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Shannivar: Book Two of The Seven-Petaled Shield (The Seven-Petaled Shield Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – December 3, 2013
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“Rejoice.... Ross's literary strength [is] her sensitivity to human needs and talents.” — Publishers Weekly (for Darkover series)
“Deborah has contrived to express the rich tapestry of the characters and backdrop of Darkover in a way that would make Marion proud.” — ConNotations (for Darkover series)
“Ross succeeds in keeping [Darkover] true to Bradley’s style.” — Booklist (for Darkover series)
“Fans will be pleased, and those new to the world of Darkover have a treat in store.” — VOYA (for Darkover series)
“Rejoice.... Ross's literary strength [is] her sensitivity to human needs and talents.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Deborah has contrived to express the rich tapestry of the characters and backdrop of Darkover in a way that would make Marion proud.”—ConNations (for Darkover series)
“Ross succeeds in keeping [Darkover] true to Bradley’s style.”—Booklist (for Darkover series)
“Fans will be pleased, and those new to the world of Darkover have a treat in store.”—VOYA (for Darkover series)
About the Author
Deborah J. Ross is the author of the acclaimed Darkover novels collaborating and following in the footsteps of bestselling writer Marion Zimmer Bradley. Ross became friends with Bradley when she sold a short story for the first Sword and Sorceress anthology. Bradley continued to encourage her over the next two decades, through births, deaths, divorces, a sojourn in France, her literary apprenticeship, four dozen more short stories, two novels, and finally her work with Darkover. Ross is also the author of The Seven-Petaled Shield series. Ross now lives in California with her husband, writer Dave Trowbridge. She can be found online at deborahjross.blogspot.com.
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In the previous volume, the te-alvar was Khored's Shield, a golden gem core with six differently colored gem petals. The golden center was the seventh petal. This icon represented the protective aspects of the faith. It was displayed in many places within Meklavar.
The defenders of Meklavar retreated into the city. Tsorreh saw her husband and Shorrenon in the returning soldiers, but doesn't see Zevaron. She went to tend the wounded and also to search for Zevaron among them.
A page brought her a message for her to come to a meeting of the King's Council. He also told her that Zevaron was safe. Tsorreh took her seat behind the te-ravot.
The council was discussing a surrender offer from the Gelonians. Eavonen suggested that they take the offer to save the population. Shorrenon accused him of treason.
Instead, Maharrad sent Shorrenon out a hidden path to seek aid from their allies. Shorrenon initially refused to go, but his connections made him the perfect envoy. Tsorreh offered him a symbol from her Isarran mother with the Royal crest of Isarre.
In this novel, Zevaron is the King's son by Tsorreh. Now his mother is dead.
Shannivar is a warrior maiden of the Golden Eagle clan of the Azkhantian steepe. She is not ready to marry and have children.
Danar is the son of Jaxar by Lycian. He is a Gelon.
Esdarash is the Chief of the Golden Eagle clan. He is Shannivar's uncle.
Alsanobal is the son of Esdarash. He rides a red horse.
Rhuzenjin is a member of the Golden Eagle clan. He is infatuated with Shannivar.
Mirrimal is a friend of Shannivar. She is also a warrior maiden.
Cinath is the Ar-King of the Gelon empire. He is gradually conquering all the surrounding nations, but he is not having any luck conquering Azkhantia.
In this story, Zevaron is dreaming of his mother. He swears to rescue her, but Cinath killed her. Then he swears that Cinath will pay.
Zevaron wakes from his dream and goes to eat with Jaxar and Danar. Jaxar decides to remain in Gelon, but Zevaron and Danar will go to Isarre. They have to hurry before Cinath decides to take them.
Zevaron gets Danar away from Gelon on a barge going down the river. Yet the barge captain lets them off before they reach Verenza. They buy horses and leave the river for Isarre.
Shannivar is out hunting. She returns with an antelope and then goes on a race with Alsanobal. Before they can face, a youngster come to tell them that strangers are approaching.
They race back to the camp. Shannivar takes the reins of Alsanobal's horse so that he can attend the meeting with the stranger. She learns that they are from Isarre.
Shannivar talks to other women in the clan. They ask if she is going to the khural. She says that she is going to win the Long Ride.
Then Shannivar's grandmother dies. She has been the matriarch of the Golden Eagles for decades. Esdarash decides not to go to the khural after the death of his mother.
Esdarash puts his son in charge of those going to the event. The Isarrans are also going to talk to all the clan chieftains. Of course Shannivar is going and so is Mirrimal. Rhuzenjin is going because Shannivar is.
On the way to the khural, the group find Gelons building a fort. Alsanobal attacks the Gelons and is severely injured. Mirrimal and a few others are killed.
Shannivar sends Alsonobal back to the Golden Eagle camp and takes charge of the group. As they continue, the group encounters Zevaron and Danar. They have gone astray of their way to Isarre.
Shannivar enjoys talking to Zevaron. Yet she thinks he lacks common sense. He keeps doing things that the nomads would never do.
This tale takes Zevaron, Danar and the Isarrans to the khural. As others are competing in the games, they are talking to the chieftain council. They are hoping for the nomads to join them to fight against the Gelons.
Shannivar competes in the Long Ride. The next installment in this sequence is The Heir of Khored.
Highly recommended for Ross fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of warrior maidens, nomad leaders, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
The heroes and heroines meet, have some adventures and get set for the next episode in the saga. There is more diplomacy and relationship than adventure but it all furthers the standard plot of a group coming together to foil the main villain (not yet fully understood)and save the world while tending to side plots that might/should fit together when the story can be extended no farther.
I hope the next book is coming soon.
Deborah J. Ross
DAW, Dec 3 2013, $7.99
Though heir to the magical Seven-Petaled Shield, Zevaron knows he is man without a country. He loathes Cinath of Gelon who led the violent annexation of Zevaron's kingdom Meklavar. When Zevaron encounters Cinath's niece Danar, the heir to the empire, he agrees to protect her as she and others journey to a meeting of the threatened independents; his motive is not just because he has a debt to her father, but mostly to anger Cinath.
Zevaron and Danar traverse the Azkhantian steppes where the nomadic clans gather to join the opposition to Gelon's brutal expansion. When a late arriving clan arrives with upsetting news of lethal eerie animal behavior and strange new deadly creatures, Zevaron believes he must head to the far north to challenge the evil causing these abominations in spite of the prophecies insisting he will fail. Nomadic warrior Shannivar joins him on his quest.
The second The Seven-Petaled Shield fantasy is an exciting fast-paced thriller as the protagonist and a female warrior encounter dangerous forces. Entertaining in spite of a middle book feel; the storyline is filled with plenty of action and creative threats but no subplot climaxes. Still fans will enjoy Zevaron's latest quest adventures alongside a courageous ally while setting up what looks like will be an incredible finish.
(Please excuse me for any spelling errors - english is not my mother language.)