Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review: _Charmed Destinies_

A new technique writers are using to create entertaining stories is by crossing genres. Authors mix the standard tropes of two or more genres to tell new stories. For example, an author might write a book combining elements of a Western and Horror. There are many possible combinations for authors to try. Three authors mix Fantasy and Romance in _Charmed Destinies_ for a line of Romantic Fantasy books published by Luna Books (

“Counting Crows” is by Fantasy author Mercedes Lackey, known for her books about Valdemar. This story is set in a medieval style kingdom. Gwynn travels with her maid Robin to her new home and a husband she has not met. Once there, everything turns out bad for her. The castle is a mess and her new husband is a violent brute. She undergoes months of harsh treatment even though she can do magic. Ms. Lackey writes a strong tale of romance with sympathetic characters and a realistic setting.

Rachel Lee is the author of the second long story in the book. “   ·Drusilla’s Dream” begins in our world. Drusilla wants to be a painter and works on a data entry job on the graveyard shift. She finds the job boring, entering the data automatically while daydreaming the hours away. Miles is the main computer tech on duty. He works on a private file while monitoring the computer systems. During her latest fantasy daydream of a princess in a magic kingdom, Drusilla finds her dream going out of control. She does not understand what is happening. The story takes place in two worlds, the real one and dream one of Drusilla. Though it has a predictable ending, the story is humorous and very entertaining.

Known mostly for writing science fiction, author Catherine Asaro contributes the final story of the book with “Moonglow.” It begins with a robbery that kills Jarid’s parents and leaves him unable to speak, hear or see. Years later, he is discovered by Iris, an apprentice shape mage. She is a young woman unsure of her powers. After Jarid is brought ho   Áme to be crowned king despite his problems, Iris finds out she is to be married to him. This sets the conflict of a difficult romance while trying to save the kingdom of Aronsdale from invaders. Ms. Asaro creates likable characters for an entertaining magical system. Shape mages focus their powers through geometric shapes from simple ones to the highest being a sphere. Their rankings follow the colors of a rainbow. “Moonglow” is a good fit to this book.

Many authors from different genres are mixing elements of different genres in order to create new stories to entertain readers. Romance Fantasy is a new one of these cross genres. _Charmed Destinies_ is an entertaining book containing three Romance Fantasies written by Mercedes Lackey, Rachel Lee and Catherine Asaro. This book is part of the Luna imprint a part of Harlequien books.

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