Tuesday, February 7, 2012
In Case You Missed It - The Quickening by Fiona McIntosh
Though barely a teenager, Wyl Thirsk must now assume the role he has been destined for since birth: commander of the Morgravian army -- an awesome responsibility that calls him to the royal palace of the crown prince Celimus. Already a cruel despot who delights in the suffering of others, Celimus enjoys forcing his new general to witness his depraved "entertainments." But a kindness to a condemned witch in her final, agonizing hours earns young Thirsk a miraculous bequest, while inflaming the wrath of his liege lord.
With war looming in the north, Wyl must obey Celimus's treacherous dictates and undertake a suicidal journey to an enemy court -- armed with a mysterious power that could prove both boon and curse. For unless he accepts Myrren's gift, it will surely destroy him . . . and the land he must defend.
in precarious balance
as a young soldier urgently
seeks answers to a
sinister blessing . . .
General Wyl Thirsk of Morgravia has seen his best friend slain, his sister tortured, and his mentor consigned to a certain death -- all at the sadistic whim of his sovereign, King Celimus. Now Celimus hungrily eyes the neighboring realm, Briavel, and its inexperienced Queen Valentyna, pressuring her into a doomed political marriage -- and thereby forcing Wyl's hand toward confrontation and treason, for only he can save the woman he loves from her hideous fate.
But destiny will send Wyl far from the evil machinations of the despicable king. And as war threatens from the north, where the hated King of the Barbarians plots against the south, Wyl must find the mysterious bestower of Myrren's gift in a bid to control the curse that has thrown his life into chaos . . . and is intricately and terrifyingly woven into the future of three realms.
But thanks to the miraculous gift bestowed upon him by the slain witch Myrren, Wyl lives on--though greatly altered and unrecognizable. Only by assuming Morgravia's throne will he be freed from the dark spell that has both cursed and sustained him.
But Wyl's time is running out. His beloved Queen Valentyna will soon be wed to his most hated enemy, the savage despot King Celimus--and despite the impending nuptials, war between their nations looms ominously, while the dire threat from the Mountain Kingdom grows stronger by the day. Trapped in a body that is not his own, Wyl must walk his most dangerous path yet--straight into the brutal clutches of his sadistic foe‚ in a last, desperate attempt to save his land, his love, his life . . . and his soul.
The first book in The Quickening trilogy came out in 2003, which isn't really that long ago, but I suspect that most of our readers won't be aware of it. Fiona McIntosh was born in England and now lives in Australia, so she is not a huge name over here in North America, which is a great pity, because she is an absolutely amazing writer. The trilogy was not marketed as YA, but the main protagonists are teenagers and the story is wonderful. This is a fantasy with enough twists and turns to satisfy anyone, a romance that will curl your toes and a WTF, OMG and all those other acronyms, moment at the end of book one that will leave you with your mouth hanging open. I can't praise this trilogy enough. If you can find it, read it. You won't be disappointed.