The Bone Doll's Twin
by Lynn Flewelling
Reviewed by Ruby
Centuries before Alec and Seregil there was Tobin, a young boy that is extraordinarily special. See he's really a girl. Under the prophecy handed down by an oracle, as long a queen rules the country of Skala all will be good for Skala. You can already guess how some of the males of the royal family thought of this, but what are you going to do? Apparently this prince, Erius, after his mother has a bout of insanity that lasts a decade or so, and she dies, he takes the thrown instead of his 7 year old half-sister who the thrown should've gone to. Betting that the people wouldn't want to start a civil war on the behave of seven year old girl with a plague and raiders along their borders, he stays king. Then start having all his female relatives...taken care of, i.e. killed. The wandering wizard Iya goes to an oracle and she discovers that a girl will be born who will be the next Queen. Now all her and her apprentice have to do is make sure her uncle doesn't kill her.
With the help of a witch with different magic to their own, they travel to the house of the king's half-sister that for some strange reason he didn't have killed. She is pregnant with twins and she gives birth to a boy and a girl. To ensure the future the boy is killed and using the witch's powers and a skin graft the bodies are switched. So it seems to everyone that the girl was stillborn and the boy lived.
For the next dozen years or so, Iya and her apprentice wander and the King's 'nephew' Tobin is raised in a country estate. This is for a few reasons. 1) His father didn't want the king's wizard to sense the magic on him. 2) The King's sister kind of went insane after Tobin was born. 3) The boy who was killed wasn't to happy about that and haunts his 'brother'.
Tobin is finally called to Ero, the capital to take his place as a Companion, and his two most trusted friends go with him; Ki, his squire and Tharin, his father's squire/best friend/ lover/ so on and so forth. With the king getting just as insane as his mother and a pack of wizards hunting the slightest hint of treachery to the king, things are happening faster than anyone could've predicted...except maybe for the oracle, with the whole 'see the future thing' and all.
I loved this book. It wasn't as great as The Nightrunner Series but it was pretty damn close. The characters were awesome, the style of writing is to die for, the entire world is so spectacularly that it just sucks you in and you can't put the book down. Trust me, I had to finish reading it so much that I read straight until like 2 am when I had to be awake at 6.
Anyway, the only problem I had with it was the whole wizards hunting wizards thing. It's not that I think it's unbelievable, actually it's very believable. I just don't like that kind of plot. It wasn't a major plot point in the book, but I have a feeling it will get more important in the next book. I think maybe that it's been used a few too many times, only because it is so believable that people with power would do anything, including killing some of their own to keep it. I've just never like that kind of plot. Oh well.
The other thing I don't like is the ending. How can you just end it like that!?!?!?! AHHH!!! Now I have to find The Hidden Warrior to find out what happens. Grrr.