Author(s): Sherryl Jordan
An acclaimed classic by multi-award winning author Sherryl Jordan, this epic fantasy is brought back for a 25th anniversary!
Born into a dark world trapped forever in icy winter, Elsha is a child of the Quelled, a branded people doomed to mine firestones to warm the ruling class, the Chosen. But Elsha has visions and an uncommon strength of spirit. Condemned to death on her 16th birthday for defiance, Elsha is saved when she is called to be Handmaiden to the Firelord - the most powerful being in her world, the only one with the gift of divining firestones. Viewed with distrust by the Chosen who now surround her, she has a bitter fight ahead to strive for a better world for her people.
Kathleen's review - This is a book about prejudice. How do you protect something you've won and keep the enemy quelled? You change your muths and convince your people that the enemy are sub-human. But the subdued enemy never forget their own story, and eventually there arises a saviour from among them.
It's an old, old story. Jordan tells it well with a heroine who is born with the knowledge that there is more to existence than slaving in the mines, and with a connection to divining that none except the Firelord is supposed to have. She has a charisma that attracts a numbr of people who are already seeking some sort of change, and she has the determination to stand against those who hate her.
I loved this book when I first read it, and it takes a second reading really well.