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The Bone Doll's Twin [Mass Market Paperback]

Lynn Flewelling
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 2 2001 Tamir Triad
Sometimes the price of destiny is higher than anyone imagined....

Dark Magic, Hidden Destiny

For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line of warrior queens protected Skala. But the people grew complacent and Erius, a usurper king, claimed his young half sister’s throne.

Now plague and drought stalk the land, war with Skala’s ancient rival Plenimar drains the country’s lifeblood, and to be born female into the royal line has become a death sentence as the king fights to ensure the succession of his only heir, a son. For King Erius the greatest threat comes from his own line — and from Illior’s faithful, who spread the Oracle’s words to a doubting populace.

As noblewomen young and old perish mysteriously, the king’s nephew — his sister’s only child — grows toward manhood. But unbeknownst to the king or the boy, strange, haunted Tobin is the princess’s daughter, given male form by a dark magic to protect her until she can claim her rightful destiny.

Only Tobin’s noble father, two wizards of Illior, and an outlawed forest witch know the truth. Only they can protect young Tobin from a king’s wrath, a mother’s madness, and the terrifying rage of her brother’s demon spirit, determined to avenge his brutal murder....

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Product Description

From Booklist

Young Tobin had the misfortune of being born female in perilous times, in which high-born females of all ages are being murdered by order of the king, to ensure his son's succession to the throne. Years earlier, King Elrius usurped his sister's rightful claim to the throne--an act that abrogated the divine protections set over his people, bringing plague and war to the land. There are those who would see the divine prophecies honored, however, and a warrior queen restored to the throne. So Tobin is disguised by means of dark magic that conceals her true gender with that of her twin brother, who was killed at birth, but not fast enough. He drew a single breath, which was enough to keep his soul earthbound and horribly angry. Tobin will indeed be queen, but only if she can be protected until adulthood from her insane mother, her demonic brother, and every evil wizard in the land. This terrific tale is dark and exciting, and the magic in it is truly wonderful. Paula Luedtke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“This terrific tale is dark and exciting, and the magic in it is truly wonderful ... A magnificent epic.”
Booklist

“A gripping tale of magic with an unusual form of sex change for added interest. Left me eager for more.”
Locus

“A thoroughly engrossing new fantasy. It got its hooks into me on the first page and didn’t let go.”
— George R.R. Martin

“A relentless tale that examines whether the ends can ever completely justify the means.”
— Robin Hobb

“Fresh and original ... Books like this are too good not to share.”
— Katherine Kurtz


Locus magazine called Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series “a welcome sight” and “a pleasure to read.” Now discover the magic for yourself with this remarkable fantasy trilogy, packed with rogues and spies, assassins and politicians:

Luck in the Shadows
Nightrunner Volume One

Stalking Darkness
Nightrunner Volume Two

Traitor’s Moon
Nightrunner Volume Three

Available wherever Bantam Books are sold

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I waited so long to read this! Nov. 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Throughout Skala's history a line of warrior queens have protected the land but when King Erius usurped his sister's throne, plague and drought overran the land. The only way to change this is to restore the female line to the throne. However, finding a new queen of royal blood is no easy task since every female who has even a distant claim to the throne is murdered. That all changes when Ariani, the King's sister, gives birth to twins; a boy and a girl. The boy twin is murdered so that, through dark magic, the girl can take his form. Consequently, young Tobin grows up, unaware of his true identity and perpetually haunted by the ghost of his murdered brother.
Very interesting fantasy that borders on dark fantasy. I loved Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series so I ran out and bought this one as soon as it came out. Then I stupidly let this gem of a book sit on my bookshelf for two years. Normally when a character in a fantasy novel is a child I'm bored to tears until they grow up but that wasn't the case with Tobin. I adored him and a lot of the other characters, although not quite as much as the Nightruner characters. However, I do think this book is a much more fluid read than the Nightrunner books. Anyway, this book is highly recommended even if you haven't read any of the author's previous work.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, but a bit stale. Nov. 15 2003
By LKN
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book because I am absolutely in love with Flewelling's earlier series, Nightrunner. This book is a prequel of sorts, highlighting the life of one of the warrior queens of Skala, and the prospect of filling in a bit of Skala's already rich history seemed more than worth my reading time.
The writing, is as always, very good, with the quality of voice that make you think Flewelling has been in the forests and travelled the roads she describes. There are some images that I still find stuck in my head, even after reading this book only once. And there is a lot in this one installment; we're taken from Skala's capitol, to the holdings in the woods, and to the mountains to visit an Oracle. And all the places have a texture that makes them easy to see and grasp and hold onto.
After the initial action, the birth and early, early childhood of the main character, which is slightly terrifying, the book got -- I hate to say it -- boring. With a few exceptions, I didn't care. Tobin didn't seem to have a personality so much as personality traits, and he's the main character. Imagine how the rest of the cast fared.
The thing I loved about Flewelling's other books was that she stuck to her plot, and if she failed to do so, I was disappointed. However, this trilogy seems to be taking the opposite extreme, and is just about the story. The characters, their relationships, smaller, cultural, or personal events are of no consequence. And that's what makes writing rich. After I finished the first book of the Nightrunner series, I couldn't get my mind off of it, I needed to have the second one...With The Bone Doll's Twin, I just sort of closed the book, tossed it off to the side, picked up something else.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's all that, plus feminism Sept. 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I confess to having bought this book as recommended by a reviewer of George R.R. Martin's "Game of thrones". That reviewer had been outraged because of the numerous ordeals George R.R. Martin makes his feminine characters go through.
Indeed, "Bone Doll's Twin" is far from that. I've read some of the reviews here, and tend to agree to those not-so-favorable. Besides, influenced by the mentioned reviewer, I've noticed some aspects that suggest a strong feminist orientation of the writer.
The plots are carefully shaped so that all abasements of women frustrate the reader. The leaders have to be females (queens); if this does not happen, all kind of disasters happen to the country (Skala). The army contains equally men and women. We are led to consider reproachfully the current situation, when the king disallows this: unhappy, the warrior-women find shelter by the hearths. Iya, one of the most important characters, is an old female wizard; it so happens, that she has a male apprentice, whom she teaches wizardry wisdom. And Iya is the one to forbid or recommend to Arkoniel, the apprentice, to have sexual experiences.
Lhel, a fascinating character by all means, is a female witch initiated in nature magic. She is the sexual partner of Arkoniel. She chose him, hunted him, and eventually rode him in an explicitly depicted intercourse.
Apart from all these, the book offers a rather pleasant reading. I'm mildly interested in the next installment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark But Enthralling July 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fans of Flewelling's incomparable Nightrunner series will be a little shocked when they pick up THE BONE DOLL'S TWIN. It's impressive how different in tone this new series is when compared to her other books. The Tamir Trilogy promises to be much darker, even a little disturbing, but just as brilliant.
THE BONE DOLL'S TWIN is set in the same world as the Nightrunner series, but far earlier in Skala's history. The small kingdom has enjoyed centuries of peace and safety thanks to divine protection which is maintained by a line of warrior queens. When an ambitious young prince decides to steal his sister's throne, he makes sure all contenders for the crown are eliminated. That means all females in the royal family are murdered. When a young woman married to the King's nephew gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl, the children's father takes desperate steps to ensure a return of the divine protection. He brings in an earth-witch to cast dark magic on his daughter, an act that necessitates the death of his son. The girl is magically made to appear male and is raised believing she is a boy.
The girl/boy Tobin must survive much before she can become Queen however. Her mother has gone mad, her twin brother still exists as an angry, bitter ghost, and if anyone should discover that he is really a girl, she would be quickly eliminated.
The book is amazingly original; I've never read anything remotely like it. Lynn Flewelling has proved herself a master at world building and character development and she doesn't let us down in either case with her latest series. Once again, all her characters, both good and bad, are richly developed and complex. The story, while dark and sinister, is enthralling and I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite Author
This was one of the best books I have read in a very long time. The strong character-driven plot draws you in from the moment the book begins. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2010 by Mari Kath
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong character-driven fantasy
This series is a sort of prequel to the author's Night Runners series - I personally enjoyed this series more. Read more
Published on July 6 2009 by I. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best random picks I've had!
After going through the reviews post-read, I find myself absolutely astonished by some of the lesser-rated ones I read. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2008 by A. Ferland
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
After reading and loving Lynn's other series, the Nightrunner books, I was a bit wary about taking on this onebut I am glad I did. Read more
Published on March 18 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Write faster, Lynn!
This is one of the best "I picked it up in the grocery store" books I've ever read. After finishing, I immediately ordered all of Lynn Flewelling's books. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by The Feisty Curmudgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this in two days!!
And believe me I got upset if anyone interrupted me! I even took it to work and read a few chapters there! This book was very well written and the characters grab you. Read more
Published on May 17 2004 by R. Richardson
1.0 out of 5 stars Where to begin?
I bought this book because it came with an incredibly high rating, and had several reviews (including one by one of my favorite authors, Robin Hobb) that were well-written,... Read more
Published on April 2 2004 by temiak
1.0 out of 5 stars How to slog through mud, AkA where's the beef?
I wish that I had more positive things to say. It takes the main character too long to do anything. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow, but a good read overall
As a whole, I saw this book-to paint a picture-as like a barbell... It's heavy at the beginning, kind of long and mild in the middle, then it gets heavy again at the end. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and creepy
I had never read any of Flewelling's books before and picked this book up at the bookstore at random. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by KMc
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