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The Gift of Magic by Lynn Kurland – review
The Gift of Magic concludes the second trilogy in the Nine Kingdoms series. It finishes up the main quest of Sarah and Ruith, but leaves plenty of room for more stories in the world, possibly even with the two of them. Which is a good thing since Lynn Kurland has a new installment coming out in about a month!
This book is definitely for people who have read the first two in the trilogy. The books together make one story, and while I’m sure the plot would be followable for someone not familiar with the world, a lot of the book’s charm would be lost. These novels are just feel-good swashbuckling adventure stories, with some love and magic thrown in. They are, for me, less about a particular story than about a feel and a world, though of course I want to see evil defeated by good.
Sarah and Ruith are tracking each of the parts of his father’s worst (or greatest) spell via her ability to see where they are in the world. The true villain of the tale is finally revealed, and, boy, was he a whopper of a bad guy. Not a surprising one given the discoveries made in previous books, but still not entirely expected. I loved the way the hero and heroine worked together to bind him…it was a much more just fate than some of the bad guys in this series have come to. I was glad to see Kurlan find a way for her hero to offer little mercy and yet not be morally corrupted by the unmerciful behavior.
My only complaint with the story is that I would have liked to see a bigger exploration of Sarah’s gift, which is obviously rare and special, and which she spends the whole book insisting isn’t any gift at all. Like…none of the people she met who seemed to know what she could do had 5 minutes to sit down with her and explain it?
Otherwise I enjoyed the book. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s fun but not for people who require their fantasy to be steeped in modern trends of the genre. This is fluffy-bunny fantasy-romance, for all that it deals with villains who can unmake the world, and there is a certain cuteness of tone that has to be accepted from the get-go. But if you like that sort of thing, the series continues to be fantastic fun reading for a cold winter’s night!