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Tournament of Shadows [Kindle Edition]

S.A. Meade

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Product Description

Product Description

Tournament of Shadows by S.A. Meade

In a shadowy game where defeat can mean death, a deal with the enemy can change things forever.

In 1842, Captain Gabriel O'Riordan of the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars is sent on a mission to Bukhara. His task—to try to free two of his compatriots from the clutches of a mentally unstable Emir. On his way, he encounters Valentin Yakolev, an officer in the Russian Army, who is also on a mission—to persuade the Emir that an alliance with Russia would be in his best interests. Gabriel, disguised as a holy man, is not happy to be the object of Yakolev's intense scrutiny. After all, he's working for the opposing team in the Great Game being played between their two nations. When Gabriel realises that his mission is little more than a forlorn hope, a game he has no chance of winning, he's desperate enough to turn to Valentin to help and offer him anything in return. What he doesn't expect is to have his plans to return to Calcutta scuppered by events.

Instead, he and Valentin flee north, fighting off bandits, their desire for each other and the hardship of desert travel. Their travails bring them closer together until a secret from Valentin's past tears them apart.

Can they set the past behind them and move on together?

S.A. Meade

About the Author:

S.A. Meade has recently returned to England after 8 years in Arizona, where she learned to love air conditioners and realised that rain wasn't such a bad thing after all. She lives with her husband, son and two cats in one of the most beautiful villages in Wiltshire and is partial to gin and tonic with loads of ice and lemon.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3224 KB
  • Print Length: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing (20 March 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J5L08XE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #647,285 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really recommended. Seriously gorgeous. 30 March 2014
By RJ Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Captain Gabriel O’Riordan and Valentin Yakolev meet in very unexpected circumstances with one offering his body to the other in return of a favour. Neither is who they first appear to be. Think undercover and stealthy, think sacrificing self for others, think hero...

Secrets, journeys, danger, misunderstanding, love, and some incredibly beautiful love scenes make this a seriously cool book. This is *historical fiction* but if you don't normally read that sub genre of MM don't be put off. This is a timeless love story with a perfect HEA and if it means anything to anyone reading this I seriously just sat and read the whole book in one sitting.

The writing is utterly gorgeous... SA has a lyrical way of writing that just transports me to the scene. I even got tired of the heroes having to eat rice... ROFL
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review by JosieGoodreads 7 September 2015
By PrismBookAlliance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
5 out of 5 Stars
For original review, see the Prism Book Alliance® blog online.

In Tournament of Shadows S.A Meade has taken a real life historic event, the imprisonment and execution of two British Army Officers in 1842 by the Emir of Bukhura (now known as Uzbekistan), and weaved their tragic fate into a haunting tale of spies, deception and suspense.

Captain Gabriel O’Riordan is sent to Bukhura by his superiors in a clandestine last ditch attempt to rescue the doomed officers. Disguised as a holy man Gabriel encounters the enigmatic Russian officer Valentin Yakolev when he stops for food and to rest his lame horse. Valentin is also on his way to Bukhura, to present letters to the Emir from his Russian masters. From the moment the two men meet an attraction sparks between them. Valentin can see that Gabriel is not what he appears to be but it’s not until they reach Bukhura and Gabriel learns of hopelessness of his task that he turns to Valentin for help, exposing who he is in the process.

Gabriel offers himself to Valentin if the Russian will plead the officer’s case. Valentin agrees and collects his fee from Gabriel, but his plea to the Emir falls on deaf ears and the officers are publicly executed in front of the infamous Ark Fortress. Gabriel and Valentin meet up one more time before Gabriel makes plans to resign his commission and leave Bukhara to start the long journey home, but before he leaves Valentin is cast into the dreaded Bug Pit within the walls of the Ark.

Can Gabriel get Valentin out of the Pit and the Emir’s clutches?

One thing Gabriel is sure of, he won’t walk away and leave Valentin to the mercy of the Emir, not while he still breathes. With the execution of the officers fresh in his mind Gabriel works out a plan to free Valentin, but just as it seems escape is within their grasp Gabriel learns Valentin is also not what he seems.

It’s no secret I adore historical MM fiction, but when that fiction is weaved so beautifully and seamlessly into real life events the history comes alive. Bukhura is nestled deep inside Asia, landlocked on all sides; it is a desert land, a mystical land, full of dust and crushing heat.

Gabriel is a dedicated but jaded young man, ill used by the country he loves he knows he’s on a lost cause, all he longs for is his home back in Ireland, to feel the rain and silence. From the moment they meet Valentin stirs something in Gabriel that he hasn’t felt in a long time, and it’s not just desire, it’s a longing for more, for a connection with a like-minded soul, and before he really understands what it means Gabriel is in love with Valentin. Gabriel is also hiding from his memories of Kabul, from the deaths of his friends and the needless slaughter. When he finds out Valentin was there I felt his shock, betrayal and his anger.

Valentin is less transparent. He is self-assured, confident, strong and determined, a man used to getting what he wants, at least he is before his imprisonment in the Pit, afterwards he is lost and scared, unsure and frightened to be alone, he needs Gabriel, needs his strength to get home, and to live again. S.A. Meade’s writing is lovely; it’s expressive and descriptive, so much so that I felt I was there with Valentin and Gabriel. I saw what they saw, felt what they felt, the joy, the terror, the despair and the anguish.

Tournament of Shadows is everything I wanted and more, the suspense never lets up. From the tension of Bukhura, to the snows of Moscow, it lived up to its promise. I can’t recommend it enough. For lovers of historical fiction it’s not to be missed.

Oh and one final thing, ignore the warning, the beheading scene is no more detailed than you’d read on Wikipedia and I really don’t want the warning to anyone off.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping, Sensual, Vibrant, Tender. Beautiful. 30 June 2014
By C. Percer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
S.A. Meade, hands down, is one of my favorite authors. Period. So rarely do I see such agonizingly beautiful prose that just isn't elegant but is also flawless in its delivery.

"Tournament of Shadows" was like losing myself an epic cinematic gem on the screen. Big, bold, vivid color, such gorgeous description of everything from the dry, parched desert to the fluttering of a bird from a roof. The sights, smells, sounds. To read this novel---or any novel by Ms. Meade for that matter---is an adventure.

The characters. HER characters! They are all so memorable. And...oh, gods...Gabriel O'Riordan and Valentin Yakolev were certainly no exceptions! Their physical characteristics so perfectly described. Their emotional bond so beautifully painted. They hurt, I hurt. They smiled, I smiled. Their intimacy was sublime, and that is one of the aspects I love so about Ms. Meade's writing. The intimacy between her characters is so base and needful yet so gentle and feather soft. And SO extremely sensual and arousing.

This story---a tale of to men on very opposite sides of a war---kept me on the edge of my seat. The sense of a dark secret, one that could so easily shatter the delicate bond the men had developed, kept me turning the pages. And I never say that lightly about a book, never say it just to be saying it. I truly did read though quickly because I simply could not put it down.

A lush, deep, romantic mix of Dr. Zhivago-like beauty on the Russian landscape; the glorious beauty of a scorching desert with the drama of 'The English Patient' and Meade's sense of swaggering humor to throw in a bit of gallantry like 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

Sweeping. Sensual. Vibrant. Tender. Prose that is out of this world exquisite.

That is 'Tournament of Shadows'.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a perfect blend of history 8 February 2015
By padme35 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
WOW! I found this book to be completely mesmerizing. As I've said before, I've always been a history buff and as most people usually have, I have certain areas that are of interest to me over others. I can safely say that the time frame and area that is touched upon in Tournament of Shadows has never really piqued my interest. Most of my knowledge from this area comes from Hollywood and we all know how accurate they aren't. So I went into this book not sure how I would feel. I was so pleasantly surprised. It's a perfect blend of history, well written characters, serious plot development and light-hearted dialogue. You can almost taste the desert sand during Gabriel and Valentin's trek both to and out of Bukhara. Some might say it's cliche to have enemies become friends, lovers, and have to rely on each other to survive, and I guess in that description it is cliche. But it most definitely does not read as cliche, it's anything but that. What they find together is pretty much what we all want but will it be enough to overcome who they are? I guess you'll have to check it out for yourself, which I highly recommend doing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention 5 October 2015
By Elisa - Published on Amazon.com
S.A. Meade has brought this period in time to life, it made me feel like I was right there with Gabriel and Valentin throughout their journey. Both characters were intriguing and memorable. Their story of falling in love was beautiful and sensual. The suspense kept me turning the pages. It had everything I wanted in a historical romance and more!

What did I even read here? This isn’t your typical Western European-centric historical novel. This throws you right into the action, into a situation where you have to pay attention to your surroundings, where you have to follow the path of our hero as carefully as he follows it himself, and the wonderful thing is it’s so easy to. The protagonists are intriguing, the setting is compelling and the quest, such as it is, keeps you hooked. This is a fantastic novel that deserves to be appreciated for the effort, the elegance and the sheer craftsmanship that went into it.

Seemingly impossible love story and yet there it is: Irish captain and an officer of Russian army in Bukhara... Ii kept me at the edge the whole time.

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