A quickish review. I haven't been into Hamilton for a while, but I saw this at Goodwill and picked it up for 50 cents. It's a reissue of her first novel and I was interested in seeing Hamilton's earlier work. This book is very different for the paranormal/urban erotic fantasy she's famous for today – this is straight fantasy,
The story focuses on a young noble named Kelios with some unusual powers – she's a seer plus she has magic abilities. She lives somewhere that sounds like a special place of learning for magic. I got the impression that all magic users have to get an education and become a "master" in their particulay skill before they are allowed out in the world. In Kelios' case, she is a master in one ability but still a journeyman in the other.
A very big part of Kelios' life is a memory of her mother's death and a vendetta against her mother's murderer. But she has other enemies too. Who are they? Well – you have to figure that out as you read. The writing is in an easy to read style, but this book feels like the second book of a trilogy rather than the standalone it is – there are a lot of references to an adventure the heroine Kelios had before that sounds like it deserves it's own novel. Along with this is seemingly established relationships that I felt dropped into as I read – friends, enemies.. not much detail why. There were also a lot of references to terms I had to guess at. For instance, I believe Kelios is both an Enchanter and a Sorcerer, but Hamilton doesn't explain the difference. It also felt like a third book could have come after this one because of left over plot strings, plus only towards the end do I feel that I am beginning to get into Kelios' character and a couple of other characters. Leaves me wanting. On top of that, there is a lot of battling and fighting in this book and very little explaining. I'd recommend this as light reading but with a warning that you may feel unsatisfied. I kept reading even though much of it was confusing just because there was this odd relationship between Kelios and a suitor who kept pursuing her and I was wondering where it was going. Otherwise.. I didn't really have a reason to keep reading.
Conclusion: Frustratingly sparse in plot information.