Read in March 2009
A coming-of-age tale for nearly all the characters involved in this novel. An orphan raised by the royal library as a transcriptor. The young Queen of Raine soon to be crowned after the sudden death of her father the King. A minor son of the Second Crown sent to the magician’s Floating School. Another library-raised orphan who is love struck by the first. Even the legendary figures from ancient history move through their adolescent struggles via the tale being translated. All these lives weave together to solve the mystery threatening the realm of these Twelve Crowns.
Patricia McKillip does not disappoint with her pace, prose or her poetry. Many of these characters are also strong female role models, without appearing overly feminist. The magic is mystical and mysterious, powerful without being pedantic.