Saturday, August 18, 2007

August Readings

Whew! This has been a hectic month what with turning in my lesson plans and trying to learn 180 names. Why would I ever need to turn to drugs when I can be paid to kill my brain cells? Alas, my reading list so far is quite slim - a mere 3 books. Here's the lowdown.

Fantasy: 3

Title: The Bone Doll's Twin (Book 1), Hidden Warrior (Book 2), The Oracle's Queen (Book 3)
Author: Lynn Flewelling
Rating: 4 out of 5

This sword-and-sworcery trilogy delivered vivid characters, a strong storyline, a sympathetic villain, and intriguing cultures. In the kingdom of Skala, it been has prophesied that the country shall never be conquered as long as a daughter of King Thelatimos reigns. Yet insanity has tainted the line of Thelatimos, allowing Erius, son of mad Queen Agnalain, to seize control of the crown. Out of a deep love, Erius has allowed his half-sister Ariani to live, yet he is less scrupulous about distant female cousins and nieces. He wants no woman to overthrow the succession of the crown to his son Korin. However, the Oracle foresees that Ariani will bear twins, one of whom is destined to be the warrior queen of Skala. To protect the future queen, the wizard Iya conspires to give the girl twin the form of her brother that she might grow up in safety. However, an unfortunate accident during the births transforms the boy into a vengeful spirit. Brother (boy twin) is a constant, hellish presence throughout Tobin's (girl twin) sheltered life. So too is Ariani, who goes mad after she realizes what has happened to her son. Erius, however, is none the wiser as to the switch that has been made.

The Bone Doll's Twin focuses on Tobin's isolated childhood and the startling revelations that unfold as her destiny is realized. The events in here are very sad, and it is a wonder that Tobin, though solemn, is not a morose or depressed child. I certainly would be if I had two murderous parents like Tobin! Though in Ariani's and Rhius's defense, their actions are justifiable and reasonable. Rhius sacrificed his son for the good of Skala (this isn't a spoiler, it's on the book jacket) and Ariani...well, I don't want to give away a major plotline.

Hidden Warrior takes place mainly at court where Tobin now serves as a Royal Companion to Korin. This middle book does not in any way suffer from ho-hum-ness like so many other trilogies. Book two centers upon Tobin's struggles to reconcile her hidden form with her life as a boy and her destiny as the true heir with her friendship with Korin. It also explores the reasons why Brother and Ariani are furious, violent ghosts.

The Oracle's Queen is perhaps the weakest in the series only because the author furiously attempts to wrap up all the loose ends, occasionally to an unsatisfactory conclusion. For example, one of the main villains is killed by a fall from a window. Yawn... I wanted to see him face off with Tobin or the wizard Iya. However, book three delivers for those who love battle scenes. In this novel, Tobin/Tamir must win her crown from Erius and Korin while simulataneously proving to the country that she truly is a woman and not a scrawny boy in a dress. She must also convince her best friend Ki to see the woman she has become and not just the boy he grew up with. Ah l'amor...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the reading list. I've been to bestseller recently and walked around the aisles for an hour looking for something to read. I left empty handed. I hope some of these books are in stock.

I don't have a g-mail account. sorry I'm posting anonymously