Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Cobalt the Dark married Mel Dawnfield so that Harsdown would eventually return to Cobaltís heirs because it is part of his wifeís dowry. What began as a marriage of state quickly became a love match. He conquered Sharize and Blue Shire and is heir to the Misted Cliffs, ruled by his abusive grandfather Stonebreaker who made his and his motherís life miserable as a child.
Cobalt would love to add Jazid and Taka Mal to his empire but Mel doesnít want her husband to become the dictator of the world. The country of Taka Mal, fearing Cobaltís expansionist ideas, kidnap the queen of Aronsdaleís brother Drummer, Melís uncle and a minstrel with a voice that could make grown men weep for joy. The ruling queen Jade quickly falls under Drummerís spell and wants to marry him because Cobalt would never call out his wifeís family. Before that plan could be put into motion, Mel is kidnapped and it is made to look like Taka Mal performed the deed. Cobalt marches towards Taka Mal intending to level it unless Mel can escape her prison and explain the truth to her beloved.
Nebula award winner Catherine Asaro writes a spellbinding romantic fantasy as well as she does hard science fiction. Fans of her Skollan empire series will find THE DAWN STAR a softer, more people driven tale with characters well suited for this sword and sorcery tale. Although there are plenty of action scenes, the plot is more about political chicanery and the political intrigue scenes are fascinating.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner