March 13, 2006

Taking Shape

Aubrey is gifted, an up and coming mage and of the finest talent seen in the kingdom for years. His enigmatic master, Cyril, sends him to learn what he can from Glyrenden, a powerful shape-changer about whom Aubrey has heard very little, except Cyril's worried warnings. Sorcerers can be precarious, petty and dangerous in their power, admittedly, but Aubrey is open hearted and genuine. Surely nothing could harm such a generous, loving, open-hearted fellow as himself.

He truly believes this, too, right until he comes to the ramshackle piles of dust and stones the oddly malevolent Glyrenden calls his palace, meets his shambling, inarticulate manservant, Orion, his nervous, incomprehensible maidservant, Arachne. And then there's Lilith, the shapechanger's wife.

The mythological
Lilith is portrayed as a monster, and one who is of great harm to young males. The Shapechanger's Wife isn't someone I expect poor hapless Aubrey to survive. But he more than survives Lilith, her strange household, the power-hungry, overconfident Glyrenden, and their strange village. Aubrey changes things -- and himself.

This book tackles some deep questions about love,including asking the question,Do we love something more for what we have made it, for its usefulness to us, or do we have the strength within ourselves to love it for itself, independent of our needs or even our input? Can we ever free those we love from our desires for them, and let them be what they are, and still love them? A quick afternoon read with some really important themes to explore.

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