About the Author
Sharon Green (born 1942 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and romance. She is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the five books of her tremendously popular series, The Blending as well as The Crystals of Midawhich is part of her Jalav, Amazon Warrior series.
Read an Excerpt
Rion Mardimil rode next to his beloved Naran, extremely relieved that she showed no signs of strain over the haste of their journey. Or no signs that the rest of them didn't show. They'd been on the move for the last day with very little rest, fleeing ahead of the oncoming Astindan host. Lorand was in the lead, this being his part of the country, and he assured everyone that they were almost to the district which had once been his home. Privately, Rion thought Lorand didn't look especially happy over that, but the people had to be warned and their own group could hardly ride from hamlet to hamlet shouting the danger. It would be up to the -- Widdertown, was it? -- people to pass along the news of imminent attack, and then their own group would be free to continue on in returning to Gan Garee.
Naran gave him a sweet, passing smile which he returned, then she went back to studying the countryside they rode through. The horses of the attacking guardsmen had done well for completing the mounting of their entire force, and those horses the guardsmen had abandoned on the way -- the ones which survived having been ridden into the ground, at any rate -- were being taken up as they were passed. Having spare mounts never hurt, even though no one but their own rode with them.
Rion took a deep breath, still wondering if the fate of the officers and "prods" who had savaged their new allies should disturb him more than it did. The higher officers had all been nobles, of course, and Jovvi had told him and the rest of their groupmates that the nobles had been incapable of believing they'd beharmed right up to the very end. But that end had been sufficiently long and drawn out to make the nobles believe, not to mention being painful. The former victims had been badly savaged, and their vengeance had been completely in keeping with what had been done to them.
And Rion had found himself grimly pleased to hear the screams and suffering of those so-called nobles. Considering the fact that he'd spent most of his life thinking of himself as one of them, his actual enjoyment of their suffering had startled him. He should have been highly incensed over peasants treating their betters that way, but the fact was he didn't perceive his current allies as being inferior. To the contrary, he'd discovered that in most ways they were superior to the lazy, pampered drones he'd once considered his peers. It was no longer unthinkable to feel regret that he wasn't truly one of those he'd formerly thought of as useless peasants...
"Rion, my love, has Jovvi made any suggestions about what might be done to restore peace between Vallant and Alsin?" Naran asked abruptly in a soft voice, pulling Rion back to the present. "The difficulty between them seems to increase with their very breathing, and if something isn't done there will be a terrible confrontation that none of us will want to witness."
"We all fear the same outcome, my love, but so far Jovvi hasn't said anything," Rion responded, Naran's disturbance affecting him at once. "I'm still not quite clear about how there can be trouble between them over Tamrissa, not when one considers the bond between our two groupmates. Have I missed seeing the obvious again?"
"Yes, and it's one of the most charming things about you," Naran said with shining eyes and a gay laugh, and then her amusement faded. "For some reason Vallant seems to have decided to have nothing more to do with Tamrissa, although anyone with eyes can see that his heart will never belong to any other woman. She, for her part, made an effort to dissuade Alsin's interest in her, but his having noticed Vallant's distance caused her efforts to be wasted. Alsin committed himself to courting her, and Vallant decided to interfere with that intention -- without changing his own stance in the least."
"Oh, dear," Rion said with brows high, sounding to himself a good deal like Jovvi. "Is he truly saying that he refuses to become involved with Tamrissa himself, but also refuses to allow any other man to become involved?"
"I'm afraid so," Naran agreed with her own sigh. "What Tamrissa's thoughts must be like is something I don't care to dwell on, but that's actually only a part of the problem. After Vallant and Alsin had words, Vallant began to...take over leadership of our efforts, I suppose you could say. Alsin expected to be consulted, since he is supposed to be our strategist, but Vallant isn't doing any consulting. Alsin is now feeling more like an outcast than ever."
"I'm sure, his being a strong Middle rather than a High isn't helping in the least," Rion said, now understanding the glares sent in Vallant's direction by Alsin. "They're both used to being leaders and they both want the same woman; if there are any worse subjects they can disagree about, I can't think of them."
"They don't need any other subjects of disagreement," Naran assured him. "The two they have are two too many, and they really are heading for a terrible showdown if something isn't done. Do you think you might speak to Jovvi and tell her that, and possibly even help to devise something to do?"
"I'll be glad to speak to Jovvi," Rion said, suddenly disturbed in an odd way. "In point of fact you could speak to her yourself, since the others really do consider you one of us. Naran...why are you hesitating to speak your own thoughts? Since you seem so absolutely certain, I'm surprised that you hesitate. Do you believe that Jovvi or one of the others..."Prophecy. Copyright � by Sharon Green. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I fell in love with The Blending from book 1. Sharon Green has created an amazingly realistic world and very real characters. I particularly enjoyed the fact that her main characters were wrought with the same fears, anxieties, and personal doubts that we all face on an everyday basis. The plot was clear and well-formed, and held my attention for the entire time I was reading the book. The story came to a decisive end, but left the door open for a fantastic sequel. I am anxiously awaiting the next series; this one was great! :)
This book was very good, as well as the rest of this series. It was excellent, and kept me reading because of the cliff-hangers at the end of each book. I also loved the way everything connected with eachother. Sharon Green is an EXCELLENT author, because of the way she connects things together, which you dont realize until you read all of them. I cannot wait until the next trilogy comes out, which I'm hoping is VERY soon. I definitely recommend this book
Sharon Green has grown remarkably as a writer from her earlier fantasy series, and along with that her once blatant political incorrectness seems to have moved very much towards the mainstream. The Blending Series of Sharon Green is aninteresting mix of a Scarlet Pimpernelsort of Victorian Romance novel and a New Age group therapy journal, set in an alter-Earth universe where a well defined technology of magic based on the five elements (Earth,Air,Fire,Water, & Spirit)is used to prop up a decadent aristocracy of Dickensian Marquis de Sades. Some of the characters seem familiar from her earlier works, but her standard hero and heroine have here become multiple personalities...and not all of those personalities are very nice. The only problem I have with this final book in the series is that the Class Warfare theme gets way out of control. All aristocrats... every man, woman, and child of them...are evil. If an aristocrat seems to be good and decent it's only because he's really only a commoner adopted into the aristocracy. The concept of tainted bloodlines is something I personally find hard to accept even in a fantasy novel. The surreal settings of fantasy novels in fact make their ethical stands and psychological realism more important because the reader has no other place to connect. Still and all, Green's always fascinating internal brawls with herself by means of her characters make anything she writes worth buying, and this series takes her into dark areas of the human psyche she's never been before. Buy it.