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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars

Second in an ongoing series from writer sharon shinn about a magical kingdom of many duchies, ruled by a king and a dozen noble houses. In a feudal society with nobles, lords and ladies, and peasants, there are also a small section of people called mystics. With the ability to shape shift and other magical talents, they are generally feared and distrusted and hated by the rest of the public.

The story centres around kirra, a mystic who can heal and shapeshift. In volume she and a group of trusted companions travelled the land finding other mystics. Here, after rescuing a royal from kidnappers, kirra is required to impersonate her sister, the new heir to the family duchy, when she tours other lands. But she falls in love whilst doing this with the royal she rescued, who is also a married man. How will this effect things? and her relationship with her trusted sidekick and friend?

You could probably get into this without having read the first volume in the series. It does take a little while to get going, but do stick with it, because beyond page one hundred this becomes a real page turner. It's a measure of the writer's skill that you can feel for kirra even when she's doing things that she regrets, and the seemingly standard fantasy setting of the story does become quite appealing.

Another good and solid piece of work from a very talented writer. And you won't forget the end in a hurry. for the right reasons. This is pretty much a self contained story. But I can't wait for volume three
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on 19 March 2008
My morals may have played a large part in why i didn't enjoy the book. Kira getting involved with a married man and knowing he was a married man made me feel uncomfortable but the issues and regrets where dealt with in a manner that you couldn't but help feel sorry for her.

But it was Donal that i felt for the most and i wonder if sharon is going to write a book for him or is he going to forever be the side character.

But the next book is fantastic. Carry on reading.
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