Science fiction and fantasy                                            



The Oracle's Queen

by Lynn Flewelling

cover  

The Tamír Triad takes place a few hundred years before the events in the Nightrunner series, so it doesn't matter which set you read first. The connection between the two series becomes just a little more apparent in The Oracle's Queen. Although they don't overlap a great deal, some of the places and long-lived characters mentioned in the Nightrunner books also appear in this one.

This story introduces Mahti, a witch and a healer. Guided by visions and omens, he sets out on a long journey that takes him away from his own people. The further he goes, the more distrust he encounters, and he is by no means the only one who has to deal with racial and religious divides in Lynn Flewelling's world.

Trust and acceptance is also in short supply for Queen Tamír, who until very recently was Prince Tobin. Now revealed in her true form, she has a lot of work to do to convince her sceptical subjects that she is neither mad nor trying to fool them all with an illusion. She may be the rightful heir to the throne of Skala, but her cousin Korin has declared himself King and calls Tamír a traitor and usurper. As people recover from the aftermath of a devastating battle at Ero, upheaval and uncertainty mean that civil war looks increasingly unavoidable.

Tamír continues to be haunted by Brother, the angry spirit of her murdered twin. He demands revenge, but although she wants him to rest in peace the price of vengeance could be too high.

There's a gentle, if predictable, romantic thread running through this novel as the relationship between Tamír and her squire intensifies. But her abrupt physical changes and her new status come between them and cause them both confusion.

The atmosphere at Korin's camp reeks of fear and paranoia as the would-be king is swayed by the poisonous influence of the wizard Niryn. Niryn is both ambitious and cruel, and his brutality leads to a few of the most violent and graphic scenes this novel has to offer. As a result this isn't suitable reading for children, in spite of the youth of the main character.

The Oracle's Queen is an intricate story, peopled with a wide array of characters. Perhaps there are too many, because sometimes it is hard to remember what distinguishes some of the minor characters. Nevertheless this is an immediately absorbing story which is by turns tense, romantic, poignant and thrilling. Tamír is likeable and easy to sympathise with, although she is sometimes a bit too good to be true, brave and dutiful in the extreme. In all it's a satisfying and moving end to the trilogy that takes you to all the places a good fantasy novel should.

Book Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Books

  Fantasy
 

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Last of the Wilds cover    

Last of the Wilds by Trudi Canavan
The second episode in the Age of the Five introduces new characters and cultures to the series.



5 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about Lynn Flewelling

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