by Megan Hart

June 2002
ISBN: 1-59088-084-6
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An Exaltation of Larks is an intriguing read with a fantasy plot that reads like a fairy-tale, yet is a bit deeper than one. This reviewer has never been one for particularly liking a story told in the first person point of view, but with the first line of the book I was caught up in Perion’s life and the hours flew by as I read.

Perion Merrett is Queen of Canticle and facing “impending doom” she was sure. Before she turns twenty, and to keep her throne, law requires that she choose a husband to be named King. For Perion this is almost a fate worse than death, thus her bemoaning of doom. There are countless suitors vying for the position of King but unfortunately Perion can’t see herself being stuck with any one of them for the rest of her life. She wants what every young woman dreams of --- an endearing love that is faithful and lasts for a lifetime.

At the parade of eligible suitors Perion meets Sir Barrett Llewellyn and thinks she’s finally found her one “true love”. But unfortunately for her, her godmother the witch Magogah, doesn’t trust Barrett so she casts a spell that sends him to the dreaded and “always-avoided-at-all-costs” home of the evil sorcerer Mason de Cimmerian. Perian is outraged and to prove she believes their love will be true she sets out --- in disguise --- to rescue Barrett from Mason’s imprisonment.

Along the way, Perion meets Heath de Haven. And as time passes she begins to wonder if her and Barrett’s love is really the “true one” after all. Once she arrives at the lair of the sorcerer Mason, she isn’t too surprised to believe he is an overly cruel man that delights in hurting others. But, there’s more to Mason than just the sorcerer-surface he presents to the world and Perion is going to eventually discover some surprising secrets and facts about him.

Ms. Hart has penned a delightful read into a fantasy world that is guaranteed to be a favorite book among readers of the Fantasy genre. Her characters are well portrayed and a reader will enjoy the many quirks and “learning to grow” experiences of each one, especially that of Perion. Mason too, will quickly become a fascinating character that will steal into the reader’s heart and stay. This reviewer hopes there are many more Fantasy books coming from this author and will be glad to recommend this one to all who love this genre.

Reviewed in July 2002 by Kari.

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