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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
In the magic and sorcery novel Of Water and Dance by Leslie Griffin, the Priestess Liliat holds the Royal line and its future in her hands and there is no way to alter the four paths the Leviathan shows her. Those paths are revealed to readers but only Liliat is shown what lies beyond. Among the cast of characters who feature in the path of Liliat's reformation of the Royals is a blighted prince named Bane, who needs a very specific queen. The twins, Castor and Evengel, fit the mold of another of Liliat's paths but where they will end up is unclear. Griffin weaves in gods and goddesses from well-known myths that are appropriately repurposed to fit the storyline. Their power ebbs and flows but things beyond their control become a matter of fate or a matter of destiny, and exactly the way the Priestess was shown. “I just watched thousands of people chant in old Provincial, and just a moment ago a boy called you, Queen...”
Of Water and Dance is a rare shining light of originality in a fantasy genre that tends to rehash the same plots under different titles but which still read the same. The reader has no choice but to trust authors when they embark on a new fantasy series. Social and magic structures have to be learned, characters that we want to root for have to engage us, and the landscape has to be singular, but not so outlandish that we get lost in a bog. Leslie Griffin approaches this successfully with a mixed bag of wit. If I have one complaint it is the use of phonetically written accents that some might think are over the top but it's rare enough to not distract unduly. This is a cleanly and beautifully written book, and a promising start to what I hope will be an ongoing series.