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The Duke’s Ballad
by Andre Norton Norton & Lyn McConchie McConchie

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
0 pages; ISBN: 0765306360

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


The Duke’s Ballad
Andre Norton & Lyn McConchie
Tor, Jan 2005, $24.95, 318 pp.
ISBN: 0765306360

Kirion as sorcerer to the ruling Duke Shastro insures that his liege gets what he wants. When he “pimped” girls from the old city using his ability to make his victims believe they love and in turn are loved by the Duke, no one in power cared, but when Shastro turned to the young at court trouble is brewing.

Meanwhile Kirion’s sister Aisling comes home after a three year self imposed exile to elude her sibling while learning under the tutelage of an Adept to use her talent. Besides dreams that insist she must return to Kars, she feels she must do what is right to rid her homeland of her brother and his unfit ruler. Before she and her companion, the telepathic steed Wind Dancer, arrives at her home, Kirion takes their kingdom to war against their neighbor. As a stark winter makes matters worse, Aisling and another brother manage to gain entry into the court. As Kirion abuses his power and position leaving the people in dire straits, Aisling realizes she needs an ally, but no one except perhaps the perverted Shastro is in a position to help.

THE DUKE’S BALLAD is a typical Andre Norton fantasy thriller that is fun, exciting yet paints a good vs. evil canvas in which Aisling is pure heroic angel while Kirion is malevolent incarnate. The support cast adds interest to the tale especially Wind Dancer and Shastro as two unique characters. The story line is fast-paced and filled with adventure so that Ms. Norton’s Witch World fans will enjoy this collaboration with Lyn McConchie that returns fans to this mystical plane for the first time in several years.

Harriet Klausner


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