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The River's Gift
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The River's Gift

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  768 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Ariella, lady-to-be of medieval Swan Manor, possesses magical healing abilities that she practices on the animals in the forest adjacent to her father's lands. One day a magnificent black horse emerges from the nearby river in need of her ministry. The horse is Merod, and he is a more-than-mortal Kelpie, a magical being who converses telepathically with Ar ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 2nd 1999 by Roc Hardcover
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This story is, without a doubt, one of Lackey’s shortest works ever and yet Lackey easily manages to captivate her audience with it. The River’s Gift is a short story contained within one hundred twenty-two pages in a bounded hardback book that is reminiscent of a child’s storybook. Now while the font style and even the concepts are easy enough for a child to grasp it would be a grave miscalculation to consider this a child’s book.

The story follows fifteen year old Ariella who is gifted with the
I had read this book a while back. I was like sixteen I think, which marks me closer to the age of our heroine. The book is a quick, light read that is delightful, but it suffers from being so short. A lot of time is spent before the 'trouble' of the book even begins and the detail is well placed there. We learn about the daily lives of the people, of Ariella and a lot about the Harvest Time.

Unfortunately when her father dies and her life changes the nature of the book changes. The action happen
Michelle Wardhaugh
The plot felt Disney-ish, especially at first. A maiden goes into the woods to heal animals and meets a beautiful fairy water-horse. Yes, I know that's a kelpie, but the term is rarely used in this context because he becomes her best friend. You've got the irritating chaperone and the handsome blaggard who wants to marry her for her lands. Even the length would suit a Disney movie quite well. It's short and sweet. Of course Disney would have had the father die before the start of the movie, and ...more
Ariella lives a somewhat sheltered life in the family manor, under the watchful eye of old cousin Magda. Spending her free time in the forest, she discovers she has a talent for healing the woodland animals. Indeed, one day a handsome, wounded Kelpie, a water-living, magical creature in the shape of a horse, requires her assistance. Soon after, Ariella's world is shattered when tragedy befalls her father, and she is sent off to marry a horrible cousin. The River's Gift is filled with many, many ...more
Three stars for that ending. It's an HEA, but really, that's it? You build up this relationship between the land, the humans, and the fae folk, and you just have them fly off into the sunset like her birthright wasn't stolen from her, her people displaced and now most likely ruled by a tyrannical hand? Really?
Very good read! Quick and easy, it's a fairytalesque story with adventure, romance, and magic! Very well written.
Fantasy full of stereotypes but it makes for a quick, fun, light read.
A typical fairy tale. For a minute I thought it wasn't going to turn out OK.
Mar 22, 2013 June rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lackey and romantic fantasy readers
Shelves: fantasy
I think someone got this for me since I was a huge Lackey fan. I tried to head off a comfort read marathon by reading this, but have continued with: The Host, Promised Land, and Austenland
Kathy Davie
The Story
This was a lovely short fairytale of a maiden happily tending the creatures of the forest, the minor fae, and the villagers in her father's manse. Happy until her father died and her wicked cousin appeared to whisk her away.

The Cover
The characters on the cover are obviously Ariella and Merod while their escape hovers overhead but what the staircase has to do with this story…I dunno. The title is perfect as Merod is indeed The River's Gift and hope for Ariella.
A sweet little story about a medieval girl with the power to heal. She uses the ability on animals around her father's manor and makes fairy friends who then help her when she is very realistically forced into an arranged marriage. Lackey doesn't have a particularly innovative approach to magic or Faerie--neither is she entirely traditional--but she does manage to make her stories seem real. This, I think, is a greater talent for a more enjoyable tale.
Dec 02, 2009 Doris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a quick read or knows their fairy tales
As I finished the book, I thought 'well the author didn't spend much time on the capture and escape'. Then I checked - and over half the story deals with the capture and then escape.

I recognized the story from the fairy tales I heard as a child, and wonder if this is a teaser for the 500 Kingdom stories.

Excellent book, and if you are a quick reader, at only 122 pages, something you can finish while waiting in line or for a doctor.
This is a charming little story. Quick read but I was impatient to get to the meat of it (much of the action seems to be at the end).

Inspired by her own song, "The Captive" (sung by Heather Alexander on Freedom, Flight, & Fantasy). Lyrics are here:
It's not exactly the same but I recognized the germ of it quite early.
This is a little gem of just 120+ pages and no apparent sequels. The cover art was beautiful. I think I would call this story a classic damsel-in-distress piece in a medieval magical setting, although she does try her best to to rescue herself. When I was around page 115, I was getting a little worried about how it would end, but thank goodness, a romantic, satisfying finish. Recommended for young people.
This novella tells the story of Ariella, the unnamed heroine of "The Captive" on the Freedom, Flight and Fantasy CD performed by Heather Alexander. I really enjoyed the "twist" in the story that the song did not provide, and it was nice to have the fleshed out versions of characters as well.
SHort and to the point, a cute little fairy tale with a happy ending. Took about an hour to read it at the most and left me with a smile on my face. I always love it when the damsel in distress gets the great guy, though I prefer her saving him, not him saving her : )
Kelsey Dean
I was not very drawn into this story--it had little depth and was very predictable. I realize that it is a short book, but I didn't think it was worth the short amount of time it took to read it. Maybe if I had read it when I was younger I would have liked it more.
It was a really quick read not more than 4 hours for me. Lackey usually has some stuff I don't like such as swearing and/or gore, but this one didn't and was plesant to read. Even though the plot was mostly predictable.
I admit that part of the reason I loved this story so much is that it ties in with a song Mercedes wrote that I fell in love with first. I hear the song whenever I read the story.
I really enjoyed reading another Mercedes Lackey book and this one didn't disappoint. It was a quick read and would be suitable for preteens and teens.
This is a fun, quick read. The story is enjoyable, with a great main character with the power to heal, adventure, and a fairy tale feel.
This would have been so much better if it were longer and more developed. As it is, it's a fine bit of fluff. I enjoyed reading it.
It is a fun, quick read. There isn't anything terribly exciting, but neither was there anything inappropriate either.
Keri (JD)
This short but sweet book has a great fairy tale feel, the characters are endearing and sweet. A good quick read :)
Fun fairy tale. So short I finished it on the way home from the library, but that's nice sometimes.
The best thing about this: the classic fairytale feel and the brevity. Beyond that, not so much.
Aug 04, 2011 Sara added it
Shelves: fantasy
I remember this book being beautiful and that's about all I remember.
She really should have made this into a full length novel.
LOVED the book very riveting and pulled me into the story.
What an enchanting story!
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &a ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1) By the Sword (Valdemar: Kerowyn's Tale, #1) Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3) Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar, #3)

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