CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 2 . . . . September 16, 2005
Gabrielle is unique amongst her peers; she a princess in the royal household of Verdeau, unmarried at 27 and a bonemender of such exceptional talent that she is able to knit damaged tissue together with concentrated thought. Loved by her family, she cherishes a special bond with her younger, fun-loving brother Tristan who is able to lighten the mood of this serious, talented healer. Though very gracious, Gabrielle's solemn demeanor has left suitors a little rattled and unsure, and it appears that her life is mapped out before her, one of devotion to her family and her craft. That is until one day two lone Elvin scouts appear at the palace, one of them in desperate need of her skills. During the elf's subsequent convalescent period, the royal household learns that the Kingdom of Verduea and the entire Krylian Basin is threatened by imminent invasion from the Greffaires, the ruthless countrymen from Gref Oris, a land bordering the inhospitable mountains to the north.
Gabrielle is drawn to these Elvin men, and she is shocked to discover that she shares their uncanny deep understanding of each others thoughts, something she hasn't known before. In particular, the elf Féolan forms a bond with Gabrielle that stirs the seeds of bourgeoning love. The news of the threat of invasion soon throws the Krylians into a desperate turmoil, a race to gather troops from neighbouring kingdoms to ensure their survival. Their only hope seems to be to form an alliance with the elves, but, with little interaction or understanding between the two races, this alliance appears unlikely. Gabrielle is also facing an internal turmoil as she finds herself pulled between duty, family and love. Her heart is tested further when she inquires about elfin life and Féolan reveals that their average life span is 300 years. The notion of a life with Féolan, who would seem ageless as he watched her wither and die, causes Gabrielle to turn from her heart's desire and bury her hurt in her work.
Bonemender is a captivating fantasy tale that delivers warm, believable characters who continue to develop throughout the book. Bennett's tale contains added depth as she allows readers an informed look into the bonemender's apothecary with detailed description of their healing procedures and methods. In addition, as we travel with Gabrielle to the Elvin city, we are enchanted by new characters that reveal the mysteries of their enchanted lives. Young readers will enjoy reading this tale of courageous heroes, charming characters and intense battles. Readers will no doubt anxiously await the sequel, The Bonemender's Oath, to continue to enjoy the account of Gabrielle's quest for love with Féolan, the unfolding of her true identity and the inevitable bloody clashes that plague the territories.
Libby McKeever is the Library Assistant at Whistler Secondary School, in Whistler, B.C., a Library Technician student, and an avid fantasy reader.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.