Daughter of Ancients (The Bridge of D'Arnath, Book 4)
by Carol Berg
Review by Colleen Cahill
Roc Mass Market ISBN/ITEM#: 0451460421
Date: 06 September, 2005 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Gerick is now a much-loved ruler of the Bounded, an alternate world between Leira and Avonar and while he returns regularly to visit his parents in the former realm, he avoids the latter whenever possible. In Avonar, he was mostly in the hands of the evil Lords of Zhev'Na and while they are gone, he fears a dark curse left by the Lords could force him into tragedy. It is only when Karon, Gerick's father, is dying and his last hope lies in Avonar that Gerick agrees to go back. His main duty: to investigate the Lady D'Sanya who wandered out of the Wastes and claims to be the daughter of the legendary King D'Arnath. Held prisoner by the Lords of Zhev'Na for a thousand years, the Lady has some amazing talents, being able to heal both the people and the land. She has even constructed a hospice for those too ill to be healed, where they can live without pain. All this wins the love of the people and with her distinguished background, she is sure to be crowned ruler of the land. But there are those who question where these powers come from, wondering what happened to the Lady while she was in the hands of the evil Lords. With Karon placed inside the hospice, Gerick begins to seek the truth, which is made all the more complex by his growing attraction to the lovely and kind Lady.
As with the other books in this series, the viewpoint character changes regularly and while we get some time with Gerick's mother Seri, most of the book is narrated by Gerick. The second largest contributor to the tale is Jen'Larie, who was a slave in Zhev'Na and whose father was Gerick's abused servant during the young man's time with the Lords. Recognizing Gerick, she kidnaps him and begins a rocky relationship of distrust and anger, as Jen plots against the person she considers the most evil man in Avonar. Between Jen's meddling, Karon's failing health and the touchy political situation in Avonar, Gerick is walking a thin line that could lead not only to his fall, but also endanger the realms on both sides of D'Arnath's bridge.
Those fans of Berg's early books might miss Seri and Karon, but Gerick proves a worthy successor. There is just as much adventure in this story, with plenty of color and plot twists, all making this a page-turner. You should read the previous volumes before starting Daughter of Ancients, but you will find it well worth the effort, as this dynastic chronicle continues in good style.