Luthiel's Song: Dreams of the Ringed Vale

Dreams of the Ringed Vale Dreams of the Ringed Vale by Robert Fanney

Author: Robert Marston Fanney

Genre: high fantasy

Age: Teen

POV: 3rd person

Summary: On Summer Eve Luthiel turns 15 and two dangerous surprise awaits her. First a Wyrd Stone gifted by her sister. That is said to have mysteries powers. The second is the Blade Dancer that comes to take her sister to the Vale of Mist. Instead Luthiel decides to go in her place.

Review: I have read this book two years ago. Looking back on my old review (down below) I feel that my views on this book have changed. I will be going back and forth from my old review to what I think about the book now.

The story is slow and it what called a “soft epic” as another reviewer stated. There no battles or epic quests. What the story does instead is spin time developing these characters and the legends and lore of the world. In my first review, I describe Luthiel as a kick-ass as in code word for a strong heroine. Since there is little fighting in the book Luthiel is more of a strong heroine in a better way to describe her. She is selfless, she puts other people before herself. I like the deep sisterly bond between Leowin and Luthiel. It is well established creating the driving force for Luthiel to take her sister's place. I would of like to see more of Filr Light Hollow. Perhaps know the side characters that resident there.

I describe the world as “fragmented” and I completely change my mind on that. The legends and lore that are embedded with the world are gorgeously haunting. The world has an overall gothic feel. Not to mention the creatures, there are Keirin which is Chinese unicorns and there are original creatures like shadows that suffocated you and spiders that spin webs of shadows. It is mentioned how the spiders came to be and it is twisted. I notice that light and shadow are major themes in the story. Luthiel’s wyrd stone projects light at her will. That keeps these creatures from attacking her.

Also, to add the world is based around dreams. I get that the magic system is based on the vale. Unlike other books that feature a vile as a metaphor for life and death. The Vale in Luthiel’s Song is a separation of the waking world and the dreaming world; the conscience and subconscious. I am predicting that death is going to come into play later on. Culturally death is viewed as “eternal sleep”.

From my first review, I didn’t go into detail on what the Lord of the Rings inspiration was. The name Luthiel should be a hint. Harder core LOTR fans might see the connection more. The wyrd stone is base on the Silmarillion.

I will recommend this to people that have read LOTR that like their fantasy mythical and also to those that are getting into the high fantasy genre.

Review from 2017 below
A female protagonist that kicks ass and is not emotionless may be too emotional at times which is fine. A little hard to find in other books. The story tells of Luthiel taking the place of her sister to go to the vale of mist.
The world building is more in fragments, Robert Fanney has put work into it. There is something that doesn't feel complete. The characters are colorful and realistic.
I wouldn't say it is beautifully written, however, the story is told well, maybe it the blood scene that grosses me out.
I defiantly see the inspiration came from LOTR. The fantasy is taken into a new light.
I enjoy this book and will be reading the next one. Hopefully, some of the world building is placed together more. This is a wonderful read. Love the dragon and the werewolf.

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