The Riven Kingdom Paperback
by Karen Miller
Part of the Godspeaker series
The King of Ethrea is dying and his only surviving heir is the Princess Rhian, but if her enemies have their way, the kingdom will not be ruled by a Queen.
Ethrea, a small island of strategic importance, is known for its ability to keep the secrets of its business partners.
Now civil war threatens as men of ambition eye the empty throne, and the other nations are getting nervous ...and greedy.
If Rhian cannot secure the crown, others will descend and conquer her lands.
A toymaker and a mysterious exile from Mijak may be her only hope ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 704 pages, map
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 02/10/2008
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9781841496788
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by reading_fox
Classic fantasy. Very very different from the preceding volume. Princess Rhian is the only surviving child of the ailing King Ehren of the peaceful and prosperous island trading nation of Ethrea. Unfortunetly a woman has never been crowned a queen, and Rhian isn't even that old, when her father dies, she will be a ward of the church under the stewardship of the Prolate Marlan who has his own plans for the crown. Long denied by Ehren he does not mean for the daughter to further frustrate him. The royal councillers - appointed by the King's dukes, politic amoungst themselves for favours, rather than the kingdom's future. With the contrivance of the toymaker Dexterity and the physician Urza, Rhian flees to a friendly duke to bolster her claim as Queen before she attempts a public return.Very different in tone from Empress, Ehrean is a peaceful Isle, with a peaceful god of the Living Flame. No blood sacrifices, no bleeding, no fighting. An 'ordinary land'. For much of the beginning it may be completely divorced from Majik, but Zandakar makes an appearance, so the readers know the stories are related. Unfortunetly there is a jarring note in that Rhian sometimes exhibts a similar personallity to Hekat, which is surprsingly given Karen Miller's otherwise excellantly crafted characters. The world crafting is again pretty good, without endless tedious detail, and a plesant change from the desesrts of Majik. The other characters are perhaps a little thin but engaging although it is difficult and perhaps unnecessary to distinguish between the duke and their various men. The question of religion in this world is left open for much of the book, but ultimately answered. It is predictable enough, without the doubts caused by the first book, but does set up intreguing possabilities for the conclusion which I'm greatly looking forward to. A worthy continuation to Empress.After re-read:I think I enjoyed this even more the second time round. Even though the plot is that of an absolutely plain vanilla fantasy novel of thousads of others the contrast to the previous volume means you appreciate every subtlty. I didn't note the similarity of characters this time round, instead the only jarring note were a couple of minor plot holes, for example a priest is dismissed from overnight vigil so the heors can have a secluded spt to talk - but they quickly retire to bed, leaving the vigil unwarded - and nobody complains. Although there is a typical journey across the land, it is quickly over so one of hte main tropes of fantasy can be ignored.I really want to know how the series ends - the cliffhanger isn't huge, but it's pretty big.............................................................................................................................................
Review by lewispike
Another book in the Godspeaker series - and again there's a rather clichéd storyline that lets you think about the nature of men and the relationship with the divine.This time the king dies just after both his sons, leaving a daughter (who can't possibly inherit of course) who is underage in the clutches of the prolate of the church (that's sort of like the archbishop, cardinal or pope). The problem? The prolate is a power-hungry atheist who aims to marry her to "his idiot ward" and become king in all but name.The problem with this book compared to the previous one (Empress) is that we're all too familiar with the sort of blandly Western culture. Add to that a big dose of inconsistency - you can't have a queen but you can have highly respected female doctors for example, that even the nobles who care more for results than the social status of their doctor use - and some of the magic has gone.That said, there are still some lovely scenes, particularly as Zandakar tries to reconcile this nation and its peaceful God with his own nation.