The Gratitude of Kings

The Gratitude of Kings

by Marion Zimmer Bradley
     
 

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In a year very long ago, a mysterious, lute-playing magician named Lythande is summoned to the wedding of an old friend, Prince Tashgan, at the castle of Tschardain. To the world, Lythande appears to be a powerful young wizard. In truth, she is a centuries-old magician masquerading as a man in order to hold on to her special powers. If anyone were to discover her true…  See more details below

Overview

In a year very long ago, a mysterious, lute-playing magician named Lythande is summoned to the wedding of an old friend, Prince Tashgan, at the castle of Tschardain. To the world, Lythande appears to be a powerful young wizard. In truth, she is a centuries-old magician masquerading as a man in order to hold on to her special powers. If anyone were to discover her true identity, all would be lost. Yet from the moment she sees the handsome prince again - and meets Princess Velvet of Valantia, his promised bride - Lythande knows something is terribly wrong. And when Tashgan asks Lythande to be his champion at the marriage games, a warning of danger sounds deep in her soul. Soon Lythande is entangled in the intrigues of court, where shape-shifting creatures and black treachery challenge her own special powers. Within the wedding party itself is a cunning enemy dueling for the throne. And the lovely Princess Velvet conceals a secret that could shatter a delicate trust. Now, as the marriage games begin, a stunning revelation threatens Lythande's greatest secret and could expose love as the most clever of illusions. With the future of the kingdom at stake, Lythande must rely on a very different kind of magic ... a magic born of a friendship and faith stronger than any sorcery....

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Susan Dunn
Lythande, "mercenary magician and sometime minstrel," receives the summons to the kingdom of Tschardain with curiosity. It has been years since she has seen Lord Tashgan. The news that his father has died and he is to be ordained High King just three days before his wedding is entertaining. Lythande looks forward to seeing the king again, and to meeting the woman he is about to marry. However, immediately upon being introduced to Tashgan's bride-to-be, the beautiful Princess Velvet, Lythande senses that magic is afoot. Tashgan has sent for Lythande for more than just her lute playing. He wants Lythande to be his champion in the Marriage Games, which are a contest of skill. Lythande and her opponent, Princess Velvet's lady-in-waiting Lady Mirwen, will compete to see who can create the most fantastic and beautiful illusions while the wedding guests act as judges. Then Lythande discovers that Princess Velvet is not what she seems, although through no deception of her own. She has been enchanted by the devious Lady Mirwen so as to appear to have a perfect image. Tashgan has been completely fooled by the guise, as has the rest of the kingdom. Obviously Mirwen is up to no good, but what is she plotting? And how can Lythande stop her without revealing her treachery and possibly ruining the upcoming marriage ceremony? This is a simple little book (both in size and length) that packs a big punch. It can be easily read in one sitting, but the plot is complex enough to keep readers of more sophisticated fantasy interested. Lythande and some of the other characters have a history before this story takes place, which makes one feel they are reading a sequel, but there is no mention of such in the book nor on any of the Web sources about the author. Fantasy readers will enjoy this book, but those who do not generally like the genre will appreciate it, too. The only drawback is the book's small size-it is beautifully put together but will be lost among the taller novels in the stacks. This should not keep one from buying the book, but will make it harder to circulate. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451456410
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
12/01/1997
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 6.52(h) x 0.54(d)

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