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Posted April 14, 2005
The one thing I love the best about many of Tanya Huff's books (this one included) is that she puts no barrier on love. You simply love whom you love. The world she creates is somewhat typical, but far from boring. Her cities each have a unique feel to them, and you can tell she did a damned good job of planning out each culture that plays a role. <p> Best of all, and the reason this book took my highest mark, are the amazingly developed and never-endingly interesting characters. Tanya teases you with glimpses into each character's heads as she tosses the point of view around. She gives you enough to get a comfy feel for the characters and what makes her or him tick, but not so much that you loose a sense of wonder about what they'll do next. <p> My favorite was Aaron, the thief with a past. *sigh* He's so dreamy. Aaron is a pale, lithe thief from a distant land who has a death grip on his own emotions. When the one person (an old female gem cutter) in Ischia he begins to trust in passes away he vows to steal her most prized work off the royal staff and adorn her tomb with it or die trying. Little did he know that this would end him in the arms of Darvish, third in line to the throne of Ischia. <p> Prince Darvish is the spoiled son of a King, but he's third in line so he lives a life of no royal importance. Long ago he gave his life away to drinking and whoring, but when this beautiful thief lands on his balcony he begins to take a second look at how he's run his life. This introduces an interesting side story dealing with alcoholism and what happens when you go into withdrawal. We live day to day with Darvish has he battles cravings, madness, and fear all brought on by the lack of drink. For someone who reads tons of fantasy books I find it impressive that an author chose to tackle such a difficult topic. It was an original way to give the reader a nitty gritty look at a character's development. <p> Chandra was a beautiful and strong heroine to add to the group. I completely adored the love/friendship triangle that existed between these three characters. And, what I find truly amazing, is that Tanya did not give in to writing a standard story and pairing up the prince and his betrothed to become friends and then lovers. You know, the 'oh we hated each other's guts but now we love each other blah blah blah' line. Chandra wanted nothing to do with Prince Darvish from the get go as she has dedicated her life to wizardry and had no room for a relationship arranged or otherwise. But, at the end of the story when Chandra and Darvish have grown close to each other and do decide to marry, they only do it to solidify a truce between their countries. Chandra insists that Aaron come live with her and Darvish as she'd never dream of separating the two of them. No contrived love here! Chandra plays the part of mediator between Darvish who openly desires Aaron, and Aaron who can't quite come to terms with his feelings for Darvish. Her role is perfect. <p> The plot may have been a little easy: The Stone is the only thing holding the river of lava inside 'The Lady' (a local volcano in Ischia) at bay, oops the stone is stolen, go find it! But the characters and rich settings make the story an unforgettable read.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2013
I had fun reading this novel. Huff develops the characters well, and the story line is very interesting. Read it on a warm day, and it was just what I needed to wile away the hours.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2008
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