Published: November 17, 1994 by Scholastic Coorproation
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Pages: Paperback, 358
Sent to Carthak as part of the Tortallan peace delegation, Daine finds herself in the middle of a sticky political situation. She doesn’t like the Carthaki practice of keeping slaves, but it’s not her place to say anything — she’s just there to heal the emperor’s birds. It’s extremely frustrating! What’s more, her power has grown in a mysterious way.
As the peace talks stall, Daine puzzles over Carthak’s two-faced Emperor Ozorne. How can he be so caring with his birds and so cruel to his people? Daine is sure he’s planning something. Daine must fight the powerful Emperor Mage, knowing that the safety and peace of the realm depend on stopping Ozorne’s power-hungry schemes.
Some people say that the first book in a series is always the best. About half the time I agree. I guess half really isn’t all that bad, but that is still 50% of the books I read. This series isn’t part of the half where the first is better, it’s part of the half that gets so amazing after each book.
Of course, some of the same reasons that made this book better than the last are the same as what made the last book better than the first! So I’ll go down my list, hit all the points I have stored away in my brain and tell you why I liked it and something I didn’t like.
First, learning about Daine’s powers. Come on, if you thought the powers in the last book were awesome, this one is even better. I really enjoy it too because it really isn’t her power, but one that was given to her. There are some mildly comical parts and amazing scenes that happen because of this power and really, it’s just great.
Reason two: there was some serious plot here. The last had some also, but this was intense world changing plot, everything could have easily gone wrong.
Also here we start to see some feelings coming out from certain characters and towards other characters. Hate, love, dislike, admiration. Even for characters who weren’t introduced until this book, feelings were just poured into it.
But, one thing I’ll complain about, we won’t see some of these characters again. They go away and we won’t see them except for maybe briefly in the last book of the series. I’m happy to read it anyway, it really is just such a great series.