Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
As the daughter of the King’s hand and advisor, Aoife-the main character, a young girl is enabled and tutored to become a mapmaker. This occupation is usually relegated to the boys or men. She disguises herself androgynously in order to not draw any undue attention to herself as she travels to far-away places and exacts her mapmaking skills for the Kingdom she lives in. She manages to get and maintain the respect of her fellow travelers as well as the King and his heirs because her skills in mapmaking are so precise.
Aoife’s childhood friend and perhaps secret mate is the King’s heir, Wyl. He is handsome, kind, and destined to be the King. During one of her special visits to the Guardian’s and their Interpreters she and Wyl end up in a torrid love session that leaves Aoife pregnant. Wyl was promised to another, but decides his love of Aoife and dedication to his unborn children warrants marriage. Aoife loves Wyl and tries in earnest to be a good mother to her children, but she misses her gypsy life as a mapmaker.
The King dies. Wyl becomes the King and ruler of this small Kingdom. Wyl’s only brother, Raef, is deceptive and jealous of Wyl, but has the ear of Wyl. He creates a circumstance where their Kingdom should war with the peaceful Guardians. Aoife sneaks away from the Kingdom and warms them of this possibility. Raef finds out and immediately goes to his King and brother to tell of this deceit and treasonous quest spearheaded by the King’s wife, Aoife. Aoife tries to reason with the King and his counsel. Wyl almost sides with her as he also knows that the Guardians are a peaceful colony. Raef resents Aoife because she is smart and talented as a mapmaker and therefore continues to pit the King against her. He wishes to see Aoife disposed of or dead and manages to convince his brother that this should come to fruition and soon.
Aoife is exiled and believed to be dead. She wanders and eventually comes to live with the Guardians where she meets her next husband and real love, Leit. She and Leit eventually have a daughter, Wei. Aoife now embraces her motherhood. Wei is special amongst the Guardian’s as she has the gift of second sight. She is chosen to walk amongst the warriors and to help them in their paths. This both saddens and buoys Aoife because Wei is gone for extended periods of time. Aoife spends this time documenting her old and new life.
Before giving any more of this book’s plot away I want to tell you that I loved how Ronlyn Domingue writes. Her words on the pages are sheer poetry in motion. Her story reels you, the reader, in, and makes you sorry that the tale ends. I so enjoyed reading this book and writing this review. I am sure that you, readers out there, will enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Ms. Domingue for a super book!
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