My friend Kate loves Lynn Kurland. Loves her! I have long meant to follow this most enthusiastic recommendation of this author — romance, fantasy, and romantic fantasy being Kurland’s strong suits, and all favourites of mine — so when I saw five of her books for $2 each on an op shop shelf, two of which kicked off her Nine Kingdoms series, I jumped at them.
And two years later, here we are.
Star of the Morning, the opening novel, introduces us to the Nine Kingdoms, but focuses mostly on Neroche, to which our heroine Morgan, shieldmaiden and swordswoman extraordinaire, must deliver a sword to the realm’s king.
Along the way, she collects about her a devoted troupe of followers — all men — some sent to her by Lord Nicholas, the venerable teacher who has sent her on this overseas errand, some chance met along the way, but who happen to be… wait for it… royalty.
I mean, sure.
As they travel, Morgan teaches the snotty Adhemar (he is, I kid you not, the King of this land, travelling incognito, because again, sure) and his brother Miach (he is, I kid you not, the Archmage of this land, travelling incognito, because… blah blah blah) swordplay, while they teach her magic, for which she has a crazy aptitude, but also, hates it. Overarching all of this, there is a darkness descending upon the world, thanks to an evil mage mentioned but little seen, and, wait, are Morgan and Miach falling in love?
This book combines so many things that I love. Quests. Hidden talents. Rightful heirs. Kickass women. Magic. Slow-burn romance. Shadowy bad guys. And after a very slow start, it all coalesces so beautifully that it becomes utterly compelling. Addictive. It’s silly, of course. Trope-tastic and so evocative of so much other Fantasy that it is almost actionable. (Except, almost all modern Fantasy is evocative of so much other Fantasy. It’s awesome.)
But I loved this book. LOVED IT. And I am very much looking forward to Book #2.
TBR DAY 55: Star of the Morning (Nine Kingdoms #1) by Lynn Kurland
GENRE: Romantic Fantasy
TIME ON THE TBR: 2 years.
PURCHASED FROM: Op shop.