A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Last month I did a post about a promotion Kate Rothwell was doing to get her books out there in the blogosphere. I contacted Kate and requested a book to read and review and we agreed I'd do the review in June. So that's how I got here. The book I chose is a Samhain Publishing release called REVEALING SKILLS written under the pen name Summer Devon. You can read an excerpt here.

Let me start by saying that Kate very graciously and clearly stated in her blog flog that you did not have to feel obligated to write a good review of her book in order to participate in her experiment. However, this being the first time I've ever done something like this I did feel extremely obligated to review my thoughts on the book carefully before doing a review. Which isn't to say I normally throw just anything up on my blog when I do a review, but I did feel a greater need to be fair.

Having said that I'm relieved to be able to say honestly and sincerely that I enjoyed the book. What is remarkable about that statement is that the book is a fantasy and has magic in it. How I came to choose it I can no longer remember and is a complete surprise to me because both fantasy and magic are not usually my thing. Really...they aren't.

Gilrohan, our hero, is an emissary sent by the king to a northern manor to check out the baron's sister as a possible bride. The baron throws Gilrohan in his dungeon hoping to collect a ransom from the king.

Gilrohan is a morphalange which means that he has a bit of magic and can morph into any animal once he ingests a few hairs of that animal. That was a pretty big ick factor for me especially when he took the hairs from a rat.

Tabica is a slave in the baron's household. Her mother had been a free woman and although had some magic chose to have a simple life and marry and live away from people and places where magic was practiced. When Tabica's mother dies without training Tabica or providing for her future she became the chattel of the baron.

Gilrohan is saved from a head bashing as a rat when Tabica recognizes him as a morphlange and the likely escaped prisoner. She takes the rat from a fellow slave without revealing who or what she thinks he is. Once Tabica touches Gilrohan in his rat form he morphs back into his human body. She and Gilhoran are immediately attracted to each other and Gilhrohan realizes that Tabica not only has magic that has not been trained or tutored, but that it is powerful magic and that she needs to be taken to the king and sent for training before she does someone or something some harm.

The rest of the story is the twists, turns, morphs and magic that Tabica and Gilrohan go through to get Tabica out of the evil clutches of the baron and trained to use her powerful magic. Add a bewildering and intriguing teacher ereshkigal Andras some humor and you have REVEALING SKILLS. While I was very satisfied about the characters and their interaction, I found myself puzzled and wondering about the world I felt literally dropped into. I think a bit more world building would not be out of order, not because I was confused, but it would add some depth and richness to the story.

This is a quick read and a good one particularly if you enjoy fantasy/fable. It reminded me of reading a fairytale well except no fairytale I read as a kid had love scenes in it like this one. ::wink::

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Blogger CindyS said...

Very good review!


11:18 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Thanks Cindy. I think Kate is a peach for doing this actually.

11:57 AM PDT  
Blogger Zeek said...

I liked the one I read too! THIS one looks way cool! It's not in print is it? (I don't have a reader or laptop yet and I hate reading books from my desktop!)

1:41 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Zeek, I looked on the Samhain web site and didn't see it available in print. Bummer.

1:48 PM PDT  

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