Thursday, April 13, 2006

Review: _Lady of the Trillium_ by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Several years ago three prominent Fantasy authors collaborated on a novel.Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Julian May wrote Black Trillium.It was the story of triplet princesses saving their world from a dangeroussorcerer. Later, each author wrote stand alone books in the same world tellingthe further stories of their characters. Lady of the Trillium by MarionZimmer Bradley is the story of Haramis the Archimage and her apprentice.Interesting characters, a descriptive setting and a fast moving plot makethe book an entertaining read.

First, the books’s interesting charactersdraws readers into the story. Mikayla is a younger daughter of a large royalfamily. She is mostly ignored and forgotten by her family with only her friendFiolon as a companion. Interested in technology, she has an insatiable penchantfor getting into trouble. Haramis is the two hundred year old Archimage ofRuwenda, needing to choose her successor. She is stubborn and strong wiled,but wants Mikayla to learn magic to be prepared before she takes over herduties. The two women clash on many levels that gives the story conflict.Other characters help these women grow throughout the story. Fiolon is Mikayla’sfriend and conscience. The harp Uzun is the long time advisor and friendof Haramis. Ms. Bradley creates sympathetic characters that readers can likeand follow through the story.

Next, the descriptive setting of thebook brings the book to life. Ruwenda is a land of swamps and snowy mountains.There are diverse creatures such as giant intelligent lammergier birds andthe different intelligent beings that inhabit the marshes. The magic of theland is tied into one person. An archimage senses how the land of Ruwendafairs in order to act to protect it. Ms. Bradley’s writing style presentsthe setting in a vivid clear prose.

Finally it is the fast movingplot keeps the book entertaining for readers. Haramis is frightened by adream to choose her successor for the new Archimage. She picks Mikayla andtakes her unwilling to her tower in the snowy mountains of the north. Mikayladoes not not want to be a mage. Their relationship becomes one of a testof wills. As the years pass, Mikayla experiences several events that changeher while Haramis has problems. When a crisis looms, both women must makechoices in order to save Ruwenda. The author is an expert in melding severalplot threads into an exciting whole.

Lady of the Trillium byMarion Zimmer Bradley is an entertaining book about the coming-of-age ofa young mage. The interesting characters, descriptive setting and a fastmoving plot keeps readers hooked into the book until the end. Ms. Bradleyadded an interesting story to the loosely connected Trillium series begun by three masters of the Fantasy genre.

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