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Fiona McIntosh

The Quickening trilogy

Myrren’s Gift, Voyager (2003) 

ISBN: 0-732278-66-X

Blood and Memory, Voyager (2004)

ISBN: 0-732278-67-8

Bridge of Souls, Voyager (2004)

ISBN: 0-732278-68-6

Reviewed by Gillian Polack (these reviews were first published in January 2006)

Myrren’s Gift

The judicial murder of a young magic-wielder, Myrren, plotted by Cerimus (heir to the throne of Morgravia), changes the future of three countries. The execution of Myrren and how her final legacy to unwilling observer Wil Thirsk plays out is the main subject of Myrren’s Gift. We are introduced to the main characters, including Wil (who receives Myrren’s gift of inhabiting the body of whoever kills him) and his family, and the various royal families of the region.

There is a great deal of action in the set-up volume for the trilogy and this book ought to be fast-paced, but it is actually quite slow. The reason for this lies mainly in McIntosh’s style. Her sentences tend to determine the pace, and her explanations and backgrounds are sometimes guilty of being longer than the action they describe.

It is worth pushing past the slowness. While this is not a great work of literature, it is a fantasy trilogy that relies more on politics and plotting than on a quest. It is all about personal ambitions and their effects on other people. The consequences of actions are clear and comprehensible and the world and its people are interesting and well enough drawn to make it enjoyable to read. The women are more interesting than the men, in fact, because McIntosh gives most of them far more capacity for independent action than is traditional. Even victims are capable of actions with vast consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

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