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Publisher's Summary

Long ago, during the dark days of the Great War with Pleinmar, King Thelatimos journeyed to the Oracle of the God Illior at Afra to save his warn-torn kingdom. Here he was presented with a prophecy 'So long as a daughter of Thelatimos's line defends and rules, Skala shall never be subjugated.' And that is how the line of queens ruling over Skala was established...

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 defences and offering easy pickings to Skala's old enemy and neighbour, Plenimar.

As people start to recall the Oracle's prophecy, Erius begins to quietly kill off his female relatives who pose the only threat to his monarchy. Constantly in fear for her life, Princess Ariani the King's sister, gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. But Ariani is married to Lord Rhius, the patron of the powerful wizard Iya, and Iya has sinister plans for the babes.

BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and recorded by author Lynn Flewelling.

©2001 Lynn Flewelling (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    361
  • 4 Stars
    223
  • 3 Stars
    81
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    23

Performance

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  • 4 Stars
    116
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    7

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Reston, VA, United States
  • 08-08-10

Got addicted to this series

I was pleasantly surprised as I got into this book. The first chapter starts out a little slow, and my first impression was "oh oh - another cheesy mage/sorcerer fantasy novel" - but the series turned out to be quite addictive. The characters are three-dimensional, the story-line surprisingly creative in terms of ghosts/demons, and the author does a good job of painting the scenery with her words. I would definitely recommend it. Good narrator too.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy F.
  • Chandler, AZ United States
  • 08-01-09

Beyond Amazing

I chose to read this from an Orson Scott Card pick. This is a very originally written adventure with a realistic gothic/ghost/dark underline. I am a fan for life. I really feel like Lynn could have easily added 2-3 more books to this Triad. The others to follow are equally amazing.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

ANOTHER HOUSE OF CLOSED DOORS

BLOOD MY BLOOD
Extremely different. No one could call this formula writing. As someone who reads a lot, I appreciate the different approach.

FLESH MY FLESH
I did come close to giving up during the first five chapters. These chapters are mostly world building and an introduction to the characters. A lot of names are thrown at you at once and since most names start with a vowel, I was totally lost.

BONE MY BONE
In chapter six, the main character takes over. It is a sort of coming of age, only with lots of weird situations. The boy who is a girl, but does not know it, has a ghost/demon to deal with, an insane mother and he is kept in isolation. The story really picks up when he is allowed a companion who becomes his squire. The companion is a very loyal and lovable character. I was also very fond of the witch in the woods.

THE PAIN CAME BACK FOR A MOMENT ON CRAWLING CENTIPEDE FEET
I could not give this five stars, due to the confusing first five chapters and there were some flat spots in the middle. I see the sequel is even longer, but I will probably give it a try, just because I like the weirdness.

Narrator was excellent.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Pie
  • Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 04-21-10

Goth fantasy. Boooo.

The narrator was a twinge too much at first (he's trying to seduce the heck out of the story).... but the tale is BIG enough to get you INTO the story and past all of that kind o' thang. Very Nice. Unusual and entertaining. Ghosts. Demons. A haunted castle and a haunted here. I'm glad I picked it up and am headed into book II (as we "speak"). LOL.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Abigail
  • arlington, VA, United States
  • 07-29-09

Not bad fantasy, but leaves you hanging

This is pretty standard fantasy as written by a woman, more witches than dragons and written by a capable author. Its a bit twisted as the audio sample clearly shows but for the genre its fairly mild. Note if you are not familiar with the genre than this doesn't mean mild, read pg 13 to R. If you get into it be prepared to at least get the next book because this one doesn't really end, just leaves you hanging and somewhat annoyed. Maybe I was just annoyed because I hadn't bought the next book in the series yet.
The narrator reads well and is not annoying in any way. A few mispronounced words.
Overall I'd say the audiobook is quite good but not great, and a lot better than most of the crud flooding the genre.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ronni
  • Corral de Tierra, CA, USA
  • 05-18-09

Great New Fantasy Find!

Wonderful story and characters! I love the themes explored in this book, but it's never heavy handed. Good narration, too. I'm looking forward to the other two books in this series.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

book 1 of 3

i just finished this one and found the other 2 are also available. so my next step will be to snarf them up as fast as possible!

why? because it is a cliff hanger with wonderful writing and a really good narrator!

normally i dislike series books that have to be read in order but this is one is worth it! it has all sorts of .... weirdness (for lack of a better word). when the region is ruled by women, things are generally run well. when it run by men...different story. want to guess the sex of the ruler. you're right, a king! and things are not good.

the king has a married brother who becomes the father of twin...one boy, one girl. a things are really bad as the king and new uncle has seen to it that girls who would be in line for the crown are dying.

attending the delivery are a witch and 2 scorchers. the girl child must be protected if there is ever to be good new in the land...but how?

listen to find out for yourself and meet ghosts and warriors and people who go a bit batty. if you don't, you're going to miss some great lines that will give you a giggle, some emotions you will understand with just a bit of thought provoking ideas.

yes, i do highly recommend this book (AND two following it)!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great foundation for the Nightrunner series.

To fully understand the source of the intrigues and society in the Nightrunner series, this is a must read. As always her characters are well developed and the plot is full of surprises.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Read After First Three Books in Nightrunner Series

I've found this first book to be very good - more in the Anne Rice vein than typical fantasy, however. Because this series jumps into a unique universe already fully realized, there's not a lot of background explanation of terminology/geography - it assumes you know the world the author has created. I'd highly recommend the first 3 books in the Nightrunner series before starting this trilogy.

I disagree that the book is unrelentingly depressive. It does begin with the murder of a child, but that's the crux of everything that follows and realistically casts the main characters in that plot setting. Also disagree with the comments of plot holes simply because it ignores the fact that even by the end of the book, there's no proof or certainty that the king was actually having female heirs killed - you believe that has happened but complaining that he didn't kill his half-sister ignores the repeated lines that the king did love this half-sister dearly. For me, having a character be completely, 100% evil is silly and the author avoids those kind of black and white depictions for all of the characters.

I think this first book is a great start.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An incredible work of fantasy fiction!

An incredible work of fantasy fiction! It is so rare to find an author who can master plot and go deep in character. She describes this world so well and in such detail while masterfully moving the plot forward so as to not bog the reader down.

The Narrator, Victor Bevine, has the ability to bring forth several different voices for each character, intimately knowing each character and matching tone and intention perfectly.

I feel like I lived inside this world! Bravo!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful