When Shadows Grow Tall

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Book 1 of The Cycles of Night
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Pub Date Aug 01 2024 | Archive Date Jul 31 2024
Collective Ink Books | Roundfire Books

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Description

From author Maressa Voss comes the highly anticipated debut, the beginning of the epic quest for truth and magical equity in the Grasp. For fans of Alix E. Harrow and Patrick Rothfuss.

When truth becomes a weapon, who shall wield it?

In the Grasp, a realm on the threshold of enlightenment, the dactyli guard the fading embers of their ancient brotherhood, dedicated to the pursuit of absolute truth. Lovelace and Gunnar, two of the order's last rangers, find themselves on the precipice of a changing world. When the order faces a fatal threat from within, Lovelace and Gunnar embark on a dangerous ranging where they discover more than the welfare of the order is at stake: a rogue dactyli named Alev amasses an army of those he calls the Burned Ones, mercenaries wielding elemental forces. Lovelace and Gunnar are forced to grapple with the unimaginable implications.

Meanwhile, the Grasp languishes under the oppressive rule of Osbert, who exploits the recent advent of the printing press to smoor the fires of budding enlightenment. A young woman named Kylene undertakes a journey to find her missing father, a prominent printer wanted for sedition. Her path leads her to the kapnobatai, a mysterious group of outcasts with whom Kylene takes up refuge and the mantle of her father’s fight for freedom.

In the mountains of Droch Fhortan, Lovelace and Gunnar encounter a feral young woman, Cora. Her mere existence uproots an age-old belief and puts to ground a new truth: magic can be awakened, magic can be taught. As their paths intertwine, a shared purpose emerges—to expose Osbert's tyranny, thwart Alev's dangerous plot, and rekindle the flame of enlightenment. So begins the battle for the minds of the Graspish people, and a quest for the heart of magic itself.

From author Maressa Voss comes the highly anticipated debut, the beginning of the epic quest for truth and magical equity in the Grasp. For fans of Alix E. Harrow and Patrick Rothfuss.

When truth...


Advance Praise

Showing a confident grasp of character and stunning worldbuilding, Maressa Voss’ debut fantasy novel, When Shadows Grow Tall, shows us not only a society beset by evil, but gathers the company who must fight for truth and thus vanquish it. It’s both a tender coming of age and a stirring call to arms, with a wonderfully deft weaving of magic and nature. Highly recommended.

Julie E. Czerneda, author of DAW Books’s the Night’s Edge series

Unlikely heroes abound in Voss’ fantasy novel of magic ... Readers will be swept into an unusual landscape that’s engagingly similar to our own in some ways; in this world, nature has been stripped of its resources and corruption has silenced dissent, though it’s not too late for compassion to prevail. As the story, which features vivid descriptions and intricate history, weaves in elements of mystery, readers will wonder whom the heroes can trust; along the way, they’ll enjoy scenes of fast-paced action and dangerous magic ... the work contains great beauty and a sense of hope, and readers will likely be excited for a sequel. A fun adventure that will keep readers engaged.

Kirkus Reviews

Showing a confident grasp of character and stunning worldbuilding, Maressa Voss’ debut fantasy novel, When Shadows Grow Tall, shows us not only a society beset by evil, but gathers the company who...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781803415178
PRICE $19.99 (USD)
PAGES 344

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Average rating from 52 members


Featured Reviews

Review: This was well written, fast paced, and had excellent character development. The world building is great and has a myriad of quests from which to entertain. Kylene is fun to follow around the landscape, never failing to entertain with her sharp wit. The magic is elemental, subtle and believable. The antagonist is perfectly cruel and without humor.

I am not sure if this is an authorial debut or not. If it is, just wow. The writing is expansive with intricate scene descriptions that allow the reader to visualize at great depth.

This author is and will be a force in the genre. Really well done.

Rating: 4.8/5

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I requested this ARC almost before I finished reading the synopsis.

It did not disappoint. It exceeded my expectations!

When you review on NetGalley, you will find both books by more established authors and books by debut authors. There’s only so much you can glean from a plot summary…you just have to take a leap of faith and hope the story is as good as it sounds.

Folks, I’ve been burned before. I’ve had to slog through some not-so-good debuts. This, however, is not one of those disappointments. It exceeded my expectations! I’m so happy when I take a chance on an unknown author and it pans out! I’m thrilled with this book.

The worldbuilding is excellent, and Maressa Voss paints pictures with words. You are transported to the Grasp, with all of its various peoples and climes. You will feel fear and exhaustion with Kylene, as she embarks on an arduous journey. You will learn about the dactyli, and travel along with Lovelace and Gunnar on a quest that has long been foretold. The magic system is intriguing and well-thought-out.

This starts with a bang. That opening scene is absolutely gut wrenching. I don’t have the words to adequately express my emotions upon reading it. Just…go get this book when it comes out on August 1st.

When Shadows Grow Tall is an amazing debut, and Voss is one to watch. I can’t wait to read her next book!

Thank you to NetGalley, Collective Ink Books, Roundfire Books and Maressa Voss for gifting me this wonderful ARC. All opinions are my own.

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If you want to read a great fantasy, with all the hallmarks of an epic, that also has some wonderful world-building then this is the book for you.

In a land known as the Grasp, ruled by a tyrant known as Osbert, who keeps his people under strict laws that suppress their freedoms and their knowledge. In this land, a young woman, Kylene, won't stand for half and hidden truths, she wants to know everything. She is forced from her village and goes on a perilous journey that shakes the very fabric of who she is. There are also the dactyli, elemental magic users who guard the histories of the world. Lovelace and Gunnar are part of the order, on the search for others of their kind to be raised in the order. They are fighting evil forces who are killing the young boys they have been sent to find until they are sent on the most important mission of their lives. They are to find the White Flame.

The world-building in this book was amazing, with depth and realism that brings you into the story. I did not truly get on with the author's style of writing, but that was just me, and it did not take away from the story unfolding before me. A must-read for fantasy lovers.

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