The Sword of the Land
by Noel-Anne Brennan
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
368 pages; ISBN: 0441010318
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
In the land of the Saeditin, power and wealth are held through the matriarchal line with the head of the kingdom, the Sae Ket, always a woman. At eight years of age the heir to the throne, Rilsin Sae Becha sees her mother killed in a civil war that put a Saeket Melisin on the throne. The order went out that the disposed Sae Becha was to be put to death but she was murdered by an assassin before that order could be carried out.
The new Saeket, Rilsin’s cousin Sithli commutes the death sentence of the child and they grow up in the palace together as best friends. Rilsin pledges her loyalty to Sithli and becomes the first minister and leader of the army. Sithli is not a very good leader, alienating the commoners and allowing her people to be sold as slaves to the south. The land calls to Rilsin but if she answers that summons, she will plunge the country into another civil war and stands to lose all she holds dear.
THE SWORD OF THE LAND is a very entertaining fantasy featuring a heroine it is impossible to dislike. She is loyal to her cousin who she truly loves and tries to turn a blind eye to her excesses but she can’t ignore the complaints of the people or her ties to the land. Court intrigue and battle scenes are only a small part of this novel as the author focuses her attention on the protagonist tugged in opposite directions by opposing forces demanding she choose between the moral high ground or her cousin’s desires.
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