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Carol Berg
book cover

Book 1 of Bridge of D'Arnath
2004, March, Roc
Buy from Amazon.com (mass market paperback)

Who recommends: Suzanne
Who discommends:

This is the first book in a new trilogy by Berg. It's written in first person, and it dovetails the current impoverished exile of Seri, a noblewoman, with flashbacks of her painful past, when 10 years earlier her beloved husband was tortured and killed by the rulers of the land as a sorcerer and her newborn child taken from her and murdered. (Seri is a 35-year-old woman--as with PALADIN OF SOULS, I like having a mature woman protagonist.)

The book's plot starts moving when a naked man rushes out of the forest and attacks her. She saves him from capture by evil forces and finds that he can't speak and is amnesiac. After hiding and helping the man, Seri learns something of his past and his quest, and along with companions, sets out with D'Nathiel just ahead of more than one evil faction on the hunt for them.

Seri is uncomfortably drawn to D'Nathiel, and is also uncomfortable because it seems she has lessons that he must learn and only she can teach. As the group of companions flees from many dangers along the road, Seri must face her past and learn some lessons herself.

Though the first book of a trilogy, this book does have a story arc that stands alone. But there is not yet a happy-ever-after for a romance that has an interesting twist to it. We evidently have to wait for that payoff.

It's a well-told adventure that I think most of you will enjoy. I got a bit tired of the flashbacks to Seri's former life, but there's a reason for them that will become apparent into the story. I give this one a recommend, and will definitely want to read the next in the trilogy.--Suzanne (19 Feb 04)

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