The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

This novel represents a collaboration between three renowned science-fiction and fantasy authors. Each wrote one of the three princesses’ adventures. The tale of Haramis is by Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of the Darkover novels; the story of Kadiya is by Andre Norton, author of the Witch World series; and the narrative of Anigel is by Julian May, author of the Pliocene Exile saga.

The kingdom of Ruwenda is a major center of trade for all the surrounding countries and territories. King Krain and Queen Kalanthe have no imperialist impulses toward their neighbors and allow their subjects a large degree of freedom. Unfortunately, the neighboring kingdom of Labornok is ill-placed for trade, so its king, Voltrik, resorts to conquest of the affluent Ruwenda.

Although brave, King Krain is no soldier. He instructs his wife and daughters to hide, then attempts to bargain with Voltrik, offering to die if his wife and daughters are allowed to live. Meanwhile, in their hiding place, the daughters react to their situation according to their natures. Haramis, the scholar, can see no rational solution to their dilemma. She knows that her father, as head of their army, will most likely be killed in battle and that she will (if left alive) have to submit to marriage to Voltrik. Kadiya, the huntress, fiercely vows to use her hunting knife to defend her mother and sisters against any attackers. Anigel, the youngest, is timid. She sobs helplessly and cries in...

(The entire section is 437 words.)