Snakecharm (The Kiesha'ra Series #2)

( 130 )

Overview

ZANE COBRIANA, COBRA shapeshifter, thanks the gods every day for Danica, his hawk pair bond, and the peace their union has brought to the avian and serpiente. Soon, Danica will have a child to carry on their royal line. But what should be a happy time is riddled with doubt.

Syfka, an ancient falcon, has arrived from Ahnmik claiming that one of her people is hidden in their midst. The falcons are more powerful than the avians and serpiente combined, and Syfka shows nothing but ...

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Snakecharm (The Kiesha'ra Series #2)

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Overview

ZANE COBRIANA, COBRA shapeshifter, thanks the gods every day for Danica, his hawk pair bond, and the peace their union has brought to the avian and serpiente. Soon, Danica will have a child to carry on their royal line. But what should be a happy time is riddled with doubt.

Syfka, an ancient falcon, has arrived from Ahnmik claiming that one of her people is hidden in their midst. The falcons are more powerful than the avians and serpiente combined, and Syfka shows nothing but contempt for Zane and Danica’s alliance. To Zane’s horror, his own people seem just as appalled as Syfka is by the thought of a mixed-blood child becoming heir to the throne. Is Syfka’s lost falcon just a ruse to stir up controversy among them? The truth lies somewhere in their tangled pasts—and the search will redefine Zane and Danica’s fragile future.

Praise for Hawksong:

“Atwater-Rhodes has created a stunning adventure that draws readers in and leaves them begging for more.”—School Library Journal, Starred

“Atwater-Rhodes takes a break from vampires to create two warring clans . . . [with] impressively complex cultures.”—Publishers Weekly

A VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List selection

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes follows up Hawksong with Snakecharm, continuing the story of the avian and serpiente clans. In this sequel, Danica is carrying Zane's child and they struggle with the resultant tensions regarding their child's mixed bloodline. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
People who are shapeshifters—the Serpents and Hawks of this tale—have always been bitter enemies. Wars have killed hundreds of citizens as well as soldiers; it seems that the hatred will never die. But now Zane, the white cobra who is the heir to the Serpiente throne, has fallen in love with Danica, the Hawk princess. They are actually married, to the dismay of the more conservative members of both households, and are expecting a child. Eventually it is suggested that Avians and Serpientes might manage to live in peace not uneasily, as they do now, but "coexisting in one land where they weren't afraid of each other." But a lot must happen before that dream can come true. Atwater-Rhodes has invented a complete land with its own languages, rituals, politics, and religions. The characters are consistently three-dimensional and interesting. This is Volume Two, and it tends to get rather confusing. I would really like to know more about what happened earlier. The prologue claims to tell the history, but were there really shapeshifters in Egypt before the Great Pyramids were built? Imaginative and clever. Recommended for fans of the genre. 2004, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Ages 12 up.
—Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-In this sequel to Hawksong (Delacorte, 2003), in which the characters switch between human and animal form, the war between the snake and bird peoples is over. Zane Cobriana, Diente of the serpiente, and Danica Shardae, Tuuli Thea of the avians, have brought peace with their marriage. Now they divide their time between their countries, encouraging their citizens to coexist and learn more about one another. Difficulties arise when a dangerous emissary comes from the falcons seeking a fugitive hidden in one of their courts. To complicate matters, Danica is pregnant and each domain wants the future heir to be raised in its own tradition. While Hawksong was told by Danica, Snakecharm features Zane's voice. The story is compelling, but the narration is oddly detached. Zane describes his feelings, but the text seems flat, almost as if he is speaking about someone else. This disconnect doesn't hamper the action, however. While some plot elements, like the eventual solution of building a third court between the two lands, are easily guessed, others are unexpected, and there is enough suspense to keep readers interested. This book is a must-have for libraries with fans of Hawksong. Others seeking out shapeshifter stories may want to investigate Patrice Kindl's Owl in Love (Houghton, 1993).-Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This sequel to Hawksong (2003) lacks its predecessor's romance. Zane Cobriana has married hawk shapeshifter Danica, who's now pregnant. His joy is tempered by worry: will the hawks and serpiente accept their half-breed child as ruler? Danica's ill from her pregnancy with a cold-blooded cobra child. Worse, the powerful, snooty falcons threaten both kingdoms-they're inexplicably related to the snakes but not to other birds. When ancient Syfka arrives, she demands the return of a falcon fugitive. It seems that disguised falcons, fleeing the wrath of their despotic government, are hiding throughout the hawk lands. Danica's erstwhile lover is the runaway son of Syfka herself. As Zane battles improbable plot twists to rescue his people from diplomatic awkwardness, he finds a solution to hawk/serpiente racism: he forms a progressive colony for those who have no objections to mingling. Danica fades conveniently into the background, along with the question of what a half-hawk/half-cobra baby actually is. Mawkish goth characterization and improbable magic; for Atwater-Rhodes fans only. (Fantasy. 13-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440238041
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/13/2006
  • Series: Kiesha'ra Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 298,561
  • Age range: 12 - 16 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.67 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. She has since published Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator—all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults—and Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

A Flicker of shadow against the sun made everyone in the serpiente market pause in their business and look to the sky. The fluttering of wings and the sight of a diving sparrow chilled me.

Erica Silvermead, the sparrow who now shifted into her human form in front of me, had been guarding the front door of the palace. Her presence here meant that our dangerous visitor had arrived.

Politely excusing myself from the merchant I had been speaking with, I followed Erica into the palace.

Once we were alone, she confirmed my assumption. "Syfka, speaker for Empress Cjarsa, is at the gate. She has requested an audience with you and your pair bond."

I would have liked nothing more than to order the guard and the Royal Flight to ban Syfka from our lands, but insulting the falcons would be suicide. While the serpiente retained only ancient dances and half-remembered stories from the days of Maeve's coven, the falcons' powers were still strong. Their royal house supposedly consisted of the four falcons who had once practiced among the Dasi, kept alive by a combination of Ahnmik's and Leben's magics.

If the legend was true, Syfka was one of those four and, as such, a creature whose might was too great to fathom. Even if it was false, Syfka represented an empire we could not risk slighting.

I nodded reluctantly, taking a detour to find my mate.

We caught Danica just as she was leaving the synkal, where her lessons were held. She was languid from exhaustion, but she smiled upon seeing me, and my heart warmed just from the sight of her golden hawk eyes lighting up. Then she saw my worried gaze, and her expression suddenly mirrored my own.

"Syfka is here?" she asked.

"At the gate."

Danica shuddered, but joined Erica and me on our hasty walk toward the entryway. "Syfka was never an enemy of my people during the war, but she made it clear that falcons held no respect for avians no matter how similar our second forms may seem. Whatever she is here for now, I suggest we deal with it quickly."

"We're in agreement, then."

Ailbhe, the head of the palace guard, was waiting with our visitor by the doorway. The white viper stood at strict attention, tension wavering in the air around his silent form, his gaze fixed not quite on the falcon, but never moving far from her.

Syfka radiated an aura of heat that rivaled even Danica's constant warmth. Her hair was pale gold, and in the front it faded to silver; her eyes were crystalline blue, set in milk-pale skin. Wings rose from her shoulders and cascaded down her back, with the golden undersides and brown, gray and black markings of an aplomado falcon.

She was stunning, and like all falcons, she had a magnetic air that could draw mortals to her like moths to fire--ultimately to meet with the same demise, if they dared offend her. Right now she was standing formally with her left hand clasping her right wrist behind her back. It was the respectful pose of a soldier, but Syfka's expression told me clearly that the respect was not for me.

As her eyes met mine, it was easy to believe this creature was as ancient as myth. She gave a nod that might have served as a bow, if it had been accompanied by anything other than obvious disdain. "Zane Cobriana, Danica Shardae, I appreciate that you are prompt. I am looking for one of our people, who I have reason to believe is in this area."

"A falcon?" I could not help frowning. "Not among the serpiente. Danica?"

My mate's expression remained calm, though I knew her well enough to feel her agitation and anxiety building. "You are the only falcon who has visited our lands in the last decade," she answered.

Syfka looked amused. "The falcon could have altered its form, its coloring," she explained, her voice patient, as if she was speaking to a young child. "I hesitate even to offer a gender, as that could feasibly be hidden, too. Unless you'd seen the person's falcon form, there would be no way to know."

"Then why ask us?" I replied, irritated by her patronizing tone only barely more than by her request. I struggled to keep my voice from revealing my annoyance. "If there's no way for us to tell whether someone is a falcon, how can we help you search?"

Syfka nodded toward Danica. "Though it seemed unlikely, I thought the criminal might have asked for asylum from the Tuuli Thea, since some on the island know of our past alliance with the avian people."

"May I ask what he or she has done?" Danica inquired.

"That is not your concern." Syfka's words were brisk.

I might have argued, had I thought the falcon was someone I knew, but I doubted that was the case. Someone trying to hide was unlikely to befriend the king of the land.

Danica also held back any protests she had. If we discovered the so-called criminal, we might dispute Syfka's words, but for now we might as well work with her.

Danica echoed my thoughts. "So many people pass through the court every day that a newcomer could remain unnoticed for some time unless he introduced himself to the Tuuli Thea. I can, however, see if my guards have noticed anything unusual."

"I will speak with the serpiente," I added. "If there are any newcomers in these lands, the dancers at least will know of them." While the Cobriana were the heart of the serpiente, the dancers were its blood; nothing went on in the royal house, the market or the most distant serpiente lands that the dancers did not know about eventually.

Syfka nodded curtly. "See that you do. I want this done quickly, so I can leave this equakeiel." The last word was in the old Dasi language, spoken in falcon lands, of which I knew a little. Syfka's description of our lands was not flattering.

"If you are so displeased to be here," I suggested delicately, "you are welcome to leave and let us conduct this search on our own."

"You would never recognize a hidden falcon without my assistance. Your kind is as blind to Ahnmik's magic as a worm is to the sun." I heard her add under her breath, "You notice it only when it scalds you."

Abruptly she returned to falcon form and took to the sky.

I will return shortly to see to your progress.

The words whispered through my mind like a line of lyrics heard even after a song has ended. I had no doubt they came from Syfka, and the sense of her even so briefly inside my mind left an unpleasant chill.

Beside me, Danica went pale, her body swaying. I moved closer, and she caught my arm, drawing in a slow breath as she closed her eyes.

"Are you all right?"

"I'm fine," she answered. "I was just a little dizzy for a moment." Danica shook her head as if to clear it. "I spent most of this morning practicing with A'isha; perhaps I overtaxed myself."

I glanced from Danica to her guard; Erica looked as worried as I felt. Then again, the sparrow's whole frame had already been taut as a wire. Facing a falcon, against whom all her fighting prowess would not let her win, had left her visibly tense.

Syfka had asked for our help, even though she had dismissed our ability to give any. Harming us now would be sabotaging herself. Wouldn't it?

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 130 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(78)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 130 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2008

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    I Also Recommend:

    A great sequel

    As great as the first book, Snakecharm doesn't disappoint. I love how it picks up perfectly from the end of the first book and I love the change of perspectives. Atwater-Rhodes writes beautifully for such a young writer and I love the description of the shapeshifters. Definitely a great story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Really good sequel. Prefer reading about Danica and Zane to be h

    Really good sequel. Prefer reading about Danica and Zane to be honest. The other books while good were just okay to so so. Still like the author's books of course. Writing being good.

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  • Posted June 2, 2012

    I absolutely love this author. All of her books that I've read s

    I absolutely love this author. All of her books that I've read so far have been "gripping" and I couldn't put them down, minus this one. I adored Hawksong. I read it for the first time in 7th grade and then read it three more times in high school, that's how much I loved it. However, I tried my hardest to get through Snakecharm, and I just could not. After several attempts, I found myself shooing the book away after the first 4 chapters or so. I couldn't finish it to save my life. I think the romance between rivaling families, much like Romeo and Juliet, is what satisfied me in Hawksong. But from what I've read in Snakecharm, the romance didn't die out slowly, it completely dropped dead. I wouldn't say this book is poor, as I'm sure many people out there that can do without the romance will like it very much. But in my opinion, the romance was what made it a beautiful fantasy story. I was very very very disappointed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    I loved it also!!!!!!!!!

    Danica and zane can do it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    OK-ish

    I loved the plot but the romance was gone

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Ugh my love!!

    God its so hard that i have this wrenching feeling that i cant continue the series that i love so much!!! It my favorite book in the world i enjoyed every page that brought the tears and laughter.. unfourtantly i cant buy the book:( god it kills me but i love this book so much. Dianca and zane a match made in heaven never expected them to fall in love. Thought there would be a plt to kill her which there was but it didnt turn out the way i excepted it to.. hopefully bialm purchese it in the future and the best of luck to me soooo dont spoil it!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Kiesha'ra Series continues in Snakecharm

    Follow Danica Shardae and Zane Cobriana as they continue to strive for the peace of the Avian and Serpiente societies. After years of war they have found a tenuous stop to the bitter war that has plagued their lives. Their future faces challenges from different angles. The Falcons with their mysterious magic and knowledge of the past, the future of their own unborn child, and the struggle for peace between polar opposite ideals.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as good as the first one but i still loved it

    Snakecharm is book number two in the series and it is almost as good as the first book. There isn¿t as much romance as in the first book :( but I still couldn¿t put the book down. This book is more about the struggles of the kingdom and not as much about the characters, but you do learn more about the more unimportant characters. Read the book and you can find out more

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Disappointing

    After reading Hawksong, I was so excited to read the sequals. This book was not what I was expecting at all. The romance was gone. The plot became confusing, more in the next books than in this one. I realize that others may find this book wonderful, but in my opinion Hawksong should have been left as a single book. The last book does fix things a bit, but I was still left unsatisfied.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    Doesn't fail to impress

    Once again, Atwater-Rhodes takes a new chance at her writing skills. This one is from Zane's POV, and it pays off for most of it. I wish his personality could be slightly explored, but still a great sequel that will bring more exciting stories!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    Before I read this one I was Picturing more of the romance and conflict I got from Hawksong, But what i got was not this, it was of course a good book, and i liked from Zanes point of veiw, but were is the romance????? all her other books have it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2007

    A sequel worthy of recognition....and a Review!

    Better than Hawksong in some ways and in some ways not. The book isn't very long 'Hawksong was longer and to me it still wasn't long enough' and I wish it had a couple of more fight scenes. Other than that the poltical, romantic, and comedic intrigue kept me glued to my swivel chair. Trust me after sitting in it for hours on end my butt really began to hurt, however, I was that interested in this novel. Although I'd have preferred for the story to be from Danica's perspective I loved being witness to all the smart mouthed comments floating around in Zane's head. He's hilarious!. The character's are still as fun as ever but I want to explore Amelia's world more. The book was great there just should have been more of it. Oh well, that's why it's a series. If my input helps then good, I advise you to get this book and give it a go- it will surprise you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    Snakecharm Kiesha'ra bk.2

    I have read all of her previous books, and I must say they are all wonderful, but this one was a bit lower than I would have expected form her. It was still a very good book and I'm glad I read it. From Zanes point of view we find out Danica is with child, and it should be a happy time for everyone, but the falcons seem intent on ruining it. Syfka, a powerful falcon, comes looking for an importent character, bringing trouble with her. Some of the people in this book turn out not being the people everyone thought they were. This book also explains a bit of the connection between the avian, serpiente, and falcon realms.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    this book is so great! i read it in just over a day because i coudn't bring myself to put it down for a second! unlike hawksong this book is from Zane's point of veiw. it took me by surprise at first but then it captured me and didn't let go. so much happens in this book that i don't now how anyone would be able to put it down after they started! first we find out Danica is pregnant, then that they have a run-away falcon in their land and, well, a lot more but i would give away the book if i told you! i will tell you this though, in this book, theres a surprise around every corner! i hope this book is as good to you as it was to me! happy reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    A reviewer

    This book is just as good as the first one! Snakecharm is another great book! There are lots of suprising twist just like this first book! In the first one you had Serpents and Avins now in this book you are adding Falcons, too! Lost of things change and no ones life will ever be the same again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2007

    EW.

    This writer dissapoints me. Her first book was good, but the rest were terrible. This one has to be one of the worst. The first thing that annoyed me was the RIDICULOUS names. I tried to pronounce them and ended up just giving up. The characters were completely fake and the dialogue was horrid. This book is not well written and is EXACLY like ALL her other books. My advice : dont buy it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2006

    Snakecharm was another great installment

    This was another really good book. There was also some shocking secrets revealed, glad that Danica and the baby are oky, but thats sad how she'll only have one. Glad that Anderois found someone to love. This was such a good book, I always end up re-reading all the Hawksong series over and over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2006

    Snakecharm vol. 2

    Continuing after Hawksong, Zane has proved himself to Danica's clan and thus both families have agreed to work together including the news that Danica and Zane are expecting their first child. Both clans begin to question the heir to both kingdoms and if it should be wise for their society. The first tells from Danica's point of view whereas this tells from Zane's point of view and I thought this one seemed a bit short than the first, but still liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    In Snakecharm's defense....

    I thought I ought to stick up for this book a little, after reading the Falcondance reviews...while I admit Snakecharm does have its flaws, I found the uneasy merging of the avian and serpiente cultures fascinating, quite worth the read. It was also cool to see how Zane and Danica have progressed in their relationship, and to hear things told from Zane's point of view (if I remember correctly, this is the first published Atwater-Rhodes book with a male narrator). Danica's character seems to have diminished slightly, but she was so disturbingly dominant in the previous book that I don't mind the change. Anyway, this book isn't as interesting romance-wise, but I really liked how the author wrote about the attempt to get two vastly different cultures to peacefully coexist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    A bit of a dissapointment.

    Overall I liked Snakecharm, mainly because in Hawksong I was more interested in the serpiente race rather then the avains. It was nice to here from Zane's POV. In the end of hawsong, and throughout snakecharm, Danica is always fainted or getting injured, and I found that rather annoying when Zane reamained for the most part, unscathed. I hope that Falcondance will be better.

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