Anna's Reviews > Transformation

Transformation by Carol Berg
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's review
Mar 24, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: sci-fi-fantasy, bookcrossing
Read in March, 2008 Review
Sixteen years of slavery have left Seyonne with little sense of who he is, or who he used to be; Carol Berg's Transformation is the story of how he gradually comes to know himself and becomes a player in the game of empires and kings.

Prince Aleksander is the heir to the Derzhi Empire and is a spoiled brat with no sense of the consequences of his endlessly rash actions. When Seyonne, whom he has whimsically bought as a secretary, realises that the obnoxious youth is in danger from demonic sorcerers, he has no option for self-preservation but to save the prince from them. Then he realises that Aleksander, by this point disgraced, on the run and cursed with shape-changing, has the spark of mystical goodness in him that his own people have been searching for for generations.

Berg has created a world in which there are several sorts of magic that hardly overlap, and whose local bigotries --Seyonne, once a leader of his people, has been dishonoured forever by capture--are credibly unpleasant. This is an evocative, passionate sword-and-sorcery thriller with some vivid characters and set piece scenes; Aleksander is a fascinating creation, with the stuff of greatness in him but on the brink of corruption.

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