Durgin, Doranna: Barrenlands (Changespell Saga) (2011)

Barrenlands
Cover art by Doranna Durgin

Barrenlands is my first meeting with Doranna Durgin and a pretty good one at that. My read was an updated and reworked edition.

In its basic form Barrenlands is a mystery. Who killed the king (Benlan) is the question that is eating Ehren up. The reason Ehren feels so passionate about finding the murderer (not every one else wants him to find him/her/them) is because Benlan was his best friend. Most of Ehren’s guard-friends had also been killed at the same time.

Ehren is an interesting character yet familiar in a fantasy sense. He is our hero, the one with the quest he must fulfill. He is also the strong, silent type. In his case his silence and strength are very much tools. When one is silent one sometimes listens and is able to hear things one might not otherwise hear. As a hero Ehren has several helpers and not all of them are people. Two killer horses (that is for any other person than Ehren) are among the assistants. Ehren has trained them well and we get a few episodes illustrating how dangerous they are.

Two people also come to his aid. In the one case the helper places Ehren in an awkward position. Ehren is actually supposed to kill Laine (or Lain-iee! as his sister calls him) and his family. Laine is the nephew of the dead king Benlan. He has a weird ability – to see magic. He has another ability but that comes out late in the novel so hush to me. Sherran is the other person that turns up and happens to be the T’ieran of Clan Gurran. She, too, has a magical ability that Ehren will need.

Varien is an interesting character but the opposite of Ehren’s helper. He becomes quite fun in a nasty way as the story evolves. The more I learned the less confidence I had in him. Not exactly the kind of magician I would want at my back. And he just happens to be the new king’s (Rohan) most important advisor.

We begin with a fight scene and there are several to follow. I would call this a YA novel with little emphasis on romance but a whole lot on friendship and action with some magic thrown in.



  • File Size: 503 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Blue Hound Visions (November 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services,  Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A5FF668

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