Vani is a charming, innocent, and lovely young lady who is destined to be the wife of the king. Oh, and she was also kidnapped as an infant and raised as a slave in a world of magic. She has much to learn in a short time before she is introduced at court and she needs the strength and talents of her friends and family to succeed as well as to discover where her heart lies.
Vani's naïveté and her sheltered upbringing provide a nice balance to her determination and abilities which makes the story plausible. She is a very endearing character and I found myself wanting to be able to help her achieve her fortune. The other characters are also very carefully detailed, whether tyrannical or nurturing. While the story does contain many characters, they all serve a purpose to the plot.
I would recommend this story for teens and above; the length of the text as well as the reading level may be above the ability of younger readers. It did take longer than usual to immerse myself in the plot--the first three chapters lay a lot of groundwork that appears unconnected--which is why I give it only four stars. I look forward to more books in this series.
I'm always a little nervous when it comes to volumes of short stories. They are usually so variable. Such was the case here.
I really enjoyed "Glorious Song of Old". It is about a young girl named Carol who has grown up in a world where music is banned. She has vague memories of music and has a talent for it so she feels a great longing for this forbidden fruit. A traveling exhibit of aliens comes to her dark and depressing world and she finds a kindred spirit ... and then some. This story struck a chord with me.
"The Angel and the Rose" is a costumed Christmas wedding with quite a twist. Interesting, but not quite my style.
I couldn't even find a story in "Laeti Triumphantes". Seems like something is missing, perhaps?