Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland

Star of the Morning (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms) by Lynn KurlandI have been a fan of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novels for a while now, but I started with the second story arc. Star of the Morning is the very first Nine Kingdoms novel, and while it is still a wonderful fantasy, it feels a tad more like a romance than the latter installments.

Morgan hates magic, so when her guardian asks her to deliver a magical knife to the king, she only does it out of love for the man who took her in when she was orphaned so long ago. The king, Adhémar, is also on a quest that involves a magical weapon—he must find someone who can wield the Sword of Angesand since his power seems to have left him. Morgan and her band of mercenaries, who have no clue who Adhémar really is, rob him, which leads to him joining their band. Soon their number grows again as Miach, the archmage and Adhémar’s youngest brother, joins them.

Morgan is weary of Miach since he uses magic, and when Miach learns of her distaste for magic, he tampers his use of it, telling her he is just a farmer with a rudimentary mastery of the magic that will help his crops. Slowly, Morgan starts to trust Miach, and when he learns she may be the lost daughter of a mage gone bad, he starts to teach her a few magic spells that will augment her already superb fighting skills. Reluctantly Morgan learns, and as her magic grows, so does the singing from the knife she carries—a knife that is a match to the Sword of Angesand.

Star of the Morning is a fun fantasy adventure, but as I mentioned earlier, it reads a little more as a romance than a fantasy, although the elements that Kurland develops later in the series are all there. Morgan is a heroine who bucks the tradition for her world, and that makes her a very intriguing character. Miach is also very loveable, despite his deceit. As the story progresses, the fantasy elements do grow, but the romantic tension between the two main characters also grows stronger, leading up to a stunning conclusion (of this first book, at least).

If I had started with Star of the Morning, I probably would have rated it a little higher, but knowing how Lynn Kurland’s epic fantasy writing develops later in the Nine Kingdoms series kind of spoiled it a little for me. Still, though, this is a wonderful read for fantasy lovers who would like a bit of romance.

Book Stats:

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (December 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425212122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425212127

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Books in the Nine Kingdoms series in the order they should be read:
Star of the Morning
The Mage’s Daughter
Princess of the Sword
A Tapestry of Spells
Spellweaver
Gift of Magic
Dreamspinner
River of Dreams

I have been a fan of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novels for a while now, but I started with the second story arc. is the very first Nine Kingdoms novel, and while it is still a wonderful fantasy, it feels a tad more like a romance than the latter installments. Morgan hates magic, so when …

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About Ricki

Ricki Marking-Camuto has been reviewing for Bitten by the Books since basically the beginning, and she is also one of the review editors. She will read almost anything, but here favorite genres include fantasy, horror, mystery, paranormal, and all YA and graphic novels/manga. Ricki was the Executive Managing Editor for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror for the now-defunct Chippewa Publishing, but she still freelances. She holds a BA in Theatre Management and MFA in Directing, which all relate to her day job. When not working or reading, she can be found with her husband and dog, or hanging out with her group of friends do all sorts of nerdy/geeky things.

One comment

  1. I started with Star of the Morning & loved it! I agree the romance is stronger in this first trilogy- but that is actually what worked for me–I feel like it actually led to better character development. Still- overall this is a wonderful series! Great review :)