Gaultry is a young, beautiful, spirited huntress, who has been raised by her great-aunt, a hedge-witch, on the border of Tielmaran. One day, the outer world cruelly ends her idyllic life, as a squadron of soldiers seeks to abduct her, and she finds herself a key figure in a prophecy that will bless or curse the entire realm.
Katya Reimann creates, for the most part, a well-imagined world with some fresh touches. However, the kindest thing I can say about her telling of the story is that, this being her first novel, she shows glimmers of potential. To identify the major problems:
First, the story begins, for the sake of excitement, as Gaultry and the prophecy are about to collide; consequently, the plot is over-burdened with flashbacks and info-dumps about the history of Tielmaran — information that could have been much more gracefully integrated via an earlier starting point.
Second, the magic ‘system’ involves drawing power from the realm’s gods (yet spells are called spells, not prayers), and its workings are never defined well enough to bear the crushing burden of the book’s climax, which also spins out of control from
Katya Reimann’s inexperienced quill. (An unfortunate example from p. 374: “There was a weird short-circuited merry-go-round through all the bodies in the circle, an unpleasantly long dance, before the Glamour-spirits were properly settled.” Note that neither circuits nor merry-go-rounds are otherwise known to exist in Tielmaran.) Finally, several plot-threads are left dangling, presumably for the second and third installments.
Overall, this is worthy of a (cheap) used purchase or a library loan for undemanding fans of escapist fantasy.