Guest Review: "Lyranel's Song" by Leslie Carmichael

Science fiction author Lynda Williams brings us the following review...

Lyranel's SongLyranel's Song by Leslie Carmichael is a book that thoughtful children can relax into and enjoy. The action is steady without being relentless, leaving room for characters to lead lives that young girls, in particular, could imagine themselves living. The two young readers (age 11) that I field-tested the book on often interrupted to supplement the commentary or make suggestions for what characters might do, which I always consider a good sign. They also enjoyed the full-page illustrations by Elsbet Vance.

The fantasy setting of the novel is a modified medieval one in which women can inherit titles and be powerful Singers (the magicians of Lyranel's world) but are still different enough from boys to make typical boy-girl interactions meaningful. The girls, in other words, do not wield swords, but they can still be vitally important. So are friendships, a father's love for his daughter, and loyalties a generation old. The evil battled by the young heroes of the book is one we can all recognize as far too real: arrogant self-absorption and exploitive greed. An interesting aspect of the story is Lyranel's physical disability of which is made no more nor less than necessary to make it a consistent aspect of her personality and the challenges she faces. The problem of her crippled feet is not the one solved in the story, either; it is simply part of who she is.

Lyranel's Song
Published by: Blooming Tree Press (2005)
ISBN: 0971834865

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