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The Lord-Protector's Daughter (Corean Chronicles) by L. E. Modesitt
Edited by David G. Hartwell
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765321633
Date: 11 November 2008 List Price $22.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Blood is thicker than water. Unfortunately not everyone is equally deserving of the trust that is an integral part of that saying. In the seventh book of the Corean Chronicles readers see how true that problem can be for a trusting ruler.

Using your talents to their fullest is important. It is even more important when you have Talent. In the years that have followed the defeat of the Ifrits, the descendents of Mykel and Rachyla have ruled Lanachrona and the surrounding lands as Lord Protector. During the intervening years, the Talent that was employed so effectively by Mykel has slipped from the family. Now as troubles loom, Talent has once again surfaced, in the Mykella, the Lord Protector's daughter. She must find a way to help her father before she is sent off to marry a foreign prince.

Mykella is a faithful daughter who longs to be more than just another brood mare for some foreign prince hoping to improve relations with the Lord Protector. She spends her days in the Finance ministry checking the books. Recent accounts show a drop in tariffs, but according to the traders, they should be the same or higher. So where is the extra gold? She has her suspicions, but she needs hard evidence before her father will act.

A few questions lead to the death of a couple of finance clerks. These deaths increase Mykella's suspicion. She fears for herself and her family. A soarer's visit, a strange glow, and a cryptic entry in the early histories of the realm all provide opportunities for her growth as she races to save her family.

Intended as a stand alone novel, this novel is shorter than the prior Corean books. But shorter does not mean it isn't fully developed. It maintains the high standards of the earlier books. Mykella is not a simple character, nor is she omniscient. People who enjoy Mr. Modesitt's character development that revels in details will not be disappointed. The pacing is also what readers have come to expect from Modesitt's work. Highly detailed descriptions that build into an explosive climax.

At its heart, this book is about a girl struggling with her destiny and trying to find her place in the world. She must grow and develop in order to survive. Fortunately she is quite capable. This is the first Corean book that focuses on a female as the main character. If you enjoyed the Spellsong Cycle you will likely enjoy this one.

I enjoyed this book. Readers should be familiar with some of the Corean books prior to reading this novel. The three choice books will make this book easier to follow. The magic system has some similarities to the Recluce system, but there are subtle differences. Knowledge of the events in the earlier series is not completely essential, but I recommend reading the earlier books. If you appreciate an author that can build a world, then you need to read L.E. Modesitt Jr.

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