Fatbaldguy60's Reviews > Reiffen's Choice

Reiffen's Choice by S.C. Butler
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Oct 07, 08


I will start off by saying the twist at the end of the book is the only thing that made me decide to take a look at the next book in the series. It really took things to another level.

Things begin with Reiffen, heir to two thrones, who lives in exile in Valing, an out-of-the-way place. His mother still expects that he will gain the throne someday, and at the beginning it appears the time is near for Reiffen to return to court. Before things start to heat up we are introduced to some different folk.

The Bryddin are a race of dwarves, each individually created, sort of like a signed, limited edition print. They have a number of the typical dwarf attributes, and I liked them. During the book you get a couple of tales of the Bryddin, which are well done. They have apparently only recently broken through the surface and started interacting with humans.

Redburr is a Shaper, and can change his shape at will. Af far as I can tell, there are no more Shapers around, all the others having "gone native", permanently in animal form. You get no real background on the Shapers, and Redburr is a bit simplistic in my opinion. A story about the Shapers would have been a nice touch.

The nokken, who you only see at the beginning, are my favorite. They are well developed, and I would have liked to see more of them. Being aquatic, that would have been a problem.

The Wizards are apparently among the very few than can [or will? there seems to be a social prohibition in effect as well] use magic. They have been out of the loop for a while after causing the death of Reiffen's father, which allowed his uncle to take the thrones.

The kidnapping starts the real story. The Wizards intend to cause upheaval with Reiffen. He is given the choice to be their puppet willingly or be forced to do it. Fornoch, the quietest of the three Wizards, convinces the others to give Reiffen the freedom of their keep while he ponders the choice. Reiffen discovers a library which becomes his sanctuary; a library with a large selection of books concerning magic.

In the meantime, Nolo [a Brydd], Redburr, and Avender and Ferris {Reiffen's young friends] set off to try to free Reiffen from Ussene.

This is where the story really starts to lag. The trip from Valing to Ussene and Reiffen's wanderings around the fortress, seem a bit dark and lacking tension. Near the end Reiffen is forced to commit an act against his will, and is then mutilated for some reason which never seemed to be explained, although it is connected to the twist at the end. I am not sure if this is intentional.

Finally Reiffen faces the choice, and what a choice he makes. Like a said, I will read the next book just because of the brilliant ending, but the beginning and middle just seemed to drag on to me. So, a mixed review, but overall a decent read.
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February Four If the twist is taking his mother with him, yes, I agree with you--that was the only thing that made me go, "Huh, gotta look for that next book". ^_^


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