Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Hidden Warrior

by Lynn Flewelling

cover  

The Tamír Triad had a promising beginning with The Bone Doll's Twin. Hidden Warrior, the second in the series, continues the story of Tobin as he grows to adulthood. We have known since the start that Tobin isn't the boy he appears to be, and this is beginning to become apparent to others as well. His lack of interest in girls is attracting attention, and he's hard pressed to explain certain supernatural occurences. As the prince's Companions mature around him and show signs of the men they will become, Tobin's development seems strangely stunted.

But it's not all about Tobin. As the Companions grow older they find that politics encroaches more and more on their lives. Some of them are disturbingly keen to go to war. Prince Korin, heir to the throne, is already a dissolute drinker and womaniser who can be ruthless at times. But he's also Tobin's cousin, friend, and ally, and often good company. King Erius also gives rise to mixed feelings, wearing the face of a kindly uncle more often than that of the insane psychopathic murderer that we might have expected. None of the major characters are black and white, and even the sinister wizard Niryn has aims that are not so dissimilar from those of those of Iya and Arkoniel, the "good" wizards.

The Plenimarians are the major exception to this rule. They are portrayed as faceless enemies who are astoundingly brutal and evil. We don't get to know any of them, they are simply there to provide the shock value, which they do with creative flair, and to get killed.

As Niryn's Harrier wizards do their worst the remaining free wizards start to form pockets of resistance. From humble and precarious beginnings we start to see hints of what they will become. It's all building up to something big, with portents and prophecies pointing the way clearly. However, although it's obvious that Tobin has a destiny, we don't know how he will get there or who he will leave behind.

Hidden Warrior is a sprawling 550 pages, but it seems shorter as it's neither dense nor dull. Although there's more than one ghost in it, it's less haunting than The Bone Doll's Twin, and often quite cheerful. Tobin has to keep secrets from his closest friends, and this is almost as hard for him as it is to see them suffer. It's a touching story of epic proportions about the struggle to be free. There are feminist leanings, but more importantly it deals with friendship and trust in the face of persecution for being different.

The book reaches an exciting climax, but it's clearly not the end of matters and a lot of questions remain to be answered in the final book. In Hidden Warrior the Tamír Triad is shaping up to be a hugely enjoyable series.

Book Details

Year: 2003

Categories: Books

  Fantasy
 

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5 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about Lynn Flewelling

Comments

Lynne     2nd February, 2005 05:50am

Both books were wonderful. I gave them to my mother to read which she did in 3 days.

When is the third book coming out??? Please let it be soon!

layne underwood     23rd August, 2005 12:37pm

fabulous- great for an old spinster to curl up with!

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