THE DREAMER'S SONG Lynn Kurland
Book Eleven: The Nine Kingdoms
Berkley
ISBN: 978-0-6981-9874-6
December 2017
Fantasy Romance

The Nine Kingdoms

When we left our hero and heroine, they were making plans to enter a fortress, find the library, and steal a book. Acair of Ceangail and Leirsinn of Saraichte, along with Prince Mansourah of Neroche, are on a mission. For one year, Acair is forbidden from using magic, on penalty of death. To make sure he abides by this demand, the mages who ordered this have sent a shadowy watcher who is under orders to kill Acair if he so much as utters a magical word. Acair is widely known throughout the Nine Kingdoms for his nasty behavior, although he's not nearly as evil as the man who sired him. Leirsinn has no magic, but after stepping onto a dark spot that seems to be one of many following them, she can see magic, and consequently the shadows that gave her this sense.

The quest that Acair is on is a dangerous one, and having no magic leaves both he and Liersinn vulnerable to powerful wizards out to do him harm. Thankfully, Mansourah can use his magic, although it may not be as powerful as Acair's. Acair must rid the world of the dark magic that his father produced in abundance. Since he must do this without spells, he must use his wits to get into and out of places where books and manuscripts are hidden.

Liersinn is along for the quest because Acair has promised to save her grandfather from her uncle once Acair is allowed to use magic again. Plus, she has grown fond of the incredibly handsome, but seemingly arrogant man who wandered into her stable a while back. Her belief in magic was negligible then, but she is growing used to the fact that it's not something fictional.

Magic is inherent in the Nine Kingdoms series, and it's powerful and, well, magical. A shapeshifting horse who grudgingly transports the trio in his dragon form, a mother and grandmother who may or may not love Acair, their son/grandson, and the knowledge that a dark, dangerous mage is following them, keep Acair, Liersinn, and Mansourah on their toes. There is plenty of humor, too, and the banter among the three can be grin-worthy.

As are all of Lynn Kurland's books, THE DREAMER'S SONG is beautifully written, and the characters memorable. While this book can be read alone, I very highly recommend readers who have not read this series to start at the beginning. You won't regret it.

Jani Brooks