The Kura, by Mary Patterson Thornburg, is Ms. Thornburg’s second novel. Like her first, A Glimmer of Guile, she does a great job presenting the reader with a strong female protagonist whose intelligence and goodness is treasured above her other qualities. This is a rarity in fantasy literature, in which women are either pure evil or helpless, rarely three dimensional, and always prized mainly for their beauty. This would be alone a reason to read the book.
But there are more reasons. As I’ve said before, Thornburg is a writer’s writer. Her prose is flawless, and gives you great insight into the world she has created. The story is told from the perspective of Alyssha, who, along with her brother, has found a doorway to another world. She comes back and her brother stays. When someone she knew from Bandor is suddenly found dead in her own world with a cryptic message for her, she decides to rejoin her brother in Bandor and abandon her father.
It has been some time since she was there, and the political winds have shifted, as have a number of childhood friendships and alliances. She decides to train as a Kura – a healer – and assists her brother who is involved in politics and is trying to bring unity to conflicting parties.
There is enough romantic interest to be considered a romance, and there is enough political scheming to be considered more of a political thriller, all set in an alternate world that is fully realized. This is a great combination, since it engages both the mind and the heart in Alyssha’s adventures. In addition, there is plenty of thought provoking prose that makes you question your own internal prejudices and assumptions.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Told You…” is set to be released in the Spring of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.