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The Charmed Sphere
by Catherine Asaro

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
471 pages; ISBN: 037380203X

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

Review

The Charmed Sphere
Catherine Asaro
Luna, Feb 2004, $13.95, 471 pp.
ISBN 037380203X

When the King and his retinue came to Jacob’s Vale searching for mages, Chine tried to hide since she didn’t want to leave the family orchard and go to Castle Suncroft. Della No-Cozen, the mage-mistress immediately saw how much power she had and persuaded her to come to the castle to learn how to use her abilities properly. The king’s nephew and heir, Prince Muller is expected to marry Chine, but he doesn’t want to wed anyone nor become king.

Chine also doesn’t want to be queen and the thought of marrying the prince is ludicrous until she comes to know him. Muller quickly falls in love with his betrothed but Della finds Iris, another mage more powerful than Chine and Iris locates Javid the king’s grandson thought to have died fourteen years ago. Muller and Chine are both chagrined and happy to realize they won’t be monarchs but they still have a very important role to play in the kingdom. King Varquelle of Harsdown plans to invade and annex the land of Aronsdale with the help of his powerful mage, Anvil and it will take the special powers of Chine and Muller to stop them if they can learn to control their magic.

Readers will love this epic romantic fantasy that reads like an adult fairy tale. There are two couples who must overcome many obstacles before they can admit their love for one another and it is fascinating watching them slowly mature into heroic figures to be admired. This is a very different kind of work than Catherine Asara’s science fiction novels involving the Skalian Empire, but this novel is just as engrossing and enthralling.

Harriet Klausner

 

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