The Mapmaker's War
Keeper of Tales Trilogy: Book One
From the critically acclaimed author of The Mercy of Thin Air comes the profound story of a strong, resilient woman who risks everything to be true to herself, “an otherworldly tale that charts the all-too-human territory between heartbreak and hope” (Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night).
In an ancient time, in a faraway land, a young woman named Aoife is allowed a rare apprenticeship to become her kingdom’s mapmaker, tasked with charting the entire domain. Traveling beyond its borders, she finds a secretive people who live in peace, among great wealth. They claim to protect a mythic treasure, one connected to the creation of the world. When Aoife reports their existence to her kingdom, the community is targeted as a threat. Aoife is exiled for treason and finds refuge among the very people who had been declared her enemy. With them, she begins a new life surrounded by kindness, equality, and cooperation. But within herself, Aoife has no peace. She cannot share the grief she feels for the home and children she left behind, nor can she bear the warrior scars of the man she comes to love. And when she gives birth to their gifted daughter, Aoife cannot avoid what the child forces her to confront about her past and its truth. On this most important of journeys, there is no map to guide her.
Domingue (The Mercy of Thin Air) spices up a threadbare fantasy plot with well-timed twists and a unique second-person narrator. In an ancient unnamed kingdom, Aoife is a young female mapmaker in favor with the king and his son, Wyl. Tasked with charting unknown lands, Aoife discovers a kingdom of peace and prosperity and rumors of great treasure. Wyl is commissioned to bring back proof of the dragon who supposedly guards the treasure. Unbeknownst to Wyl, Aoife follows. Together they find the treasure and consummate their love. Aoife returns pregnant and betrothed to Wyl, but news of the treasure overshadows their scandalous engagement. When Wyl is later crowned king, his greedy brother brings the two kingdoms to the brink of war. Aoife attempts to warn the other kingdom, but is found out and exiled without her daughter. With no alternative, she goes to live with the Guardians. Tormented by the thought she's to blame for everything, Aoife attempts to start anew, searching for peace and her place in the world. Although the second-person voice takes some time getting used to, this is a fun read for fantasy lovers.