Review by Pauline Morgan
The Oracle’s Queen is the concluding volume of the Tamar Triad that started with The Bone Doll’s Twin.
According to the prophecy, the land of Skala will only prosper while there is a true queen on the throne.
Unfortunately, the last queen went mad and was disposed of by her son, Erius, thus usurping the position that should have gone to his younger sister. He felt he was justified, when his sister also became tainted with her mother’s madness but to be sure that the throne passed to his son he decided that any girls born to her had to die. Boys were fine. Thus, when twins were born, the girl child was magically disguised as a boy, the other twin dying. Tobin was therefore brought up at court, learning all the skills of a male child and as playmate to Erius’s son Korin.
Volume two, Hidden Warrior, followed Tobin’s training to become a warrior and the fight against the invaders from Plenimar. By the end of the book, the heir’s (nominally Korin) Companions were divided and Tobin revealed as a girl.
This final volume is an account of the struggle between troops and nobles loyal to either Korin or Tobin (who is now going by the name of Tamar). She is proving a very competent field commander even though she is still a few months short of her sixteenth birthday. Korin is being manipulated by the dark wizard, Niryn, who has found him a new wife of the Royal bloodline and who will not let Korin fight until he has sired a child on her.
Unfortunately, the trilogy has declined from a potentially unusual and interesting situation to one that is very predictable. There is an attempt to explore the changing relationship between TamÃr and Ki who had been Tobin/ Tamar’s childhood companion but there is insufficient depth towards it. Also, there is little attempt to explore the emotional differences TamÃr herself must experience by suddenly becoming female rather than the male she had previously been.
Addicts of this kind of fantasy fiction will probably enjoy the easy style but others may find they would have liked more.
The Oracle’s Queen, by Lynn Flewelling, HarperVoyager.