Thursday, August 12, 2010
The kingdom of Bariwon in at a crossroads. Ever since Eliana was born, she had been primed to become the kingdom's leader. But she is not to rule Bariwon alone. A contest of sorts, called the Shaginoc, is to be held when Eliana turns twenty one. The victor gains the right to marry Eliana and become king of Bariwon. Rumor has it that the favorite to win the Shaginoc is Daimh, son of malevolent Govenor Abrecan. However, Eliana has fallen in love with her personal guardian, Rinan. She is torn between renouncing her title to be with the man she loves or marrying to keep the kingdom out of the hands of those who rule it unjustly. A plan is hatched to keep her in power while allowing her to marry Rinan, but little does she know the impact this deception will have on everyone in Bariwon for years to come.
I read this book on the long road trip to a family reunion, and all along the way, I was giving a commentary of what was going on in the book. My sister delights in asking me every few minutes, "Have they died yet?" whenever I'm reading a book, and this time I could answer truthfully every time she asked, "Yes, someone has, actually." It made her day, I'm sure.
I am a big fan of unique names, so seeing so many of them in this book excited me. Not only were the names unique, however, but the characters themselves all had unique and well defined personalities. You could easily fall in love with the characters, even several of the evil ones, which made it even more devastating when several characters were unexpectedly killed off.
The plot was always twisting and turning, making certain events very unexpected. I often cried out in protest or surprise while reading it, because of something that had happened with no previous foreshadowing to lead up to the event. There was also a certain level of predictability, but not too much. I certainly wanted to keep reading to see what might happen next.
The first line of the book, "The sun's playing hide and seek," ties the whole story together in a way so that all the characters introduced halfway through the book, and the periods and time that the story skips all make sense and fit right into the plot of the story.
One thing that distracted me while reading the book, was all the little mistakes. A word misused or a grammar mistake here or there. Still, these mistakes weren't so noticeable as to completely draw you out of the story. I just took note and kept reading.
This novel's mix of fantasy and romance drew me in and kept me in and I can't wait for the next book to come out.
J. Lloyd Morgan's site is