The Chronicle of Secret Riven
By Ronlyn Domingue
(Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781451688917, 385pp.)
Publication Date: May 2014
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To see is a trick of the mind, but to believe is a trick of the heart.
"One thousand years after a great conflict known as The Mapmaker's War, a daughter is born to an ambitious historian and a gifted translator. Secret Riven doesn't speak until her seventh year but can mysteriously communicate with plants and animals. Unsettled by visions and dreams since childhood, she tries to hide her strangeness, especially from her mercurial father and cold mother. When her knowledge of an esoteric symbol brings unwelcome attention, gentle, watchful Secret finds acceptance from Prince Nikolas, her best friend, and Old Woman, who lives in the distant woods.
When Secret is twelve, her mother, Zavet, receives an arcane manuscript to translate from an anonymous owner. Zavet begins to suffer nightmares and withdraws into herself. Secret sickens with a fever and awakens able to speak an ancient language, discovering that her mother is fluent as well. Suddenly, Zavet dies. The manuscript is missing, but a cipher has been left for Secret to find. Soon, Secret will have a choice to make: confront a destiny tied to an ancient past or deny it, never to know its whole truth.
A spellbinding story, rich with vivid characters and set in a fascinating world, "The Chronicle of Secret Riven "explores the tension between love and hate, trust and betrayal, fate and free will.
Ronlyn Domingue‚Äôs critically acclaimed debut novel, The Mercy of Thin Air, was published in ten languages. Her work has appeared in The Beautiful Anthology (TNB Books), New England Review, The Independent (UK), Shambhala Sun, and on The Nervous Breakdown. She lives in Louisiana with her partner, Todd Bourque, and their cats. Connect with her on RonlynDomingue.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
‚eoeA fun read for fantasy lovers.‚e
‚eoeA map can make sense out of the seen world. But it can also evoke greed. And what of a map of the heart? Legend, allegory, fantasy‚e"this second novel by Domingue entwines genres to cast a spell upon its reader.... A curious, thought-provoking story about how the heart‚e(TM)s terrain bears charting, too.‚e
‚eoeDomingue deftly explores themes of motherhood, gender equality, and the powerful ties that bind us to our roots, while at the same time mesmerizing the reader with the story of a mythical land struggling to protect itself from the greed and jealousy of the slowly encroaching outside world.‚e
‚eoeJourney to the heart of a fairy-tale land with doomed queens, epic quests, and enemy kingdoms in The Mapmaker‚e(TM)s War. Ronlyn Domingue‚e(TM)s jewel of a book has a big canvas, memorable characters, and intimate storytelling. You will be swept away by this otherworldly tale that charts the all-too-human territory between heartbreak and hope.‚e
-Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night
‚eoeWhat a stunning, original book this is‚e"restrained and sensual, cerebral and lush, always blazingly intelligent, epic and expansive, yet filled with the most precisely and lovingly observed details. This is one of the best books I've read in years. Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's best work and yet wholly its own, The Mapmaker‚e(TM)s War†evokes one of its heroine‚e(TM)s fantastic, world-defining maps: giving lines to human landscapes as old as myth, seemingly for the first time. You won‚e(TM)t be able to put this book down, and it will take you somewhere you've never been, leaving you transformed.‚e
-Carolyn Turgeon, author of Mermaid and The Fairest of Them All
‚eoeThe Mapmaker's War is an extraordinary tale of a woman's courage in an ancient Utopian world. Domingue has taken on the herculean task of inventing a new legend, and the result is a remarkable novel at once absorbing and heart wrenching, but above all mesmerizing!‚e
-M.J. Rose, internationally bestselling author of Seduction
‚eoeThe Mapmaker's War evokes not mere fantasy, but the real magic I found as a child, reading by flashlight under a blanket. As then, the story takes me by the hand to exotic lands and noble people. As it proceeds, I'm reminded of myself as a teen-age girl, chafing under the restrictions of an established order. Further on, I'm lead into adulthood. The story keeps me under its spell, but it fills with adult contradictions, with experiences of betrayal and regret, with sex and self-knowledge, with the reality of evil, and all the while, yes, the same old magic. But the magic has matured, now, redeemed by love and wisdom.‚e
-Ava Leavell Haymon, author of Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread: Poems, Winner of the MIAL 2011 Prize for Poetry
‚eoeWith an original voice, Ronlyn Domingue takes us into a land of strange truths and raw beauty. Writing against contemporary norms, she dares to forge into new territory even as she takes us into an ancient world. To the place of a red dragon and warm desire. A world full of love, and hate, and recompense. Domingue has a rare eye for the honest word and a heart willing to travel where the story leads. The Mapmaker‚e(TM)s War offers us the chance to reflect on both our sins and saving graces and to believe in the possibility of a future that holds kindness and understanding as key. This novel is a celebration of brave women and men, of expansive vision, and ultimately, of a humanity not easily denied.‚e
-River Jordan, nationally bestselling author of Praying for Strangers and The Miracle of Mercy Land