"Promising beginning to Nine Kingdoms romantic Fantasy Saga leaves the reader wanting more"

Lynn Kurland shows her versatility as a writer with this foray into the realm of romantic fantasy. This book is very different from her humorous time travel and historical romances, a lot more intense but totally fascinating.

The kingdom of Tor Neroche is in peril. King Adhemar's magical sword has lost its power and his brother Miach, the archmage of the realm, has discovered holes in his protection spells on their borders as well. Now their only hope is to find the wielder of the "queen's sword", the Sword of Angesand, in order to stem the tide of the dark magic encroaching on the kingdom.

Adhemar departs in search of the wielder, but the king is soon waylaid. When too much time has passed, Miach takes the form of a hawk and sets out to find him. Just when he is about to give up he sites the blaze of magic from the king's sword. Hence he finds Adhemar and so much more.

Morgan of Melksham has been charged with a mission by Nicholas of Lismor, a man who had been like a father to her. She is to take a knife laced with magic and deliver it to the King of Tor Neroche. Morgan, a mercenary/shieldswoman hates magic but agrees to take on the task out of a strong sense of duty. Ironically she nearly kills Adhemar for sneaking up behind her, but she is momentarily blinded by his handsome visage. His boastful demeanor soon has her wishing she had finished him off however, and since he is not inclined to reveal his identity, she assumes he is just one of the many sons named after the king of the realm.

Nicholas sends a band of Morgan's friends to meet her and protect her on her quest. Glines recognizes both the king and his brother Miach, but is asked to keep his knowledge to himself. Miach suspects that it was Morgan who had wrung magic from his brother's sword in battle and that she might well be the one that they seek. Since Morgan is quite vocal about her disapproval of magic, Miach tells her that he is a farmer who knows only small spells that might aid him in his work. While Adhemar merely annoys her, Morgan soon comes to trust Miach and eventually decides she might actually become fond of him. As Miach's feelings for the brave and capable warrior become stronger with each moment and more attacks begin to mount on their band, he begins to wonder if he might be able spare her the dubious duty of becoming the wielder of the magical sword.

It is not to be, his own duty dictates that he put the welfare of the kingdom before his heart and the woman he's come to love.

The magic of the dagger has been singing to Morgan and bringing strange dreams of a long forgotten past. By the time she reaches the Tor Neroche its song has become so deafening that she can barely focus on anything else. She longs to deliver her burden to the king and be done with it, but the castle has more than one surprise in store for her, and what she finds there might well destroy her. Certainly nothing in her world will ever be the same.

A happily ever after is not realized in this particular episode. The dark powers that the pair face are strong, but where there is life there is hope. Will Morgan find it in her heart to forgive Miach for his deception? What will the discovery of her heritage mean to them all? Together will they manage to save the kingdom from the darkness? Will Adhemar ever learn humility and cease being pompous? Will we learn more about the other five brothers? (Cathar is definitely intriguing.) We will have to wait and see.

While SF & F lovers are used to sagas of epic proportions Ms. Kurland's romance readers may lament having to wait for their happy ending, but with a storyline this intriguing I have a feeling it will be well worth a little patience. I highly recommend this promising beginning to the tales of the Nine Kingdoms.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted January 5, 2007


A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms

Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche's king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades...

In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword—and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined


Star of the Morning
(Nine Kingdoms: Book 1)
by Lynn Kurland

Berkley Pub Group
December 1, 2006
Available: December 5, 2006
ISBN #0425212122
EAN #9780425212127
336 pages
Trade Size
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Other Books by
Lynn Kurland

A Tapestry of Spells
The Mammoth Book of Time Travel Romance
Till There Was You
Princess of the Sword
With Every Breath
The Mage's Daughter
When I Fall in Love
To Kiss in the Shadows
Much Ado in the Moonlight
The Queen In Winter
Love Came Just In Time
Dreams of Stardust
To Weave a Web of Magic
A Garden In The Rain
From This Moment On
My Heart Stood Still
A Knight's Vow
A Dance Through Time
If I Had You
Opposites Attract
The More I See You
Veils of Time
Another Chance to Dream
The Very Thought of You
Christmas Spirits
This Is All I Ask
A Dance Through Time
The Christmas Cat
Stardust Of Yesterday

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