Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling
I go from trying to find even one Author I could review for the Letter D, to continue my A-Z list of Fantasy Authors, to being a bit spoiled for choice. Raymond E. Fiest, Allan Dean Foster who admittedly is more a sci-fi writer but still… or Lynn Flewelling even though I haven’t got round to her last Nightrunner book or even John Flanagon, an Australian author known for his Ranger Apprentice books. In the end I felt I should do a book series I’d actually finished after doing a half arse review on Stephen Donaldson.
The Tamir Triad unsurprisingly consists of three books
4/5 star rating
‘So long as a daughter of Thelatimos’s line defends and rules, Skala shall never be subjugated.’ A prophesy that has ensured a long line of Queens have ruled over Skala. As generations went on however the male heir of the throne have become resentful. Queen Agnalain is erratic and selfish and the people of Skala suffered. Prompted by the people’s outcry over the mad Queen, her son Prince Erius has seized the throne.
An act that may have pleased the people but for those who have not forgotten the prophecy it is cause for concern. Plague, drought and famine spread throughout the land, weakening its defenses and offering easy pickings for Skala’s enemy Plenimar. In an effort to keep his throne, Prince Erius begins to quietly kill off his female relatives who pose a threat to his rule. In fear of her life, Princess Ariani, the King’s daughter, gives birth to twins, a boy and girl and it is up to the powerful wizard Iya to make sure the girl survives to one day take up the throne, so that Skala has a Queen once more.
4/5 star rating
Tobin has learned that she was actually born a girl, that she is in fact borrowing the body of her dead twin brother. Hidden in the guise of a boy to protect her true nature, a princess and the heir to the throne, Tobin must risk everything to achieve her destined role as ruler of Skala.
3.5/5 star rating
Now Prince Tobin has been revealed as Princess Tamir, true heir to the throne and Skala has never been in more need for a true Queen. Tamir is however deeply confused by the new identity that has been thrust upon her and betrayed by the wizards who tricked her. Her dead twin still haunts her but now that the spell concealing her identity is broken and the bond between them has been severed. Brother is no longer under Tamir’s control and bent on vengeance for the sins committed against him.
Meanwhile Erius’s son Korin has claimed the throne and declared her a traitor but as the country slides into civil war, people begin to claim Tamir as their savior. While Tamir strives to avoid conflict, Korin’s weakness and Tamir’s honor can only lead them into a clash of wills.
These books are so well done its hard to know even start. From the very start these books leave you breathless and eager to see what happens next. Part horror, ghost story using dark magic to achieve an end goal which does quite go to plan and the consequences that arise out of it. Dark, grim and very, very moving as Tamir struggles to grow up thinking she is a boy, after all, she looks like one, is brought up like one. She also has dyslexia which complicates things just slightly. Handling difficult subjects well seems to be Flewellings gift and one of the reasons I haven’t read her latest Nightrunners books is that I don’t want to end there and wish she’d continued. Adventure, action, heartbreak, and magic so real, I really can not recommend these books enough. Very real characters dealing with very real emotions and in a world where magic can have some very serious consequences. A power that can used, or mis-used. Does the desired outcome really justify the cost? Even when the fate of an entire kingdom rests on one twin surviving while borrowing the body of her brother?
Lynn Flewelling grew up in northern Main in the US and has since lived on both coasts and traveled the world. Experiences reflected in her writing. She has worked as a teacher, house painter, a necropsy technician, free-lance editor and journalist. She married Douglas Flewelling in 1981 and has two sons and currently resides in Redlands, California. Flewelling is a Buddhist and her writings promote feminism and LGBT causes.
Who should read these books?
Not to many Fantasy authors take on the challenge of writing books that focus on issues of Gender Identity and Sexuality but Flewelling is one. Her Nightrunner books are one of very few books who both main male characters end up in a relationship together. Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce are two other Fantasy authors who have written books that have gay characters, though Tamora Pierce has gone that step further to try and represent all sorts of different people in her fantasy books, transgender, asexual, bi-polar and a whole host of characters that are relevant to current, modern times. I highly recommend her. Some people might find reading these types of books a challenge which is a shame because even if you feel uncomfortable, the topic is so well handled I would recommend you give it a try anyway. These books have been written with the general public in mind so it’s not like you are going to be confronted with anything too outrageous or if you have to, you could always skip over parts.
I give these books and overall score of 4/5 stars