An uncanny child born to brilliant parents, befriended by a prince, mentored by a wise woman, pursued by a powerful man, Secret Riven has no idea what destiny will demand of her or the courage she must have to confront it in the breathtakingly epic, genre-spanning sequel to The Mapmaker’s War.
One thousand years after a great conflict known as The Mapmaker’s War, a daughter is born to an ambitious historian and a gifted translator. Secret Riven doesn’t speak until her seventh year but can mysteriously communicate with plants and animals. Unsettled by visions and dreams since childhood, she tries to hide her strangeness, especially from her mercurial father and cold mother. Yet gentle, watchful Secret finds acceptance from Prince Nikolas, her best friend, and Old Woman, who lives in the distant woods.
When Secret is twelve, her mother receives an arcane manuscript to translate from an anonymous owner. Zavet suffers from nightmares and withdraws into herself. Secret sickens with a fever and awakens able to speak an ancient language, one her mother knows as well. Suddenly, Zavet dies. The manuscript is missing, but a cipher has been left for Secret to find.
Years later, Secret becomes a translator’s apprentice for Fewmany, an influential magnate, who has taken an interest in her for reasons she cannot discern. Before Secret learns why, Old Woman confronts Secret with the truth of her destiny—a choice she must make that is tied to an ancient past.
Overflowing with spellbinding storytelling, vivid characters, and set in a fascinating world, The Chronicle of Secret Riven explores the tension between love and hate, trust and betrayal, fate and free will.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Ever have such high expectations for a book that you are actually a little afraid to start reading it? That was me with this novel. Good news though, this book not only met those expectations, but far exceeded them.
It is not too often that I find a main character that I not only love, but feel so much kinship with that I feel like I am connected to them in some way. Secret is that character. When you get to know her, you can’t help but love her. Perhaps it is her gentle nature in the beginning, or the way she grows into a strong woman capable of protecting all she holds dear without losing that gentle nature,either way, she is unforgettable.
This story is interesting right from the beginning and pulls the reader into a world where just about anything is possible. I love that Ronlyn Domingue did not begin this book with huge magical elements and (gulp) dragons, wizards and the expected fantasy brood, but rather with characters who could have been any of us, allowing the fantasy elements to happen naturally and at their own pace.
This book was a lot of fun from the beginning to the end, and I am thrilled that I had the chance to read it. If you love adventurous stories with wonderful fantasy elements, this is a book you cannot miss.
This review is based on a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.