Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Mapmaker’s War-Ronlyn Domingue

The Mapmaker’s War

Ronlyn Domingue

Atria, Mar 5 2013, $23.00

ISBN: 9781451688887

Her brother taught Aoife to draw a map. Ecstatic with what she learned, she persuaded her father to allow her to try to become the rare female mapmaking apprentice. To her further delight, Aoife is accepted as a student. She becomes her nation’s kingdom’s mapmaker, whose mission is to chart the entire kingdom.

While on her trek, she crosses the boundary into another land filled with affluent peace-loving people who tell the welcomed newcomer that they guard a legendary ancient relic from the beginning of time. Aoife returns home to tell her people who decide to destroy the outsiders. Shocked, Aoife tries to warn her new friends, which leads to her banishment due to seditious activity. As war breaks out, Aoife’s new companions welcome her, but she feels disconsolate missing her family she left behind; amplified when she gives birth to a daughter.

This is an engaging autobiographical fictional account of a female mapmaker at war with her place in a society in which women have no rights; ironically the war between the countries predominantly is limited to a passive first person account by the protagonist. Although the support cast is stereotyped as only the title character is fully developed (partly because we see everyone through her filter), readers will enjoy the efforts of the heroine to keep her loved ones in two nations safe.

Harriet Klausner

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