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Monday, August 20, 2012

CSFF Blog Tour Day One: Eye of the Sword

Eye of the SwordThis month's CSFF tour features Karyn Henley's Eye of the Sword, book two in her Angelaeon Circle series of fantasy novels. Eye of the Sword continues the stories of Melaia and Trevin begun in Breath of Angel. I haven't read the first book in the series which I believe centers on Melaia. The second book casts Trevin as the protagonist and follows him on a multi-part quest. I don't recommend starting a series in the middle, but Henley provides enough detail when she makes allusions to events from the previous novel that readers can follow Trevin's character development from the first novel into this one without becoming lost and confused.

The action begins with an unfortunate incident. Trevin finds his brother Dwin drinking with some unsavory-looking Dregmoorians. (The Dregmoors neighbor Camrithia and are the source for ongoing raids.) A fight ensues and Trevin jumps down a well to escape the Dregmoorians who outnumber him three to one. The incident causes Trevin to be late for a banquet honoring his appointment as a comain--a type of knight who answers directly to the king. Trevin's appointment is partially a reward for saving King Laetham and Princess Melaia "from the sorceries of Lord Rejius and his attempted coup" (p. 15). Trevin finds that the Dregmoorians are honored guests and that one of them is Prince Varic who has come bearing sparkling gifts and an offer of peace in exchange for Melaia's hand in marriage. Trevin is besotted with Melaia, though he appears to have little chance of winning her father's approval as a bridegroom. For her part, Melaia is not happy with Varic's offer and tells her father that she will only marry Trevin. King Laetham is more interested in the political gain from a royal marriage. The rivalry between Varic and Trevin is one of the key conflicts in the story.

Harps turn up
in the oddest places.
King Laetham sends Trevin north to the Kingdom of Eldarra to consult an oracle, ask for the allegiance of Eldarra, and find the comains who have all gone AWOL. Melaia gives Trevin an extra chore. In order to restore The Wisdom Tree, which Rejius destroyed, three harps must be united. Melaia possesses one but the location of the other two is a mystery. Melaia's mother died looking for the other harps. Trevin has a lot riding on his shoulders. To add to his problems, Trevin has doubts about his worthiness to be a comain or deserve Melaia's love. One of the black marks on Trevin's checkered past includes serving Rejius.

With assurances from King Laetham that the betrothal of Varic and Melaia will not proceed until Trevin returns from consulting the oracle, Trevin sets out on his quest with Pym--who served one of the missing comains--as his armsman, akin to a squire. On their way to Windsweep--the canyon in which the oracle resides--Trevin befriends Resarian, the teenage crown prince of Eldarra. Resarian is with his Uncle Hayden rounding up wild horses. Resarian dreams of adventure and is long on enthusiasm but short on skill and good sense. Hayden and Resarian accompany Trevin and Pym to Windsweep but only Trevin and Pym enter the canyon. Trevin leaves Pym at the bottom of a plateau and climbs a ladder in the rock to meet with the oracle who gives Trevin some answers that will in typical oracular fashion require some interpretation. Trevin descends the plateau to find Pym gone but Varic and Resarian waiting for him. Varic boasts to Trevin of the rumors he has started about him in King Laetham's court and threatens to kidnap Resarian. Trevin and Varic fight, but just as Trevin nears victory, Varic tosses Resarian onto Trevin's sword. Hayden arrives to see Trevin's bloody hands and the dead Prince Resarian skewered on Trevin's sword. Varic accuses Trevin of Resarian's murder. Trevin is led away to the dungeons of Eldarra to await trial and most likely an execution. Events take a decidedly different turn and Trevin learns more about himself than he could have ever imagined.

There's much more to Henley's fast-paced plot but I'll leave off the summary with Trevin in chains, arguably the low point in the story for him.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of Eye of the Sword from the publisher.

To learn more about Karyn Henley, check out her website at www.karynhenleyfiction.com/Karyn_Henley_Fiction/welcome.html, read her blog at www.maybeso.wordpress.com, or connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Karyn-Henley/140411189331787?v=wall.

Photo Credit: Pub plaque in Omagh. Kenneth Allen [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

To learn what the other CSFF bloggers are saying, follow the links below:

Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Jackie Castle
Brenda Castro
Christine
Theresa Dunlap
Cynthia Dyer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Janeen Ippolito
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper

Shannon McDermott
Karen McSpadden
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Anna Mittower
Mirriam Neal
Nissa
Faye Oygard
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

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