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The River's Gift
Mercedes Lackey
Roc Books, 128 pages

The River's Gift
Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago, Illinois, and attended Purdue University. She worked as an artist's model and a computer programmer before turning to writing full-time.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Owl Knight
SF Site Review: The Black Swan
SF Site Review: Owl Flight
SF Site Review: Storm Breaking
Mercedes Lackey Tribute Page
Mercedes Lackey Bio
Mercedes Lackey Tribute Page
The World of Velgarth

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jeri Wright

Ariella, lady of Swan Manor since the death of her mother, escapes the kinswoman her father imported to be her chaperon as often as possible, abandoning needlework for the freedom of the forest, and the satisfaction she finds healing the wild creatures who come to her for aid. She discovered her gift by accident, when the dogs in the manor came to her for healing and she found she could help them. Other 15-year-old maidens may dream of prospective husbands, but Ariella dreams only of the freedom to live her life caring for the manor and its inhabitants, without the constricting rules of "ladylike" behaviour that cousin Magda continually attempts to drill into her head.

One day she is visited by a magical creature in the form of a splendid black stallion. Merod is a riverhorse, one of the lessor Faerie, and he becomes her friend; in many ways, her only friend. As the long days of summer move inexorably towards the autumn, the two of them spend many hours enjoying each other's company. The sudden death of Ariella's father ends their idyll, and Ariella is numb with grief when she is taken away to be wed to a man she has never met. Her only hope of escape is Merod ...

Mercedes Lackey's fans should be pleased. The River's Gift is a charming story, smoothly told by a master storyteller. The length would seem to pretty much limit the chances of any great depth to the story or characterization, but I enjoyed it. Ariella's way with animals and her relationship with the magical riverhorse appealed to the romantic in me, and while I generally prefer heroines who rescue themselves, I always like a happy ending.

Copyright © 1999 Jeri Wright

Jeri is a voracious reader who believes that paradise could well be a quiet afternoon, unlimited chocolate, and a novel to lose herself in. She reads and reviews all types of fiction, and enjoys sharing her life long passion for books with like-minded readers.

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