Fantasy Friday – A Look At Daughter Of Light


Daughter of Light, a fantasy novel by Morgan Busse (Marcher Lord Press) has one of the most intriguing point of view characters I’ve read in some time. He isn’t the main character, and you can’t really think of him as the antagonist either. But he and his interests pit him directly against the true main character.

Mind you, I want to tell you about this character without giving too much away (down on spolers!), so if I’m somewhat vague, you’ll know why.

The character I’m talking about is Caleb Tala, second brother to Lord Corin, the power-hungry leader of Temanin. In some ways, Caleb is an uncomplicated person. He wants pleasure and ease, and is willing to pay a high price for both. Not in money but in loyalty and service.

At the same time he’s rather complex–driven by nightmares, haughty toward those who have significant power, kind to the most undeserving. He’s clever to the detriment of the main character, skilled in military strategy, understanding of human nature, but he can’t see his way out of his own political snarl.

In short, he’s a compelling character, someone I found myself cheering for–not that he would succeed, but that he would change. He’s not happy, and I want him to be. I want him to figure things out, to make better choices, to stop what he plans, renounce what he wins.

Ultimately, Morgan made me care for him. It’s a great accomplishment, I think.

Daughter of Light is high fantasy–the kind that feels like it’s set in medieval times. The only “magic” in the story is a big piece of the puzzle–the power that resides in a race of people thought to be extinct.

The premise is unique on its own, but when Caleb’s story and that of Nierne, the young scribe from Thyra, are woven together with the main character’s thread, “the plot thickens,” in a compelling way.

This storytelling is not straight bad guy against good or supernatural evil against supernatural good. There is complacency among the side of right and hope amid despair within the ranks of the defeated. And then there is Caleb.

Why is he, of all people, the focal point of the light coming from the daughter of light?

That question alone generates a great deal of interest in volume two of this fantasy series.

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