The Mapmaker’s War. Ronlyn Domingue. Atria Books. March 2013. 240 pp. hbk. ISBN #: 9781451688887.
Once upon a time…how many times in the past does a reader enter a tale where a person battles evil and wins peace and happiness for a very long time? Despite the stark realities that age imposes about how much goodness and evil humans can foster, a part of us subconsciously dares to dream of a Utopian existence, a Shangri-La, a fantasy yes but all the more sweeter for the dream!
Aoife is our heroine in this wonderful tale. Although girls and women have their affixed roles in the home, Aoife is allowed to develop her significant skills as a mapmaker. First she charts the local area and then after being mentored and trained travels afar, loving her unique job and yet always aware that her good fortune exists because of the gracious will of her King. Her life is about to undergo a whirlwind change when she inadvertently comes upon a magic village where a dragon and people with special powers live. A huge treasure pile stuns her and she quickly realizes what other greedy people would do for such a bounty. What most impresses her, however, is the sense of total peace these people emanate and she absorbs. Her desire to stay is intense but she knows her duty.
The challenge in this tale as in all stories of real life is the fall Aoife experiences when her lover, Prince Wyl, becomes King and allows his brother to twist his mind regarding the land Aoife found. This will cause a horrendous war that brings unbearable suffering to the members of the peaceful town, especially their Warriors. Because Aoife has told her King about this land and mapped the way to its borders, she feels responsible; remapping with a deceptive path changes little. She will suffer dire consequences, leave and return to that other place for the rest of her life where she will come to understand how gifted these people are, trained to handle all that would poison a healthy and whole lifestyle, and establish oh so loving relationships that will delight the reader. She will re-learn what it is to be a fully present wife, mother and community member in a fully-functioning cooperative society.
The Mapmaker’s War is a lovely tale in which this talented author inserts tension and conflict in all the right places, as well as including some amazing unique scenes that will enthrall the reader. Superb story and this reviewer so looks forward to the sequel in this classic fantasy tale!!!