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Doranna Durgin
book cover

Book 3 of Changespell saga

Who recommends: Barbara
Who discommends:

A much better read was Doranna Durgin's CHANGESPELL LEGACY. A warning to start off with is that it's a long book--almost 400 pages. You can start with this third book in the series. I only vaguely recall DUN LADY'S JESS and now realize I don't recall CHANGESPELL much at all, but was still able to follow CHANGESPELL LEGACY.

We have an opening when the entire council of wizards is wiped out by a pretty violent and ugly explosion of wild and unrecognizable magic. We introduce the main characters, most of them continuing from the first two books, but with the addition of a young stablegirl called Suliya.

My eyes rolled in pain when I realized the author had graduated to multiple POV, which my feeble brain tries to juggle and recall "back at the ranch". The rhythm of the book picked up about page 100 and, hey, for this book the multiple POV worked for me. We finally bring together our characters building to the final climactic scene and all the different threads were pulled together.

After the gruesome disposal of the wizards, the only witness to the scene was - what else? - one of the horses. And what is the way to find out what happened but to turn the horse into a human, keeping all our characters alive and out of the hands of mysterious strangers who seem to want them dead and don't much care how it happens.

The author has matured with this book - the characters actually show a depth and a growth that is pretty wrenching. After all, in DUN LADY'S JESS, you could live along with Jess who was born a horse and became a person. And in CHANGESPELL, you learned that for Carey, it's hard to accept that your horse is now a person sometimes and a horse the rest of the time. In this book, we realize that it's hard to be a horse and a human, and it's hard to accept that humans think of horses as tools to be used, helpful but still lacking human intelligence and complexity.

An obvious unresolved situation in the end that speaks for another book to continue the characters. Of the three, my favorite is still DUN LADY'S JESS for its simplicity and clarity. This one is much more complex and deals with much more than the simple story.--Barbara (14 Jul 02)

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