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The Star Scroll (Dragon Prince #2), by Melanie Rawn
The Star Scroll
Time passes quickly in most of Rawn's books. As "The Star Scroll" opens, it is 14 years after the end of "Dragon Prince" and Meath has found something exciting on Dorval -- two scrolls written in the old language. One of these scrolls is decorated with stars and entitled "On Sorcery."
Meath is bringing Pol home for the Rialla, the triennial gathering of the nobles (which also attracts not a small number of the commoners) in the "Dragon Prince" world. After Meath and Pol fend off an attempt on Pol's life, they return to the mainland and Meath takes the scroll to Goddess Keep. At some point the "On Sorcery" scroll gains the name "The Star Scroll," due to its decoration with stars. This is pretty fortunate, as "The Star Scroll" makes a better title for this book than "The 'On Sorcery' Scroll."
The Star Scroll, it turns out, contains the secrets of another form of magic (you may remember my kind of, but not really, mentioning this in my review for "Dragon Prince") which they obviously start to call Sorcery. It further turns out that Sorcerers are not made, they're born, and the genetic ability to become a Sorcerer is somehow always inherited by the offspring of a previous Sorcerer (I have not quite figured out how this works). Sorcerers use dranath, the drug that Crigo was addicted to and that was the cure for the plague in "Dragon Prince," to enhance their power. Sorcerers also can Sunrun, and as a result, a number of the Sunrunners at Goddess Keep turn out to actually be Sorcerers.
It is going to be a particularly exciting Rialla year. In addition to the usual horse races and such, we have a new competition in town. You see, the night that Chiana was born, a boy was born in Waes, as well. That boy, Masul, is now 21 and he has returned, claiming that he, and not Chiana, is the child of Palila and Roelstra.
Is he? If you were paying attention during the scene on Roelstra's boat in "Dragon Prince," you'll know the answer.
Kiele believes that Chiana is her sister. However, since she hates Chiana, she decides to aid and abet Masul's attempt to be acknowledged as Roelstra's son.
The appearance of Masul also brings into question the issue of Pol's accession to Princemarch. If Masul is acknowledged as Roelstra's son, then Pol is out. Or is he? After all, although no one but Rohan, Sioned, Tobin, and Ostvel knows, he is Roelstra's descendant, too.
Still another of Roelstra's descendants turns up. Ianthe's third son, Segev, is sent incognito to Goddess Keep to capture the Star Scroll and bring it back to the leader of the Sorcerors, who call themselves the "diarmadh'im."
There is not a whole lot of time skipping in this volume, fortunately, and the plot moves along at a really rapid pace. There are several romantic subplots, more of Rohan getting new laws passed to ensure peace and prosperity, and we find out that Andry's Sunrunning abilities truly are unusually strong, which will have major implications for the next book and for the "Dragon Star" trilogy.