"Not until he came out of the trees did Reiffen realize this wasn't a pasture like the ones back home. Halfway up the slope a circle of tall white stones rose ominously from the lush green of the grass, like the tips of some great and terrible claw buried deep beneath the meadow...."
Reiffen, only twelve years old, is the true heir to the thrones of both Wayland and Banking. He and his friends Avender and Ferris live in a magical world of talking animals, dwarves, and shape-shifting bears but he lives with the shame of knowing that no one will ever let him rule these kingdoms, that their crowns will bring him nothing but betrayal and sorrow and that he is powerless. Reiffen will have only a short life of child's innocence, a brief respite from the trial of impossible adult responsibility, the trial of attempting to finish a task he can never complete.
"As he stepped between the slabs, he forced himself to look at the circle .The stones were tall and white and unlike any rock he had ever seen before .There were thirteen of them altogether, spaced irregularly around the circle. None had fallen, but only one or two stood straight. Mostly they leaned this way and that, left and right, forward and backward. Despite himself, he shuddered ."
And then he was shown the nations of his world from the peak of a fortress drear and tempted with fame and fortune and his rightful place on the throne of great kingdoms--"his "kingdoms. He need only surrender his humanity; kill his loves and he would have his childhood fantasy.
He would be granted great Black knowledge, more furious than anything he had ever imagined. He could desire justice but would have to kill everything he loved to get it. His prayers would be answered if only he would sacrifice everything he held dear.
"The earth inside the ring was blackened. Here and there the ground itself had heaved and crumbled, as if whatever had seared the grass had not been content with the burning, but had needed to rip up everything by the roots as well in some places, before trampling it all back underfoot. It was a dead, evil place. Even the smell was different, as if the very moisture of the air had been boiled away, leaving only dry dust in its place."
"Reiffen's Choice" is the first book in a trilogy about innocence and struggle that can only be compared to "Eragon" and "Eldest," "The Once and Future King" and Raymond E. Feist's "Magician." It will be an experience you will never forget.show more