King Baryn orders the mystic Senneth to journey through
the realm of Gillengaria to find out how the nobles feel
about his rule because rumors persist that the aristocracy
is unhappy. Accompanying Senneth is Riders( soldiers loyal
to the king) Tayse and Justin and Mystics Kira and Donnal.
Along the way they pick up Cammon, an indentured servant
who isn't even aware he's a mystic until Senneth shows him
how to use his powers.
The journey is fraught with danger as a cult, the Daughter
of the Pale Mother, headed by Conralinda Gisselness has
amassed a large following of women who declare that
Mystics are evil and must be destroyed. She whips the
populace into a frenzy and has her soldiers kill the
Mystics wherever they find them. Senneth and company also
learn that several heads of the twelve houses are worried
about the succession since the king has only a rarely seen
daughter. Rumors that his queen is a mystic also upsets
the people who think those who wield magic are evil. Civil
war on a religious and politic front seems inevitable.
Sharon Shinn demonstrates her amazing writing talent in
MYSTIC AND RIDER the first installment in a great new
fantasy series. Senneth risks her life to save a baby from
its grandfather who wants it dead because the infant was
born with mystical powers. Readers will adore this
vulnerable heroine who is one of the strongest mages in
the land and is completely devoted to the king. Riding
through the realm, the riders and the mystics observe how
much the common folks detest those with magic even killing
their own children. The world of Gillengaria is so
realistically portrayed; readers will be convinced that
this world actually exists.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted March 5, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 25, 2007
Clouds of unrest are darkening the land of Gillengaria. In the southern region, ill feeling toward magic and those who use it has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such men and women are to be tolerated.
Whispers abound that he issued the decree because his new young wife is herself a mystic, who has used her powers to ensnare him. The king knows this - and he knows that he now sits uneasy on the throne. There are those barons of the Twelve Houses, who, out of their own ambition, might well use this growing dissent to overthrow him.
So he dispatches the mystic woman Senneth on a journey to see firsthand how dire the situation might be. Accompanying her are Justin, a young Rider who distrusts the magical arts; Kirra, a healer and shape-changer born of the Twelve Houses; her servant, the lowborn Donnal, also a shape-shifter; and Tayse, the first among the King's Riders. He, too, holds a hard view of mystics in general - and Senneth in particular.
As these unlikely allies venture further into the south, they ecounter a land under the sway of a fanatical cult that would purge Gillengaria of all magic users. They will face daeth - and worse. And the will come to realize that their only hope of survival lies in standing together, mystic and Rider, side by side...