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on Sep. 03, 2012 :
The first book, which was nominated for an Auralis award, introduces the action plot of a kingdom in danger from outside forces which it attempts to defeat or stop by looking for all kinds of things which may heighten its defense - and since it is a magic-wielding kingdom, it's looking for magic weapons or at least magic power-up stones.
Our heroine Medair not only has a whole treasury of magic weapons of ancient provenance at her fingertips which she quested for in the hope of saving her empire, but - while fleeing people on the other side of the conflict who have found her in her retreat - she runs across the carnage of a mage fight and collects a handful of those magic power-up stones, the reason for the carnage, and a young boy who is the only survivor.
So far, so normal for fantasy - the twist that lifts the story from the average is the fact that Medair didn't collect the magic treasure for the current kingdom, but for an empire that vanished in a war 500 years ago, defeated by the people who run the magic kingdom now. Having found the treasure, she dared to sleep a night in its hiding place and when she returned 500 years had passed...
The whole first book is a fascinating intermix of retrospective memories of Medair, mostly in reaction to what she sees or talks about with her current companions now and the way that the slide into war reminds her of what happened 500 years ago. She isn't willing to open up right away - who would be - so it's all very much a dance on eggshells. And then there's the question of the original motivation for her quest in truth and what that might mean... and what to do know that the capital is once again under threat...
The second book is more action-oriented on the one hand and in some ways an exploration of Medair's situation from another point of view again: Medair having found reasons to throw in with the current kingdom based on her old empire, becomes another vicitm of a massive attack spell of wild magic (something whose dangers were made clear in the previous book, because that was the reason why the magician kingdom invaded Medair's empire in the first place: to flee from wild magic) which is aimed at the capital...
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 31, 2011 :
Great books. Really enjoyed reading about a strong female. The plot has an unexpected ending. Totally recommend.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)