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Season of Sacrifice by Mindy L. Klasky

Review by Caleyna

I read my first Mindy Klasky book because it featured a female on the cover and a good quote from Locus. It didn't really live up to the Locus quote, but it wasn't horrible. I can see that Klasky has potential, so I keep picking up her books. Season of Sacrifice is a stand alone book that easily bests her Glasswright series, though it still does have its share of problems. There are three main point of views that are followed, the village priestess type person, an arrogant young huntsman who must save a kidnapped pair of twins, and a little boy who is being swayed to his kidnapper's side.

Alana is a young woman with a big responsiblity. She is the town's woodsigner, the caretaker of an ancient magical oak. As the windsinger she is responsible for the well-being of the other villagers, so when an evil duke rides into town and kidnaps two of the village children Alana must jump into action.

A group is sent to recover the children, while Alana monitors their progress through woodstars provided by the mighty oak. It's too bad that the group doesn't function well at all and the mission falls apart.

Even more upsetting is the relationship that the kidnappers are developing with Reade, th little boy they've kidnapped. He's only five, so his thought processes are not quite logical and he is quickly convinced that the villagers are evil and want to kill him. He believes he'll be powerful when he finally gets to the city of the kidnappers, not realizing that the kidnappers are extremely evil and have very different plans for the two twins.

The best thing about the book is the concept of the magical tree. The tree has the souls of past windsingers living within it and is able to impart wisdom and courage to the current windsinger. I really liked this idea. The plot of the book was a little shaky and the characters a little flat. The writing itself is pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I really hold out hope that Klasky will improve as a writer, but the hope is begining to wane after four mediocre books from the woman. Overall this gets a three out of five amulets.

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