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The King's Own: A Borderlands Novel by Lorna  Freeman
Review by Madeleine Yeh
Roc Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0451460715
Date: 07 February, 2006 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Most of the main characters from the previous book are reunited in the small quiet peaceful garrison town of Freston. Captains Suiden and Javes and their cavalry troops have returned from a diplomatic mission to the Border. But everyone has changed during their adventure. Six months ago Rabbit had been an ordinary cavalryman in Captain Suiden's troop. Now he is a very powerful mage, the King's close cousin and acknowledged heir. The other soldiers had changed into strange and magical animals during their adventures but are now back to their original form. Also accompanying the troop are two border magicals, the Faena Laurel, who is a walking, talking mountain lion, and the dark elf enchanter Wlyn. King Jusson IV, and his guard and various powerful nobles are also visiting the town.

The day after he returns, Rabbit is magically attacked and in defending himself causes disruption and turmoil in the town square. Jusson has spent the last six months soothing a kingdom which has long feared magic and is now barely coming to grips with the realization that magic is now part of daily life. Now Rabbit has created an incident that will cause more fear and turmoil. Jusson has to quiet his rebellious nobles and scared populace again.

This is made more difficult when Menck, the corrupt jailer, is found dead. A close examination shows that he has been killed in a necromantic ritual. Jusson sends Rabbit, the enchanter Wlyn, and the Faena Laurel to investigate this death. In the next couple of days there are more murders, dark magic, restless dead bodies, attempted assassinations and riot. The magic users are desperate to find who is behind the magical attacks and the dark magic. King Jusson is trying to keep the kingdom together and clean out the corruption and treachery in Freston.

This is a very good book. Its fast paced with lots of action, but the characters are distinctive and well drawn and their setting is wonderful. Rabbit and Jeff bicker like 8 year-year-olds. The Enchanter indulges his sense of humor with the various humans. The magic system is well drawn and original. The description and dialogue are crisp and clean. The style is great.

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