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Twice Upon an Eventide Paperback – June 11, 2008
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Biondine returns to the kingdom of Glacia, a world of wyverns, mages, and truth rings, where the reluctant crown prince, Zavend, who'd like nothing more than to continue his work on archaeological digs; his brother, Vitus, who's perfectly happy to run a little inn of ill repute on the outer edges of the kingdom; and a former slave, Praxis, now bounty hunter, who once shared a romantic past with Zavend, are brought together for the sake of the kingdom. Throw in a few spells of a self-serving wizard or two and you have the makings of an entertaining read, indeed!
Biondine has crafted a spellbinding tale, weaving layer upon layer as anticipation builds. Will this mismatched trio learn to see eye to eye for the sake of the kingdom or is their coming together a formula for disaster? And how can anyone best a self-serving wizard? The prose is sharp and dialog clever. Well worth the time. And a surprise ending, to boot!
Summersong by Sheri McGathy
Summersong is a magical keep that links the realms of human and faery. There was a time when guardians of the Far-mura race protected those who passed from one realm to the other from the frightening darkness within the walls of Summersong, but the protection has since diminished. Connair, of the faery realm, must discover hidden truths about himself if he's to save Myree, the human princess he loves, from the terrifying Ebon holding her captive deep within the shadows of Summersong.
The story is very visual, from the lush garden in which Myree finds refuge to the magical hall of mirrors into which Connair unexpectedly finds himself. McGathy's writing style pulls you into the enchanting, old-world setting while it stimulates the senses and draws out emotion--all as the suspense intensifies. She's a master teller of fantasy tales that are sure to become timeless classics.
The seemingly straight plot spins totally out of control and predictability at this point. Wizards and council mages are plotting against each other, all in an effort to maintain their powerful hold on the kingdom of Glacia and eventually perhaps even take over from the ruling family. They're unable to prevent the reunion of Zavend and Praxis, who slowly realize they want only each other. Zavend couldn't care less if he never becomes a king; and Praxis is only at peace when with Zavend, although she realizes she must leave him alone so he may fulfill his destiny. What follows will both shock and thrill the reader as the most unexpected events yield a most different scenario that will change the lives of every character and thus the Glacian kingdom as well!
This first story is finely plotted and a must read for every true fantasy fiction fan! Very, very nicely done, Ms. Biondine!!!
"Summersong," the second tale in this novel, is penned by Sheri L. McGathy and focuses on the endearing romance between Connair and Myree in the world of Summersong, which is a realm between the worlds of humanity and fairy land. The kingdom is hard-pressed at the moment, however, as forces are vying to destroy both fairies under the Queen Roshawna just as it seems they have accomplished by the disappearance of the Farmura. In the midst of their passionate promises to each other, Myree is kidnapped and imprisoned in a place bound by an evil spell. Connair vows to find her but when he does, Myree is obviously only physically there! The tale moves on to Connair's relentless quest to break the evil bonds holding Myree and thereby freeing the land of Summersong from a devastatingly destructive future!
"Summer Song" is an equally fascinating story that is typically plotted but includes magical elements that are sure to fascinate every reader. Absolutely delightful and thrilling read, Ms. McGathy!!!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on August 10, 2008
And rounding out this beguiling book is a marvelous tale not to be missed by Shannah Biondine.