Monday, September 30, 2013

Review of Sign of the Throne by Melissa Eskue Ousley

Solas Beir
There is only one Solas Beir in each generation of the people of Cai Terenmare, the magical parallel realm in Sign of the Throne. The Solas Beir is the high king, the one who serves the Light, as a representative of a power greater than himself. Solas Beir is a formal title, but the term lightbearer is sometimes used in more casual settings. Lightbearer is sometimes used to refer to a future ruler, one who has not yet ascended to the throne, who does not yet possess the power of the Solas Beir. It has, at times, been used as an insult, referring to a king who is weak.
The people of the Light are powerful shape-shifters, nearly immortal, and wage battle in forms representative of their true nature, their souls. Once they reach maturity, they never grow old. However, they can die—they can drown, or can be consumed by fire, poisoned by silver, or torn apart by those who serve the Dark. Still, as long as they can return to the sacred pool of healing at Caislucis, the Solas Beir’s castle, they can heal from almost any wound. The Solas Beir also has the power to heal his people, but this ability comes at a price. In healing sickness or an injury, he takes the wound into his own body.

The Solas Beir’s power comes from the Light, but though his power is great, he cannot use it for his own gain. His role is to keep the balance of power, and to be a servant to his people. The Solas Beir is unbound by natural laws. In addition to healing others, he can move and manipulate objects by sheer force of will and he can fly. Like others from Cai Terenmare, he has the power to shape-shift. In representing the Light, he has the power to destroy those who walk in Darkness merely by speaking a word. He is required to protect his people at all costs, even if it means sacrificing himself.

Before being murdered, David Corbin’s father, Ardal, was Solas Beir. If David can discover his true identity as the lost heir and find his way back to Cai Terenmare, he will be the next one. And maybe, if his efforts to bring peace to the kingdom are successful, his son or daughter will be next to inherit the gift and rule. If that is, an evil lord named Tynan Tierney does not claim the throne first. 

Abby is an ordinary girl haunted by dreams of an ivory castle, blood-thirsty monsters, and a striking stranger. Working as a babysitter for a family of mythology lovers in wealthy Newcastle Beach, California, she struggles to define herself among the elite class while trying to make sense of her strange visions. Upon meeting David, the doppelgänger of the mysterious young man in her dreams, Abby’s life is changed forever.

Encountering the queen of Cai Terenmare, a magical kingdom in a parallel world, Abby learns of an evil lord hell-bent on usurping the throne, the murder of Cai Terenmare’s king, the Solas Beir, and the kidnapping of the Solas Beir’s infant son.

As the kingdom struggles to endure, the queen shows Abby the full extent of her destiny. She must convince her mysterious crush, David, that he is the lost heir. While braving attacks from the dark lord’s sadistic minions, David must realize his true identity and return to Cai Terenmare to claim his throne before time runs out, lest the evil that was temporarily locked away be unleashed, threatening to destroy both the kingdom and all of humanity.
About the Author:

Melissa Eskue Ousley is the author of The Solas Beir Trilogy. “Sign of theThrone,” the first book of this young adult fantasy series, will be released onSeptember 14. She is currently working on the second and third novels in thetrilogy, “The Rabbit and the Raven” and “The Sower Comes.”

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping roadkill off a molten desert highway to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona.

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5 / 5
This book is going to pull you into the story on page one and not let you go until you've read the last word.  It's a complex story blending two worlds together with characters you become quite attached to throughout.  I completely enjoyed it.  Well done!

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