However, as generations went by, the male heirs to the throne became intensely resentful of the prophecy that emasculated their claim to power. Finally Queen Agnalain took the throne and the people of Skala suffered under her erratic and selfish command. Prompted by the people's outcry over this mad queen, her son Prince Erius claimed primogeniture, and seized the throne. Erius's ascent may have pleased the people of Skala, but a faction of the population, one who had not forgotten the prophecy, were worried. Plague, drought and famine spread throughout the kingdom weakening it's defenses and offering easy pickings to Skala's old enemy and neighbor, Plenimar. As people start to recall the Oracle's prophecy, Erius begins to quietly kill of his female relatives who pose the only threat to his monarchy. and Iya has sinister plans for the babes...
As the only living child of Erius's dead sister, Prince Tobin is second in line to the Throne of Skala, but he is not what he seems. To protect him from the paranoid assassinations ordered by his uncle, the wizard Iya gave Tobin the appearance of his murdered twin brother at birth. But now, with the onset of puberty, Tobin has discovered his true identity - SHE the rightful heir to the throne.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and recorded by author Lynn Flewelling.
©2003 Lynn Flewelling; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
This is one of my favorite books (and audiobooks)! I'd gotten rather jaded with too much formulaic fantasy, and found this book (and the rest of the trilogy) very enjoyable! Not what I expected, and the author's description of the story as "gothic fantasy" is very appropriate! The narrator does a terrific job with it as well! You won't be disappointed with this one, but I'll warn you, you'll end up having to get the Bone Doll's Twin and Oracle's Queen, so you might as well just buy them all and listen to them in order!
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at FanLit.
Hidden Warrior is the second installment in Lynn Flewelling’s TAMIR TRIAD about Tobin, the rightful heir to the throne of Skala who is being magically hidden as a girl until it’s time for her to challenge the king. As this book begins, Tobin has just discovered the horrifying truth about himself, but he must still stay hidden until it’s time for the big reveal. He’s now living at the castle as a Companion to the prince. He’s nervous about the future because he genuinely likes his cousin, the presumed heir, and he is treated well by his uncle, though he occasionally sees glimpses of the king’s unpredictable bad temper and sees how he mistreats the wizards and others who speak against him or mention the prophecy about a hidden queen.
As Tobin nears puberty, he still thinks of himself as a boy, but his gender identity confusion begins to increase. He is noticeably smaller than the other boys, lacks facial hair, enjoys making jewelry, and has no interest in girls. Even though he excels at fighting and battle tactics, he’s also sensitive and squeamish about the king’s harsh punishment of “traitors.” Worst of all, he’s falling in love with his squire, Ki, who has no idea that Tobin is really a girl. Though the gender identity issue is the big theme in the TAMIR TRIAD, it’s handled gently, without any sort of preachiness.
Tobin has plenty of other things to worry about, too, such as Brother, who is becoming less controllable, the malicious man who acts as his guardian, and the scheming duke who is steward over his lands. There are other plots he doesn’t even know about yet, but that will surely affect him in the future. Meanwhile, the country begins to suffer from plague and there are murmurs about the prophesied queen who will set things right. The king and the prince show their cruel sides more often as their popularity wanes, and Tobin’s magical allies have had to go into hiding.
Flewelling’s story continues to entertain me, mostly because her world and characters are so well developed and I’ve come to sincerely care about Tobin’s plight. The simple plot isn’t quite hefty enough to carry three books, so this installment’s pace lags at times, sometimes feeling a little like the infamous “middle book.” There’s also a lot of angst that doesn’t quite feel gratuitous, but does fill a lot of page space. In general, though, I feel very forgiving about the pace because I like the story, though I think it helps that I read Hidden Warrior while leisurely working on a jigsaw puzzle during the couple of lazy days after Christmas.
Just like the previous book, The Bone Doll’s Twin, this one ends on an exciting cliffhanger. You’ll definitely want to have the third book, The Oracle’s Queen, ready to go. I’ve been listening to Victor Bevine narrate the audio version, which is very good.
book 2,read my update on 1,book 2,was just as good, I loved it,on to 3 I cant wait,so far this tale has been my favorite, in maybe the last 100 books a must listen...
Most middle books are kinda boring, not this one! This is one of the best series I've ever listened to or read! This is a MUST!
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
The book is 17+ hours. In the middle there are 4+ hours of Tobin growing up with the Companions. I prefer there to be some plot/point involved if I have to go through listening to it for hours. There is not. I suppose it's to give us a better idea of Tobin's life, but I don't know why we care since that's not really his life anyway, is it.
If one could skim, this book would be so much better since we wouldn't get as bogged down in the minutia. Because the storyline itself is compelling and quite interesting - you'll want to know what happens with everyone and find out if Nerrin gets what's coming to him, etc...
I just don't know if you want to know about (for example) Arkoniel's sex life along the way.
Anyway, the story is interesting enough that I'll read the next book to find out how it all wraps up and cross my fingers that Flewelling can tell the story without adding in the details of every character's life in the process.
Oh, and I agree that the characters should have been a little bit older if they're going to be drinking themselves into a stupor, frequenting brothels or going out onto a killing field (sorry, a 14 year old is not "man grown" and would have his ass handed to him by some 200 pound fighter).
Interesting, developed characters. Gripping story.Can't wait until the last installment.
I love Leil. she is so confident in her powers and her place without being arrogant or inaccessible.
I listened to their first book and they are just as good this time around
There are several times in this book that I have laughed out loud and received strange looks from those around me.
I don't want to live in a world without books!
Too bad the author has no sense of humor or any moral boundaries. A big part of the story is the moment when the main character finds out that he is a she. Unfortunately, "he" continues to be a boy in every sense except the physical. "He" also develops a passionate love for his best friend and can't understand why the boy doesn't love "him" back. This was handled so badly that it just rings wrong. These are 15 year old boys struggling with sexual identity, yet this "boy" can only whine about the fact that his friend doesn't find " him" attractive. Flewelling (in her intro) says this is a story about gender rolls, yet clearly she has no idea how a real person would feel about discovering they are a different sex than the one they had always assumed. It's the main concept of the story, and it's very badly handled. It doesn't get resolved in a very satisfying way, either. The characters continue to be children throughout the series and it's kind of sickening. Can you tell I hated it?
Author is decent, story has possibility (really a fantasy goth read?) ...but, unfortunately the tale waivers a tad as the author attempts to pull it off. Hmmmm. Still. It IS an unusual angle. Fingers crossed, expectations not too high.
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