The world changed for me when I read the Atlan series. I found a true soul mate in the protagonist. Cija seemed to be my mirror reflection in an endlessly fascinating fantasy world. Cija is like no other hero or heroine. She is supremely real, perfectly flawed, she suffers, she makes mistakes, witnesses terrible tragedy, and moves on. From age 14 (when I first read The Dragon- yes out of order) to now, age 40, I have turned to this series to comfort me, to guide me (" Never, never let anybody know that you are 'cynical' as they call it: they will at once feel inferior to you and that will make them hate you. Always pretend to be more innocent than you are-it is very useful to be among people who underestimate you." -The Serpent), and to distract me from all the messiness of my own wandering life.
The end of the series was like cutting off a life line for me. Still, if Cija can make a new life amidst bandits and mud, still waiting for her "one" to find her, so can I.
I have no way to contact the author, but if she ever finds this review, I want to express my enormous gratitude.
Ms. Gaskell, because of these books I have had a friend to travel through life with, and in all the darkest times I have never really been alone. Thank you.