Patricia C. Wrede
The Raven Ring
Tor Books 1994 Eleret is given the sad message that her mother, a soldier in the imperial army, has died. As she doesn't want anyone else to get their hands on the Raven Ring that is the family heirloom, she decides to travel to the capital, Ciaron. Coming from the Cilhar, the legendary warrior tribe living in the mountains far away from anything even close to a city, the capital is a quite extraordinary experience for young Eleret. To get the ring is not a big problem, but to stay alive while discover the secret of the ring and solve the mystery of her mother's death is. Fortunately, she's got a little help from an attractive young magician from a noble family and a thief of a legendary family of that profession. And Eleret herself is of course an excellent fighter...
"The Raven Ring" is the fifth book by Patricia Wrede set in Lyra, but there is no other relationship between the books, so you can read them in any order, I've been told. I've only read this one. There are some non-humans involved in the story, in different ways. There are some problems relating to cultural differences between human peoples. There is the typical sword-and-sorcery thieves' guild situation, and some quite typical fantasy magic involved, but the story really could have been set in any ordinary fantasy setting.
If you're looking for an action-packed adventure story with a mystery and a romantic twist to it, I can recommend this book. It may not be the type of book you'll think about years later, it's not by any means a masterpiece, but it's well-written, with an intriguing story and some interesting characters. And almost nothing about saving the world as we know it. That's good enough for me.
See also Fantasy Finder's guest book: 960530, 960824.
© Henriksson & Henriksson 1996.