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Stranger at the Wedding, by Barbara Hambly Book Review | SFReader.com
Stranger at the Wedding, by Barbara Hambly Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Del Rey Published: 1994 Review Posted: 9/21/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 7 out of 10
Stranger at the Wedding, by Barbara Hambly
Book Review by Paul Abbamondi
Have you read this book?
Stranger at the Wedding is a surprising tale; Hambly writes with such detailed images that grab the reader's attention yet she is able to withhold specific information to truly surprise the reader in the end. It's a wonderful gift to keep someone in suspense with printed words.
The story revolves around the character of Kara; she is strong-minded, somewhat competent with her magical skills, but above all, quite humorous. After seeing a prophecy of her younger sister's wedding-and death-Kara returns to the home she was banished from in hopes to protect the family she loves.
Hambly uses Kara as a martyr in the story, and for good reason. To explore the world of magic-and those that are for it and those that are against it-Kara confronts both her father's rage and the fierceness of the Inquisition in Stranger at the Wedding. Hambly offers the reader a world where magic is scorned, looked down upon, yet without it, many would not know the things they do. It's through this theme that the story is really told; Kara constantly fights inside herself over what she should do, how she should do it and what the consequences of her actions will be.
But as much as this story is about magic, there is very little spell casting for the traditional fantasy fan. At the start, you see Kara performing spells badly, and in the middle they are somewhat mentioned, yet nothing truly magical happens until the end of the book. Stranger at the Wedding is a people story, covering all different type of topics like high society, loving relationships, betrayal, intrigue and such.
Some chapters get bogged down in political talk and wedding planning, but Kara is always there to liven things up. Just her appearance in a room seemed to drive family and friends up the wall; she makes for a wonderful heroine.
The last few chapters of the book is where it really shines; Hambly's writing is captivating, and by then, the reader is fully behind Kara in support and cheering her on as she fights the deadly foe prophesized to kill her sister. Who it is will surely come as a shock.
While this book is a bit old, and not the best work created by Hambly, it's still a fun read that will keep you guessing until the end.
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