Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Donnels Promise Donnel's Promise
by Anna Mackenzie

Supplied for review by Random HouseNew Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Risha takes up her mother’s throne in the duchy of Havre and gets caught up in court politics, which bore her. She sets out on a tour of Western Havre with her handsome guard captain, Nolan, and her mother’s cousin, Ciaran, who is married to Havre’s chief counsellor, Athan. They are ambushed along the way, revealing there is a traitor in the city. A cunning plan saves Risha but places her friend Lyse at risk, along with Ciaran. Or does it?

Fleeing to safety in Caledon, she enlists the help of Lillet to stay alive. Risha needs allies so journeys to Fratton in search of people she can trust, revisiting Margretta and encountering Muir. Returning to Caledon, she discovers there has been a coup in Havre and power has been seized by Athan. The duchy of Westlaw holds captive Ciaran and Lyse, who they think is Risha. The Five Duchies is faced with civil war if Risha’s father’s duchy, LeMarc, is expelled from the council for annexing Whitelaw’s capital. Risha must claim Cattra’s Legacy to bring peace to the realm.

The sequel to Cattra’s Legacy is a fast-paced story full of action and adventure. Risha is no swooning heroine and displays the same determination and compassion as in her first tale. The characters are well-rounded and likeable, with the females showing strength and showing they can look after themselves. I want more; to watch as Risha masters her gift, what choices Lyse makes, to see Margretta grow, how Muir and Risha deal with their differences.

This can be read as a stand-alone but I urge you to read Cattra’s Legacy first as the story is brilliant. This is a magical world with kick-arse heroines, an exciting sequel that is a wonderful read and suitable for teens and upwards.

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