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The Truth-Teller's Tale    by Sharon Shinn order for
Truth-Teller's Tale
by Sharon Shinn
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though it stands well on its own, this story is is a sequel to the The Safe-Keeper's Secret. Both are set in a medieval kingdom ruled by Queen Lirabel, scattered with Safe-Keepers, Truth-Tellers, and a solitary Dream-Maker. Safe-Keepers keep close any secrets entrusted to them, Truth-Tellers speak only what is true, and the presence of the Dream-Maker can make dreams come true.

The two daughters of an innkeeper and his wife, Eleda and Adele, are mirror twins in name, looks and in personality. They are 'Night and day, sun and shadow, earth and sky.' They are also a Truth-Teller and a Safe-Keeper, respectively, and the fact that they are often mistaken for each other can cause confusion. While opposites in every way, they are close siblings who love, and look out for each other. They are also very close to their best friend, Roelynn Karro. The daughter of a controlling, greedy, and very rich merchant, Roelynn resists her father's long-term plan that she marry the Queen's wayward son, Prince Darian.

This delightful story opens with a conundrum, 'What would you say if I told you there was a time a Safe-Keeper told a secret, a Truth-Teller told a lie, and a Dream-Maker did everything in her power to make sure a wish went astray?' How could that be? If you read on to the end you find out, as all three girls come of age, support each other in tragedy and in joy, in romance and in heartbreak, and meet their destinies. Though Dream-Maker Melinda occasionally intervenes, it's their own strength of character that pulls these young women through to the happy endings they deserve.

I enjoyed The Truth-Teller's Tale even more than the first book set in this magical kingdom. It's a marvelous story of sisterly love, friendship and romance, that ends with the sage realization, 'Happiness was a rare gift, and a precious one, and I would gather it close to me now and cherish it for all my days to come.'

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