The latest collaboration between the creator of the Valdemar universe and her husband concludes the trilogy begun with Owlflight and Owlsight. Grown to maturity in the multispecies woodland settlement of k'Valdemar Vale, Darian Firkin has become a knight as well as a Master Mage to increase both his influence with neighboring tribes and his prestige within Valdemar. Darian's work in government gives way to travel when he finds hints that his parents, whom he believed dead, may be alive in the North. He sets off to discover their fate. Keisha, Darian's lover and a town healer, joins him, along with a crew of companions, but she remains of two minds about the future of their relationship because of her belief that marriage demands a woman's subordination. More action is provided by the lovers' encounters with various threats, including with a marauding tribe, the Wolverines, who are both vicious and intelligent. Valdemar is now an immensely well-developed world, and the book is full of dry wit and rich detail--about, say, the bathing habits of gryphons and the sarcastic, telepathic dyheli, deerlike sapient beings. The effect is marred by too much New Age sensitivity and didactic feminism, however, making the novel cloying for all but Valdemar devotees. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999 Release date: 10/01/1999 Genre: Fiction
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