The Taste of Lightning, by Kate Constable

Perrin was exhausted; he looked forward to hearing the bark of military orders again. Orders from Doughty were one thing, but he was damned if he would take any more bossing from that laundry-maid. He wondered how the boy-king had come to choose a laundry-maid for a girlfriend.

Tansy, Perrin and Skir have only one thing in common – their youth. Apart from that their backgrounds are poles apart. Tansy is a laundry-maid with a fear of the dark and a love of horses; Skir a Priest-King who lacks the powers he’s supposed to have and is a prisoner of war; and Perrin is a swordsman with a gift of chantment that gives him power over animals. When Perrin is sent to rescue Skir in a botched night time raid, the three find themselves travelling companions, on the run from two armies and the sinister magic of the Witch-Woman. Will their quest bring peace to the Threelands?

The Taste of Lightning is a thrilling new fantasy offering for young adult readers. With overlaps with Constable’s earlier trilogy, The Chanters of Tremaris, the book still stands alone so that readers don’t miss out on anything through not having read the earlier series. Still, those who have read it will be delighted to eventually recognise a familiar character and to see what has happened in the universe created for the Tremaris books.

Readers will find the ending satisfying, but will be eager for another instalment.

The Taste of Lightning, by Kate Constable
Allen & Unwin, 2007

You can buy this book online at Fishpond