"A roller coaster ride of excitement and heartbreaking love"

At first, I thought that this was going to be a fairly formulatic story about a lost heiress. I was gladly proved wrong.

Kel and Orber, two traders see a young woman in a bar fending off a miner demanding that the house provide free food for him. A brawl results, and they come to her defense. The three escape, and Kel forms a plan. He saw the young woman's, Ten, eyes, and was reminded of the legendary Chantreuse, the most famous singer of the world of Joppa. Twenty years ago, she lost a daughter, though whether it was to death or disappearance, no one is sure. Ten looks enough like her to pull of a masquerade as the lost girl, Fara, and claim the reward offered for her return. Despite misgivings on his partners' sides, they go through with the plan. Between them and Joppa lies a whole galaxy of difficulties. More than once, someone tries to take Ten into the life of whoredom, and at one point, she has to rescue Kel from a similar fate. Then there is the matter of her lack of identification. This means they cannot travel on anything but a low class space scow. She also lacks the grace of the people of Joppa and the musical gift they all possess.

Despite this lack, Ten is Joppan. She was to have been killed at birth, but her nurse saves her because in the child she sees the fulfillment of a prophecy that can save their world. Only one who is deaf to the music of Joppa and its singing trees can save them from the slow death that is killing the trees, and thus Joppa itself. When she knows this, Ten steals away to Joppa apart from her companions, seeking to spare them for she loves them both, Ober as a her first friend, and Kel as much more.

She proves herself to her mother, but between her and her destiny lays the strongest force in the universe, a mother's love. The price of Joppa's salvation is the life of the one who would save it. Once again, Kel must rescue her, but is he saving her to go to her death?

A roller coaster ride of excitement and heartbreaking love awaits the reader in this book. Ten is a gritty heroine with little softness, but all heart. Fans of the TIGER AND DEL series will enjoy the interplay between her and Kel, a hero that present many contradictions. The characters' nobility in this book shines through, and the plot is filled with action. The one flaw is, it could have been longer. I would have liked to have more time to get to know these people.

Amanda Killgore / February 2002
Copyright 2002 for PNR Reviews

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 9, 2002


Her name is Ten. It's the only name she's ever known. When Kel finds her working at a rough miner's bar on Farga, he sees her resemblance to The Chanteuse. For years, dozens of men like him have tried to prove that they've found the famous singer's lost daughter, the heir to a mighty legacy on the planet Jappa. There was a fortune to be claimed. Kel didn't plan on falling in love with the woman he was shaping to be The Chanteuse' daughter. He doesn't know that Jappa is on the brink of extinction and there is only one person who can save it. Can that person be Ten?


The Singing Trees
by Jim Lavene, Joyce Lavene

March 1, 2002
ISBN #1587490951
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