Shifting Plains, Book 1
Centuries before the time of the Sons of Destiny, a female shapeshifter became the leader of the people of the Shifting Plains… Tava Ell Var never really knew her mother, but she did know her tragic fate at the hands of a band of cruel shapeshifters—a history set down by Tava’s father as a warning about life on the Shifting Plains. But after her father is murdered, Tava encounters a Shifterai warband fighting to rid the Plains of the terrorizing bandits. Shifterai leader Kodan Sin Siin is sympathetic to Tava’s suffering, but he’s determined to bring the wary young woman to the Plains. Because he knows her secret: She, like he and his men, is a shapeshifter. Once she joins them, he knows that she will see for herself the true fate that awaits her on the Plains, and most of all, lose her fear of his people. And, in time, he knows she will find her place is in their fight—and by his side.
Review: I had the opportunity to read the second book before the first one and it is true that I was a bit lost in the second with all the traditions and customs. I think it is really easier to start this series with the first volume because it teaches us a lot of things for the story.
We discover Tava, a young woman seeking for revenge after the assassination of her father. Of course, normally, women are nothing for her people and they do not even have the right to speak. So she goes alone in search of the bandits but surprisingly, she won’t be the only one in this quest. And for her revenge she will be assisted by a shapeshifter she doesn’t know about. But as she ran away from them all her life, she doesn’t want to stay and meet him so she went directly to her home to announce the death of her father. She hopes to recover the money from her inheritance and leave this land where everyone hates and denigrates her continuously. But she did not expect that the villagers refuse her her rights and decide her fate without consulting her. But their plans are foiled when a group of shapeshifters comes in the village and their leader Kodan, after recognizing the young woman decides to bring her with them. She is reluctant, and even more than that, especially given what she has learned about the fate of her mother, kidnapped and raped by people like them. Kodan is determined to make her change her mind and show her what her life could be in the plains. It was nice to discover this novel, and to see again the characters of book 2. It also allowed me to see the evolution of the story later. Tava allows us to discover the life of the shapeshifters, something very complex and original. We learn with her their lifestyle, it’s so different from what she has experienced so far. Jean Johnson had some very nice ideas about the myths and the world she has built in this novel. I was always more curious to learn more and discover the subtleties of this universe. Tava will change a lot in this novel, she tried to adapt herself despite her fiery temperament and she will finally be able to enjoy her freedom and leave with her feelings and opinions. She discovers a whole new world, far from what she had thought at first. A series enjoyable to read, but you need to read them in order to be able to understand all the details of the John Johnson’s world.