Select one of the keywords
Snakecharm: The Kiesha'ra Volume Two    by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes order for
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Snakecharm follows Hawksong as the second volume in The Keisha'Ra fantasy series, about shapeshifting bird and serpent peoples. After many years of war, the union of king Zane Cobriana (cobra) and Danica Shardae (hawk) has brought peace to the avian and serpiente clans. As the couple prepares for the birth of their child, they struggle with prejudice about its mixed bloodline. Questions are raised as to which nest the child will be nurtured by, and which clan the child will ascend to lead.

Contemptuous and powerful, ancient falcon Syfka arrives from Ahnmik, asserting that one of her people (a traitor falcon) is hidden amongst the serpiente. The falcons are more powerful in strength and magic than the collective of avian and serpiente. Syfka is opposed to the couple's alliance, and especially to the expected child. But Zane and Danica do not lack supporters - the Royal Flight crew and its captain Andreios (Rei), doctor Betty, A'isha instructor of the dancers guild known as Sha'Melay, Valene the avian scholar, and guardian Erica, sworn to serve and protect. Despite the security that surrounds Zane and Danica, there's an attempted assassination. In order to bring the cultures together in peaceful co-existence, the prospect of the creation of another world, namely 'Wyvern's Court', is born. As this episode ends, avians and serpiente band together to plan for the new world.

Although the first half of the book lags in pace, and is a mite confusing, the author continues to fabricate splendid characters with their own languages, beliefs, and rituals in dramatic, complex cultures (the family tree in the front of the book is helpful, though a glossary would have been even more so.) Snakecharm has surprises and adventures enough to keep a reader's interest, but if you haven't read Hawksong, I recommend doing so first.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews