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Luskell has been dreaming about dead people. Her parents may be the two most powerful wizards in the country, but Luskell doesn’t have any magic of her own, so she’s stuck spending a summer with her grandmother in the small town of Deep River where her father is the hometown hero. Then the…
Luskell has been dreaming about dead people.
Her parents may be the two most powerful wizards in the country, but Luskell doesn’t have any magic of her own, so she’s stuck spending a summer with her grandmother in the small town of Deep River where her father is the hometown hero. Then the dead start to visit her dreams with mysterious messages. In a secret pact with her friends Jagryn and Laki, Luskell begins to teach herself magic and discovers an apparently bottomless well of untapped power. But before she has control over this ability, her dead grandfather appears with a dire warning. With no way to send word to her parents, Luskell and her friends mount a daring rescue. Can they get to the capital in time to save the country … and her parents’ lives?
“Karen Eisenbrey is the best new fantasy voice in a decade! And I needed a fresh voice and a new take on the genre! George R.R. Martin, a master of the epic-battles-and-rivers-of-blood arm of the genre, has had no lack of imitators. There are also plenty of fantasy novels full of unicorns and weeping, wilting maidens (not my taste). So don’t be misled by the cover (although the giant bird does make sense). Eisenbrey gives us a plucky protagonist and her friends in a world tinged with magic, a world in which wizards are held in some awe. But it’s also a world of people just getting on with their lives. The relationships are realistic, the personalities varied and believable, and the cultures she has created are realistic and fascinating. She even avoids the pitfall of burdening her characters with names that seem to have been chosen purely because they sound cool, and her invented language (for one subset of characters) makes linguistic sense.
This novel has a fun and interesting story to tell, and the interwoven themes (read about them in the other reviews) are beautifully threaded throughout. Once you enter these pages, you will want to live in this world. It isn’t such a scary world that you’d have to pretend to be practically a superhero in order to imagine you could have any chance of survival in it, let alone of making a difference. This is a world in which you and I could live, although we are regular people, only it’s a world in which we just might personally come into contact with magic!”