The Ilse of Battle
by Sean Russell
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
480 pages; ISBN: 0380974901
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Over a millennium ago, the great sorcerer Wyr gave himself up to the river Wynnd to sleep and dream. While he slept, two families, the Renne and the Wills family claimed the throne of Ayr. After many centuries there is no more kingdom or throne but the two feuding families and their respective families remain bitter enemies, with war periodically breaking out.
For dynastic reasons Elise Wills is being forced to marry Prince Michael but rather than do it she jumps into the river and drowns. A water spirit Sianon grants her life again and the daughter of Wyr takes over part of Elise’s spirit. She knows her brother Haffydd, once known as Caibre, the son of Wyr, realizes she has awakened and could stop his plans for war if he doesn’t find her now. Both brother and sister, poised in a world on the brink of war, search for the mysterious Alaan because he holds the key to the kingdom’s secrets.
Sean Russell has brought epic fantasy to new heights. His characters are more goal-oriented than most fantasy figures. They know what they want and will go to any lengths to achieve it. Elise is the character readers empathize with the most, as she is torn between what she was and what she’s become. Let’s hope all the dangling threads and unanswered questions are explained in the next episode of this enchanting saga.
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