4.18.2014

The Well of Tears, by Roberta Trahan

The Well of Tears
The Wales of Roberta Trahan's The Well of Tears has real magic. An ancient prophecy guides the actions of the Stewards, who have been preparing for a thousand years* to guide Hywel to his rightful place as high king. They have sent four of their number abroad to await the right time. Twenty years later, it's time for them to come home.

Alwen has raised a family and found a home in Norvik, in Frisia, when an old friend reappears to summon her back to Cymru. At Fane Gramarye, Alwen reunites with her old mentor, Madoc. She also takes the measure of Cerrigwen, another of the four chosen. Sparks immediately fly between the two. Cerrigwen is arrogant and is greatly annoyed that Alwen is chosen over her as leader of the four. It's not long before Cerrigwen is plotting with Madoc's successor to overthrow the established order.

As The Well of Tears meanders towards its climax, Trahan shows us more about her cast of characters. We meet Alwen's children and husband, her daughter's betrothed, and members of the Cad Nawdd (the guards of Fane Gramarye). The real action of the book doesn't occur until after the midway point. It's clear that The Well of Tears is meant to be an introduction to the rest of the series. It doesn't so much come to a conclusion as find a convenient pause in the action at which to end. Thus, it's a frustrating read.

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* It's always a thousand years, isn't it?

I received a free review copy of this ebook to review from NetGalley, in exchange for a fair review. 

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