Book 9 of the Nine Kingdoms by Lynn Kurland
Berkley Trade ~ January 2015 ~ 5 Stars
The next book in the Nine Kingdom series, Dreamer’s Daughter concludes this particular trilogy and the story that began in Dreamspinner and River of Dreams. The heroine, Aisling continues to discover more about her magick while she and the hero, elven prince Runach seek to find the answer of what is happening in Bruadair. They need to restore the rightful rulers and deal with the king who usurped the throne of her country.
This adventure returns the reader to a fabulous world of elves, dwarves, swords, sorcery, mysterious kings and queens as well as witches and shape-shifting horses. Intelligent, resourceful, kind and determined, Aisling worries not just about herself – she never actually quite believes in her magick, although everyone around her does since she can spin everything, air, wind, light… She loves Runach and he adores her so the continued sweetness of their relationship will enthrall readers. These are very clean romances, suitable for the middle grade and high school audiences.
The cast of characters especially Iteach, the shapeshifting horse will also engage readers, especially since he loves sleeping on the heroine’s bed – not giving anything away, he changes to cat for that and a dragon when Aisling is in mortal peril. The humor-filled dialogue (at times) is also fun. Kurland has built a wonderful world in the Nine Kingdoms, well-described and always consistent. Journeying to Aisling’s homeland together means they will finally learn the truth of her past which will enable them to confront evil and hopefully build a future together.
Still, there are threads of unanswered questions that can only be resolved by another trip to this magical realm, although this novel is supposed to be the culmination of the Nine Kingdoms’ series. While the series remains immensely readable, there were a few problems in the climax of the story. Granted, any violence toward the usurping king – the villain and his minions may be downplayed because it is a YA book – but the ending felt forced and far too fast-paced especially with Kurland’s undisputed talent showcased in the previous books.
Still this series along with Dreamer’s Daughter belongs on my “keeper” shelves and deserves a return visit very soon. One can only hope that Kurland decides to return to this kingdom and share more of its adventures.