Mass Market Paperback, 551 pagesPublished November 26th 2008 by Bantam DellSource: PurchasedSynopsis:As the orphaned nephew of the king, trusted companion to his cousin, and second heir to the throne of Skala, Prince Tobin’s future is clear. But not as clear as the spring in which a hill witch shows him his true face–and his secret destiny….
Now Tobin carries a burden he cannot share with even his closest friend, Ki, his squire. He is to rule–not as he is but as he was born: a woman. Given the shape of a boy by dark magic, Tobin is the last hope of the people of Illior–those who desperately seek a return to the old ways, when Skala was ruled by a line of warrior queens. They still believe that only a woman can lift the war, famine, and pestilence that have run rampant through the land since the king usurped his half sister’s throne. It is these outlaw wizards and witches who protect Tobin–and it is for them that Tobin must accept his fate.
With the unsuspecting yet fiercely loyal Ki at his side, Tobin must turn traitor against the only blood ties he has left. He must lift the masks of Skala’s rulers to show their true colors–before he can reveal the power of the woman within himself.
So the pace continued in its languid manner and I’m not gonna lie, I did for a minute or two wish they could just hurry up and get the reveal over with. However, at the end of the novel I was glad that Flewelling took the time she did because it has more momentum when it happens the way it did. I was surprised by how Korin’s character was developed and I thought that Flewelling’s careful attention to the grey in a person’s character was well done. The novel is populated by such wonderful characters that I wouldn’t mind reading all their individual stories. There’s Lutha and Nikides, Una, Ahra – it is actually an awesome compliment from me (ahem ahem) that I remember the names of the characters in the book because usually I don’t even remember the name of the main character.
And this book won my love by having cats being mini characters. I am a cat person (future cat lady? ha) and Flewelling’s portrayal of the felines was entertaining. Of course, on the other side of it, Niryn became slimier than ever. What is he doing with that Nalia? Okay, I’ll stop pretending this is a review because honestly, I just want to talk about the book. I thought that Tobin going naked in front of all those people took balls he didn’t have. I understood why it had to be done and I don’t even have to any trouble with it. I just thought it interesting.
Oh also, I hope Flewelling keeps Tobin/Tamir as ordinary as possible and not, you know, on a pedestal. That would interfere with the original dynamic too much and I don’t know…I kinda like it the way it is right now. I am not looking forward to see what that wizard has up his sleeve but I am looking forward to seeing how Ki copes with a female best friend.