The Spirit Ring – Lois McMaster Bujold

Read for the Once Upon a Time X Reading Challenge.

Fiametta is the daughter of a goldsmith in an alternate Renaissance Italy where magic controls many of the arts, including her father’s.   Fiamatta herself is a mage, but her father has not trained her – as a daughter, her abilities will eventually be lost to him through her marriage.

Still, Fiametta has studied on her own, and is still a pupil of her father’s art – the story opens with him allowing her to cast her first gold ring.    Unknown to him, she also puts a little spell into it – one that will come into play later the story.

Thur is a miner in the Swiss Alps – his older brother Uri went south, and is the captain of the guards in Fiametta’s town.      Knowing his abilities with metal, Uri has asked Fiametta’s father if Thur could apprentice with him.     Thur is on his way south, and Fiamatta and her father are attending the bridal celebrations of the Duke’s daughter to a neighboring lord, when all hell breaks loose, and that Lord Ferrante assassinates the Duke and seizes power for himself.    Fiamatta and Thur will need to work together to help rescue their home.

I really enjoyed this story- Bujold has a way of making instantly likeable characters.     This is her first fantasy book, and I’ll confess I do like the Chalion books more – but this is a solid outing, and a nice tale of two young people growing up quickly and making their own way.


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