Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 3
What did you like about the book? This is the first novel in a trilogy that retells the classic story of Tristan and Isolde. Branwen is orphaned as a child and brought up in court with her cousin, although she is a mere lady in waiting to Princess Esuelt. Branwen is blessed by the Otherworld with a magical ability to heal which she uses to heal a young man from the enemy land of Kernyvue across the sea. Despite feeling that she is betraying her parents, who died at the hands of the Kernyvue, she cannot help saving this young man. Despite her loyalty to her family and to her country, she falls in love with this enemy poet before he disappears. When he returns to the kingdom as Prince Tristan of Kernyv and seeks the hand of Esuelt to unite their warring countries, Branwen faces heartbreak and betrayal. She is also facing new manifestations of her healing power that cause destruction and death. This is a story full of strong female characters, romance, magic, adventure and danger. Readers will eagerly await the next volume in the trilogy.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? Hand this to readers who enjoy fantasy series such as Graceling by Kristin Cashore or His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers. Historical fiction readers, especially those interested in Celtic Britain, will also find lots to like. Those readers who enjoy twists on classic literature will also take to this novel.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries and high school libraries
Where would you shelve it? YA fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 11/15/18