This is an omnibus of three novels: Shadow Magic, Daughter of Witches, and the Harp of Imach Thyssel. I only finished the first two… it just wasn’t fun enough to justify the time to read the third one.
Shadow Magic: (two stars) This was quick to read, but it felt like the book jumped from the introduction to the conclusion without the intervening work by the characters to get to their happy endings. Possibly it’s because the book was so short, but I felt the critical event (finding the lost uber-magic items) was simply random chance, which leaves me unsatisfied. Neither the hero nor the heroine seemed like major actors in their own story. In fact only the heroine makes a critical choice (to use one of the uber-magic items), but neither she nor the reader know what that choice means when she makes it, only the risk she accepts by making that choice.All in all, it was a cute story, but unsatisfying.
Daughter of Witches: (one star) I remember reading this in high school and really liking it. But it doesn’t hold up. The main character Ranira was very wishy-washy about the foreigners and magic. I found her inconsistency annoying, especially as it wasn’t really presented as Ranira coming to terms with her own magic. I think I liked it originally because it tried to have a non-standard fantasy-world view. It does portray a female main character from a culture without women’s emancipation, and the main character does have her cultures attitudes regarding her place in the world… but again, I didn’t think the idea was really dealt with, just touched upon. The story read more like a role-playing scenario then a novel, and the characterizations showed those characteristics (e.g. slightly clichéd and rather cardboard.)
eBook Shadows over Lyra (Lyra, #1-3)