Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rhiannon's Ride Trilogy by Kate Forsyth

Young, untamed, and part satyricorn, part human, Rhiannon is the heroine of the best-selling and international trilogy Rhiannon's Ride by Kate Forsyth. Finding yourself empathizing with Rhiannon, who, within the first few chapters of the first book, has knocked out the teeth and cut off the fingerbone of a Yeoman, is an amazing feat by any author. The reader is forced to sympathize with her, and chuckle to oneself, as Rhiannon learns the idiosyncracies of the human language, navigates through political intrigue, forces herself to learn proper manners, and, despite her wild upbringing, falls in love. The reader cheers along with this brave young woman who risks everything for characters who care for her one moment, but waver in their trust of her the next. Ferocious, witty, and "sharp as a tack", Rhiannon is a heroine that will not disappoint, and watching her conquer trial after trial, including gaining the trust of her companions, will keep you reading lost past your bedtime.

One of the first things a reader will note is that the series is peppered with Scottish terminology that can befuddle even the heartiest world traveller. Fortunately there is a glossary in the back of each book that not only defines the terms of the royalty, but also describes the cast of characters, which at times can become quite confusing. Also within the series is an impressive exhibition of Scottish and Celtic faerie lore. From the satyricorn heroine, a Fairgean princess, and bogfaerie servants, Forsyth has an impressive cast of little known faeries, and once again, the reader can consult the glossary for help.

What Forsyth also does remarkably well, that most authors should take note of, is helping the reader enjoy the series without having had read the previous series, The Witches of Eileanan. Also, kudos to the author and to the publisher for having the foresight to not only include the book number on the cover (few series books seem to be labeled nowadays causing confusion as to which book to read first), but also a summary in book three to get the reader back up to speed.

I look forward to reading the original series, and I look forward to this Australian author's forthcoming works. May she continue to write books that the reader not only enjoys but also ones that take the reader along for a captivating ride.

Visit Kate Forsyth's website here:

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