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Mystic and Rider
by Sharon Shinn

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
448 pages; ISBN: 0441012469

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Mystic and Rider
Sharon Shinn
Ace, March 2005, $23.95, 448 pp.
ISBN: 0441012469

King Baryn orders the mystic Senneth to journey through the realm of Gillengaria to find out how the nobles feel about his rule because rumors persist that the aristocracy is unhappy. Accompanying Senneth is Riders( soldiers loyal to the king) Tayse and Justin and Mystics Kira and Donnal. Along the way they pick up Cammon, an indentured servant who isn’t even aware he’s a mystic until Senneth shows him how to use his powers.

The journey is fraught with danger as a cult, the Daughter of the Pale Mother, headed by Conralinda Gisselness has amassed a large following of women who declare that Mystics are evil and must be destroyed. She whips the populace into a frenzy and has her soldiers kill the Mystics wherever they find them. Senneth and company also learn that several heads of the twelve houses are worried about the succession since the king has only a rarely seen daughter. Rumors that his queen is a mystic also upsets the people who think those who wield magic are evil. Civil war on a religious and politic front seems inevitable.

Sharon Shinn demonstrates her amazing writing talent in MYSTIC AND RIDER the first installment in a great new fantasy series. Senneth risks her life to save a baby from its grandfather who wants it dead because the infant was born with mystical powers. Readers will adore this vulnerable heroine who is one of the strongest mages in the land and is completely devoted to the king. Riding through the realm, the riders and the mystics observe how much the common folks detest those with magic even killing their own children. The world of Gillengaria is so realistically portrayed; readers will be convinced that this world actually exists.

Harriet Klausner


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