|Mindy L. Klasky: Season of Sacrifice|
Fantasy (Paperback), ISBN 0-451-45865-6
The Great Tree acts as the guardian of the people in the small seaside village at its base. Alana Woodsinger serves the Tree through her singing. She tells the Tree the events of the day and interprets its wisdom for the people. Alana never planned on singing to the Great Tree for the rest of her life, but the Great Tree chose and bound her to itself. Now the Great Tree serves as Alana's husband, parents and family, because woodsingers can't marry after the Tree chooses them.
For their part, the villagers harbor a profound fear of dogs as a result of a happening in the village's distant past -- an event they cannot allow themselves to forget. Imagine, then, their fear when Duke Coren attacks the villagers with dogs and soldiers during the Spring Festival. Coren steals two village children (twins) and spirits them away to the interior of the country, where trouble brews and evil magic waits to be unleashed.
Alana uses her Tree-given powers to help three villagers track the duke and, hopefully, rescue the children from the horrible fate the duke plans for them. The situation grows progressively grimmer until Alana faces the awful choice of abandoning her quest or sacrificing everything she holds dear. But if Alana hopes to discharge her responsibilities to her people and the children, she must find a way to bear the burden of new sacrifices, destroy what she loves and learn to love again.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes, indeed, and I would love to recommend it to all fantasy lovers -- and those who might like to become one.
Patricia Lucas White
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