Rhuna, Keeper of Wisdom: An Historic Fantasy Novel

Rhuna, Keeper of Wisdom: An Historic Fantasy Novel - Barbara Underwood Well, if you like instructionals, you'll love this book.

Rhuna is 14, and not quite like the Zao people she's lived with all her life. Then she meets a Master - one of the foreigners who she's seen on the island - and is astounded by what he can do. Unsure if she's breaking some rule, she asks her people about the masters, and finds that her people are resentful of the light-skinned intruders, and their anger turns on Rhuna. She escapes the island with the master she met (Tozar) and begins her life anew in Atlan society where amazing things can happen with the right and enough thought if you possess the ability. Rhuna has that ability, and the more she learns, the more power she finds. The story follows Rhuna as she transitions from child to woman and finds he place in Atlan society, all while the threat of the Dark Master's return threatens the peace and prosperity the Atlans have worked so long to achieve.

As exciting as the premise is, the story lacked the kind of conflict that could have made it interesting. Rhuna is basically perfect, and she excels at everything she does. In fact, she's better than everyone else, but she's never haughty. Instead, she's the picture of perfection, not only in her studies, but also in every area of human interaction. She constantly goes to her husband for advice and comfort, and seems to have few ideas of her own. There are a few times she does step outside the "comfort zone", but always with her husband's or teacher's permission. It was kind of boring reading about this meek, submissive, perfect, powerful beyond imagination woman. There just wasn't that much about her that was interesting.

Rhuna spends the majority of the book learning. We learn all about building and harnessing thought energies and summoning and such. (Personal aside: the author uses learnt, a spelling I've never seen as an American, and since Rhuna learnt about everything there is to learn, it became a bit irritating.) What little conflict is introduced is quickly and easily resolved (Every. Single. Time.), and the conflict is few and far between.

Her interaction with Tozar takes on a slightly creepy edge from the very beginning, and it becomes apparent that they'll end up together. He's much older than her, and when they first meet, she's 14, so that was weird. Then, when they do get married, his fatherly role continues, and though the creepiness subsides, it still seems like a very wrong match.

All that being said, the writing itself isn't the worst I've seen, and the Atlan society is kind of interesting. Only complaints there is the author doesn't have chapters (there are parts, but some are very long), and the scene breaks are hard to spot because they're only separated by a blank line, which makes finding a stopping place difficult. Also, the paragraph first line indents are way too big for my reader.

So yeah, if you like instructionals, you'll love this book. You can learn all about the Atlan society and what and how they can do it. If you're looking for a sweeping story to take you to a far away world rife with intrigue and conflict, find another book.