Book: Silver May Tarnish (Witch World Series 2: High Hallack Cycle #10)
Published: October 2006
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
The Dales have endured much in wars, natural disasters, magic, strange creatures, and more. This is the home of two souls lost in the ravages of war. When the Hounds of Alizon invaded the Dales of High Hallack, most were caught off guard. Lorcan was orphaned in a single savage strike and fought hard to rid the Dales of the savage invaders. He has endured heartbreak and treachery that cost him almost everything. Yet his father, a lord of a small dale, left him an inheritance with which he could rebuild. After the war, he still has one enemy: Hogeth, of Paltendale. He would steal Lorcan’s inheritance, and anything else he can use. Lorcan knows he will stop at nothing. Hogeth has already murdered his own kin.
Meive has also suffered much. She lived in the dale of Honeycomb which escaped most of the fighting. Honeycomb is known for its beekeeping, and she is an apprenticed wise woman who has chosen Meive for her ability to talk with bees. However, a traitor and a group of bandits have killed all she knew and loved. However, her bees rose in her defense. Now she is heir to a dale with no people. Together they vow to rebuild Honeycomb, but Hogeth has other ideas. The peaceful life they seek for themselves and those who now follow them can not happen until they confront Hogeth.
Those who follow my reviews know I am a long time fan of Andre Norton. While the grandam of science fiction has the first, honored name among the authors, it appears the story is the brain child of Lyn McConchie, who turned it from a short story to a novel under Andre Norton’s guidance. The result is a story worthy to stand in Andre Norton’s Witch World Series. For the two protagonists, it is a classic coming of age tale. While there are episodic elements at the beginning as both become adults and survive their respective conflicts, once they unite, the plot quickens. Even so, the early parts did not drag and were quite compelling.
I do feel the last two chapters were extraneous and could have been dropped, being little more than postscripts that really don’t lead anywhere. Aside from that, it was of a quality worthy of Andre Norton.