I thought that this was a wonderful book. It had an excellent blend of fantasy and adventure and even romance. It had humor and a plot that was well thought-out and didn't make me annoyed with having picked it up to read. I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series and probably even trying out some other books by the author even though they may be more geared toward the romance genre.
This is the first book in the Nine Kingdoms fantasy romance trilogy. The epic is very straight forward, the characters are extremely likeable. The heroine is a strong woman with a sharp wit and the hero is a man secure in his abilities. If you are familiar with Lynn Kurland, you will recognize the sweet romance at the heart of the story, and it is a treat to sometimes be reminded that romance doesn't need to be all sweaty. There is no real ending to this book however , so you're left reaching for book two.
I'm not usually a connoisseur of fantasy novels, as I often find them to be either too dark, or too hard to relate to the characters. But, since I love Lynn Kurland's historical novels and characters, I had to try this one out.
And it is fabulous.
Yes, it is fantasy, with the darkness of evil... yet you are not dragged down with lurid descriptions of the evil. Rather, you experience the emotions and thoughts and feelings of the characters as THEY deal with the evil that is thrown at them. And you share in their victories, just as you share in the conversation and laughter they share when they are warm and safe around the fire.
And of course there is magic... but it is a silvery ribbon that winds through characters that are still so human that it is easy to relate to them. They have magic and know spells... but they use them in the same utterly human ways that you or I use our knowledge and skills.
And then there's the romance. It is there, running beneath the surface and threatening to spill over any moment... yet it never does. That has been saved for future books. But its sweetness draws you into the story until you, also, have fallen in love with the shieldmaiden and the mage.
So read of Morgan, an orphan who has learned to shun magic in favor of the more visible and tangible skills of swordplay... while she slowly begins to find that magic is in her, she cannot run from it, and it does have its uses.
Read of Miach, the archmage of the powerful kingdom of Neroche, as he quietly defends the kingdom against far more danger than anyone realizes... as he is tempted the mis-use the power that few know he holds... and as he discovers a love that is more powerful still.
And escape to a world where men and women alike answer to the calling that has been laid upon them... to save the innocent masses that are unaware of the danger that threatens them.
(Number two in the trilogy, The Mage's Daughter: A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, is now out, and it makes this book even better! Don't miss it!)
If you loved the Tarien Soul books you will probably enjoy Kurland's Nine Kingdoms fantasy. Filled with magic and compelling characters Kurland takes you on a journey into the hearts and minds of her characters. With a solid 4 rating these books will entertain as you get to know the personalities involved in this magical world. Written without the complexity of many modern fantasies Kurland's books are an enjoyable read.
I absolutely loved this book. It did a better job than most romantic fiction of not being totally predictable. The characters were likable, and it left me wanting to read the rest of the series immediately.
Donna G. reviewed Star of the Morning (Nine Kingdoms, Bk 1) on
When I purchased this book, I soon realized I had already read it! It is a great storyline by Lynn Kurland.
Just wish it had been the next segment in the series as I have been waiting for it for a long time.
Dynamic characters. Great Fantasy Romance. Kurland is a fantastic storyteller and anyone would enjoy the heck out of this series.
This is the first of a trilogy, so if you enjoy this one, you will want to read the others. The romance is sweet, the characters are well-rounded and interesting. I was irritated by one thing, and it really irritated me. The hero is lying to the heroine, which gets her where she needs to be, but it is so frustrating! Anyway, since the truth comes out in this book I am excited to read book #2 where other things can finally happen.
Just finished the book. Thoroughly enjoyed the story, but ... wish more of the ends were tied up. I recognize its a trilogy, but now I must wait for the next edition :~( I was pleasantly surprised by the story. I love fantasies, but often they have gory violence. This one did not. The fighting was not glorified nor bloody. In fact, it had minimal fighting. The magic was not overdone, and the romance fit a new relationship. No jumping into sex on the second or third meeting that most romances authors seem to write about. In fact, no sex as the hero and heroine are actually getting to know each other. Well, developed characters that actually seemed human! Highly recommended!