Cry of Sorrow
Medallion, Jul 2008, $15.95
The Coranians have defeated their enemies the Kymru in battle. However, their leader Havgan does not celebrate the victory as his troops do; he feels there remains one last task to complete before he can claim victory. He must find the four treasures (the Stone, the Spear, the Cauldron and the Sword) that will gain him entrance to the Hall of the High Kings, Cadair Idris; then he can claim victory as the High King of Kymru.
However, Haygan knows his quest is impossible as the Treasures were concealed ages ago. He orders Gwydion the Dreamer to insure he achieves his goal soonest. Reluctantly, Gwydion seeks a lost song which contains clues to the relics in the lyrics at the same time he has doubts about the worthiness of his liege to be the High king. He recruits Rhiannon the witch, her daughter Gwenhwyvar, and his nephew Arthur to accompany him on the dangerous quest while Havgan's soldiers follow them as Haygan trusts no one especially someone allied with a hated witch. In spite of blood relations and friendships when attractions erupt, the wary foursome doubts the loyalty of one other, but for the quartet to succeed, they must depend on one another.
The latest High Kings romantic fantasy (see CRIMSON FIRE and NIGHT BIRDS REIGN) is a strong tale in which the quest and the “counter”-quest make for an engaging twisting thriller. The story line is action-packed as like any quest fantasy there is a lot of strange evil creatures out there. However, it is the quartet distrusting one another even as they pair off in love; feelings no one wants especially at this dangerous time. Holly Taylor is at her best with her strong High King saga.