To see is a trick of the mind, but to believe is a trick of the heart. Read more...
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To see is a trick of the mind, but to believe is a trick of the heart.
"One thousand years after a great conflict known as The Mapmaker's War, a daughter is born to an ambitious historian and a gifted translator. Secret Riven doesn't speak until her seventh year but can mysteriously communicate with plants and animals. Unsettled by visions and dreams since childhood, she tries to hide her strangeness, especially from her mercurial father and cold mother. When her knowledge of an esoteric symbol brings unwelcome attention, gentle, watchful Secret finds acceptance from Prince Nikolas, her best friend, and Old Woman, who lives in the distant woods.
When Secret is twelve, her mother, Zavet, receives an arcane manuscript to translate from an anonymous owner. Zavet begins to suffer nightmares and withdraws into herself. Secret sickens with a fever and awakens able to speak an ancient language, discovering that her mother is fluent as well. Suddenly, Zavet dies. The manuscript is missing, but a cipher has been left for Secret to find. Soon, Secret will have a choice to make: confront a destiny tied to an ancient past or deny it, never to know its whole truth.
A spellbinding story, rich with vivid characters and set in a fascinating world, "The Chronicle of Secret Riven "explores the tension between love and hate, trust and betrayal, fate and free will.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-24
- Reviewer: Staff
This installment picks up 1,000 years after the events depicted in The Mapmaker’s War, and it bears little obvious connection to its predecessor. In a sedate, leisurely manner, Domingue spins out the childhood and adolescence of the titular Secret Riven, daughter of a historian and a translator. Secret spends much of her early years mute but always listening, able to understand plants and animals. As she matures, she finds her words, excels in school, and makes friends with the dashing Prince Nikolas. One mystery remains: the origins of a manuscript given to Secret’s mother for translation, and the reasons for its later disappearance. Lush descriptions and a mythic tone don’t disguise this literary fantasy’s lack of action, limited resolution, and paucity of concrete answers. It reveals its purpose reluctantly; in Secret’s world, anything can happen, but little actually does. Agent: Jillian Manus, Manus & Associates Literary Agency. (May)