Khamsin "Kammi" was born when Drucilla, the Captain's daughter, was brutally raped by the nomadic Hill People when they attacked the small town of Cirrus Cove. The Captain refused to let his daughter keep the baby and so it was probably just as well that the healer, Bronya, claimed the babe.
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Everyone knew that Bronya had some Raheiran, or witch, blood in her and feared as well as respected her for her healing powers. Bronya was careful to bring Kammi up in the old ways, worshipping the three gods and carefully training Kammi in magical arts. Bronya knew that she would have little time to prepare Kammi for the role that she would soon play. For Kammi had been claimed by Tarkir, God of the Land and the Underworld, for his first born son, the Sorcerer of Traakhal-Armin. Bronya held the god off for as long as she could, but eventually knew that her time had come to leave the earth. She placed Kammi in the care of Tavis, the blacksmith who had loved Kammi since she was small. Kammi cared for Tavis, but didn't love him. When Bronya insisted, Kammi reluctantly married Tavis and tried to live like the other villagers.
Kammi was careful to keep her magical implements locked up and to perform the ancient rites when Tavis was safely occupied with his work at the forge. But when an assignation or meeting was issued to her from the Sorcerer just before her eighteenth birthday, Kammi knew that she could no longer pretend to be ordinary. Although Tavis fought bitterly against her continuing her training, Kammi snuck out anyway. On her way home from practice, Kammi ran into Rylan the Tinker on the road, one of her favorite visitors who came infrequently to the village. She found herself watching him and wondering what it would be like to be his wife, but, of course, she was already wed. Kammi breathed a sigh of relief when she reached the eve of her eighteenth birthday without meeting the dreaded sorcerer, but returned home to find her world destroyed. The Hill People had descended upon Cirrus Cove in her absence and killed all the people she held dear - including her husband.
Kammi almost died trying to escape, and would have died if Rylan the Tinker had not come for her, bound up her wounds and persuaded her to live. As Kammi and Rylan traveled toward the great city of Noviiya where she would receive more training for her powers, Kammi became more and more attracted to Rylan. But Rylan never forced anything on her, saying instead that he would take only what she would give. Eventually, Rylan and Kammi become involved, but Rylan must reluctantly depart to take care of some business. He promises to return, but Kammi, despite being involved in intense training, slowly counts the weeks and Rylan still is not there. She knows that she must seek out the Sorcerer's city of Traakhal-Armin on her own and destroy the Orb of Knowledge before more people are killed. But her mentor reminds her before she leaves that she can share the Orb of Knowledge with someone or destroy it if she chooses. Why would she want to share its power - the Sorcerer is evil, isn't he?
Megan Sybil Baker has once again written an enchanting adventure that is well worth the price that you will pay (but is available in ebook format for much cheaper). Kammi was a wonderful character, both vulnerable and strong and it was fun to watch her grow and mature and to realize that everything is not what it seems. Rylan the Tinker is a rather shadowy figure, at first, but readers will quickly realize that he is much more than he seems. As with all of Baker's books, there are a host of other characters that are equally fascinating and fun to get to know, including Nixa, Kammi's cat who definitely had a personality of her own. I loved the in depth treatment of the history and culture of the world where Kammi lived. Their religion was fascinating and the gods get involved in human affairs much like the ancient Greek and Roman gods did. Baker has once again created a well-developed world with plenty of depth for readers to enjoy. And if you liked this book, check out An Accidental Goddess, which is the far-future sequel to Wintertide and continues the battle between the Kiasidira/Sorcerer and his siblings.
The review of this Book prepared by Debbie
Medallion Press, 316 pp
Brona the healer claims the unborn child, conceived of violence, as hers. The child Khamsin is born during a storm of the century. Bronya raises the child teaching her the magic until Khamsin turns seventeen. The healer reads the runes interpreting them to mean that Khamsin must immediately marry. Though she does not want a man in her life as she is used to no one except Bronya, Khamsin makes a deathbed promise to her mentor to do so.
Khamsin marries, but her husband and his villagers do not trust her or her power. She is allowed to only heal the sick. As happened when she was conceived, raiders killed most of the villagers. Khamsin escapes, but now knows she must obtain the Orb from a powerful sorcerer and determine what will become of this magical artifact that has led to so many deaths by those who desire to misuse its power.
Fans of epic fantasy adventures will quickly understand why WINTERTIDE is a multiple award-winning novel. The key to the richly textured story line is the depth of the characters and the world that enables the audience to believe in magic especially in a young girl's heart. The plot never loses focus as master magician Megan Sybil Baker casts an enchanting spell that force a one sitting read and a geas to seek other works from this enchantress.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner
Sorcery, treachery... and love! Khamsin of Cirrus Cove is an innocent young Healer caught in a mystical power struggle that has waged in the Land for centuries. It is this war that brings her the only man she will ever love. And it is this war that forces her to confront her greatest challenge: can she accept the truth of who she is? FOUR STAR Romantic Times review: "...a well-written story of sword and sorcery and one not to be missed!" Reviewer Melanie Moul: "...a riveting tale of a young woman determined to fulfill her destiny... Baker is destined to be a leader in the world of fantasy!"
The review of this Book prepared by Linnea Sinclair