got together to write a fantasy novel about a young man training to be a stealer of shadows, A Shadow All of Light might well be the result. This is high-concept fantasy, magnificently executed, with many a deftly turned phrase to linger over and recall at leisure.” —Matthew Hughes, author of the Luff Imbry series

“The humor, inventiveness and suspense are top-notch, and the concept is as sly as Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire.” —Asheville Citizen-Times

“Chappell has a deft touch for comedy and for capers, and his witty, elegant prose shows a poet’s deep love for words.” —Publishers Weekly


Reviews from Goodreads

Fred Chappell

FRED CHAPPELL is an author, poet, and a former professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has written the short story collection Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You, and the novel Dagon. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997-2002. His literary awards include the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers, the Bollingen Prize, and the T. S. Eliot Prize.

image of Fred Chappello
Jan Hensley

Fred Chappell

Tor Books

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