| Article by Bill Brockman |
The Divided Crown by Isabel Glass
Starting from a premise that the reader finds himself in a world where Magic with a capital M, once all powerful, is now a seriously degraded but dangerous force, The Divided Crown becomes a tale of good and evil characters struggling with tempting powers.
The main protagonists, Mathewar and Angarred, are husband and wife. He is the Master of the College of Magicians and she a powerful practitioner of the art of physical transformation. His powers are very much more in the way of illusion, and soon disappear altogether, as the reader will see. They are traveling to assist the newly crowned King of Karedidin, Jerret, who has fallen in with a family who do not have his best interests in mind, to say the least.
These plotters have discovered the secret of “binding” people to a ruler’s will, creating zombie-like armies that threaten total and final rule. The “Divided Crown” of the title refers to how they have gained this power, using half of an ancient magical crown. The uses of the other half are revealed, as is the even eviler plot involving its temporary master. Competing plans to seize the Kingdom of Karedidin while destroying other smaller kingdoms lead to bloody days, indeed, with Mathewar and Angarrad right in the thick of things. Other characters, both good and evil, make their appearance in due time.
Fans of fantasy, who don’t mind a story light on science and with a rudimentary military theme, will enjoy the development of character in this lightweight novel. Although this reviewer never became engrossed in the story, it was sufficiently entertaining and novel to lead one to the finish. A couple of unexpected twists and satisfying conclusion finish the book.
Rated 5 on a 1 to 10 scale.