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Harpy's Flight by Megan Lindholm

Review by Caleyna

This is the first book in the Ki and Vandien Quartet. It seems that the books are out of print in the US, but they are all being re-released in the UK. The first two are already available and the last two are scheduled for release in May and July.

As a Hobb fan, I was sure I would like this book, but I wasnít sure exactly what to expect. Iíve heard that the Lindholm books are supposed to be more gritty than the Hobb books, but this didnít really seem to be the case. The main character did suffer much pain, but I donít think she was quite as bad off ad dear old Fitz. I look forward to reading the rest of the books to find out just how much pain Ki must suffer through (hopefully not a lot).

The World
The book is set in a nameless fantasy world, populated with many sentient beings. There are Humans, of course, along with Harpies and a bunch of other creatures. Only the Harpies and Humans come into play in this book, though we briefly meet a limbless crawly creature that wonít eat meat or have anything to do with Humans who geld their horses. He was creepy.

The Characters
The main character is Ki, a gypsy woman who has lost her family in a tragic event. She avenges her family, but at a high cost to herself. While traveling on the road, she meets Vandien. He is a mysterious characterófunny, smart, happy, and a pseudo-thief. We are also introduced to Kiís husbandís family, a group of farmers who worship Harpies. I found them interesting b/c they were big, blond folks with very Swedish names (Sven, Lars).

The Plot
The book opens with Ki climbing a cliff, seeking revenge for her familyís horrible deaths. We eventually learn that Ki is a gypsy, living alone on the road with her two horses and her wagon. She refuses to let go of her grief for her family, even though they have been dead for three years.

The story is an interesting combination of flash back and present. In flashbacks we learn how she must deal with her husbandís family. They hate her for revealing the truth of her familyís murder, and she must stay for a cleansing ceremony. In the present, she is trying to take her wagon and a valuable cargo over an unpassable mountain pass. She meets up with Vandien and together they must fight of an enraged Harpy and the shadow of the Sisters.

The Grade
This book is typical Robin Hobb in itís writing. She tells a good story with dry wit and tight writing. Excellent descriptions make the reader feel the characters and believe the story. Itís a very good book and deserves four out of five amulets. I canít wait to read the rest of the series!

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