Sing the Four Quarters (Quarters Series #1)by Tanya Huff
Annice is a rare talent, able to Sing all four quarters, but her brother, the newly
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The Bards of Shkoder hold the country together. They, and the elemental spirits they Sing – earth, air, fire, and water - bring the news of the sea to the mountains, news of the mountains to the plains. They give their people, from peasant to king, a song in common.
Annice is a rare talent, able to Sing all four quarters, but her brother, the newly enthroned King Theron, sees her request to study at the Bardic Hall as a betrayal. To his surprise, Annice accepts his conditions, renouncing her royal blood and swearing to remain childless so as not to jeopardize the line of succession. She walks away from political responsibilities, royal privilege and her family.
Ten years later, Annice has become the Princess Bard and her real life is about to become the exact opposite of the overwrought ballad her fellow students at the Bardic Hall wrote about her. Now, she's on the run from the Royal Guards with the Duc of Ohrid, the father of her unborn child, both of them guilty of treason – one of them unjustly accused. To save the Duc's life, they'll have to cross the country, manage to keep from strangling each other, and defeat an enemy too damaged for even a Bard's song to reach.
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Meet the Author
Although she left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, Tanya Huff still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, nine cats, and two dogs, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic — an education she was happy to finally use while writing her Smoke novels. Of her previous novels, the five — Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt — featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular. In fact, these books are so popular that they became the basis for the TV series, Blood Ties.
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Annice was born knowing that she was meant to be something other than the Queen her family was raising her to be. When her father lay on his deathbed she asked for only one boon, and that was to be allowed to train and study with the bards. From this point on her life was lived divided from all that she had grown up with. Her family disowned her, and her brother put her under penalty of death if she ever bore a child. Annice has not only the power to call the kigh, ethereal spirits only visible to bards, but the power to call all four quarters of them: fire, earth, wind, and water. Though she is strongest in wind those kigh begin to shun and avoid her, and soon enough the cause of this odd behavior becomes apparent...she's with child. Not only does this child's birth spell out treason, but after a nasty turn of events the child's father is falsely brought up on charges of treason himself. Oh, what will they do? *g* While the tale of a princess turned commoner is, well, common, Tanya Huff has no problem weaving an engaging and suspenseful story within it's layers. Annice is the type of person I think everyone dreams to be. She's headstrong and has enough courage to do what she believes is right. And being a pregnant heroine can't be an easy job to tackle. Once again Huff earns my respect for creating a world in which gender doesn't matter. She seamlessly integrates women into the military and men into the kitchens. Never once does a character seem out of place, though I did have to pick my own brain a few times when a character she was describing turned out to be a gender opposite from what I was picturing. In this book love has no gender definition, and she doesn't try to explain why she simply tells a story. It's truly beautiful. I absolutely adore each character in this book, and that connection heightens my fear when they're in danger and my joy when they've succeeded. The kigh are an interesting take on what other fantasy books have always called faerie or even simply magic. I love the way the kigh intereact with the bards that call them. The whole magic/ kigh system is very intricate and easy to get lost in at first, but immersion is the best way to learn about something.
Very good pace, e njoyable reading. Looking forward to next book.
This book was interesting because it had a little different twist to the ordinary standard "fantasy" theme. The only thing that keeps me from giving it 5 stars is that it took me a while to be able to get into the fabricated world of the kigh.
This was the first Tanya Huff novel I ever read, and it is the one I've read the most as well. My copy is quite ragged looking from repeat reads. I believe it was the second time I read it that I finished it in one night. Since I read it, I have been on a crusade to find ALL of Tanya Huff's novels, and so far the others I have read have been just as wonderful. She is easily my favorite author. Anyway, to the story itself. This wonderful tale has so much religious signifigance to me, and at many times I found myself moved to tears, especially at the Winter ceremony (my favorite passage). The Kigh are so wonderfully represented, and I wish to all Gods that I could learn to call them as Annice and the other bards do. But, if you haven't read the story, you have no idea what I'm talking about, so pick it up anywhere you can and READ IT!!!!! I guarantee you will love the story and the author as well! Get thee to Barnes & Noble!
More grimn than anderson. since fantasy sci fi or kids books are of no interest have not bought lately this site just try a sample to see if it has possibilities for more than a fast read