by Jennifer Fallon
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
4 pages; ISBN: 0765309866
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Tor, May 2004, $24.95, 400 pp.
In Medalon, the Sisterhood of the Blade has methodically thwarted beliefs in the gods and the mythical magical Harshini though some folks quietly believe in the existence of both just not publicly because of dire consequences. The nation has enemies surrounding it as other countries are ruled by “heathens”, faithful to the Gods and believing the Harshini live. Eighteen-year-old R'shiel Tenragen is the daughter of the First Sister of the Blade, haughty demanding Joyhinia. Because of Joyhinia’s demands, R’shiel is a postulant studying to become a Sister, but has doubts as she sees the backstabbing jealousies as more common than true loyalty. When R’shiel and her half-brother alienate mommy dearest, they flee for their lives.
The Gods have tasked the Harshini to do the impossible. The Harshini know that success is not viable yet failure is unacceptable. They need allies and R'shiel would be perfect though she is the daughter of generations of enemies. However, R’shiel knows that a species just below the Gods that do not exist cannot be real; for those are two of the prime rules of the sisterhood.
This excellent opening of the six book Hythrun Chronicles fantasy series is superb because the key characters seem genuine with motives, pettiness, jealousy, and other human traits. Even the magical race Harshini seems real as they have doubts about their mission. The story line is as much a coming of age as it is an epic fantasy adventure to learn the truth about one’s heritage mindful of Russia just after the fall of the Soviet Union. Fantasy fans will enjoy this stupendous novel that hooks the reader from the opening funeral pyre of the First Sister that sends smoke in the air.
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