A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms
A Perfect 10
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-26219-1
January 2013
Fantasy Romance

The Nine Kingdoms

Runach of Ceangail, an Elven prince, should have died at the well where his black mage father Gair destroyed most of his family. Instead, all of Runach's magic was stripped from him at that point, his hands were mangled, and his face scarred. Since then he has been hiding away from the world. When he decides that being sequestered from life is not what he wants any longer, Runach travels to Gobhann to train as a soldier under Weger. As he prepares to board a ferry to the island, however, he comes across a lad who has had a run-in with thieves and lost not only his shoes, but everything in his possession. The lad is determined to get to Gobhann, and Runach pays his way there in a moment of compassion. Only he discovers on the way that it isn't a lad, but a lass that he's befriended. What on earth could a woman want with Weger?

Leaving her unhappy past to seek out a swordsman to save her homeland, Aisling of Bruadair is completely unprepared for the real world. Sent from Bruadair with a pack full of gold and orders to return with a master swordsman who can save them all, Aisling is robbed just before boarding the ferry to Weger's training stronghold. Aided by a handsome stranger who bears scars on his face and who says little, Aisling finds herself in Weger's dangerous fortress. Aisling has lived such a sheltered life that she does not believe that magic, elves, mages, or anything related exist. She is soon to discover that the world is not as she was led to believe. And it's possible that her introduction to magic will open her eyes to many other things.

DREAMSPINNER is a delightfully entertaining continuation of the fabulous Nine Kingdoms series which began with STAR OF THE MORNING. Everything in this series revolves around what Gair did to his family when he allowed evil to spew from the well. While previous characters have dealt with the well, and Gair, Runach and Aisling still have to face Gair's illegitimate offspring, as well as the mystery behind Aisling's quest. Both Runach and Aisling withhold their stories from each other. Aisling is unaware that the soldier she travels with is, in fact, an Elven prince, and Runach is only slowly learning that Aisling's previous life was one of lies and cruelty. Adding some levity to the story is the magical horse Runach is given by his grandfather—a shape shifting, cheeky animal who does everything but obey Runach.

DREAMSPINNER is filled with magical adventure, both good and bad, as well as two main characters that are sure to grab any fantasy or romance reader's heart. Aisling's naivety slowly begins to diminish as the real world envelopes her. Runach is, like his brother and sister in previous novels, gradually finding a purpose to life. Beautifully composed, DREAMSPINNER was impossible to put down, despite this reviewer having to sleep and go to work! Another Perfect 10 as far as I'm concerned, I very highly recommend starting at the beginning of this series as many characters will crop up from previous books. It is still entertaining, though, as a stand-alone novel.

Jani Brooks