Rilsin Sae Becha was the eight-year-old heir to her kingdom when a political coup left her orphaned and captive - and placed her nine-year-old cousin Sithli on the throne. The two girls grow up together, bonds of sisterhood forming dispite their precarious situation. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes obvious that Sithli is not suited to rulership and the land of Saeditin begins a slow descent into chaos - one which Rilsin alone has the power to halt.
This report prepared by Teighan
Rilsin, the last remaining heir to the Saeditin throne, swears fealty to her cousin Sithli after her cousin's family seizes power in a bloody coup. The two girls grow up together, and Sithli becomes SaeKet (queen) while Rilsin becomes her first minister and commander of Saeditin's northern armies. Rilsin watches helplessly as her cousin misrules the country, bringing Saeditin to the brink of war within her borders and without. The burden of responsibility falls upon Rilsin when she is forced to make the choice between risking everything she loves in a rebellion against her cousin or keeping her vow to remain loyal. This book has politics, a love triangle (Rilsin is married to one man and in love with Sola, an inventor and Rilsin's childhood friend), battles, sword fights, a wicked queen, a heroic hunting cat, and even an explosion or two.
This report prepared by Ashareh
Ace, March 2003, 6.99, 368 pp.
In the land of the Saeditin, power and wealth are held through the matriarchal line with the head of the kingdom, the Sae Ket, always a woman. At eight years of age the heir to the throne, Rilsin Sae Becha sees her mother killed in a civil war that put a Saeket Melisin on the throne. The order went out that the disposed Sae Becha was to be put to death but she was murdered by an assassin before that order could be carried out.
The new Saeket, Rilsin's cousin Sithli commutes the death sentence of the child and they grow up in the palace together as best friends. Rilsin pledges her loyalty to Sithli and becomes the first minister and leader of the army. Sithli is not a very good leader, alienating the commoners and allowing her people to be sold as slaves to the south. The land calls to Rilsin but if she answers that summons, she will plunge the country into another civil war and stands to lose all she holds dear.
THE SWORD OF THE LAND is a very entertaining fantasy featuring a heroine it is impossible to dislike. She is loyal to her cousin who she truly loves and tries to turn a blind eye to her excesses but she can't ignore the complaints of the people or her ties to the land. Court intrigue and battle scenes are only a small part of this novel as the author focuses her attention on the protagonist tugged in opposite directions by opposing forces demanding she choose between the moral high ground or her cousin's desires.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner