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The Traitor's Daughter by Paula Brandon
Review by Mel Jacob
Spectra Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780553583809
Date: 04 October 2011 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Paula Brandon's debut fantasy The Traitor's Daughter begins a new trilogy. The Source, the energy behind all magic, is about to change and it might destroy humankind and bring the resurgence of the Overmind. To repair the Source will take the combined power of the wizards of the six noble houses of the Veiled Isles and the Taerleezi. The Overmind is a group mentality that once occupied the Veiled Isles.

The novel opens with the wizard Grik Orlazzu and his robot doppelganger then shifts to Magnifico Aureste Belandor and his beloved daughter Jianna about to be married. Aureste has betrayed his family and his people to survive in Vitrisi after the city was conquered by the cruel Taerleezi. He is hated and reviled by the citizenry and has contracted marriage for Jianna in another city to protect her and prevent her from knowing of his villainy.

Much of the story reads like a medieval romance when the family of the man Aureste betrayed kidnaps Jianna. By marrying her to the man's eldest son, Aureste's enemies hope to overthrow him and claim his position and fortune. The novel focuses on Jianna's treatment by her captors and her plans for escape.

Strong personalities drive the story. Among them: Aureste, Yvenza, wife of the betrayed man, Jianna, Falaste Rione, a roving physician, Vinz Corvestri, a wizard and rival, Sonnetia, Vinz's wife once engaged to Aureste, and Innesq, Aureste's brother and wizard. The novel also has the Sishmindri, a green bi-pedal salamander type of creature, used and misused as menials by humans. Brandon's world is an odd mixture of a typical medieval fantasy setting with trapping of science-based magic.

Readers will want to find out what happens to Jianna, Aureste, and Rione and whether the adepts of the six noble families and the Taerleezi conquerors can work together to reverse changs to the Source. The next installment is titled The Ruined City scheduled for February of 2012.

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