________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 2 . . . .September 15, 2006


Brondings’ Honour.

Ann Ewan.
Saskatoon, SK: Thistledown, 2006.
246 pp., pbk., $15.95.
ISBN 1-897235-01-1.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Kallie George.

*** /4



Dayraven sagged against the trunk of the nearest tree, still caught in the vivid dream. She wiped her mouth carefully, though she knew the blood and slime had been in Sigurd’s mouth, not hers. Then she felt a sudden heaviness on her neck. Derwin had been touching the Torc! She was wearing it!

For a moment she could not breathe. The weight of it, the metal solidness of it around her neck, cut off her breath and all thought. She tore at it, gasping, drowning as if she were still in the river, struggling for air. Her nails broke as she scrabbled uselessly at its unyielding silver surface. When breath came at last, she pulled in air in great heaving sobs, collapsing onto the wet forest floor and curling up around herself as Sigurd had done. She did not know if she were crying for Sigurd or for herself. She knew what the Torc meant.

Dayraven was the new Honour of the Brondings.


Bronding’s Honour is the second book by Ann Ewan, a medievalist and linguist specializing in Old English, Latin and Irish Gaelic. Set in a pseudo-medieval world, Bronding’s Honour is a fast-paced fantasy adventure. When Dayraven witnesses the assassination of Sigurd, the clan’s protector, her quiet life as the Bronding clan’s healer is over. She is magically chosen to be the next Honour, the name that the Bronding people call their protector. No woman has ever been the Bronding’s Honour. Dayraven disguises herself as a boy and sets out to revenge the death of Sigurd. Soon, she discovers that Sigurd is not dead after all, and the man holding him prisoner is a powerful and evil wizard, Alcuin, who is feared by all the clans. Will the young woman be able to defeat Alcuin and his dark forces? And can Dayraven resolve her internal battle between being a healer and a killer? Ewan does a marvelous job bringing her characters to life, including her secondary characters. She also weaves an exciting plot, logical in all its twists and turns, with snappy descriptions. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a poorly illustrated cover and unsuccessful use of medieval language. The words of the characters do not quite ring true. The dialogue reads like modern English except with the “you” and “your” replaced with “thee” and “thy”. This is surprising since Ewan specializes in linguistics. Other than these two minor criticisms, the book is a worthwhile read. I expect it will be well liked by readers of high fantasy teen novels. Fans can look forward to a continuation of the adventures of Dayraven, since Ewan plans to turn the novel into a series.


Kallie George is currently completing her Master’s of Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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