As the only living child of Erius's dead sister, Prince Tobin is second in line to the throne of Skala, but he is not what he seems. With the onset of puberty, Tobin has discovered his true identity - she is the rightful heir to the throne.
P.S. I am shocked and appalled by some of the people reviewing this book. One person who hasn't even read the first installment is reviewing this volume, and he/she hasn't even read the entire thing. This book is meant to be read after the first one, and though it does not say so anywhere, that is the fault of the publisher, and should not be blamed on the author. Therefore, it can't possibly be given a fair review if only this installment had been read. Many renowned literary works would make absolutely no sense if you just started in the middle. It's stupid.
The Tamir novels stand out most for their originality - the haunted girl-turned-boy child Tobin, the doll theme, Brother, etc. They add a very subtle undercurrent of dark fantasy without resorting to the hair's-breadth escapes, danger or gore-and-blood-spattered scenes a la Terry Goodkind. Flewelling skillfully highlights gender equality without crossing the line into outright female chauvinism. Erius and Korin are shown in a surprisingly human light with their strengths and loves as well as flaws - not quite the complete Machiavellian villains. They almost had me rooting for them at times. All these elements of an engaging plot are then tied together expertly by Flewelling's fluent, evocative writing style (which is markedly absent in many genre writers).
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People seeking literary/educational merits in the genre will also find ample food for thought in these books. Issues of homosexuality/transsexuality, identity, power, political rights, prejudice, acceptance etc are central to the story.
A reviewer for The Bone Doll's Twin commented on the fact that nowhere on the book did it say that it was Book 1 of a trilogy. So, he expected to read a full book and got only part one. This book suffers from a similar lack. I don't usually read the inside cover a book, it's just reviews and such. That is the ONLY place I could find that mentioned this might not be a stand-alone book. Thus, when I started reading and all the action was in media res, I thought the author was crazy.
I read six chapters before finally giving up and putting it down. This book starts off right where the last book leaves off, apparently, with only a few little flashbacks to connect them. Thus, I thought that there had been some terrible mistake and I was missing the first three chapters of the novel somehow. It wasn't until coming here to Amazon.com that I discovered it was Book 2. Then things started making sense.
This isn't likely to be a book that one can just pick up and read without having read the first. That's fine, I suppose, but if it's going to be that way, the publisher should make it a lot clearer that this is part of a 3 book thing. I get the feeling that they're trying to trick readers into buying the books. I could be wrong.
In any case, I won't be finishing it. I have no desire to read the Bone Doll's Twin, especially given some of the reviews of it.