Review of ‘Traitor’s Ring’ by Susan Stuckey

Traitor's Ring: Tales of Aldura by [Stuckey, Susan]Genre: Sword and Sorcery

Description: Lady Kari Farley has been widowed in the war with the Halurdow and faces a bleak, penniless future. In the nick of time her former lover offers her a future of riches and independence in return for helping enemy invaders identify and capture a Guardian of her own people — someone who wields the magic of the Twin Gods. Convincing herself that a peaceful capture with her help is the best that can be hoped for, and looking forward to a life of ease and plenty, Kari accepts. But can the Halurdow and her old lover be trusted?

Author: Susan Stuckey says of herself (on Facebook) “[I am a] wife, mother, sister, daughter, caretaker of multiple dogs, cats and ferrets … sometimes writer always a reader. One of these days I will advance into the modern age and convert some of my pictures to digital and have a real “me” for an avatar.” In the meantime her online avatar is a delightful shaggy dog with a quizzical expression.

Appraisal: Traitor’s Ring, published in July 2018, is around the 20th book in Ms Stuckey’s ‘Aldura’ series, others of which have been reviewed here.

Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the others. Neither have I. The book stands alone well. And if you often pass on fantasy novels because the saga seems to go on forever, be reassured that this adventure is completed in a modest 142 pages.

When we first meet Lady Kari Farley there is a lot of ‘woe is me’ about her. She has been brought up to believe that wealth and position are the only important things in life and has lost both, so she’s in a pretty grumpy place and is hard to warm to. However, as soon as she sets out on her mission to Furster’s Farm she begins to question her life to date and develop as a person. Stuckey keeps the focus on Kari’s mission and the story quickly picks up pace. (I read the final 40% of the book in one go.) The Halurdow invaders are satisfyingly sinister: the invaded Kalieri are much more fey, with a pleasing line in wolf protectors. Jeopardy is plentiful. The ending is satisfying, yet leaves room for a further adventure to take off. If you enjoy this book, there are a further 19 set in the same world to entertain you.

** This review was originally prepared for Big Al & Pals, for which I received a complimentary file copy of the book. **

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed. BTW - it says the link to Facebook is broken. I dispute that. Click it and see, why not?

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