Shannon's Reviews > Avielle Of Rhia

Avielle Of Rhia by Dia Calhoun
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Oct 15, 10


Avielle of Rhia, by Dia Calhoun, is another coming of age story. Avielle is a princess, although as one of the younger children, it is extremely unlikely she will ever inherit the throne. Avielle is a Dredonian Rhian, meaning that one of her ancestors was from Dredonia. Many Rhians are Dredonian Rhians, and they all have one characteristic of Dredonians, whether it be pointed ears or the scalloped ridge on their forehead. Then there are those called silverskins, who look completely Dredonian. Avielle is a silverskin.

Avielle has lived all her life in the shadow of her evil great great grandmother, Queen Dolvoka, who was Dredonian. The people of Rhia, and even her family, despise or fear her because they expect that Dolvoka’s evil has also passed to Avielle along with her appearance. This is also what Avielle fears most. Dolvoka’s memory is still feared, and she is referred to as the “Cursed One.” Before she died, she cast a spell on Rhia, causing all the birds to die. Any birds that enter the country grow weak and eventually die as well.

Rhians are preparing for war, as Dredonia’s Bretheren of the Black Cloaks make harsh demands for slaves and mines of Rhia to be turned over to them. Avielle leaves the High Hall one night to seek out a woman who was kind to her, to ask her about her weaving skills. While in Gamalda’s shop, a Whirlwind sent by the evil Bretheren hits the High Hall, killing Avielle’s entire family. Convinced that the people of Rhia would never accept her as their queen, Avielle stays with Gamalda in hiding, as her new apprentice.

Now that the Royal Family is (presumed) dead, the High Council has taken over. There is actually talk of sending the people of Rhia to Dredonia as slaves! Avielle at last has made friends and is beginning to accept herself, part Dredonian and magic alike. In order to save her country, her friends, and even herself, she must make a difficult decision. And maybe with that decision, she can drive away evil and bring the birds home to Rhia.

I found this book in the “teen fiction” section of my local library. While I did enjoy the story, it seemed to progress a bit slowly for me. Avielle took way to long to learn her lesson. She also seemed a bit selfish, but I guess that was part of the coming of age story. During much of the book, I was reminded of the stories/cards that go something like this: “See Dick run. See Jane eat. See Spot sit.” Not to say that the author’s writing was bad, because it definitely wasn’t. Anyway…I think that this book would be better suited to much younger teens, maybe even around the 11 to 14 year old range.
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