1899, Sand Island, Wisconsin: Bridget Lederle is a lighthouse keeper on this stormy, windswept shore of Lake Superior. One cold night she sees a boat foundering near the island's shoals, and rescues its lone occupant. The strangely dressed sailor tells her a fantastic tale, of Isavalta, a world where magic reigns, and where she is - incredibly - destined to play a key role in a power struggle between the Dowager Empress and her foes.
Isavalta, where magic can be found in the pattern of knots on a string, the colors of a dress, or even smoke in the air, beckons to her. Bridget has the second sight of her family, but the magical land where she will go with the sailor holds far greater marvels, and terrible perils that even she cannot see. For she carries secrets within her that even she doesn't know, secrets that could change the fate of the fabulous magical world that calls her home...
I enjoyed this book immensely. It had a new twist to an old plotline! It seems to me that most of the Fantasy type books I've read the "good guys" need a strong hero to help them overcome the "bad guys." I make it sound like a western movie, don't I? And this book seems to start out the same way. Bridget rescues a shipwrecked sailor who has come from another world to bring her to his world so that she can save his Empress's empire from the kingdom that wishes to conquer it. Bridget is the daughter of a powerful sorcerer who gave his life to save their empire. Will she come and save the empire that her father gave his life for?
This was written in third person omniscient point of view but leaves the reader with many so many possible ways for the story to go that you want to keep reading! Okay, maybe I should quit the analysis and just enjoy the books! But that's one reason I joined several book clubs, for the discussions! Nobody else I know enjoys SF/F and they take so long to read a mystery that I've half forgotten the clues leading to the solution to the puzzle! Another reason for joining the clubs was to learn how to make a good review! Two of the problems I've found with reviews are that they either give too much of the plot away so you already know what's going to happen or they have almost no bearing on the actual story. (the back of Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Retrieval Artist books are a good example of the latter!) I don't want my reviews to give away the twists and turns of the plot but I also don't want them to give no substance to the story. For without a good review, who's going to read the book!
I'm currently reading The Prestige by Christopher Priest (I finished Chapter 1 before I put it down to read Sarah Zettel's book!) I'll be starting #3 The Firebird's Vengeance at work tonight.
"What happened to #2," you ask. "Shouldn't you read that before #3?"
"Absolutely not," I reply. "#2 is a prequel to #1. It tells the story of Bridget's parents, which I have learned about in #1 though not in the greater detail that I'm sure #2 The Usurper's Crown will go into. But I can read that one later, #3 starts out about where #1 left off. Don't you just hate prequels, especially ones that interrupt the story?"