Dreamspinner by Lynn Kurland10:00 AM
Author: Lynn Kurland
Release Date: December 31, 2012 (paperback)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Overall: 5 Stars
New York Times bestselling author Lynn Kurland’s enthralling Nine Kingdoms saga brings together a weaver’s apprentice and the son of a mage, both fighting to save the Nine Kingdoms from peril.
Aisling of Bruadair has lived a provincial life, heedless of the evil creeping over her land. That ordinary existence changes forever, though, when she is sent to the opposite end of the world to find a master swordsman. If she fails, her life--and her country's safety--will be forfeit. She just never expected that swordsman to be a wounded elven prince masquerading as a simple soldier.
Powerless and scarred from a long-ago conflict, Rùnach of Ceangail has spent years in obscurity, ignoing battles he can no longer fight. And although he has been drawn back into the world, he fully intends to live an unremarkable life far away from events he knows he cannot change...
Until Rùnach meets Aisling and realizes that she is far more than what she seems, that their alliance has attracted unwelcome notice, and that some battles must be fought.
When I was looking for a new fantasy romance to read, I stumbled upon Lynn Kurland's Nine Kingdoms series and simply could not believe I hadn't heard of Dreamspinner sooner! In a world filled with elves, dwarves, powerful mages and more, how could I possibly not fall in love with the series? Dreamspinner is the first in a trilogy, but the seventh novel to be set within the Nine Kingdoms. You don't need to have read the previous books, but if you're already a fan of the series, then I'm sure you'll be happy to greet the familiar characters who appear.
Aisling has lived her life in the isolated kingdom of Bruadair, where no one can enter and no one can leave unless with a permit. Sold into the harsh Guild to become a weaver when she was a mere child, she suddenly manages to escape when she's thrust on an urgent quest to find an assassin to kill the usurper on her kingdom's throne. Once outside the borders of Bruadair, Aisling begins to discover a world she thought only to be from myth and legend... and that everything she's ever known has all been a lie.
Rùnach of Ceangail has experienced much more loss over the years than many could ever bear. Once a powerful elven prince, he still carries the physical scars after his magic was stolen from him long ago. Resigned and feeling that he no longer fits in with the rest of his illustrious family, Rùnach just wants to live out the rest of his life in obscurity as a simple soldier.
When Aisling and Rùnach first meet, it is not love at first sight; it's the seemingly inconsequential meeting of two strangers who are determined to follow their own paths. The more time Rùnach spends around Aisling, the more he is oddly captivated by her and finds himself reluctantly joining her quest. Everything about Aisling and her well-guarded secrets are a great mystery to Rùnach, one he just can't help resisting to try and solve.
The camaraderie that develops between Rùnach and Aisling is very sweet and quietly builds. Rùnach may grumble that he's hardly an elegant lord anymore, but he's actually very chivalrous and protective. I absolutely loved how he supported Aisling without feeling the need to control her actions; he gave her the chance to discover the answers she needed on her own.
If you're a high fantasy fan, I would whole-heartily recommend reading Lynn Kurland's Dreamspinner! The Nine Kingdoms series is technically for an adult audience, but it definitely has cross-over appeal for younger readers. Lynn Kurland has imagined a world that is rich and complex, with histories of its own that completely draw you in. I'm excited to see how Aisling and Rùnach's quest continues in River of Dreams!