The Lord Protector's Daugther
The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is the seventh novel in the Corean Chronicles by L.E. Modesitt and is a standalone novel as compared to the two trilogies that Modesitt has written in the world of Corus. The Lord-Protector’s Daughter takes places several hundred years after the events of Soarer’s Choice.
Mykella, the eldest daughter of the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona, discovers that someone is diverting significant sums of money from her father’s treasury. One of the ancient soarers appears to Mykella, telling her that she must go to the antique stone Table in the cellars of the Palace and find her Talent in order to save her land and her world.
From there, matters become more perilous. There are attempts to remove Mykella and her sisters from Tempre by marrying them off to lords in neighbouring lands, and fatal and near fatal accidents occur to members of her family and trusted retainers. While Mykella develops a solid idea of who stands behind it all, every attempted solution is used to discredit her. How can she save their father and land?
The synopsis above basically covers the whole story so I will not say anymore as even a small summary in addition would reveal too much of the story. I have read other novels by Modesitt and most of the time they are coming of age stories which follow the main character, usually male, as he grows towards maturity. The Lord-Protector’s Daughter see this change as Modesitt choses an female lead character. Now, I do not know if this change is the main reason but this book is not up to his usual standards and I was left feeling let down by the story and the ending in particular.
I somehow get the idea that Modesitt is more in favour of dialogue and the human nature of his characters than the actual “brutal” magic. The result is that The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is too lengthy and repetitive (I actually snoozed off while reading the beginning of the book). The initial chapters all follow the same structure: Mykella wakes, washes, has breakfast, washes her hands, goes over the finance ledgers (where she discovers fraud), dines with her family, goes off exploring table and then turn in to bed. This sequences of events fills up half of the book (and its only 292 pages).
Modesitt could have used the world of Corus more extensively – The Lord-Protectors Daughter plays out in between the first and second trilogy and there could have been more elaboration on how the world had changed in the time following the events covered in Soarer’s Choice.
Modesitt uses several recurring characters in The Lord-Protectors Daughter: Mykella, her father, her two sisters, her brother and her uncle and his son. There were many possibilities here for the author to create a more intricate plot (even within only 292 pages) but he did not and I was thoroughly let down by the abrupt and poor ending of the book. It was not even logical. I have enjoyed his other books, admittedly they are not great but they are at least good fun to read.
I hope that The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is just and minor set back and that Modesitt changes some aspects in the books still to come – there were exciting possibilities in the book but Modesitt failed to grab them. The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is a mediocre addition to the Corean Chronicles.