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Myrren's Gift

Title: Myrren's Gift

Auhor: Fiona McIntosh

Publisher: Orbit

Reviewer: Duncan Walker

Rating (out of 10): 9


Classic fantasy, Myrren's Gift tells the tale of Wyl Thirsk, the kings foremost general. He comes into conflict with the King's vicious son when he takes pity on Myrren, a young woman who has been accused of being a witch. In return she grants him an unspecified gift.

Unlike a lot of recent fantasy books that concentrate on creating complex magic systems, that go into the smallest detail of how this or that spells works, Fiona McIntosh focuses on developing the characters and telling their story. This is to the great benefit to the storyline as you get to know the characters and the care about what happens to them.

McIntosh is also refreshingly hard on her characters, bad things happen to good people in this story. This creates tension in the storyline, because you cannot the wholly sure that the main characters are going to make it through. There's no twirling a magic wand and blasting the bad guys in this book, and it's much the better for it.

A great novel from a talented new (or if you are Australian not so new, come on Orbit publish the rest of her work soon) writer who is surely going to be one of the great fantasy writers.

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