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REVIEW

"A wonderful fantasy story"

Stefan is a young page, in service to Prince Roland Frederickson, who was crippled many years ago in an accident. For as long as he can remember, Stefan has been with Roland, and he would do absolutely anything for his friend and master. He is a peaceful boy, who has no memory of how he came to be at Woodbridge in service to the King. His favorite thing to do, when not serving, is to play his beloved lute. He has a magic touch, and a magical voice as well.

Roland longs for adventure and hopes to see something of his kingdom before taking over the crown when his father no longer can rule. When he overhears a discussion about shipment of furs to be sent down river and traded, he begs his father to allow him to accompany the captain and the traders. So, off he goes, with the ever-faithful Stefan by his side, to spread his wings and see the world.

Only a few days into the journey, the raft carrying the furs and crew is attacked, nearly everyone killed. The only survivors are Roland, Stefan, and a trader named Collyn, and that is only by sheer luck, for they are believed dead as well. This is where the real journey begins. The three unlikely allies must venture through the forbidden Starlit Wood, only remaining stronghold of the elven race. When they are captured, the secrets are revealed. Stefan is really Steavil Andundalae, the prince to the throne of the elves! He was believed to be killed 15 years ago, by a rogue sorcerer, determined to rule the human AND elven worlds.

Now Roland and Stefan must take different roads, each to fulfill their own separate destinies. And one of their dreams is to try to make allies, rather then enemies, of the elven and human worlds. Along the way, they each must fight their personal demons, and they come to find they have a common enemy as well, and that there is far more binding them to each other then they previously thought. Will Steavil and Roland fulfill their duties? Will they be able to unite their worlds against the prejudice long ingrained in humans and elves alike? Who is this common enemy they fight and what are his reasons for wanting to destroy them both? And who... or what... is the mysterious Ravenwing that always seems to appear when danger is imminent? There is only one way to find out... read.

Wow!! This book was incredible! It is full of action and adventure -- a coming of age tale of two young men whose lives are permanently intertwined in ways they don't fully understand. It is also an age-old tale of good vs. evil, with a spin on it, which makes one wonder "What if?" From the very first page, one knows one is in for a treat. Ms. Sheridan grabs the reader, tugging at the heartstrings, and never letting go until the very last page is turned. There are so many intriguing plots and subplots going at once, that one has to pay close attention so as not to miss something vital to the story.

The heroes are unique, and unexpected, each having their own personal demons to fight... Steavil with his crippled leg he is convinced will always hinder those he loves; Collyn with his guilt over past occurrences he had no control of, who is determined not to let down those who mean the most to him ever again; and Roland with his fear and often uncontrollable rages, who is terrified of letting his father down and failing in his duties as prince and future king to his land. Then there are the secondaries, all of whom are fascinating in their own right and all very individual, often with hidden agendas tied into their responsibilities to others.

Though this book is not a romance, by a long shot, there are a few undercurrents of romance to be found, which end up being key to the plot. Roland and Steavil each find love along the way in their respective quests, both in the unlikeliest of places. Full of ideals and morals, they each grow, through their love for their families, which are not always bound by blood, but by the heart.

Go out and buy a copy of this book today, and be sure to check out the accompanying short story, EVERYTHING TO GAIN, found at the publisher's website.

© Kelley A. Hartsell, October 2002. All rights reserved.

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 22, 2006

SUMMARY

The slumbering camp exploded into chaos as eerie spine- shivering cries ripped the night asunder. Terrified, the boy jerked upright, heart thundering in his ears as his gaze skittered about wildly. Disoriented at being yanked from a sound sleep, the prince clambered to his feet, calling fearfully for his mother. There was no answer.

As the young elven prince, Steavil, watches in horror, his mother is slain by the evil Norfulk Roderickson. Fleeing for his life, he strikes his head and is knocked unconscious.

Cut off from everything and everyone, Steavil's life takes a drastic shift. He is found by the king of a neighboring realm and raised, as Stefan, to be the page of its prince, Roland. Although he remembers nothing before the rescue, Stefan knows something is missing in his life, and he longs for the freedom he once knew.

When Roland convinces the king to let them travel on a routine trading expedition and their raft is attacked and burned, Stefan experiences flashes of disquieting déjà vu as the events swirl about him.

When Prince Roland resolves to return home alone, Stefan watches from the trees as the prince is captured by the legendary elves. Will Stefan be able to rescue the prince? Will he remember his own past?

 

The Blood that Binds
by Rie Sheridan

Novel Books, Inc.
December 24, 2001
ISBN #1931696845
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Other Books by
Rie Sheridan

The Right Hand of Velachaz
From Within the Mist
Miles To-Go
There's a Bad Moon In Your Eyes
The Lute And The Liar
Ghost of a Chance
Zombie Invaders From Mars


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