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Besieged : Outcast Chronicles - Rowena Cory Daniells

Paperback Published: 26th June 2012
ISBN: 9781781080115
Number Of Pages: 670

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The Outcast Chronicles follows the fate of a tribe of dispossessed mystics. Vastly outnumbered by people without magical abilities, they are persecuted because ordinary people fear their gifts. This persecution culminates in a bloody pogrom sanctioned by the king who lays siege to the Celestial City, last bastion of the mystics. When the city falls, the mystic leader negotiates their surrender and her people are exiled from their homeland.

Imoshen: Her birth was hidden by her father, the ambitious leader of a great brotherhood. She was raised by covenant breaking T'En warriors and only just escaped with her life at eighteen. Seeking sanctuary in the Celestial City, she is voted its leader when the city is beseiged.

Tobazim: Inspired by tales of honour and glory, Tobazim went to the Celestial City, hoping to win statura and rise through the ranks of his brotherhood. But he finds the city besieged and vastly different from the stories.

Ronnyn: a pure-blood mystic to half-blood parents and only 12 years old. His gift will surface but there is no one to teach him how to contain his power and harness it. Ronnyn would do anything to protect his family, even if it means leaving them.

Aravelle: Ronnyn's sister. Clever, but fated to serve because she was born a half-blood. Her parents lives are never ending drudgery, scraping a living from the sea and their island home's poor soil. She fears what will happen when Ronnyn's gift starts mannifesting. Do her parents have a plan? Will her family have to go back to the Celestial City? If they do, will her parents be punished for running away from their brotherhood?

This is a family-saga set in a fantasy world. Four people linked by blood, love and vows struggle with misplaced loyalties, over-riding ambition and hidden secrets which could destroy them. Some make desperate alliances only to suffer betrayal, and some discover great personal strength.

BOOK ONE: BESEIGED

For nearly 300 years the mystics have lived alongside the true-men, who barely tolerate them, until...

King Charald is cursed with a half-blood mystic son. Sorne is raised to be a weapon against the mystics. Desperate to win his father's respect, Sorne steals power to trigger visions. Unaware King Charald plans their downfall, the mystics are consumed by rivalry. Although physically stronger, the males' gifts are weaker than the females. Imoshen, the only female mystic to be raised by males, wants to end the feud. But the males resent her power and, even within her own sisterhood Imoshen's enemies believe she is addicted to the male gifts.

Sorne tries, but cannot win the respect of True-men. When he has a vision of half-bloods in danger he has to ask himself where his loyalty lies.

Convinced he can destroy the mystics, King Charald plans to lay siege to their island city. Will Imoshen win the trust of the mystic leaders and, if she does, will she believe the visions of a half-blood?

WRITE A REVIEW

Deliciously dark adult fantasy

5

Besieged is the first book in The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells. The Chronicles see Daniells return to the world which she created in the T'En Trilogy. The Chronicles are a prequel to that series and take place at a considerable distance from the evens featured in the earlier works. It is not necessary then to have read the earlier trilogy, to understand or enjoy Besieged. There are good books that you can appreciate and enjoy, then there are books that you will lose sleep over or have to get you significant other to hide from you so you can get work done. Besieged, for me is the latter. I found its story and Daniells' writing tugging at my consciousness at every waking moment of the two days it took me to read it. Beseiged is a saga of blood, family inheritance and the struggle for acceptance. A tale of political scheming, intrigue, and up close and personal violence. A tale of character's wants, desires, and ambitions causing misery and misfortune for those around them. It is a story of two people and two cultures and a path of destruction they seem unable to avoid. Sorne is the half blooded son of King Charald in a kingdom where T'En and the half blooded Melanjue are slandered as Wyrd's, abominations in the eyes of the true men who follow the Churches of the Seven. He is raised in secret by a high priest and forged, through deprivation and holy torture, into a weapon to use against the T'En. Imoshen is secretly raised by a T'En Brotherhood, an action the breaks the 400 year old covenant between the male and female factions of T'en culture. She has an untrained talent for wielding the T'En gift and an inquisitive nature unfettered by the dictates of the covenant. Imoshen searches for acceptance and a home for her children. Sorne searches for love and affection from a father who will give him none. Both these characters are agents of change in two cultures set to collide with one another. I have been a fan of Rowena's since consuming the King Rolen's Kin Trilogy last year. Besieged features the same pacey writing but with much darker content. There battles in Besieged occur off page. Daniells focuses on the interpersonal, which makes some of the content darker than your general fantasy tale. There's not much left untouched - children die, and characters are tortured. The violence isn't gratuitous but Daniells' skill in getting you to love characters and invest in them before she hurts them in front your eyes, is superlative. You simply must read on to ensure that characters obtain justice or carry out revenge. If you were squeamish about the inclusion of a gay character in the King Rolen's Kin series, then you may have to put on your big boy/girl pants to read Besieged. The T'En culture is split into Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods, same sex coupling is common and expected, in addition to trysts that result in offspring. There's also aspects of sexual politics within in the Brotherhoods that might make male readers squirm uncomfortably. I have made comparisons between Daniells' work and that of George R.R. Martin before, stating my preference for the former. If you are looking for dark, gripping adult fantasy, but in a finished product, Besieged and I venture, the rest of the Chronicles, will sate your palate. This book was provided to me by the author.

Adelaide, Au

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Besieged

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ISBN: 9781781080115
ISBN-10: 1781080119
Series: Outcast Chronicles
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 670
Published: 26th June 2012
Publisher: Rebellion
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 18.8 x 10.9  x 3.7
Weight (kg): 0.32

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