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“The King's Own ”

Written on: 16/12/2005 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The King's Own

Lorna Freeman

Roc, Feb 2006, $7.99, 432 pp.

ISBN: 0451460715

Lord Rabbit, heir to the throne of his cousin King Jusson IV of Iversterre, is in the town of Freston with the royal retinue. The townsfolk and much of the kingdom do not want to see Rabbit on the throne because he was raised in the Border where the fae reside, and he has the magical powers of the four elements that will make him a powerful mage once he learns to control his skills. His teacher, Lurel, a sentient mountain cat who walks on two legs, and the elf Wyln, are with Rabbit adding to the local fears, as most remember losing the war of acquisition to these species.

Rabbit is also claimed by his His Grace Loran of the Border, making him a bridge between the two cultures and a weapon to be used if the Taurlian Empire tries to annex Iversterre. When invisible hands touch him in the town square, Rabbit uses his powers to repel the attack, frightening the townsfolk even more. Afterward he is sent to jail, but freed by his monarch to work under Thadra, Commander of the Army. Laurel fears that someone is trying to bind him so that they can use his magic as theirs. When dark magic kills Rabbit's jailer, the townsfolk assume he committed that atrocity and others. He wonders if agitators are in league with a sorcerer who wants the king dead, and to accomplish those ends conjured a soul eating demon that only Rabbit might be able to stop.

Fans of Shannara and the Lord of the Rings will relish this richly descriptive and enthralling high fantasy saga. Fully developed characters, and an action oriented storyline, keeps readers' interest at extraordinary high levels. Rabbit is a wonderful principled protagonist, who is an innocent, but is learning quickly to be a politically savvy soul. His efforts will endear him to the audience who will demand more thrillers starring this likable hero.

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