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One of the most brilliant voices in Paranormal Romance today
on September 7, 2004
Robin D. Owens demonstrates she has a strong voice and is endowed with magical imagery. I finished a similar Offworld tale by another writer, one with potential, but the lack of imagery crippled the book. The writer failed to 'see' the world she created, failed to root in sound logic the things that happened. She 'decided' things would happen, not because it was a natural extension of the special world and the characters. That is NOT the case with HEARTMATE. Owens paints a special world, grounded solidly because of her logic and imagery.
In her tale of the world of Celta, a settlement by Earth space explorers, it's ruled by the thirteen royal houses of the
Twenty-five first families that settled this new planet. They had left Earth, because they were different, they were gifted with "Flair" meaning they were witches and warlocks. They have various powers and these have developed over the centuries, amplified by Celta.
This tales centers on Rand Ash, now called T'Ash. At six years old, his family was destroyed in a fire set by a rival house, planning on ending the whole house of Ash. He escaped, after watching his two older brothers, father and mother die, as his world went up in flames. Downwind - the slums of Celta - offered him shelter. As a grown man, he left behind the harsh life there, and hunts down those who killed his family. Then he rebuilt the GreatHouse of Ash.
His vibrant flair centers on gems, so he is a master jeweler. He and his Fam, familiar Zanth - a large tomcat that has magical powers and can talk telepathically to T'Ash - are respected among the GreatHouses. Only life is hollow for T'ash. He needs his HeartMate. People can marry on Celta as they please, but the ultimate in marriages is one with your HeartMate, a match to you in every way.
Using a scrying bowl and special divining dice, T'ash learns his HeartMate is a woman named Danith Mallow. She often comes to his jewellery store and makes small purchases. He is very pleased by what he can scry about this woman. However, Zanth has to pass his own inspection before he concurs. He begins turning up on Danith's doorstep to see if this woman is worthy of his FamMan. Zanth tells T'ash Danith is special, her Flair aura is pink, unheard of in the Ruling Houses of Celta, and that she is destined to be a great animal healer.
T'ash immediately tries to woo her in his inept fashion, showering her and her cat Pansy, who prefers to be called Princess, with jewels and flowers. Instead of winning his HeartMate, he frightens her. She feels she is a nobody. Raised in an orphanage and deemed to have no Flair, she is content, secure in her common world. Only T'ash is relentless, and changes her whole life. These changes are not welcomed but fought against as she fears him and his powers overwhelming her. She cannot possible be the HeartMate to this powerful lord.
Owens created a vivid world of Celta, she uses her "Flair" of imagery to bring the magical realm to you with gentle, strong and emotional characters. She takes the pagan roots of the Lord and Lady, brings them to her new world, and remakes them into the foundation for the wonderful tale. Zanth is especially well done. The tomcat FAM that loves jewellery, is good at fighting, and has his own way of doing things. You feel for poor Danith, her whole life nearly overwhelmed by this powerful lord, and yet you take T'Ash into your heart as well. A man with the ability to do anything he pleases, yet is so inept in wooing the lady of his heart.
It just does not get any better than this. Heart Thief the sequel (which I love even more) and Heart Duel follow. Most especially impressive to know this was her first novel, even more impress that she shows she can do it again and again.