'The fast pace, deft touches of humour and the characterisation are as strong as ever' - Robin Hobb
Wyl Thirsk has seen his best friend murdered and his sister imprisoned by King Celimus of Morgravia. Now the king has turned his attention to the neighbouring realm of Briavel - and the woman Wyl loves. Wyl is desperate to return to Valentyna and prevent her marriage to Celimus, but fate has other plans.
Trapped by a magical enchantment, Wyl must first track down the elusive Manwitch - the only person who can help him break the Quickening.
About the Author
Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons.
Second in McIntosh's fantasy trilogy from Down Under, hard on the heels of Myrren's Gift (p. 90). Gripped by a powerful enchantment known as the Quickening, warrior Wyl Thirsk now occupies his third, female, body, that of Faryl the assassin. Passed to Wyl by the witch Myrren, whose horrid death Wyl was obliged by the merciless, calculating King Celimus of Morgravia to witness, the magic forces Wyl's mind to occupy the body of the person who kills him. First, mercenary Romen Koreldy killed Wyl in his true body. As Romen, Wyl became the beloved of Queen Valentyna of Briavel. But then Romen was murdered by Faryl, so now Wyl occupies her body and has three sets of skills and memories to draw upon. The insanely ambitious Celimus intends to win Briavel, by marrying Valentyna if he can-or by conquest if he can't. Poor Valentyna, perfectly aware of Celimus's ruthlessness and brutality but unwilling to subject her people to a war they cannot win, ponders her limited options. Wyl, meanwhile, tries to discover the fate of his sister, Ylena, finding that the monastery where she took shelter has been burned, its monks tortured and murdered at Celimus's orders. Wyl must also confront the magical being whose contrivance Myrren's gift is. Various other subplots keep the pot bubbling merrily. The drawback here is that Wyl's persistent failings-inability to learn from his mistakes, take elementary safety precautions or pay attention to his surroundings-drive the plot. Still, McIntosh's narrative, with its distressed damsels, contending sorcerers, blackhearted villains and double-dealing courtiers, remains compulsively readable. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Quickening Trilogy
Number Of Pages: 544
Published: 26th May 2004
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.4 x 15.2 x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.29