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I've been writing since I could first hold a pencil, and by all accounts I didn't limit myself to paper. Walls, tablecloths and the occasional sibling were all fair game, and it shouldn't be surprising to learn that markers were banned in my home with all due haste. Although I now content myself with inconveniencing electrons, the desire to bring the stories in my mind to life hasn't waned. In my spare time, I read, putter in the kitchen, and relax on my terrace or at the lake, weather permitting, with my corgi who strives to be part muse, part food disposal. I'm also addicted to coffee and have a close relationship with my Keurig.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Trouble (Seat of Magic #1)Trouble by R.J. Price
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's amazing how quickly I found myself engrossed in this strange, yet familiar world Ms Price has created. Her characters are marvelously real, full of quirks and foibles, and prone to making the sort of mistakes I've found myself committing. It's refreshing to meet real people in books.

Aren is both clever and naive, looking only to find herself a refuge, a cottage by a lake. The last thing in the world she wants is to be noticed, and if she didn't have to be at court in order to give her younger sister the opportunity to attend court as well, Aren would have happily avoided the minefield that is Em's court.

Em is a mad queen, full of rage and fear in equal measures, and sees plots in every corner, Her caprice is tempered by her mate Jer, and his brother Av, but even these two can only do so much to control Em. Even Em's daughter is at risk from the wrath of the queen. Em is failing, and both men know it. While they dread Em's instability, there's no guarantee that the next queen to sit the throne will be any better.

Av barely notices Aren at first, to Aren's satisfaction. But when he does, it sets in motion a chain of events no one could have predicted. I'm not going to leave spoilers, but the twists and turns are superb, and kept me reading often later than I'd planned. I started out disliking Av, but he managed to redeem himself by the end of the book. Av's full of contradictions, and it just makes him that much more a flesh and blood person rather than a stock character.

This is the first book in a series, and I'm entirely delighted, because I really, really want more of Av and Aren, of Jer, and of Telm, not to mention Mar and Ervam. Oh, hells, I just want Ms Price to write more!

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