Cels Reviews: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes—"The Shapeshifters"
Though each of the novels centres on a different main character, and stands alone in its own right, they all flow together nicely as a series. For me, the only drawback was the use of the old language; although it was translated, I did find it confusing and, at times, distracting. All in all, though, The Shapeshifters is a wonderful, magical journey and is well worth the trip.
Book one, Hawksong, marks the beginning of our journey, with Danica and Zane trying to find a way to bring peace to their warring people and making a personal sacrifice to make peace a reality. The must shake off millennia-old prejudices and lead by example. But can it lead to love?
Book two, Snakecharm, has Zane picking up the storytelling, as he and Danica anxiously await the birth of their child; but, when the Falcon, Syfka, turns up, stirring up dormant feelings of distrust among the two kingdoms and searching for a runaway criminal, Danica and Zane desperately try to hold on to the newfound peace.
Book three, Falcondance, introduces us to Nicias, the son of royal soliders, and exiled Falcons Kel and Rei. Nicias finds himself being haunted by visions and dreams of The White City, his parent’s birthplace–a city of extreme beauty and extreme terror. He must also fight his feelings for Oliza, daughter of Zane and Danica, since this is a union that can never be.
Book four, Wolfcry, is the story of Oliza’s coming of age. As heir to both thrones, and being half Cobra, half Hawk, she is the first of her kind. Oliza must try to lead the people and keep them united, and the fragile peace in place; but is it possible to for one queen to lead both people, even if she is half of each?
In book five, Wyvernhail, we meet poor Hai, who is considered by most to be a mongrel. He is the daughter of a Falcon mother and the deceased former heir to the Cobra throne, Anjay (older brother to Zane). After her cousin Oliza abdicates the throne, Hai is tormented by terrible visions. Despite it all, she must help save her new home and face the possibility of being the new queen.
Amelia has two new novels to be released in 2011: Persistence of Memory and Token of Darkness.
The Shapeshifters – Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
January 12, 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 968 Pages