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I, SpiritKin

Author: Frances Evlin
Genre: Fantasy
Reviewed by Alan M. Brooker

557When Cage, son of Allet, was expelled from his home village of Hafton in the country of Nighland following the murder of his parents, the future appeared clouded by danger and uncertainty. He was only young and had few resources to help him prepare for a life on his own.

Cage knew he was SpiritKin and that he had certain powers, but would they be an asset at a time when the country was being ravaged by marauding bands of Militants hell-bent on driving the SpiritKin into the isolation of the Boar’s Head region and the Royalists into oblivion.

Cage knew his only hope of survival was to reach the safe SpiritKin area around Truthrun, his mother’s home region, but it was a long journey for a lone boy, made even more dangerous when he was intercepted by Earl Merrestone, a suspected Royalists, and asked to take the Earl’s two foster sons with him into the security of the Community.

Reluctantly Cage agrees to take the two young boys with him and the three youths start on the perilous journey pursued by Militants and distrusted by many of the villagers they meet along the way when they recognise Cage as a SpiritKin, a target of the Nighland ruler Welzin.

The journey develops into a test of Cage’s inner strength and doesn’t stop when they reach the Boar’s Head and are accepted into the SpiritKin Community.

Cage and his two young friends become involved in a Royalist plan to reinstall the Monarchy to Nighland, a plan that also means turning the peaceful SpiritKin into a fighting force and the surprise element in the Royalist attack.

Cage learns to control his SpiritKin magic abilities and becomes an integral part of the plan.

We follow the battles that lead to the King’s triumphant return to the capital and the battle that follows when Cage discovers a plot to attack the country from the south in an overpowering seaborn assault. However as Cage has grown and matured he has learned to control his magic skills to a very high level and he is able to use these to ensure the monarchy survives.

This is a fascinating tale of courage, heroism and loyalty as the Royalists win and the King returns to his rightful place. There is action aplenty to hold your interest as the plot rapidly moves towards its conclusion.

But it is more than just an action adventure.

Woven through the story is a very strong love story as the young Gage reaches maturity, is tricked into a Royal wedding and faces serious doubts about his commitment to his new wife.

There is resentment, distrust and almost a low level of hatred for the wife who tricked him into abandoning his first love at the Community. Cage is not the first mortal to be tricked into marriage, and he will not be the last, but his is an interesting scenario because of the implications on Nighland of any matrimonial breakdown.

I followed the story with my interest equally spread between the action and the romance. At times I felt sorry for Cage, at times I felt even sorrier for Breen his wife but it was so important for the future of their country and their children that they reach a solution that would ensure the sacrifices made by the King’s supporters were not made in vain.

If you want to know if their marriage survived, or follow the action in greater detail, you will have to read the book.

I did, and I was most impressed. I would recommend it to people who enjoy a good action adventure and also to those who like to get frustrated at the manoeuvrings of star-crossed lovers.

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June 14, 2004 in Fantasy | Permalink

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