Merry, Zed and Liliana – three children born between those of hearthkin blood and starkin blood – are on a perilous quest to the Palace of Zarissa. Amid the splendour and treachery of court, they watch and wait: planning the rescue of Princess Rosalina, held captive in the dazzling Tower of Stars.And as their pasts and presents unfold, their destinies become clear.The engrossing companion to The Starthorn Tree by one of Australia’s best fantasy storytellers, Kate Forsyth.
Sixteen years after ‘The Starthorn Tree’ the children of the friendships forged then, now follow their own journey, to fulfill their destiny. We discover Zed and Merry, fast friends, being instructed by The Erlrune, the most magical of women, learning fighting skills, and to rely on their own strengths for the journey ahead. Lili comes to join them, and the trio set off against impossible odds, their only guide is The Prophecy, spoken by Durrik, Merry’s deceased father many years earlier.
This is the second book in the Chronicles of Estelliana trilogy. As in the first book the world Kate has created is tangibly real and the friendships forged real and deep. The reader cannot help but be drawn into the plight of the friends, who become close and special to the readers as their parents did in the earlier volume. As in any ‘fantasy’ book, the world, the prophecy, the characters within, are complex and delightfully detailed. The Phophecy seems to be an unsolvable riddle, and with each perilous turn of events, the meaning of the words becomes clear.
An eloquent speaker, who admits getting nervous before each speaking opportunity, Kate shares her writing craft well. At Somerset Literary Festival this year, she shared her determination to present the very best, thoroughly edited and prepared version to her editor then publisher. Her work ethic and travels for research, intrinsic in her creation of her worlds.
If you wish to start enjoying Chronicles of Estelliana, the first is ‘The Starthorn Tree’, this is the second. Having Kate hand pick these books for me at Somerset Literary Festival, I’m sure she realized that, I would naturally need to purchase the third book in the series ‘The Starkin Crown’, upon completing these. I look forward to that eagerly. You may wish to join me in being thoroughly entranced by her stories.
Three times a babe shall be born,
between star-crowned and iron-bound,
first, the sower of seeds, the soothsayer,
though lame, he must travel far.
Next shall be the king-breaker, the king-maker,
though broken himself he shall be.
Last, the smallest and the greatest –
in him, the blood of wise and wild,
farseeing ones and starseeing ones.
Though he must be lost before he can find,
though, before he sees, he must be blind,
if he can find and if he can see,
the true king of all shall be.