Lisane crash lands her spaceship on an unfamiliar planet when she is forced to flee for her life from the Enforcers on her home planet. She was the princess of her old world and destined to rule her people for the rest of her natural life, but all that is gone now. Lisane is not sure what to make of the new world and is slowly starving to death when Simon finds her.
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Simon is a wizard and a teacher at a school where other wizards are trained. He is unaware that Lisane is a girl and takes her to the school, where all the other students are boys. Lisane doesn't exactly fit in on this new planet, but she refuses to let the others get her down, especially the sadistic Detter, who looks like an angel, but must surely be a demon in disguise.
When her education is complete, she leaves the school with Simon and Detter to journey across the land to face the Beast and win her magebands. The lands through which they pass are varied and some like wizards and others hate them. Along the way, Lisane has the opportunity to grow up and realize that this world is no less complex than her old world. As she struggles to find a place for herself and to figure out her feelings for Kaihan, the acknowledged head of the wizarding world, she discovers that her unique way of looking at magic, or ller, may be all that can save her newly adopted planet from the Enforcers, who are heading down to destroy them all...
I enjoyed the story and thought that Delia Marshall Turner was very creative in her treatment of magic and the different planets. This book is a unique blend of science fiction and fantasy that actually worked really well. I felt that the beginning of the book was a bit slow and then it was a huge rush at the end, but the storyline itself was good. This book is well written and Turner's descriptions are quite clear, although sometimes a little dry. However, the reason why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that I really hated Lisane. I know that it is good to have a strong female character in a book, but I just couldn't relate with Lisane and found myself really disliking her at times. I hated Detter, of course, but Turner portrays him in a way that you have to hate him.
I was also disappointed at the lack of interaction between Kaihan and Lisane. It was like Turner was building up to the moment when the romantic tension between them would come to a head and then it is over in one page! What is up with that? I would definitely have liked to read more about Kaihan and how he fits into the world there, but he was left a shadow figure in the background. Very disappointing. I think that the book is appropriate for mature teens and adults, but I would be careful about recommending it to all young adults (even though it is considered a young adult book) because the book deals with quite a bit of sex, including homosexuality, S & M, etc. and is not for all readers. Also, bear in mind that this book is rather hard to get into at first, it took me weeks to get through it, and that is very unusual for me.
The review of this Book prepared by Debbie
From an early age, Lisane was chosen to be a ruler - to be a wise, glorious, magical mother figure to her people - but when the Enforcers came, they ended that, destroying Lisane's family and taking her hostage. She escaped to a new world, one with very different attitudes about magic, gender roles, and politcs. She spends a year in a boarding school-cum-prison, for boy magicians who first used their powers to kill someone, where she is the only girl, and far more magically skilled than all her fellow students. After she's learned to survive there, she has to learn to survive in the rest of the world - and save it from the Enforcers, who are coming back.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy
Lisane has spent her whole life preparing to become Queen of her people and a kind of religious symbol. Then the Enforcers come to her world, destroy it, and take her people. She manages to escape and ends up on a planet where only men are supposed to have the kind of magical powers she does. On her planet, magic was treated with respect and reverence, while here magic is just seen as a useful thing that also happens to be dangerous. She stays at the magic school, where her teacher attempts to show her how to use magic the way they do. It turns out that the school is also a kind of prison, keeping the students from getting out and possibly harming people. Every student is there because he killed someone when his powers first came into being, and the rest of the world is understandably wary of magic users. Lisane doesn't follow any of the rules and expectations, and no one's quite sure what to do with her. Although it's sometimes hard to relate to Lisane, since she comes from an alien culture herself (her planet is ruled by what she admits could be considered "professional-suicide-prostitute-cannibal-mages"), but the author has a wonderful sense of humor and Lisane's observations about this new culture she's found herself in gave me a good laugh.
The review of this Book prepared by Melissa Cookson