This is the concluding book in the third trilogy in the Nine Kingdom stories of fantasy romance by Ms. Kurland, which I accidentally stumbled upon when I first read The Mage’s Daughter. I am fascinated with these tales of epic quests peopled with elves, dwarves, mages and other magical and fantastical beings who populate the pages of these stories. We first met Runarch hiding in Sollier’s chamber and have journeyed with him as he reluctantly takes on the role of Aisling of Bruadair’s champion.
Aisling and Runarch barely escape from his half brothers and find themselves in an underground river, where Aisling first acknowledges and discovers her magic when a simple wish lights up the night. They are rescued by Runarch’s mentor, Sollier, who it appears might actually be taking an active role in these events instead of simply being an observer.
Aisling continues to astonish and amaze all those around her with what she can spin and weave, not just Runarch and herself. Time, however, is definitely not waiting on them as they gather knowledge and hone their craft. They have to leave the safe haven that Sollier has provided for them and brave the border of Bruadair and enter Beul in the next and final stage of their quest.
Both Runarch and Aisling gird their loins and face their darkest fears in order to fulfill their quest. Along the way Aisling discovers that for all her bleak and lonely childhood, she never was as alone as she believed, when she meets all the beloved people in her life who have striven to keep her as safe as they could. She finally reaches the castle and embraces her destiny as the leader of the spinners and weavers who spin the tapestry of the world. She and Runarch make a great couple and it is good to see him finally find his own place in the fabric of the nine kingdoms.
Miach and Morgan are still my favorite characters in the series and I love the brief glimpses we have of them as the story unfolds. I like that Aisling is able to give Sosa some hope in the last book and I really hope that he gets his own story someday. All through the series so far, Gair’s natural sons by Fas have been painted in shades of black, but it looks like redemption and transformation may be in order for Acair. I look forward to see what the future holds for him and if my supposition will hold out.
I am sad that this trilogy is coming to an end, but I hope this only means that we will see some other characters get their own stories on the stage of the nine kingdoms.
Aisling of Bruadair’s quest to restore her country’s rightful rulers to their throne has been long and difficult. Now, after a lifetime of lies, she’s confronted with an unexpected truth: Bruadair’s salvation may lie within her. But the path to harnessing her newly discovered magical gifts threatens to lead her back through a past that may well spell her death.
With his own magic restored, Rùnach of Ceangail has come to terms with the fact that the simple life he once coveted is no longer an option. Instead, he is determined to help Aisling fulfill her quest, even if his part of the bargain includes facing evil mages with power far greater than his own.
But once they reach Bruadair, Rùnach and Aisling discover that nothing is as it seems, and not only must they accept their past, they must also embrace their destiny—before the enemies drawing near succeed in extinguishing all the light in the world…
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Other books in this series: