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Guardian's Key by Anne Logston

Review by Lyssa

Now, true, it has been a while since I've read Guardian's Key by Anne Logston, but I remember liking it very much. Fans of the author will note that this one is not like her Shadow series. No one in this book can be said to be elvish, but there are plenty of strange creatures: the Keep Guardian Vanian; a lusty satyr always after our main; a strange old woman who seems to love to talk about anything other than the information needed.

It is the story of Dara, a young mage wannabe who embarks on a journey in search of herself and her magic. Her only goal in mind is to become good enough to be allowed to marry her childhood love and to do it, she must claim her own magical abilities. She believes the best way to accomplish this end would be to traverse the mysterious halls of the fabled Crystal Keep.

Once inside, there is only one way out: She must search for the answer by going through every single door in the impossibly long hall that comprises the main bulk of the Crystal Keep. But Vanian is bored of his duties as Guardian, spoiled, and sadistic and so it seems his only entertainment for the time is tormenting Dara. He promises her success at every turn, yet stalls her progress with laborious and frustrating chores, hidden behind a veil of knowledge, dinner, and sometimes finery.

Yet always, Dara comes away with nothing and on she continues. In the end there is a question: What will she do? What can she do? Does she love Vanian, after all-or more correctly, does he love her?

The ending is really strange-not at all what I was expecting, though I read about half the novel in one sitting-and a bit unsettling, from my point of view. However, this was the only problem I had with the novel. Quite different from any of Anne Logston's earlier works, I still found it enjoyable. Bare in mind, Guardian's Key is more representative of Ms. Logston's current works (and she has written a follow-up to it entitled Exile, concerning Dara's daughter, Neve-which I am waiting to read), but it will give you a good taste of this wonderful, if underrated author. One more note, it may be a little hard to find in the bookshops, but if you can run across it, I recommend it. Enjoy!

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