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Fantasy And Mythology And History - Another Triumph!

 

Canadian author Marie Powell earned her Maters degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and has written forty children’s books as well as short stories and poetry in literary magazines. As a professional writer and editor, she offers writing workshops, and teaches Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. She continues her interest in the young adult fantasy genre with WATER SIGHT, the second volume of her LAST OF THE GIFTED series.

Having established her cast of characters in Book 1, Marie recaps the important players in a Character Guide, defining the cast as well as providing a very useful pronunciation guide for the Welsh names, offering the sense of the author’s respect for her young adult
reading audience. The author’s choice to explore the history of Wales is also an added benefit to the library of medieval history.

Continuing her established eloquent writing style, weaving history with romance and fantasy, this volume opens in North Wales, April 1283 –‘Mist circled the mountain like a massive fist. Squinting upward, Cat could barely make out the legendary giant’s seat near the top of Cadair Idris. The fog surrounded her, obscuring Rhys who climbed behind her, but she drew is around her like a cloak. They needed stealth. Below them, the valley was full of English mercenaries, hunting for Welsh heads. It didn’t matter that only a handful of
warriors remained. Women, children, any of the would satisfy the wretched king….’ For those readers who have yet to enjoy Book 1, fear not – the background is well incorporated in the first chapters of this new book.

The author provides a terse breakdown of the plot: ‘Catrin can see the future in a drop of water. Her brother Hyw can take the shape of any bird or animal. Only their magic can thwart the invading English forces determined to bring down the country. The Prince of Wales needs three magical relics to rally the straggling Welsh forces. Catrin’s gift of Second Sight may be the only hope for success—if she can outwit the English lord who wants to use her gift to capture the prince. Her brother Hyw is on the run with the prince and the dwindling Welsh army. To escape the betrayal dogging their heels, Hyw takes refuge in his evolving gift—until shifting shapes puts his humanity in jeopardy. With Hyw trapped in his magic and her betrothed in an English jail, Catrin faces an impossible choice: save her brother, or save the man she loves.’

Designating the novel as a Young Adult book most assuredly should not deter readers beyond that range of age: this is a solid novel worthy of the attention of a very broad audience. Marie Powell once again proves she is a new voice worthy of note. Highly recommended. 


~Grady Harp